Saturday, August 7, 2010

Running a Good Race

My good friend, Gini Koch, is expecting. Her second book will be on shelves come December, 2010 (Alien Tango), and two more are scheduled to be out soon. If she and I were in a race, I'm running well behind the champ. However, as she often reminds me, it took her a while to get where she is on the publication track.

I'm not so patient. You might even describe me as impatient (or so says Gini). I started my attempted writing career rather late in life. That fact shouldn't surprise anyone. I finished my BS when I was forty-five, and although I went straight from under-grad to graduate school, I was the oldest graduate teaching assistant in university history (I really don't know that for sure, but it certainly seemed that way.) Getting out of the gate behind the rest of the pack is something I'm used to.

Oh-Wise-Gini also reminds me that she worked hard at becoming a professional writer. She wrote countless volumes before she hit on just the right combination to catch the eye of her agent. She wrote hundreds of query letters and got almost as many rejections, some formula "I'm not interested" letters and some more personal. She's no novice, no got-an-agent-the-first-time-I-entered-the-race kind of gal. Gini is the consummate professional, a hard-working writer who's not afraid to take a shot at her dreams no matter how long the realization of those dreams take.

In this day and age when thousands of would-be writers are talking about the great books they're going to write, I'm told that only about 1% of those books are every really written. I've written three manuscripts. I hesitate to say that I've completed three novels because I'm not sure you can say that unpublished manuscripts are ever completed. I've even queried one of them with some success. I had several requests for full manuscripts from my query. That's why Ms. Gini calls me Query-Dog.

Am I back at work on my latest efforts? You betcha. I can't wait to get the okay from the BIG DAWGS (writing group) to go ahead and query. My old impatient self might just want to query with the work I have, but rule one of the writer's handbook: Never query on only a partial manuscript OR on a manuscript with issues. I've got rule one down pat!

Well, back to the race. I'm more like the tortoise than the hare. I came out of the gate rather late, but I'm ahead of the 99% of runners who never even finish the book. That's something, huh?

4 comments:

Gini Koch said...

Patience, Perseverance and Professionalism are the 3 P's to writing success. You really and truly need all 3 to make a go of the long haul this race is.

Some of us leave the gate faster than others, but it's still a journey more than a destination, just like life.

So, deep breaths, keep on keeping on, and remember that you've already put yourself into the 1% of authors who will make it, by writing, finishing, submitting, taking a rejection and doing it all again, and by being accepted for something, anything, you've written. (Which you have, multiple times.)

meyerprints said...

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Ruth Cooke said...

I have to wait until DECEMBER to read Gini's next? *whine*

And Appie, you go! Can't wait to pick YOUR book up off the shelf of my local Chapters and take it to the checkout!

WKEverhart said...

Ruth, from your mouth to God's ears! Thanks for the encouragement!