Building a Platform

Whether an agent is excited by my query and is able to sell Dragon Writer to a publisher or I decide to end the search for representation on this project and self publish, I will need a platform. That’s what they say, and they are right. There are a lot of articles regarding the benefits of building a platform for an author. What are the benefits for readers? I gave it some thought.

I like free things. So I’ve included the first chapter of Dragon Writer. Okay, it’s a very short first chapter. Maybe I should include a few more pages or perhaps serialize the story here - offering a different chapter every week. That’s a possibility.

I have a new Instagram site OurDailyDragon. I’ve started to share pictures of the dragons seen in every day life. Once I started to look around, it’s been amazing how often I see dragons. I’ve opened #ourdailydragon so readers can share their daily dragons. I need to promote the site. Maybe announce free downloads of the book when it’s ready?

I need to figure out how to get free Advanced Reader Copies of my book to readers to preview and review before it’s published.

It’s time to start thinking and planning.

It’s time to start thinking about publishing the next book.

I’ve been editing and rewriting Dragon Writer for two years now as I send it through the agent search process with barely a nibble. In order to ensure I’ve covered all my bases in creating a good story, I’ve decided to send the first newly refreshed 20 pages out for another round of paid editing. Once that’s returned and any needed changes are made, I will send it out one more time to a group of 15-30 agents. That will bring my total to more than 100 queries. That seems like a decent try.

I’ve rewritten my query letter, including comparable titles and I am being careful to study and include my specific reason(s) for pitching to a particular agent. I do believe in my story, so win or lose, it will become a book.

It’s hard to type with fingers crossed, so I’ll just put good energy out into the void and see what happens.

Lunch time!

Carving time out to write was difficult once I returned to the workforce. I no longer had the luxury of the entire day before me. I used every excuse in the book--tired from work, laundry to do, haven't been to the store in a week, etc. Then one day I took myself out to lunch. Wow. It worked. I began to write during my lunch hour. Sometimes I'd be in my car with a P B and J, when I was flush with cash I'd go to my favorite restaurant. I finished three manuscripts in three years.

A Good Day

Today was a good writing day.

Not every day can make that claim. Today I knew what I wanted to write and I wrote it.  There have been other days, I have been equally as prepared and not had the same successful outcome. A charged laptop, good lighting and background sounds all help me, but do not by themselves create success.

I believe that the key to today's completion of 20 pages I actually think I'll keep was that I did not get in my own way. I did not think of the impossibility of reaching the zone where words flow from brain to fingertip. I did not put up roadblocks like bring my phone with me, worry about housework or focus on the 300 or so pages I would ultimately have to reach. I only focused on the scenes I needed for today.

Am I bragging? Tooting my own horn? You bet. As writers we spend too much time talking about what we haven't been able to do; we downplay our battles so don't have to admit that the odds of winning the war are slim.  Tomorrow my insecurities or distractions may win. Today I won the battle.

Getting Started

I always thought I didn't have time to write...yet. I was busy going to college, raising four children and earning a living to pay for four college tuitions. Then one year I decided to give it a try. I read Stephen King's book on writing. I'd write 10 pages a day. Start in the morning after the kids were dropped at school and not stop until I'd reached the 10th page. If I finished early I'd treat myself to chocolate.  Strangely enough it worked. Defining my timestarted to create the discipline I needed. By the end of the year I'd written a 300+ page novel. It was crap, but hey--I did it and then stuffed it in a drawer.