Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Plan A on a Silver Platter

If you want you Plan A to be served to you on the theoretical silver platter, then may I suggest a few things.

Plan B should be served on a gold platter and Plan C on a platinum one.

I've been thinking about how my "best laid plans of mice and men" have been working out for me over the last three years. Well, let's just say that NOTHING in writing has worked out exactly how I planned. Thus the "Mice and Men" theory. Ever read that book? It's a depressing tale of how making plans doesn't equal realizing them.

But I think that's pretty common in the writing world. And the fact is, there is a good chance you don't know what would be best for your career experience and growth. Maybe Plan B is better, and Plan C,D,E,F or Z is better yet.

Don't be afraid of it. The only element entirely in control of the author is the writing itself. What happens to it after that can be shaped, shifted and influence, but never completely controlled alone by the writer. It becomes a product of others.

I'm not saying you're off the hook once you've written your work and revised it to death, actually, it's the opposite. If you don't do everything in your power to push it into the world, I guarantee it will never get there. (Agents and editors don't knock on the door and ask non-famous writers for their latest manuscript.)

Wherever you are in your writing career, don't be afraid of change. Especially changing your mind. That winning book you wrote might be the ticket to get an agent, but then they never sale it. No worries. Write another one.

You published with a small press and you are doomed to stay small potatoes. Not to fear. You can write as many new books as you want and try your hand at the national market.

You lost your agent when she decided to go into retirement. Okay, this sounds a little familiar to me... Get back on the horse. If you can't sell your manuscript to another agent, yeap, you guessed it, write another novel.

And most importantly, don't give up. Giving up isn't a plan. Taking a break is a plan. Rethinking is a plan. Quitting is not.

I know how hard it is to see your dreams take on shapes so different than the ones you had in mind, but trust that the future is still there waiting for you. And that in it, your dreams still have a chance to come true, even if it is served on a different colored platter.

1 comment:

LouMac said...

Thanks! You always give such good advice. Lately I've been wondering where my life is leading me. There's so many things I want to do... Some of them just didn't work out. Now I'll just keep a back-up plan for every major plan. (And a different-colored platter for everyone of those :D)