A writer's mind never rests. I've been contemplating my goals of late, especially those tied to writing, acquiring an agent, and publishing. Admittedly, I've unflagging determination and passion for my writing. Who among us doesn't? But I do want to make sure I'm on the right road.
Racheludin, who didn't leave a blog address, left an interesting comment on Douglas' personal blog. She indicated that somewhere she'd heard that a writer should (ideally) have several works in process.
- One novel should be undergoing edits
- One novel should be in full writing process
- One novel should be at rest, awaiting edits
- One novel should be at query
A hobby writer, then, is the same: the book is never finished. The plot needs just a little more tweaking. Chapter 7 must be re-written for the 49th time. And Chapter 1? That little baby needs polishing beyond belief because you know you only have 30 pages to hook an audience.
The writer-by-vocation must be, by definition, pragmatic. Of course, one's work must be carefully considered, edited, and polished. But one must move on. The act of writing is, in itself, a thorough education, and completing a novel can only improve one's craft. Thus, one must create, tuck away, revise, query, create --> not in a linear A to Z fashion, but in a recursive, reflective manner, always looping back, always moving upward.
I don't want to be a hobbyist. For a couple years, I think I was. After all, I worked and re-worked my first novel, ignoring the half-finished sequel that now sits abandoned. Looking back, I think it's a better book because of it -- and I certainly learned a great deal through the process. But my goal is writer-by-vocation. And in looking at my current writing habits, I realize that I'm only 2 for 4.
1. I don't have a novel currently undergoing edits
2. I do have a novel in full writing process.
3. Unfortunately, I have cannibalized the sequel that should be at rest, awaiting edits.
4. I do have one novel currently being queried.
So how about you? Where are you in this journey? What do you want out of your writerly life? Do you disagree with this idea of having more than one project in the mix? Most certainly Margaret Mitchell would, as I'm sure other can and will, so I'm not proclaming it The Way.
I am, however, thinking I must be more pragmatic.