Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Intent



Welcome to February’s Insecure Writer’s Support Group, created by Alex Cavenaugh.


Intent. The online dictionary says the following on the subject.

Purpose; design; the state of a person's mind that directs his or her actions toward a specific object; meaning or significance. 

I started writing later in life…mid-fifties. My intent at that time was to hold a book in my hand…my words, my name on the cover. That intent became a reality when Saving Gracie was published in 2012, the year I turned 60.

After my third book, Time Trials, was released the end of November 2015, I realized my intent had changed. From just having a published book, I now wanted to be recognized for my writing. Three quick signing parties at the worst time of the year, the sales died off a bit, and the calm of the New Year rolled in. Two years had passed since the release of Partly Sunny, my second novel, so I had to rethink my strategy as to how to promote Time Trials.

Some head-scratching took place before the ding-ding-ding sounded in my head. Oh yeah, I needed to submit for editorial reviews, enter contests...that sort of thing. After submitting Time Trials to Readers’ Favorite, I became ecstatic at the five (1-2-3-4-5…I counted) stars I received plus the glowing review. What a high…


Then I started googling items like “how to get a review from the New York Times” (answer: forget it) and then Publisher’s Weekly, a significantly high-profile reviewer. They’d even established a special section for self-published authors. That seemed doable. Still on the magic carpet ride high from my 5-star Readers’ Favorite review, I sent off Time Trials.

Before going to sleep Monday night I checked my emails. Big mistake. Huge. This is what I found in the subject line from Publishers’ Weekly/Booklife…

Your project has been declined for review…

Then some nonsense about hoping I wouldn’t be discouraged and please consider submitting any future projects. Really? Declined to even read the book? Not a way to drift off into la-la-land (which in my case is an oxymoron…my sleeping habits have never been la-la-land).
Tuesday morning. New day. Thank goodness. I started to think and remembered my intent of wanting to be recognized for my writing. But I took it a step further. What does that look like? Does it mean I want to see my books showcased in the window of Barnes & Noble? Do I need to reach the best-sellers NYT list? No, but let’s face it…it would be nice. Do I want to make a million dollars? Okay, stop laughing, JK Rowling did...

I’ll be 64 years old this month (seriously, is that right?). I realized my life is full, and I write because I enjoy the process. Developing characters, personality traits, and their own voice is one of my greatest pleasures of writing. I treasure people telling me how much they enjoy my characters. Just this past Monday I received this message: “Wanted you to know I’m having trouble wanting to finish Time Trials because I am not ready to let go of those people’s lives yet.” Another note: “I just love your books!”

 
Now, that makes me smile. That is what my intent looks like. That makes me happy.
I’m sure I’ll re-evaluate my intent in a couple of years.

So….intent. Yours?
   
 













10 comments:

  1. I absolutely loved all 3 of your books. You are so talented and clever my friend. Whatever happens, please keep the faith as you obviously have.

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    1. Thank you for your kind words Ms. Bonich!

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  2. Just those little reminders that people enjoy your work can do a lot for your mood.

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  3. Thank you for reminding me about why I love to write too :) I have been a bit out of the writing process for a while but am slowly getting back into it. Keep writing and I will look up your book when I get back into reading again.

    Chanzie @ Mean Who You Are.

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    1. Thanks for your words Chene...
      Hope you get back there soon.

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  4. At least your intent turned into a plan which resulted in action. You're doing something and seeing things come of it. Keep at it and more will happen. I'd call what you've accomplished so far some degree of success.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out

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    1. Thanks Arlee. I do have framed 11x14 posters of my books in my office. That's when my inner (and wiser) self drags me in and says "See?"

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  5. Those are some great intents and heartwarming notes. Sometimes more than reviews, book sales and book ratings, it's notes like that that keeps us going.

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  6. Thanks for that Lidy. I agree whole-heartedly! Thanks for stopping by:)

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