Sunday, March 30, 2008

This writing business

April 1st Harlequin will announce the winner of their Instant Seduction contest. Yes, I entered along with lots of other writers. Frankly, I do not expect to win, place, or show. Despite this negative assumption on my part, I spent time crafting an entry that fit the requirements, making it the best I could. Consider it writing practice or fan fiction--it was a little of both.

I love Presents stories. The alpha males, the spunky heroines, the international settings, the passion, the emotion, everything about them, actually.

Each one is, in its own way, an instant classic. The retelling of favorite mythic tales of honor, conflict, and the triumph of love.

The story I’m working on at the minute began life as another (non-Presents) contest entry. However, when I’d finished my market research of that publisher’s current offerings I decided not to pursue either the contest or regular submission with the firm. This isn’t a derogatory finding of their editorial content. Just a bigger than I judge bridgeable gap between my story choices and theirs. Once the story is complete, I worry about where to send it.

Meshing of styles is not my sole criteria in deciding where to submit. Though a decent fit between the publisher’s style and my natural voice improves the odds for a long term, successful, business relationship. Those are the kinds I want to foster.

Each writer brings her own dreams and aspirations with her on the writing journey. I usually love reading. Some of the time I love writing. I always love having written. Even though I love much about writing it is not pure artistic expression, for me it’s a career choice. Writing has to pay its own way and more. It has to contribute to the ink, paper, and book budget.

When I started writing it was with an estimate of five years to get published. Sure, I hoped for shorter, but expected to spend time learning the craft. It was harder than I imagined and I will never master all of it. Perversely, it pleases me that writing is demanding and requires an on-going struggle from those who toil over the keyboard.

I estimated another five years before writing paid a decent wage. That’s the stage of the journey I’ve just begun. This spring I received my first royalty check. The amount was not impressive, but getting paid to write was a stellar moment.

What about your writing dreams? Are you thrilled with seeing your name on a cover? Aiming for the best seller list? Or toiling in artistic purity?


Blogger Avery Beck said...

I just want a contract with Blaze. Just one measly contract, and I will be the happiest person alive. Maybe someday I'll care about the bestseller lists, but today is not that day!

5:23 PM  
Blogger Evanne said...

Two time GH nominee not doing it for you, huh? LOL

Have you ever read Mia Zachary's journal about her road to publication( long and bumpy)--she works with Brenda too.

Right now I'm reading Lori's latest Blaze and I know one of these days I'll be curling up with an Avery Beck Blaze (unless they make you change your pen name for some silly reason). :)

6:47 PM  

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