Morning, all! Ruthy here.
So, hey, who among us DIDN’T set up some kind of disaster plan after the onslaught of Hurricane Katrina, or the ice storms that imperil half of these United States from December through March each year? If record-breaking hurricane and tornado seasons, blizzards, floods and ice storms haven’t spurred you to having a disaster plan, let me just ask this:
WHAT ON EARTH ARE YOU THINKING?
There. Got that out of my system. Phew. Feel better already.
I bet most of us have back-up batteries, first-aid kits, bottled water, generators, coolers, etc. After a massive ice storm hit Western New York in ’91, we put a plan into effect that included adding a wood-burning stove for heat, a gas stove (burners still work without electricity), extra propane for the outdoor grill, batteries for the radio and kerosene lamps. Over a week without heat or electricity in the dead of winter with a houseful of kids taught us to be better prepared. Now we’re a ‘go-to’ house if electricity fails.
Which is GREAT, depending on who drops in, LOL!
A wise person plans for disaster.
Why on earth don’t we plan for success with the same muster?
Missy wrote a great blog yesterday on self-affirmation. Let’s take that one step further. Expect your success and plan for it.
We Seekers had an online discussion about inventorying work as an unpub. Varying opinions weighed in, but the consensus was: Have a backup plan and be ready to utilize it the minute an editor waves her hand, shakes her head and says, “I’m not interested in that, we just contracted a story similar to that with Camy Tang, what else have you got?”
And that’s it in a nutshell, Cupcake. What else have you got?
Former New York Giants running back
Tiki Barber did a car commercial highlighting his big break, that an unexpected door opened when another player suffered an injury, allowing Tiki the chance to show his stuff. His story would have sported (pun intended) a different ending if he hadn’t been ready to man-up and hit the turf.
Do you have an inventory of work? Are you a one-book peddler? Not for nothing, it’s amazing to have finished one book, and kudos to all who’ve done that. Now get back on the horse and start writing some more.
Every business requires back-up inventory and if you listen to the stories abounding in publishing, you’ll find that many writers had several books done and polished, possibly in different genres, before landing that first contract.
“Different genres?” you say, horror-struck at the thought. “But Ruthy,” you protest, “I’m a mystery/romance/women’s fiction/inspirational/historical writer. Why on earth would I have books in varying genres? The very thought frightens the bejeebies out of me.”
Acclaimed author Karen White offered this advice, “Write what you like. When they buy it, focus on that genre while you get established.” Sage words from a woman who started off with paranormal historicals that melded into Southern contemporaries which morphed into beautifully crafted contemporary women’s fiction.
Let’s name drop:
Nora Roberts has enjoyed a stellar career writing romance, romantic suspense, paranormals, single titles and numerous blends of all the above. Conversely, as J. D. Robb she has produced the successful ‘In Death’ futuristic cop series.
Meg Cabot writes children’s books, wrote the Princess Diaries and others as young adult offerings, but also writes adult romance under both Meggin and Patricia Cabot.
Sherrilyn Kenyon writes paranormals for St. Martin’s press and produces historicals for Avon under the name Kinley MacGregor.
“Well, Ruthy,” say you, brows cast up, finger wagging in my direction, (stop that, by the way. It’s annoying. What are you, a first-grade teacher? Sheesh.) “Nora, Sherrilyn and Meg can do whatever they want to do. They’re icons.”
Listen up, young Grasshopper, and you too may be able to walk the ricepaper one day.
Golden Heart winner Donna MacMeans ran the unpubbed contest circuit a few years ago with her funny historical The Education of Mrs. Brimley. Due out soon is her paranormal, set in historical times, The Trouble With Moonlight.
Was she a big name author?
Is this a series?
Is she good?
Plan your success. Work to reach daily, weekly and/or monthly goals. Yearly goals. Do not give up, do not pass ‘Go’. This ain’t no board game, sweetkins, and planning for success is just as important as planning for disaster because what on earth are you going to do at that upcoming conference when Suzy Editor says, “No, thanks, been there, done that, what else have you got?” if you’ve got no ‘Plan B’.
Like Kit said in Pretty Woman, “Work it, baby. Own it.”
Hey. What works for fictional hookers can work for us. In a slightly different way, of course.