Plan B was a project of Unpubbed Island inhabitants in the fall of 2007. At that time there were still 8 of us on the island. This was a six week reality check and shake up, evaluation, and motivation BLITZ!
Today we'd like to share an inside look at our Plan B boot camp.
We began with a self-examination session. We asked ourselves these questions and honestly submitted our answers:
How bad do you want to sell?
Can you still see yourself selling?
How close are you to giving up?
What are your fears?
Where is God in all of this?
While we were already a close knit group, the answers in the essays we shared with the group surprised us. We shared secrets we had kept bottled inside and that we were afraid to share. Our disclosure was not only freeing but also was a realization we weren't alone in our fears and concerns.
Some of us really were ready to give up. Some battled fear of failure. Or possibly worse: fear of success.
The unifying factor for all of us was we knew God was central to our writing future and we were willing to at least try Plan B.
The next step was a review of our manuscripts. What was viable and what was the history on each manuscript (where had the manuscript traveled in the publishing world?) We shared this information with the group. We also shared our writing--actually not just our writing but our very favorite scenes. A bit of our writing that made our hearts sing.
Next came a brainstorming session. We discovered that others in the group were able to objectively suggest markets, contests and revision ideas for our stories that we hadn't considered. This really opened up a window of opportunity. Best of all we began to think outside the proverbial box of limited opportunities we were seeing for our writing.
One member of our group became the unspoken inspirational leader, sending the group inspiring quotes daily. I set up a schedule for our weekly meetings online via Windows Messenger.
A well known author who has recently changed her career focus joined us and offered words of advice and encouragement.
We also were privileged to have Margie Lawson lead a condensed workshop on Overcoming Obstacles to Writing. She established accountability buddies for us. This was a huge positive step for the group.
The Plan B group also listened to motivational workshops. We shared notes from classes and handouts, passed on market news and writing opportunities.
One workshop in particular that we all listened to was Brenda Novak's Overcoming Discouragement & Other Obstacles to Succeed, from the 2007 RWA conference audio.
We also enrolled in an online class together: 12 Easy Steps to Breaking In with author Suzanne McMinn.
At the end of our six week Plan B we evaluated what we had accomplished and we came away encouraged, mended, and willing to consider traveling down new and unknown roads with our writing careers.
Some thoughts on Plan B:
The Plan B initiative came at a time when I desperately needed a fresh perspective on the writing life and a huge dose of encouragement. I still have Albert Einstein's quote on my bulletin board: "Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." It's too easy to settle into a rut--whether it's writing the same story over and over or targeting the same unresponsive editors. Sometimes we need a gentle nudge--or maybe a brick up the side of the head!--to push us in new directions. Also, intentionally praying for each of the other Plan B-ers specific needs reminded me that I wasn't alone on this journey.
Sandra Lee Smith-
Plan B got me to try new genres. Things that interested me. Retro. Older women.
It helped kick me in the behind to get stuff out there.
Ruth Logan Herne-Eventually we figure out that butting heads against immovable objects hurts. It takes some of us longer than others, LOL! By changing my direction, studying the market and zeroing in on the editorial staff at Super Romance, I improved my writing, tightened my story-telling capabilities, made new friends, impressed new editors, increased my marketability, garnered a wonderful agent and learned my way around the industry from a different vantage point. This not only increases my potential in a free market, but allows me the latitude to explore various writing options, and all for the cost of some extra time, ink and paper.
God allows us free will. He encourages us to take risks, embrace change. He never said it would be easy!
Tina Russo-My personal belief in the God of Plan B has helped me through every single valley of my life. So creating a Plan B for those of us left on the island at a time when we were all having some doubts and challenges was the obvious thing to do. Plan B let me help others, and gave them an opportunity to help me in my writing journey.
Glynna Kay-Even though I'd won "prestigious" awards for my unpublished inspirational "murder lite" romantic mysteries, I was uncertain where my books fit into CBA. No longer certain that I even wanted to write about murder and mayhem. I was losing steam. Losing the joy of writing. No fun anymore. Finding it hard to keep my head around a single-title 100K book while working a more-than-full-time day job. Seriously considering putting the dream aside until a time in the far distant future.
Then Tina rounded up the unpubbed Seekers in the fall of 2007 for a month or two of Dr. Phil-style "therapy" -- challenging us to prayerfully re-evaluate where we were, where we wanted to be, and to ask ourselves some hard questions, including "is it working?" To ask God what he wanted to do with our writing. It didn't happen overnight, but by summer 2008 I started writing a story targeted for Steeple Hill Love Inspired. I had so much FUN writing it! I entered it in the Golden Pen for feedback and, well, the rest is history -- the finals judge asked for a full, I got "the call" in January 2009, and today my first book, "Dreaming of Home," is sitting on a bookstore shelf!
Quotes From Plan B
Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Albert Einstein.
The people who reach their potential, no matter what their profession or background, think in terms of improvement. If you think you can "hold your ground" and still make the success journey, you are mistaken.
You need to have an attitude like that of General George Patton. It's said that he told his troops, "There is one thing I want you to remember. I won't want to get any messages saying you are holding our position. We are advancing constantly." Patton's motto was, "Always take the offensive. Never dig in."
John Maxwell (The Success Journey)
What have you done today to make your dream come true? Karen King
The key to overcoming fear and growing in your potential is ACTION. It breaks the cycle of fear.
Fear --> Inaction --> Lack of experience --> Ignorance --> Increased fear
But when you replace inaction with action, look at what happens:
Fear --> Action --> Experience --> Wisdom --> Decreased Fear --> Increased successl George Patton. It's said that he told his troops, "There is one thing I want you to remember. I won't want to get any messages saying you are holding our position. We are advancing constantly." Patton's motto was, "Always take the offensive. Never dig in."
John Maxwell (The Success Journey)
Timing is a factor concerning manifested answers to prayer. We can pray for something that is the will of God but until his timing is right in our lives, we won't see the manifestation. If you have the Word of God to back up your requests, stand in faith until you see the results. Joyce Meyer.
Now faith is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things we hope for, being the proof of things we do not see and the conviction of their reality (faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses). (Hebrews 11:1 AMP)
Achievers possess 7 qualities that keep them from being failures:
1) Achievers reject rejection - they don't give up, but keep on trying because they don't base their self-worth on performance.
2) Achievers see failure as temporary -- seeing failure as permanent leaves you stuck where you are
3) Achievers see failures as isolated incidents - a momentary event, not a lifelong epidemic
4) Achievers keep expectations realistic - they know achievement takes time and effort
5) Achievers focus on strengths - they concentrate on what they CAN do, not what they can't
6) Achievers vary approaches to achievement - They keep trying, keep changing, until they find what works
7) Achievers bounce back - They keep moving forward no matter what happens
-from John Maxwell's "Failing Forward" - Thomas Nelson Publishers-
God's grace will never be available to you to become another person. He created you to be you-- the best "you" you can be! Forget about trying to be someone else. Joyce Meyer.
But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Eph 4:7 KJV
As we close the Seekerville BIAW and head into another year of Seekerville blog posts on the journey to publication, ask yourself if you need a Plan B. And then don't be afraid to ask us for help.
Thank you to Jenny Matlock for this final quote:
To be all that is possible, we must attempt the impossible. To be all that we can be, we must dream of being more.
Happy Birthday Seekerville! Thanks for being a friend of Seekerville.