Let’s face it, the first thing most fledging writers think (waaaay back when they had that first “I wanna be a writer” thought) is that published authors are rich. Stop laughing folks, you know we all had that thought at some point. And most all of us know that’s not the truth. A very small percentage of published authors make the bulk of the money. I know many many MANY excellent multi pubbed authors who still have their day jobs.
So money isn’t the prize.
It can be argued the writing, and that finished book itself, is the prize. And that’s very very true as well. But to keep going through the long haul, it’s important we give ourselves rewards along the way. Prizes if you will.
Now 2010 has been my “year of all writing, no submitting”. I decided to take myself out of the submitting game and tighten my craft. Also I have somehow found myself the mother to not one, not two, but three baby books who need to finish growing up. (Promise to myself- no more three books at a time- it’s confuses the voices in my head.)
Which of course means that 2011 I need to hit the ground running. Not only running, but doing a five minute mile. I haven’t decided which book will be the first to fly out the door, it will depend on who is the strongest market-wise at the end of Jan 2011. I’m excited, nervous, ready to go, etc. I have been down the rejection circuit before, but I’d like to think an older, wiser me will be the one hitting the cyber pavement in 2011.
Even though I’m excited about my plan, I still need motivation. There’s a lot of writing and editing I need to get done between now and Feb 1, 2011 (launch date ;)).
Yes, I could speed things up by leaving one of the darlings behind, but I don’t want to do that. One major reason is that the market is changing. Authors can’t rely on putting out only one book a year. More and more publishers expect the contracts to be a mite faster than that.
So I need to find a way to make it work (props to Tim Gunn ;)). A major way for me is prizes, nice rewards. I like to start big, then work my way down to smaller, closer prizes.
I just set up a huge reward/final editing retreat for myself. I booked a wonderful Ocean cliff room (with Jacuzzi and fireplace) in Santa Cruz towards the end of Jan 2011. Now my plan is my own creativity retreat. Some friends may be joining as well and are welcome as long as they book their own rooms and are self-entertaining. Most are folks who want to work on their own creative projects as well. We’ll meet for meals, maybe walks in the morning, but most of my time will be working.
And I am so excited!
This prize, along with smaller ones I’ll set up along the way, will get me to my goal. And reward me for doing it at the same time.
So what prizes do YOU give yourself?