Tuesday, August 3, 2010

It's all about the prizzies!

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?


  1. Wow...what a great prize!!! I, too am working on three books at a time - two YA, one paranormal romance. An agent has requested a partial (after 18 rejections, it felt like Nirvana) on a finished YA book; but I know what you mean about being mother to three books.

    I am committing myself to a weekend in Palm Springs with a girlfriend who also writes, lives in Phoenix, and whom I haven't seen in years - sharing the pain of the cost. Don't know when it'll happen, but it will happen.

    I'm also committing myself to a workshop set in Big Sur in 2011, put on by the Andrea Brown Agency. That is, if I'm lucky enough to get accepted.

    I must say, Marie, we have similar ideas in rewards...though, hey. Cookies. Can't be beat, really...but since I refuse to be the stereotypical overweight, myopic romance author, I guess no more cookies are in my future...

    Christine, from FF&P

  2. Hey Marie! I wish I could afford such a great treat for myself as a seaside retreat.

    I finished my latest wip nearly 2 weeks ago (fully edited and sent off to fulfill requests). To celebrate, I gave myself an entire week off from everything. No work. No writing. No editing. No houework. I went tubing down a local river, which is soooooo relaxing and fun. Did a beach day with my sister and her kids. Had lunch one day with a girlfriend who moved away years ago but was back visiting. It was an excellent holiday.

    I find that when I'm working on a wip, I'm antisocial cuz I'm focused. So usually when I'm done a project, I'll get my visit time in with my friends and family. So visiting and giving myself permission to relax are my rewards.

    Christal, from FF&P

  3. Thanks Christine and Christal! OOOO a workshop in Big Sur sounds amazing! And I hear ya on the cookies...sigh...I need to stay away from them too ;).

    Congrats Christal! Turning in a request for a full is very cool! As for the costs- yeah- I couldn't do it without gifts-LOL.

    Good to know others like to reward themselves with getting away!

  4. Yeesh! It ate my comment! *fizzle*

    I'm pretty sure I turned green with envy over your reward to yourself... And then I wished I was winning the lottery so I could go to Santa Cruz too! :)

    Let's see... Then I reminded you that we have to get cranking on these challenge books! The end of Sept. will be here in a flash! Yikes!

    I think that was about it... fun blog!

    Lisa :)

  5. Lisa!
    Oh no BAD blog! I'll feed it more so it stops eating posts ;). SIGH- the only way I can afford my trip is by taking birthday, Christmas, and "thank goodness we're not on furlough any more" money and saving it up ;). But now I HAVE to put my writing where my money is! Gotta make what I do worth that trip :).

    *Hangs head* I'm drifting towards the other two projects. I am still hopeful about getting it done by end of Sept- but I've been more motivated for the other two :(. Thanks for getting on me though- I need it!