Friday, December 31, 2010

CLAIMING 2011 as YOUR Year

Well, I'm cutting it down to the wire. Between our chapter contest, traveling, and being ill, I don't have my promised post about how to claim 2011 as YOUR year. Maybe I'll type it on the long drive to my In-Laws Thursday evening. Trying. But if you're reading this...well, let's just say that organization and prioritzing everything I do is on the top of my New Year's resolutions.

I wanted this column to be about three major things you can do to achieve a goal. Three things that worked for me:

Positive thoughts --surround yourself with positive thoughts and people
Focusing on one goal--means having to think of it to begin with
The creative process --works on more than just writing

My friends and the writing community have heard me claim that 2009 was 'My Year.' I sold my first manuscript in November of that year. And since I haven't had time to write the post I really want to...I'm going to let you read the article that changed my life. It may not sound like much. But writing this simple President's column, helped me take the first step toward achieving a 10-year goal: publication.

I'll be back throughout the day & weekend.
AND I'm going to give away a copy of my upcoming release: .38 Caliber Cover-Up to someone who posts all three days.

~ ~ HAPPY NEW YEAR ~ ~

January 2009
The President’s Corner
(NTRWA Heart to Heart)
Hello fellow chapter mates and welcome to 2009. For six months, I’ve been wondering what I’d write in this column that you couldn’t find in the rest of the newsletter or by reading the website. Six long months and I still feel at a loss. Then I realized it’s 2009. Good grief...2009.

I’ve been in RWA without publishing more years than I want to admit. I’ve been writing longer, even though I didn’t know anything about submitting back then. I’ve made life-long friends through this organization and hate that some have set aside their writing for other pursuits. They were good storytellers. I’ve struggled over the last two or three years, being on the cusp of selling. (Or at least that’s how an agent and many friends described it.) I’ve had rejection letters from editors who apologized for not having a place for the book. (Now that will really depress you.)

I wondered if I should join the many storytellers who spend their time NOT torturing themselves over every word. NOT worrying if their character is growing. NOT worrying if they’re persecuting two heroic fictional characters enough. I wondered if I should give up. I wondered...about two minutes.

Even though the writing hasn’t flowed... Even though I allow volunteer work and family to detour my daily objective of five pages... Even though I fight for every word on the page... I’m a writer. Not just a storyteller, but a writer. The stories have to be on the page for me. I MUST get them on the page eventually. I just have to. And I will sell them one day.

So 2009 is my year. It’s my time to get that story on the page and finish projects that deserve to be finished. It can be your year too. Let’s grab it together and do all we can to help ourselves further along the road to publication.

And then my last article as President of NTRWA.

December 2009
The President’s Corner
“So 2009 is my year. It’s my time to get that story on the page and finish projects that deserve to be finished. It can be your year too. Let’s grab it together and do all we can to help ourselves further along the road to publication.” January President’s Corner

Goals. Encouragement. Take Action. Keep Writing. Distractions. Recognition.
Write some more. Submitting. Waiting. Writing Again. It’s out of your hands. And the next step – SOLD!!!

I honestly can’t believe that I can finish my president columns with that elusive word ... sold.

Although I’ve been writing a long time (with a few breaks now and then), the journey to SOLD this year was rather fast. Or it seems fast this time. Remember way back to my first January column? I set my goal to concentrate on my story SEE JANE RUN. I analyzed it, made the revisions, and entered the best contest for my story: The Daphne du Maurier (a contest that had been elusive to me for 9 years).

I finaled in the Daphne in May. Found out I won the Daphne in July, receiving requests from an agent and editor. I made the last revisions and cut 23,000 words of the story in August. Mailed the requests at the beginning of September. Signed with an agent on October 1st. Sold SEE JANE RUN on November 12th. Have a delivery date of January 15th and a release date for Harlequin Intrigue of September 2010.

Whew...
It’s incredible...
I want it for all of you...

Kinda feels like a dream right now. And it was incredible to have an editor say, “We recognized your name, Angi. We know you’re in it for a career.” I’ve wondered how rejections or contest finals that threw my name onto loops or in front of editors would affect my career long-term. Yes, the volunteering came up. Yes, I said I was concentrating on me, now.

So as January rolls around again...

Set your goals. Remember to write. Seek encouragement and good critiques. Apply what you learn and hone your writing craft. Don’t get distracted. Write some more. Wait for it and remember that selling is out of your hands, but you can do everything possible to put it into the right hands for your story.
I hope to see your name in the first-sale column soon!

Angi Platt
writing as Angi Morgan
HILL COUNTRY HOLDUP, Harlequin Intrigue September 2010

Setting your goal for anything in your life is important, but only the first step. You have to believe, take the next step, and achieve.

"No. There is no try. Only DO or DO NOT." ~~Yoda

28 comments:

  1. Wow, Angi! What an inspiring post...2009 or 2011, it's all the same sentiment, and all fantastic advice.

    There's nothing I can add, but I raise a toast to us all: May 2011 be OUR year, be it to sell that first book, or to conquer our "secondbookitis", or to learn to be writers under deadline, or to hit the lists, or to reinvent our careers, or whatever it is we each must do as writers, may it be our year to do it.

    Happy New Year, all!

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  2. It may not be the post you wanted, Angi, but it's lovely, and a perfect way to start the new year. Great job!

    I think really figuring out what your key priorities in life are right now (your 'one goal' note)and then refusing to feel guilty about placing them first helps a lot. Anyway, it helps me ignore my dust bunnies with a clear conscience. :)

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  3. What an amazing "positive" outlook for upcoming New Year! Here's wishing you the best for you yours in 2011!

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  4. Here, here, Angie!

    I have several friends/romance writers who I swear are right on the edge/cusp of being published. I think when you are at that tipping point, you feel it, somehow, deep in your bones, dancing around in the back of your head and it is hard to articulate this strange feeling or "knowing." I call it an inkling, for lack of a better word.

    Several of my romance writer friends are there right now (where you were in 2009) and it is interesting to watch them move closer and closer to their dream.

    Here's to all the wonderful writers out there who deserve a great agent and contract this year!

    And as Heather mentioned, to those of you/us who have their first contract and are on book two or three: Hang in there, stay positive and keep your fingers on the keyboard.

    And remember to have fun and take time to enjoy the ride!

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  5. It's hard for me to type right now, darn it, major goose bumps are quaking through me. Very inspiring Angi, Dream it. Believe it... See it... Achieve.

    Happy New Year. Please be safe on those roads.

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  6. YAY !!
    Glad you guys don't mind the repeated articles. Donnell...when it happened to me, I really couldn't believe I was writing the words "I SOLD." Jillian, I know several writers who are just beginning and need to hang in there and learn. And then several who are just RIGHT THERE.

    I completely and totally believe in surrounding myself with positive people. I've been brought down by the complainers and prefer not to do that to anyone else (even though I do way too often). And Gillian...figuring out what you want, then finding a way to achieve it. Well...that's all it takes.

    ~~Angi

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  7. HAPPY HAPPY NEW YEAR.

    Don't forget to leave comments... I'll be giving away at least one copy of .38 Caliber Cover-Up to someone (through Sunday).

    NEW YEAR'S DAY --Same post above, but I'll be adding a couple of things I've learned this year regarding the 94.6 pounds LOST since March 24th. That's right everbody 94.6 pounds LOST (that's not a type-o).

    Tweet that ! LOL
    ~~Angi

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  8. Happy New Year to you and yours ,every reader out there ,all the amazing writers and everyone at Get Lost In A Story that help make this such a wonderful site!!!

    All the best for 2011

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  9. Angi, if 2009 was "your year" because you sold, then 2010 is just as much "your year" because of those 94.6 pounds. What an incredible achievement, and what an incredible focus on your health and a longer, happier life.

    I was sad to see 2010 go. Selling my book has been nothing short of awesome. I think my favorite memory was standing in my all time favorite bookstore and choking up because I realized my book would be on those shelves.

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  10. I've decided there are two types of writers, those who keep a positive outlook and those who don't. And I try to only hang around the former.

    I don't mean Polyannas or people who are deluded about their talent or the industry... I mean people who are realistic about it and recognize how difficult publishing is and that if things don't go their way, the world isn't out to get them.

    Great post Angi. And reminds me why you're one of the people I like to hang out with. :) Mwah!

    Happy New Year! I, for one, am claiming 2011 as mine!

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  11. THANK YOU DESERE. we're glad you're enjoying GLIAS. And we're very glad we see you posting!

    Our goal is to connect to readers and it's awesome that you've become a fan. Hope you win some more books and can become life-long fans of all of us, too.

    ~~Angi

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  12. I can NOT believe that 2010 is gone Simone. But I'm certainly glad I'm no longer carrying around that extra person. I promised to give some tips on the weight loss and I will in just a few...

    2010 was a great year for me too. No matter the obstacle, it turned out for the better. I even managed to see my second sales to Harlequin (and wrote the book)! Woo Hoo !

    Simone, I can't wait for you to actually see your book on those shelves and not have to imagine it! What an awesome feeling.

    ~~Angi

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  13. So glad to wish you a HAPPY NEW YEAR too Gillian! And cheers to you that 2011 is the year all your hard writing work pays off.

    ~~Angi

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  14. "Pollyannas" -- totally understand, Maureen.

    Maybe it's because I learned as much as I possibly good about this buisness...but I've always gone in with my eyes-wide-open. Willing to change what I needed to. Willing to put my heart into EVERY book, not write the "book of my heart." Writing is a buisness...one that I love, but a business none-the-less.

    I hope to have a long positive relationship with all my partners here on GLIAS !

    Thanks for ending 2010 with me here!
    ~~Angi

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  15. SOME GOAL SETTING TIPS

    When you set a new goal ask yourself this:
    What makes this time ANY different than the last?
    ***Until you know this answer, you probably are going to have trouble meeting the goal. Weight loss is definitely about making a life-change, not losing weight. LOL Yes, you're reading that correctly. WHEN you want to change your life...things change, along with the package.

    Before I sought and found a program that worked for me several things happened, but the main thing that changed my life was deciding I wasn't going to live like I had any longer.

    ~~Angi

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  16. TIP #2
    Obtainable goals

    I don't meet writing goals I set for myself and it's taken me months to determine why. I didn't mind because I was the only one that knew if I made them or not. I recently found out that I'm cheating myself of the success.

    Hmmm...what am I saying? When there are no outwardly consequences of not suceeding, then the only person losing is YOU. YOU are cheating YOU and reinforcing a cycle of losing/not suceeding.

    Does that make sense?

    You have to realize that YOU really are worth the sucess...even private sucess. It's amazing where you find the willpower to obtain your goal when you realize you're worth it.

    **Caution: there is a huge difference in saying that you're worth it, and truly doing what's necessary to prove it to yourself.

    ~~Angi

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  17. SO SET YOUR LONG TERM GOALS
    but set OBTAINABLE SHORT-TIME GOALS

    Writing, Reading, Business, Rewards...even housework (and okay life-changing weight-loss):
    Everyone needs goals--short and long. Until you know what you're striving for, you'll never know if you obtain it.

    The last ten pounds of meeting my "getting healthy" goal have been really difficult. Not only are they the last ten pounds, but it's happening during the holidays. sticking to my guns about no bread or suger between my lips hasn't really worked. LOL

    But you know, I had basically stalled before Thanksgiving. I knew I wasn't going to "not eat" some of my favorite things (especially since I had to cook them). So I never really set a hard and fast goal to obtain. I floundered.

    Around Thanksgiving, I woke up, my health coach talked me through WHY I wasn't setting another goal. I had achieved ALL of the ones before...why was this one so difficult? Simply put...I knew if I set the dream goal I had that I wouldn't make it. So I needed a realistic one. An obtainable goal I could strive for. I almost made it (DANG Gingerbread house and YumYum cake). >>very gib grin<<

    ~~Angi

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  18. I am a definite fan ! Thank you Angi and everyone at GLIAS!

    All the best
    Desere

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  19. Thank you for this post. There are so many ups and downs for an aspiring romance author. Sharing your thoughts and the development of your career really puts things into perspective. I wish you good things in 2011!

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  20. I think the advice about thinking about why this time is different is really important. I'm going to give myself this week to think about each area of my life; writing, day job, family, health, finances, and see how one is affecting the other, to see if that will make a difference in meeting those goals this year.

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  21. Thank you for the good wishes Diana ! AND RIGHT BACK ATCHA !!!

    Good things for everybody !
    ~~Angi

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  22. You know Gillian...I never realized HOW important that question was until my Health Coach asked WHY I WANTED TO LOSE WEIGHT. I mean, who DOESN'T want to lose weight. But she wouldn't take me on as a client until I could answer the question. Pretty cool. It changed my life.

    Good luck with your assessments!
    ~~Angi

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  23. Angi I have a quick question if you could answer please .. where does the inspiration for your books come from, real life situations or is there someone or something else that inspires you?

    Desere

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  24. A quick answer: everything and everybody inspires me, my characters...

    While on vacation last October, the bartender where we had dinner posed for pictures. He WAS ABSOLUTELY one of the characters I'm plotting for my series proposal. Real life...right there...turning into my fiction.

    I hear something, I make a note. Always carry a notebook. My family is always warning people: that'll be in a book.

    ~~Angi

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  25. Gillian & Desere, you've won electronic copies of .38 Caliber Cover-Up. Thanks for posting and keeping me company for all of the holiday weekend !

    ~~Angi

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  26. A note book brilliant Angi ral life inspiration must be what makes me love your work so much now I know ! Thank you for taking the time to answer my question your a star !

    And thank you so much for my prize this is simply stunning!!

    All the best
    Desere

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