In my last blog, I talked about things I wanted to accomplish like a dedicated 3-day work week as a writer and submitting my work to contests for feedback. And then I discussed a wider circle of wishes, for the planet and the people. This blog will focus on my goals as a writer.
Very soon I will be renewing my membership in Romance Writers of America and the local chapter. I also want to join The Beau Monde, an online chapter for Regency writers. An excellent place to discuss ideas and problems in romances. I may also join one of the other local RWA chapters, in case I get a chance to drive north and attend a meeting. The Los Angeles area tends to automatically have big-name authors and agents show up. Not that my chapter is lagging in attracting the names. Having more options is usually a good thing.
I want to start submitting my work to contests as I said. But looking at the RWA chapters’ contests, I get totally confused. I have a novella and a novel self-published and a number of short stories self-published. A few of the contests are for published authors, indicated by a single asterisk. Those for both published and unpublished have two asterisks.
After contemplating the words, “This contest is open to all authors who have never been published in book-length romantic fiction as well as published authors who have not been contracted or published in the entered category during the last three years (during 2015, 2016, or 2017). Published, for purposes of this contest, includes traditionally published as well as self-published works.” I decided I haven’t had anything book-length published in the years indicated. So the Great Expectations Contest, Sponsor Chapter: North Texas RWA, is one I can submit to. It will cost about $25 to $30 to enter, with a possible top prize of $50. Seriously, it’s the feedback and critiques that are the real prize.
Looks like I’ll enter Great Expectations in January, The Catherine in February, and then keep my eyes open for March and beyond. The Chanticleer contest in August sounds promising and is one of the few non-RWA contests that allows, even encourages, romance.
As the year goes on, I expect to finish Crazy for Trying and resubmit it to the Tule editor who wanted to see it originally. Then I will finish and self-publish the third book in my Regency Banquet series. I will be attempting to format some of the self-published works for print on demand and keeping my busy online presence active.
I have decided to skip the California Dreamin’ conference this year, due to the increased cost and the difficulties of leaving my husband and dog for a long span of time. To them, an afternoon is a long span. Also not planning on going to New York City for the RWA National convention. See reasons already stated. But in 2020, RWA Nationals will be in San Francisco, almost my back 40 acres. I can talk my husband into coming along, find a place to take the dog, and be able to see her at nights at least.
A small but important part of my goals for 2019 includes becoming clutter free. I’ll start with my desk which is totally unorganized. Then the room that is set aside for my writing progress. Currently, it’s full of birds that I am boarding for an undetermined length of time. The mice are loving it as the birds are mostly finches and scatter lots of seeds. And there is one insectivore who scatters dead mealworms. Happy, healthy mice keep coming back for more.
So here are a few unknowns for the next year. Will I contact a pest control place and get some professional help? Will I continue to downsize my birds and focus more on the writing? Will I be an overnight sensation in the romance novel world and make enough money to let my husband retire? Well, I hope you will check in and find out if I stick to my goals and keep on writing.
Thanks for reading, I’ll be back on Sunday.