Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Resolutions and Expectations


It's 2012! Finally! I know at least 150 or so people who are completely ecstatic about that. ;)

I've never been big into making New Year's resolutions...maybe because I don't think it requires a whole fresh new year to make changes in your life/meet your goals, etc. Any day of the year will do. Set a goal, and don't make compromises with yourself. Don't wait for January 1st to get started.

Certain goals are harder to set than others--especially in publishing. For example, I don't recommend deciding that you will get an agent by X date. Don't tell yourself that your book will be on store shelves and snatched up by thousands of fans by a certain year.

What you DO have control over is when you can reasonably finish a first draft. How long it will take you to get feedback and revise. When you will be able to submit your work to agents...because after the manuscript leaves your hands, the timing of events is out of your control. No amount of resolving or determination is going to get you a book deal, let alone a certain release date, after that. It's up to the quality of your work and the tastes of agents and editors.

If you can't tell, I speak from experience in this post. In 2006, when I first became serious about my writing, I had all kinds of lofty ideas about how things would work. I would finish my first draft and submit it to agents, then I would immediately land a book deal, the novel would come out within the following year, and I'd be a millionaire or something as soon as it hit the shelves.

*pause for laughs*

Six years later, I'm thrilled my book IS coming out this year--an entirely different book than the one I was writing in 2006--one that was critiqued to death by my CPs before an agent ever saw it. And when release day finally comes (November 20th!), it will have been almost two years since it sold.

Do I have expectations/resolutions for how it will sell? Let's just say I have cautious hopes and dreams...but zero expectations. My goals/passion have taken me this far. Once it is printed and in the hands of readers, the fate of the book is even MORE out of my hands. I hope people like it! But only time will tell, so in the meantime...I have some goals I can meet for my second book. :)

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Emily Hainsworth is the author of THROUGH TO YOU, (Fall 2012 Balzer+Bray / HarperCollins), a sci-fi novel about a seventeen-year-old boy grieving for his dead girlfriend until he discovers she's still alive in a parallel reality--one where many things are different from the way they are back home. For more information, visit her website.

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