Write a novel… and then what?

I’ve had “Write a Novel” on my bucket list since I was a child, but I think I should have been clearer, or at least added a couple of more steps…

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Write a novel? Tick, yes. Done!

But now it’s time to do re-writes. Then off to some Beta readers to get some input. Then another draft. And lastly, off to an Editor to get a final draft.

And that’s just the writing process.

After that it’s off to a publisher… or should I say, go through the submission process to get a publisher (via literary agent).

Then, if deemed a suitable match (and contract negotiations), my manuscript will be published and I’ll see it on shelves at my local bookstore.*

Write a Novel Pic 02 by Casey Carlisle

All of that listed above is what’s really meant to be included in the ‘write a novel’ Bucket List item. How naive I was.

 

I don’t want to be a one hit wonder either. I want several books published. Not through self-publishing, or vanity publishing, or any of the other variety of ways to see your novel in print. I desire traditional publishing. (Plus it’s a validation that you have been deemed worthy… something that plays to my ego.)

Write a Novel Pic 03 by Casey Carlisle.gif

These days, a traditional publisher wants to see that you are a viable investment – a career writer. So, simply ‘write a novel’ has a lot of weight to it if you want to take it seriously. And I do. So what started off as a pipe-dream when I got diagnosed with cancer has turned into a career.

I’m old fashioned that way.

If only my chemo addled brain had made that realisation when I’d scratched out the single most want of my heart’s desire.

You need to have a vision of many books to be written in the future, either stand alone, or a series. Roughly sketched out plots, a timetable.

Now that you have the writing side sorted, there is all manner of elements that go along with it to add to your dossier to be deemed a worthy investment. Like an online presence, previously published works, a network or connections within the industry, a marketing plan, all these are thrown onto the pile just to make life just a little more exasperating. All from the three words “write a novel.”

Granted, you don’t really have to do any of it. You could just complete your manuscript and release it online, or self-publish an ebook. But I’m a glutton for punishment and a purist. I want the dream from my childhood, whether it’s realistic or not.

So I formed a 1-3 year plan. Made a detailed list. And I’m halfway there…

As big and as involved as this innocent little item on my Bucket List is, it has definitely been the most satisfying. I guess anything that takes a considerable amount of effort to achieve is ultimately rewarding… and while I could cross if off the list because the manuscript is complete; I think I’ll keep it there until the dream is fully realised.

But in the meantime I have plenty more items to attack, and life will be ever more richer because of it 🙂

 

Do you have a Bucket List, or are writing a novel? I’d love to hear all about your experiences and goals to help make life more fun and amazing.

*Let me live in this fantasy of perfection – it’s the only thing keeping me going at the moment – that, and a fridge stocked full of Tim-Tams and LOTS of coffee!

Bucket List by Casey Carlisle

 © Casey Carlisle 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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4 thoughts on “Write a novel… and then what?

  1. carriecannon says:

    For me, it was turning 40. I’ve wanted to be a writer since 3rd grade. I decided if there is one dream I really want to pursue it is this, my longest held dream, well, other than being an astronaut but the thought of floating around in space forever freaked me out so I crossed that off the list! Sometimes the road to being published seems way too long and the hills too high. Lets keep our heads down and keep our feet running one more step!

    • femaleinferno says:

      Yes the road to becoming a fully formed writer is long, but I just view it as doing something I’m passionate about. I don’t write to be published, I write because I have to. It’s intrinsic to who I am. Wishing you all the luck and inspiration for your writing journey.

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