I’m not in the habit of setting goals for myself come the New Year. This is in large part because I always, always, always have the same handful of goals guiding my every step, no matter the season.
And that driving ambition? To put a book out in the world.
Though with such a challenging objective, it makes sense for me to break it up into smaller pieces. That’s why, in 2018, my goal was to finish writing and revising my book.
I am proud to say that I accomplished that goal. My sixth book, a YA fantasy called Hymns of Salt and Terror, has undergone three rounds of revision, and is complete at just under 90k words. It isn’t perfect, and I’m sure that I could still find ways to improve it, but agonizing over that fact will only stagnate the process.
Now, after three years, I finally feel ready to query.
I have no delusions about the publishing world. Starting next week, when I send out my first batch of queries to literary agents, I will be exposing myself to rejection. I will be wide open, vulnerable. The future of my book is now out of my hands.
So I designate 2019 the year of the query.
But I don’t want to be all consumed by drafting better letters or writing more revisions (though I will certainly dedicate time to those). I want to start writing something new in 2019. I think, after being so close to this project for so long, I will rejuvenate in a change of story, perhaps even in a change of genre.
So my goal for 2019 is not “to get an agent” or “to get a book deal.” My goal is to cast my line into the waters of publishing, and to write ever more.
It’s easy to become overwhelmed by goals because so often we frame them as a thing that we want to achieve or possess. I find it much more assuring to stake my agency in actions. If I commit to the act of something, I do not constrict myself with the narrow outcome. I open myself up to possibility.
Perhaps I don’t get an agent at the end of this road, but I know that no matter what, I will get somewhere.
© 2019 Stellular Scribe