Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Progression, It's All I Ask For

I was loading laundry in the washer, thinking about (what else?) my writing, about where I want it to go in this new year. Initially, of course, visions of agent representation and publication bubbled up in my head, making me dizzy with want. And nerves. And fear.

But then, just as quick as I poured the detergent, I felt impressed to chillax, as my seven-year-old recently suggested. What I need to focus on became clear to me.

Just move forward.

Yeah, I could aspire to acquire an agent this calendar year. It's possible, right? And then beyond that, hope to get a book deal before the next ball drops? Forget that twelve months is rarely enough time to get the agent. It occurred to me that might not even be in the 2010 plan for me. It's possible I won't be ready. Or if I am at any point, that my agent match won't be.

Just move forward.

And you know, it really took a load of pressure off. Because I'm free to work on my craft, to read more, write more, learn all I can to get better. I can progress, see where it takes me.

That's what I want this year. As long as my writing moves forward, I'll be happy.

You?

45 comments:

Journaling Woman said...

Oh that's going to be my motive, Just keep moving, Teresa. Move it.

Love it, your post.

Journaling Woman said...

I meant to say motto. It's early.

Tamika: said...

Chillax! I'm working on growing, writing more, reading, and becoming. That's it- I'm working on becoming!

Slamdunk said...

That sounds like a plan.

I want to read more as well. I often neglect this element of better writing--I can always make excuses about being too busy.

JKB said...

I think it's good.

These are the two things I'm telling myself this year:

1.

IT'S NOT A RACE.

I'll get published when I get published and until then I won't. Somehow, this comforts me.

and

2.

BELIEVE.

Believe in myself, believe in my books, believe in the whole thing.

Great post. :-)

Donna M. Kohlstrom said...

Like that motto! I tend to set high goals/dreams for myself and then compare myself to where other writers are in their journey. I get easily discouraged doing both so...I'm just progressing at my speed and enjoying the writing trip.

Jeanette Levellie said...

OH thank you thank you thank you. I needed to read this. I may print it out and paste it to my wall, my mirror, my forehead.

YOU made my day, Janna!

Melanie Avila said...

That's kind of the way I'm looking at it too. I'd really like to get more short stories published, but the publications are not cooperating. :P

T. Anne said...

I'm in the same boat. I really feel ready but I'm also still working on new projects and would like to see where they go as well. But yeah, this year would be nice.

Eileen Astels Watson said...

That's a great goal, Just move forward. I'm going to adapt that one too, thanks!!!

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

Wow, I needed to read that. I've been putting too much pressure on myself. Thanks for setting me free!

Wendy @ All in a Day's Thought said...

I'm moving forward with specific goals in mind. If I don't meet those goals, I will keep moving. And moving. And moving.
~ Wendy

Deb@RGRamblings said...

Sounds like a great attitude to me! Forward we go. Love chillax, lol!

Kristen Painter said...

The thing is, getting an agent isn't a goal. It's a dream. Why? Because you can't make an agent represent you.

You can write the best book you possibly can. You can send that book out to your favorite agents. Those are things you control. But you don't control whether or not an agent choose to represent you.

Focus more on what you can control and I bet you'll feel less pressure. After all, doing your best is really all you can expect of yourself, so why stress over something that's not up to you?

destrella said...

One foot in front of the other is all we can do. :O)

Janna Qualman said...

Kristen, what you say is true. I understand it from a practical and intellectual point of view. Me and my desires are not the only factors; at some point, the end result rests in others' hands.

But everything about my dream becomes a goal, becomes something wholly attainable when I believe in myself, and do the best I can, to realize it.

That's why I speak of it as if I know it will happen. Because I do. And it will.

That's how one attains goals, no? That, with the hard work to back it up, of course. :)

septembermom said...

That needs to be my motto for my life in general! I need to move forward and let certain stresses go.

Christopher said...

I'm going to have to find you a nice campy "keep on truckin" bumper sticker.

JLC said...

Moving forward is the only thing we have complete control over. Enjoy every step!

Elspeth Antonelli said...

Moving forward is good, but so are goals. I need to know I'm moving toward something. Celebrate the little steps, of course, but don't be afraid of reaching the finish line.

Elspeth

Deb Shucka said...

What a great way to approach the year. It's been my experience that if I focus on just the task in front of me, it's all I can really handle anyway and eventually I get where I need to be. Just never quite as fast as I want. :-)

Patti Lacy said...

JANNA,
LOVE this blog!

I have long preached perseverance.
If it's good enough for Paul, it's gotta be good enough for me.

Now back to that proposal I've been wrestling with for...yes, months.....
Patti

www.pattilacy.com/blog

Heather Sunseri said...

The deeper I get into the process the more I'm willing to just let things happen. I work hard on the craft and my current story and let the rest happen when it happens. (This attitude could change without notice, though.)

Jill said...

Great way to look at the big picture by looking at the little picture. Or vice versa. I'm not making much sense today, but I enjoyed the post!

Susan R. Mills said...

I feel the exact same way. I took the added pressure of having the goals of getting an agent and a book deal off my list. It gave me a new energy to focus on just my writing, which is most important. Without that, I won't even need an agent, right?

thedomesticfringe said...

One foot in front of the other...don't they say something like that?

I like "Chillax".

-FringeGirl

Elana Johnson said...

This is so true. The worst part about writing/publishing is the "stuck" feeling you feel. Like you have no control over what happens.

But you really do! We can always improve ourselves, our writing, everything. And then when we're ready, it'll happen.

Good luck in 2010!

Cindy said...

I love your outlook on this! It's so important to keep moving forward and keep growing. There are other things out of our control and things that shouldn't be in our control but at the very least we can endeavor to grow and learn and do our best.

Katie Ganshert said...

What a GREAt motto! Just move forward. That's sort of what I went after last year, and it did wonders!

Karen said...

Onward and upward. Read and write more, and be more involved in life with joy.

Nadine said...

I love this!

I too would love 2010 to bring an agent and a book deal, but I don't want to get my hopes up so I'll just keep progressing forward with my rewrites.

Thanks Janna!

Carol J. Garvin said...

I think it's an excellent idea. It's important to know what our destination is, but sometimes we get caught up in the process and try to get there before we're ready. We forget God's timing is a part of the mix. If we keep moving forward as we are led, things will fall into place when they are meant to. Do you think maybe your plan was a divine revelation? ;)

Janna Qualman said...

Without a doubt, Carol!

Jessica said...

Good post for me to read right now. Thank you! I think I need to move forward and trust that God has a great plan for my writing.

So is chillax a word the younger generation uses? I need to add it to my list I'm compiling for a future post. Hanging out with my fourteen year old brother was enlightening. LOL

Joanne said...

Always moving, forward I hope! I have a few new things planned for the blog, and am finishing up a revision of my fiction ms, so will be querying that. A few nibbles would be nice :)

lakeviewer said...

Keep my memoir going. It takes all my concentration at this moment.

Terri Tiffany said...

I am so where you are! I don't know either if this is the year but what I do know is this is the year I will write better!

Natasha Fondren said...

Yeah. I'd take that. :-)

Sharon Lovejoy said...

Janna, here's the deal. Think of the "one day at a time" admonition, and your moving forward is right on target. "ONE WORD AT A TIME!"

Although I have a few books in print I NEVER let myself worry about selling a work or, once it is written, how it will sell. I write with passion and love for the joy of writing and whatever will come will come, although I will attend workshops, conferences, etc. to help move things along.

Keep writing, keep reading, and keep your passion, oh, and, "chillax."

Love,

Sharon Lovejoy Writes from Sunflower House and a Little Green Island

Angie Muresan said...

I'd be happy if I finished my novel this year.

Kara said...

I agree totally! As long as my writing moves, I'm good:)

She Writes said...

Yes, movong is good!

Cassandra Frear said...

I'm deciding which steps I should take. My goal is simply to launch in a particular direction, to commit to a project and begin.

Melissa Marsh said...

I like this. Just move forward. Kinda like on Finding Nemo: just keep swimming. :-)

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