Wednesday, May 18, 2011

What's your career goal?

"I want to get a publish my book."

Where's the gong? That's not a good answer.

Over the past three years, I've read several blog posts about career goals. Last week, WordServe Literary Agent Rachelle Gardner talked about this in her blog post: Multi-book contracts do you have to sign one?

When I get closer to a finished manuscript, I'll worry about the contracts. I focused on this part of her post:
But there is a larger issue here: It's not usually good business for an agent or a publisher to commit to an author who may only have one book in them.
I'm working on a memoir, it made me wonder: "What else do I have?"

Gardner later says:
So, while you may only be offered a single book contract to start with, be aware that agents and publishers typically are looking for authors, not just books. They're hoping you'll have something else for them after this one.

It's a good reminder that writing is a business. If you want your manuscript published, you need to be thinking of your next book. You need to have a plan.

When I worked in journalism, I always thought about my future. What path should I take to continue up the chain of command? What's the next logical step for me and my family? What training do I need to do my job now and in the future? How do I earn more money?

I think it's difficult for writer's to think this way. There are no supervisors monitoring your daily keystrokes. You are flying solo. In my case, my manuscript is creeping by with rewrites, directional changes and outside commitments. Despite that, I need to think about what I want to do after this manuscript is complete.

I can't allow writer's insecurity, block or rejections to slow me down. We each must think about our writing as a business, because agents, editors and publishers do.

My goals include finishing my memoir, beginning work on a fiction manuscript with a friend and attending a summer retreat on a completely different genre. 



So, what are your career goals?

4 comments:

  1. I want to become a full-time screenwriter. I am currently saving up for school, so that I can earn my certificate in Feature Film Writing through UCLA. Until then, I am working on my poetry, novel, and freelance work to keep my mind exercised and learning new things. Oh yeah, and reading a LOT of writing books! They have become such an amazing tool for me over the years to keep learning and expanding to create more solid goals for myself.

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  2. Boy Krissy. You really stay busy. That sounds like a great program to help meet your goal.

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  3. I would like to write for a living. I'd love to say I'd like to see my book published, but seeing that it feels like I'll never finish it, and that as you have mentioned this is not a really appropriate career goal, I'll leave that statement alone. I guess my real career goal is to be paid for writing whether it be by blog, magazine or...whatever..

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  4. Journeytoepiphany - I think we will all finish - eventually. And, it is great to get paid to write. It's always fun to cash a check.

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