Weren’t You Writing A Book Or Something?

Isn’t that what started this whole nutty adventure? The desire to write a book?

It is. The whole blog, Facebook page, giveaways, interviews, published articles, all of those things are because I had have a little idea to write a book. The problem with me is that little ideas turn into big dreams. And big dreams take time, hard work, more time, and more hard work.

The little book is still chugging along. It’s the little book that could.

Last year I started sending out the first pages along with a query letter to literary agents (literary agents sell the manuscript to publishing houses). This is the most traditional route for publishing. It turns out I queried my story prematurely. Even though I had worked quite a bit on it, when you’ve never written a book before, you don’t know what you don’t know. I didn’t know that the book wasn’t really done and still needed a few more rounds of serious rewriting. So I stopped querying the story and went back to editing the hurking thing. I’ve been editing it for the last six months, most heavily in the last three. Which is what I blame for putting the blog on the back burner.Writing

 

I have it out for another round of edits and feedback right now. Once I get the edits back, I’ll go through it AGAIN (I mean because why not?? You’re supposed to be able to read it from memory by the time you’re done with it right?). After this next round of editing then I’ll resume querying. When I started this process I said I’d query until I had 100 rejections. That’s still my plan. I’m not going to lie, the first several rejections I received last year stung. “But my life’s work! How could they not love you??!!” Because it wasn’t ready. Now I’m ready to move on. I’m ready to set this little bird free. Will it fly into the arms of a loving agent and get published the traditional way or will she land on the desk of a small independent press? I haven’t a clue. I’m okay with whatever form the book takes. But this is the year it’s going to leave the safety of my hard drive and take it’s worldly form. I’m ready.

I can’t tell you what an amazing journey this has been. From the very first shaky conversation with a friend about my shy desire to write this story, her encouragement to blog the process (But what would I blog about? Would I have anything to say? Yes. The answer was yes. You’d have plenty to say. Sometimes maybe too much.) Then on to my first writing workshop, then writing conference, talking with a real-live Brooklyn-living, New-York-Bagel-Eating, Funky-Glasses-Wearing literary agent. I may or may not have been a little star struck. That conference is where the little idea exploded into a big dream. All of a sudden I had visions of a book tour and Matt Lauer interviewing me about my New York Times Bestseller. First of all, Matt Lauer ugh, second of all, have you recovered yet from my stars-in-my-eyes visions?? Oh sweet child. Sweet, sweet child.

Theresa Rice Writer
Looking to the future like….

If those things happen (interview with Hoda now, not Matt) I of course would be totally okay. But they are not likely. The same way me winning a million dollars isn’t likely. But I know I’ve grown and I’m on the right path with this journey because money, fame, notoriety are not my goals. I care about this story. I want women to read it and feel like I told them a juicy story over a cup of coffee and now they’re ready to go out into the world and kick some ass.

And that’s what I want to keep doing on the blog. Keep telling stories that leave you happy, thankful, inspired and like you’re ready to kick some ass.

So wish me luck. Cross your fingers and toes and your friends’ fingers and toes too. And whatever happens will be okay. Because no matter what, I still have all of you awesome people who give me a little bit of your time by reading my words. I love ya for it.

Muah.

Theresa

God Bless Your Literate Mind & Supportive Heart

I just hit 75,019 words.

I have much work left to do, but I have achieved more than I ever really considered possible. I started this story 9 years ago. I played with it in college and then let it languish at a paltry 36 pages for seven long years. I was inspired to finish it during the 10 year anniversary of that winter spent on an Arizona guest ranch. I worked at the story over the spring and felt my story was done at 56 thousand words. I then got it up to 62 thousand words and thought I could be finished. At the writing conference in October, I found out that in order to be marketable to large publishing houses, I would need to have at least 75,000 words. I set out to hit that mark. In 9 weeks I wrote 13 thousand words. But I didn’t just write words. I developed my characters, I deepened my love for this story, I grew my confidence, I told more people, I asked for more support, I asked people to spread the word.

I have no idea where this road leads, but I absolutely LOVE being on it. I love sharing what’s inside with you all. My ultimate goal is to see these words published. I’ll try to go big. I’ll submit queries to agents. And if that doesn’t work out, I will approach smaller, independent publishers. If that doesn’t work, then I will self-publish.

Even though I have hit my goal of word count, I am nowhere near finished. I still have some loose ends to tie up in the story. I need to edit it. Then my wonderful husband will edit the story. Then I will push it out to my beta readers to read and edit my baby. When all of the suggestions have been filtered through, when all of the changes, updates, grammar issues and errors have been corrected, when I’ve read and re-read the story so many times I am absolutely sick of the damn thing and am ready to throw it away, THEN I will begin the query process.

I’ve already gained so much from this experience. Rome wasn’t built in a day; my readers certainly aren’t going to discover me in three months. I am not a patient person, but I am learning how to accept the process as it unfolds and in its own time. I have learned that the number of views on my blog is no bearing on the quality of my writing. I have accepted that as long as I know I produced something from my heart, I can do no more. But I’ll never stop looking at the statistics, and they aren’t too shabby for a budding blog.

If you’re reading this, thank you. God bless your literate mind and supportive heart.

Much love,

Theresa

Wyoming Wind River Range at 11000 feet
I added this photo to this post because this is me holding our dude ranch horses at 11,000 feet on top of Grassy Knoll in the Wind River Range in Wyoming. I was cold, and a little nervous at the height, but I was so happy to be there. Writing a book feels a little ridiculous, like being blown around a grassy knoll at 11K feet.