If you’ve been following the blog over the past year, you’ll know I originally set out to have a rough draft of my debut novel ready for revisions by February 2017.
And then life promptly threw us a few curveballs. I battled a medical issue. We let a foreign student move into our home. Work got stressful.
I kept changing my story setting, and topic, and characters, and genre. Eventually, I had four or five projects going. I lacked focus, to say the least.
That’s when things really got crazy for a few months. When we finally came out the other side, I was no longer a high school mom. I was a kindergarten mom with a houseful of little ones. I had just published my first gourmet cooking column, and now I hardly had time to warm up leftover mac and cheese. None of my kids wanted to eat my fancy food, anyway. My column went on temporary hold, although I’ve maintained the connection well enough to revive it when things calm down.
In the past year, I’ve gone from a childless wife working from home to an exchange parent to a foster mother of three. Yet somehow, I’ve dreaded having to admit failure on this one. I didn’t get that dream project done by my self-imposed deadline. I can’t stand blown deadlines.
What I do have is a handful of miniature beta readers. The children’s market is the fastest-growing segment of American publishing. While my primary goal of completing a full-length novel that anyone will actually want to read remains unmet for now, my secondary desire–to pursue a publishing deal this year–is still achievable.
To that end, I’ve pulled out an existing project, run it past my tiny critics, revised the story, and begun querying agents. A children’s picture book proposal isn’t exactly the same thing as a full-length manuscript, but it’s a start, anyway.
You know what they say. When life throws you lemons, add sugar and whiskey.
*This post was originally published in 2017.*