Being A Finisher

30 Nov

Kristen Lamb had a great blog last week about finishing Nanowrimo. She writes that only 5% people who want to write a novel will actually finish it, and then only 5% of those who polish their rough draft, and 5% of those who get an agent, and 5% of those who actually end up with a career as a published author. That’s a lot of five percents, an impossibly small percentage of the original aspiring writers. That’s math that is completely beyond me!

But actually, I found the blog encouraging. I’m already a “finisher”. I have three manuscripts that I’ve written from start to finish. That’s the first 5%, that I am a member of. Go me!  I took an on-line Revision class from the amazing Lani Diane Rich over at Storywonk, and used what I learned about structure to rewrite my second manuscript, and I’m confident it’s now much stronger. I mailed a query, synopsis and partial to a publisher last week, so send me good vibes that they request the full manuscript – that would be unbelieveably exciting!  So, polishing the first draft? I’m counting myself among that 5% as well, though that isn’t to say there isn’t more polishing I might do as I learn more.

So the next 5% is to get an agent. I haven’t queries agents yet. A mistake? Maybe, but I felt that at this point, I’m still learning, still finding my niche. I’ve written a romantic suspense (that I will be revising with what I’ve learned!), a western that might be classified as a young adult, and a young adult adventure time travel. Young adult seems to be the pattern that’s emerging, but three stories isn’t a very big sample. The only thing I can say for certain that all three books have in common is a horsey element! Also, I have no publishing credits. Or rather, no fiction publishing credits, and that’s all that counts. I think my chances of securing an agent is going to be better if I have some success to show on my own.

I’m a notorious procrastinator. Ambition has never been a strong suit of mine. The only other thing, in my entire life, that I’ve pursued with this level of determination and dediction is training and showing my horses. I want to succeed at this, and I’m going to put in the time, effort and committment to give myself a shot at making it to that last 5%.


Posted by on November 30, 2010 in writing


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2 responses to “Being A Finisher

  1. Author Kristen Lamb

    November 30, 2010 at 9:54 am

    Welcome to the 5%. I stole that from NY Times Best-Selling author Bob Mayer, by the way and at least according to him, it is statistically sound. I didn’t believe him at first but after years of working with other writers it is true.

    I began a novel writing workshop on Saturdays. Every Saturday. Four hours, from 10-2. I am there to walk a writer step by step from idea to characters to plotting. I even offer to be a beta-reader for the finished project ($1000 value). Oh, and the workshop is free. I thought we would have a line out the door. Nope. About 5% of people who say they will attend actually come by. Most have excuses.

    Of those who show up, only 5% remain in attendance. I have found a staggering finish rate for my workshop. If a writer makes it past the first three Evos (there are 12 Evolutions to the program), likely she will complete a novel. But most ring out by Evo 2.

    Plain truth is there is a big difference between the idea of being a writer and the career of being a writer. You are already on a great path. Welcome to the Finishers Club, :D.

  2. kayemarie

    November 30, 2010 at 5:19 pm

    Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting Kristen! I read your blog religiously, and I’ve read “We Are Not Alone” twice, so now I’m working on implementing all the things I learned!


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