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%.