Thanks to so many of you and my very supportive family, I have finished the first draft my my manuscript (with Crystal’s help)! I have three more months to spit and polish and to build the frontmatter and backmatter sections before I submit it to the publisher.
Then the REAL spitting and polishing begins.
Because I was worried that I’d have nothing to say, it feels so good to have 10 chapters in the can. Feeling pretty perfect at the moment.
August, 2008. Dear Diary. Today I publicly declared myself a Writer, in response to Melissa’s Wishing Tree post. I’m still new at this and I don’t really know how bloggers make a living at blogging, but surely people make a living writing. Right?
II. Failed cycle
Oct 2009. Dear Diary. Yay, me! I met my self-imposed deadline. I got my book proposal finished by Halloween and now am finding agents to send it to.
But my writing coach, in a ripping-off-the-Band-aid kind of way, told me that I was not going to get this out now because the proposal is riddled with problems. Surely I can fix the issues and have the proposal ready to go early in 2010, right?
November, 2010. Dear Diary. Well, anOTHER Halloween has passed and I finally finished the proposal AGAIN. Writing Coach approves. I’ve been sending my query letter to 5-10 agents a week. A few have asked for the full proposal, and I’m so excited that I’ve begun to get rejections. Every “No” gets me closer to “Yes,” right?
IV. Is that a pink line?
December, 2010. Dear Diary. One very kind agent has pointed out several “areas for improvement” in my proposal. She suggests that before she take me on that I must find a celebrity to endorse my book. Surely finding a person who knows a person who knows a famous person who will do a stranger a favor shouldn’t be that hard, right?
IV. The pink line darkens.
May, 2011. Dear Diary. I met her through the American Fertility Association and she said yes! Brenda Strong, the actress who plays Bobby Ewing’s wife in the Dallas remake, agreed to write the foreword to my book! It’s going to be easy coasting from here on out, right?
August, 2011. Dear Diary. Guess what! Remember that helpful agent who offered me constructive criticism? Well she’s been helping me turn out a proposal she feels comfortable taking to publishers. As of today, with the signing of our contract, I’ve got a literary agent! She’ll probably have editors beating down her door to publish my book, right?
VI. Fetal pole or just a smudge?
September, 2011. Dear Diary. My agent sends me a notice every time she hears from a publisher she’s pitched. The tally so far is:
Outright rejections: 21
Nibbles that turn into rejections: 8
Self-publishing is always an option, right?
November, 2011. Dear Friends. I’m not paper pregnant and I’m not even paperback pregnant.
PEOPLE. I AM GOING TO GIVE BIRTH TO A HARDCOVER BOOK!
And not all by myself. I gained a co-author along the way. I’m thrilled that Crystal, my daughter’s first mom, is adding her voice to the book. In fact, our book will have many voices in it — adult adoptees, birth parents, adoptive parents and pre-adoptive parents, especially those with interest and experience in open adoption. We’ll be asking for some of you to share your stories over the next several months while we write the book , so stay tuned.