Today I made an inventory of all the projects I’ve done on this writing journey. I have 4 novels (between 25,000 and 50,000 words) that are first drafted. I have 2 novels (both 25,000 words) that are finished, one published, one still yet adrift. There is also the teacher’s guide, published in 2005. Then there’s a few poems, short stories, essays, character sketches and picture books.
I’ve been writing formally with goals in mind for the past 18 years. How crazy is that? I’m glad I have a body of work to show for it, but I have more goals. How does one move from writing to regularly publishing? How can I get more of my projects in the hands of publishers who want them? I’ve been searching for an agent since last year at this time, trying to work with my children’s chapter book. 24 agents, no requests. And the chapter book (ages 7-10) is a hard one.
It’s June 24th and I have 10,000 words to go on the Christmas Romance Novella. It’s just a first draft, so I have permission (from myself) to not make every line perfect. I’m getting down the main story line and fleshing out the characters and their motivations. This morning, my daughter read for two hours while I wrote for two hours and now we’re preparing for a Gilmore Girls marathon.
I’m on retreat this week and cranking out the teacher/Christmas romance. Think of warm, balmy salt air of Kailua-Kona, Hawai’i plus a school where some of the teachers know what they’re doing and some are lost in school hell. Add mutual attraction and just a bit of stress from administration. Let me know your title ideas!
Christmas has been over for more than a week, I almost have it all cleaned up and put away. We’re focusing on the new year and moving forward.
One of the ways I’m moving forward is by working on a novella length Christmas romance that my dear friend Jacquolyn Mcmurray and I are hoping to publish as a “duet” in November. (A duet is when there are two authors and two stories in one volume.)
I’ve been dreaming and daydreaming, the story brewing in my head. This is unusual for me. I guess I usually have so much in my head, there’s not time, space or energy for the characters to bounce around in there. But, winter break means getting up late and long walks.
One character: I’m thinking of a young man who graduated from college and moved to Hawai’i to teach for two years with Teach for America. He planned it for several years and saw it as a peace corps experience. But after only a month or two, he is so worn down and homesick, he’s thinking of leaving during winter break. What or who will help him through Christmas? Will he stay and persevere or leave, with no self-respect remaining? We’ll see….
(I don’t know yet either!)
I’m praying for a wondrous new year where God uses me in every way possible, including in this Christmas romance.
This is Nick Vujicic, author of eight books, college graduate, husband and father of four. I recently saw him speak in Hilo. What an amazing person! He has some great videos on youtube and I’m reading Life Without Limits now.