Sunday, August 02, 2009
More Time to Do What I Love
This Sunday morning I lay in bed until 6. Things I needed to accomplish whirred through my head before I pulled myself out of bed, fed the cats, started some laundry, made some coffee.
When I got to the computer, I began working on query letters for my completed novel Trail Mix. It's about two suburban women who, with no previous camping experience, come up with the perfect way to shed excess pounds and family responsibilities – hike the Appalachian Trail. It's a 2100-mile odyssey from Georgia to Maine, a grueling experience. But friends Andi and Jess figure life on the trail can't possibly be worse than dealing with disgruntled husbands, sullen teens and a general malaise that has crept up in their daily lives. Plus, they're bound to return thin. That's the summary of my novel that I insert in the letters asking agents to read my manuscript. You can see an excerpt here: http://www.paulitakincer.com/novels/
When I send query letters to agents, I research them, find out what kinds of books they represent and try to find a specific book that may be similar to the one I want them to sell. Sometimes I click around from link to link searching, other times I go to book stores and peruse each one for the name of an agent. I sent two email queries then came to an agent who wanted a snail mail query. I printed it out, tried to write the address neatly on the front of the envelope, then went to my purse to grab the stamps. When I opened my purse, I saw a lotto ticket for last night's drawing.
"Better check that," I thought. I could be a millionaire already.
And then the thought ran through my head, what would I be doing if I was a millionaire. Would I still be sending out query letters? The answer was yes. Money makes no difference in trying to find an agent. I would still be writing and trying to sell my fiction. It's what I love to do.
Would I be teaching at two colleges if I won the lottery? No. Although I enjoy interacting with the students, writing is my passion, not teaching.
That's my reminder from the universe. Don't get caught up in the day-to-day salary earning, remember to do what you love.
It's timely, that reminder, since my five-week courses are ending this week. I'm going to feel like I'm on a vacation teaching only an online course and another four-hour course at my new university employer. I need to use that time for the thing I love doing -- writing.
I need to focus on my goal to write and sell fiction as my primary salary. I should resist being distracted by the opportunities to make a little extra money teaching when what I want to do is write.
What things in your life would you give up if money wasn't an issue?
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