It’s been a while since the last progress report about my novel. I stopped querying in early December prior to the holidays and took some time to re-examine my query letter. I also received valuable feedback on my manuscript from a critique partner and from an agent critique I won on Amy Trueblood’s blog.

Since then, I revised my query and re-worked the start of the book. Currently, I’m working on an in-depth revision  – changing the sex of one character and adding two completely new characters with the goal of providing new sources of conflict within the plot and adding more diversity to the cast of characters.

This current round of revision is the most time consuming of any I’ve gone through on this project. I am anxious to get back to querying as soon as I can, but that may not be for several weeks yet due to the time required for the revisions that are still ahead of me. While that delay looms, I sometimes have to fight the urge to do something – anything – to feel like I’m making some progress in some aspect of writing. Here are a few of the things I’ve done to make progress (or create the illusion of it).

Blog Posts

Regular blog posts are one of the first things to go by the wayside when I spend a lot of time revising. Sporadic posts have not been good for my viewership stats, so when I have ideas for blog posts, it’s important to get them written quickly and posted or they may never be written at all. Creating more traffic for the blog provides a measureable feeling of accomplishment.

Short Stories

The more I write, and the more I read about writing, the more story ideas seem to come to me. Sometimes I get ideas that could become novels, and sometimes I get ideas that are only suitable for short stories. When I get a short story idea, it usually has to be acted on quickly or my passion for it fades before I can give it the attention it needs. I’ve begun seeking out potential markets to sell a couple of my stories. Selling stories would not only result in a reward in the form of a cash payment, but would also provide a publishing credit to enhance my query letter.

Agent Research

If you  read my blog posts from last fall when I was preparing to query, you already know that I put in a lot of time researching agents on Twitter and using various published guides to literary agents. I’m still doing that research on a daily basis, changing what I’m looking for in light of my querying experience so far. This doesn’t provide any tangible feelings of progress, but gives me the feeling fo being ready to hit the ground running query-wise when my revisions are done.

Building Twitter Followers

My immediate goal is to reach 2,000 followers, which will allow me to get past the limit of following 2,000 accounts. The fastest way I’ve found to gain followers is to follow people yourself, so it’s an important short term goal, and easy to measure.

Is all this stuff necessary? No.

Is it a waste of time? Maybe.

Does it satisfy that urge to feel like I’m doing something, getting somewhere? Absolutely.


photo credit: It Looks Insoluble via photopin (license)