Tuesday, June 3, 2014

I am an artiste

... If I do say so myself.

OK, end of my gigantic ego moment.  I just had to get that off my chest.  I'd had a long conversation with a friend last night about how/why I am so critical of myself and my writing/singing/music, etc.  My everything.  Right now, it's the writing as that is the foremost thing that's going on for me. 

I've got to make this happen.

I have a tremendous understanding of what actors/singers/dancers/writers, etc go through.  They pound the pavement, head shots, screen tests, auditions, love me please.  Just love me!!!  Isn't that why we do what we do?  We want people to validate us, and like what we do.  I know I do.  It's not my own insecurities per se.  No, I don't think that is it at all.  I just want people to love my writing.  I want them to want to read my next book and the next one. Is that so much to ask?    I think I speak for all authors when I say that. 

I'm an artist.  I've always been an artist.  No, I can't draw or paint or sculpt to save my life, but ... give me something to perform and I come alive.  Music? Yes please. Sing?  Why not?  It's the ultimate stress reliever and mood booster.  Write something?  Oh hell yes, I will do just that.  Be animated and a goof ball and act out?  Damn straight. 

I've known for a long long long long time I don't belong in an office.  I've done office work.  I've sat in a cubicle.  I feel ... suffocated. 

But you work in an office environment now.

No.  Actually, I don't.  It's not an enclosed cubicle.  There are no deadlines.  There is no paperwork (well, I have things to enter into systems but it's different.)  I answer phones but I am by no means an operator or a secretary.  My job is interesting and can be exciting.  I can actually go out in the field, amongst people dressed like little green army men and be a part of things others only see in movies or on the news.  I have an EXCITING job that just so happens to take place in a building, in a room, with a desk, and a phone.   

I am not restrained by my job.  I am inspired by it in a lot of ways.  I love my full time job.  Obviously, or I wouldn't be here 80 hours a week. 

If writing just stays my hobby, ultimately, I will be OK because I do happen to have a really cool job, with really good benefits and really good pay that keeps me housed and clothed and fed. 

But is it what I truly want to do with all my heart? 

Well ... OK.  If I had it my way, I could do both.  I'd put in my 40 hours and change and then I'd spend my other 40 hours crunching on the book projects.  I'd be able to take time off from here and go on a book tour, traveling around and seeing my readers.  Should I call them fans?  I don't know if that's what they are called.  This way, I could do both things I love. 

My daydreams are running away with me again.  Book tours?  Let's focus on just getting a book in print right now.  Then, we'll shoot for dream number 2.

I used to carry around this dream that I would move to and live in New York City.  I hung onto that with everything that I had.  I'm one of those art people, that's where my people live.  95% of the agents I've queried are in NYC.  It would seem that would be a good place for me right?

That dream is fading.  In the last year or so, my dream home has jumped the pond.  I'd move to London instead.  If I ever made it HUGE in my writing, that's where I would be for sure.  Without a doubt in my mind, sayonara USA .... Hello UK!

Look at me, thinking I'm going to be all JK Rowling famous.  A girl can dream as BIG as she wants.  It's the only way to make things happen.  With the amount of ideas knocking around inside my noggin, I could be shoveling out books as often as twice a year if someone gave me a chance. 

That's step one.  Securing myself an agent.  This has by far been the biggest and most difficult step.  It's exhausting.  With this being the digital age, most of this can be done from the comfort of my home and work computers.  So, you might be wondering how I could be exhausted from sending out emails. 

Read the agent's submission guidelines, find they need a query letter, synopsis, and 5 pages of sample work. Sent.  Next agent's submission guidelines, just a query letter with a brief explanation of the work.  Sent.   Next agent, query letter, first 50 pages as an attachement Sent Next agent: NO ATTACHMENTS, query letter, 30 pages in the text of the email.  Back and forth to my email and the document, copy, paste, repeat, change the letter, add this, remove that. 

Then, hit send and realize there is misinformation in it.  DAMNIT!  DAMNIT! *bang head against desk*  OK, well that one is a goner!

I've sent 150 out now.  I took a break and started working on project # 2.  I'm 70 pages into it.  I love it so much and can't wait to finish.  I'll go through and rewrite and make it good and then I'll be starting down this path again if I can't get the first project off the ground.  I had a few that liked my writing, but didn't feel the current work was something they wanted to take on, asking me to send them another project if I still don't have representation.  That's promising, no?

My second book is drastically different than the first.  The two wouldn't sit on the same shelf, that's for sure.  Do I want to be tied to a particular genre?  No.  I may write more of a certain type but I don't want to be closed off.

I sound like an actor. "I don't want to be typecast and only be in romantic comedies/horror/action/television".     It's true, I don't want to be forced to only write about murder and mystery.  I don't want to only write touching heart warming stories.  I want freedom to do whatever I wish.  If I want to write something about fairies, I will!

This blog entry feels a bit cocky and ... pompous.  I don't even have an agent. 

Let's get over step one first. 

Until then, I won't stop dreaming. 


  1. I love it Nikki.

    Keep writing, keep dreaming, keep living.
    I too am on the same path as you. I've got four chapters, and now you've spanked me into going and writing some more. I've fallen off the train in the last couple of weeks.

    I totally understand that feeling of the full noggin syndrome.
    I completely understand the constant effort to make your dream come true. I've sent about the same number of emails, letters and correspondences to various celebs with Autoimmune Disease to try and get them to push for AI awareness, rather than each disease silo awareness that we've all been trapped into believing is the only way to find a cure. I so believe that we can find a cure in our lifetime, but we have to change the paradigm. It's tricky changing paradigms. But that's my dream, and I'm sticking to it. I see my book project as a means to that end and hope that it's successful so that I can have a voice and make a difference that way.

    I wish you nothing but the best of luck with your book projects. It'll be nice to know someone on the inside when my book is ready... ha ha, nudge nudge wink wink.


  2. I love that doing this has lifted your spirit so much. You can do it. Just make sure when you are on book tour you stop in Ann Arbor. I will sit you down in front of the camp fire and we will toast your success together.