The last month, when I haven’t been working (I go back to the office on January 4) I have gotten some very nice responses to my plans to publish (or self-publish) a novel. The working title is called Franky Benítez, and my 15-second elevator pitch (right now) is: A story of love, pain, and hope, from San Juan to Boston.
To kick off 2011, I have decided to create a to-do list of what I would like to accomplish. Let’s see where I stand next December 31:
- Finish and edit the final manuscript. I would think I couldn’t do that much until I have the whole story completed. Right now, I am posting unedited first drafts and sharing them online for reaction. I plan to write about 5,000 words a week, which would get me to about 100,000 words in about 10 weeks. Goal is to complete the first draft by March. Then, I go looking for an editor.
- Share the work-in-progress through social media. I have a blog (this one), I have a Facebook page which shares my writing and also shares the Facebook world of LatinoLit. I just opened a Twitter profile, a Flickr site with old photos that helped me to develop some of the characters and a YouTube site (we made a list of favorite videos that inspired the characters in the story; more videos to come). My goal is to share the back story of how the novel was developed and also ask readers questions as we go. So far, the reaction has been incredibly supportive.
- Engage my network, and keep it balanced. There is a lot of upfront work that I needed to do during my vacation. The goal now is to settle into a pattern that will keep me focused and discipline on the task at hand, but also ensure that I don’t forget about other life’s responsibilities, unless of course, I win the lottery and can focus on this project 100%.
- Don’t turn down opportunities to discuss the project. I welcome any blogger who wants to discuss this project with me. More than happy to, and I would be more than happy to blog about you if it relates to the literary world or exhibits a good example of social media.
- Explore editing, publishing and/or self-publishing options. Granted, there is a lot of work to do in this category. I will definitely need an editor who can help me polish the work. I am still on the fence about submitting a final manuscript to an agent or just going ahead and self-publishing. Let’s keep that one open. Yeah, as well as a cover and all the other fun stuff.
So, the list is done. Now it’s time to complete it.
Thank you to everyone who has been so supportive so far. It should be a fun journey.