Today You Can Tweet Your Proposal to Agents! #Pitmad

One of the most nerve wracking times for a writer is when we send out our work. It’s sort of what I imagine an artist feels like putting up their creations in a gallery. It’s no longer in our heads or buried away in a word document. It’s out there and people can choose not to like it. And then there is crying.

That can be one take on the submission process.

The other side? Pure euphoria. We’ve done something. We set about to accomplish an article, short story, or novel and we finished. Putting together the proposal is the after party. And what happens after it’s sent off? It’s all whirlpool tub and wine or maybe we just collapse and don’t move for a day or so. Either way, it’s a huge relief.hashtag

Now, if you have not submitted your work and think you might be close to doing so there is a huge opportunity happening today in the Twitterosphere between 8am and 8pm. Book Baby, a self publishing website mentioned this article about submitting to agents today only, using various hashtags. They even provide instructions and tips.

Why do I bring this up? Because some of you may be ready for that next step. If you have your elevator pitch down and are about ready to send it out anyway why not give it a try? You don’t have to sign with a particular agent. This is a chance to see what happens. Nothing may happen. But something might happen and that’s one of the reasons we write.

If you do this be sure to let me know @parttimenovel.

Happy submitting.



When Is A Manuscript Done?

I’ve been editing for some time now. It has been nearly three weeks since I started the process of cutting and manipulating seven chapters of the latest draft of my novel in order to submit it. I’ve found so many mistakes and plot lines that either needed to be removed or drastically accentuated that I am shocked I thought this draft completed in the first place.

This has caused me to do some serious reflection on what a draft is. I used to think that it was another step in the right direction, but a lot of times it is not. Lately I’ve deleted more words than I have kept. I’ve probably been more frustrated with writing through this process than I have ever been. However, I feel as though I am breaking through to another layer of writing that will make me that much better because of all of the toil I experience now.

The main question I wrestle with is, when do you know when a draft is done? You can have friends read it, have them pick over it and give their assessment, make changes based on those assessments, and then redraft. But at some point you have to get it out there. It might sound silly but at times I feel like I am coaxing a little bird along the edge of a branch preparing to push it off so it can take flight. The problem is I cannot be sure this little bird is ready to fly. I know I am ready to move on, but I don’t want to commit a novice mistake and get a rejection just because it is not ready.

I suppose it comes down to believing in your story. That your voice will shine through, and that the editor or slush pile surfer will forgive any inconsistencies that you missed. Hopefully, by the end of the week, I will pluck up the courage to push this feathered little manuscript out into the world. I just hope it flies.  



Blog Blackout and Submitting Novels


It has taken longer than I anticipated, but Part Time Novel is back up and running. I obviously did not realize when my family and I moved that there would have been a gap in internet coverage. Thankfully, I have the local Tim Horton’s (Tim’s) to replenish my cravings of internet must-haves like celebrity gossip, Facebook’s IPOs rise and stock downfall, and the heroic sprint of a stray dog across China! More seriously though, that dog is amazing. Check it out.

Running Dog


Moving has brought about a new urgency in my submissions process. As I packed my old notes, half completed novels, and finished drafts into boxes last week, I realized it was time to get going. It is time to submit my novel.

I finished my latest draft back in February and I believe I have allowed enough time to pass for proper distance. I have allowed this disconnect from my novel to pass my book out and to collect ideas on how to make it better. I have also investigated how I might submit it and even located a few books that I wish to compete against. Over the next few weeks I will keep you up to date on my progress, provide tips I have found about the submission process, as well as anything else that might be helpful for the beginning writer/submitter.

If you have anything to add to the dialogue, please let feel free to contribute.



The Writing Life: You Never Know What You Might Have

Since I challenged myself to write 500 words three weeks ago, I did not miss writing an entry on a single weekday. Until, alas, last Thursday morning.

I was in my daughter June’s room and we had just finished playing with some of her toy animals. I usually slap  together a blog in the wee hours each morning before departing for work. For what was the first time in a long time I wrote the entry the previous evening and brought the laptop into June’s room to do a bit of light editing before I rushed out the door. What I discovered after the night of usual broken sleep was horrifying.

It was terrible. I have no idea what creature got a hold of my laptop that night while I was sleeping (perhaps it was my cat Bandit) but they destroyed the perfect gem of a blog I composed the previous evening. I remembered nostalgically, as I sipped on my peppermint tea, that it was a brilliant work, a post worth showing the world. Then, as I looked at the sad sad piece, I saw nothing of worth and nearly deleted the entry altogether.

A Happy, But Tired, Morning

My wife Cindy helps with my editing and, because I desperately need it, I shoved the computer in her direction to get her thoughts. She scanned the page with her blue eyes then looked at me with an apologetic smile.

“What do you think?” I asked knowing the answer.

“Well”, she said twisting her mouth in dissatisfaction, “It’s bland.”

I nodded, closed the computer, and went to work.

Now, someone once told me that the first three days of the work week tend to be high traffic times for blogs. If there is anything trendy or worthwhile to post, post it then so as to get the highest hits possible. This was my reason for not posting that day. I thought, hey, what’s the point? Thursday doesn’t matter. I’ll post tomorrow.

Then, in a flash, it was Friday morning and I had written nothing. I had the draft of that blog from the previous day, and no time to write something new. So, I spiced it up a bit, put in a few anecdotes, and clicked the publish button. I think it was still loading when I raced out the door.

By the end of the day, it was my second highest traffic day for my blog, ever. So the reason I put this post on a Monday morning is to encourage you, writer, to put yourself out there this week.

If you have a novel on the shelf, dust that baby off and start sending it to agents! If you have an idea for a blog, or an article, get started on it. If you have an opportunity to do something great don’t sleep in and don’t let it go to waste. For, you may never know what you might have. It might be nothing. Or, perhaps, it might be something unexpected. Something that in return receives, not that canned rejection letter, but one that says, “We are thrilled to inform you that…”

Come on. Let this be a good week for you, writer. Get devoted to your craft.