Time and money. Not exactly things I thought about when I woke up with an idea to write a book. But after jetting off to three conferences last year (two of which weren't even writing specific) with my proposal in my briefcase and dreams of coming home with a book deal, I now realize I have wasted a lot of both.
I'm not saying that it doesn't happen because it does. But the fairy tale stories of bloggers being approached by agents with contracts ready to sign and the conference match-ups between writers and agents that lead to the stuff dreams are made of are not exactly what a new writer needs to be banking on. Especially when said writer (read: me) only thought I was the greatest thing since sliced bread. ( I know...it was hard for me to wrap my head around, too.)
I had worked with a few novice editors to get the proposal together, tighten up my manuscript, and then basically sat back waiting for glory to find me. Yeah, I know. And after a year of queries, rejections, and a few lukewarm nibbles of interest, I finally took a step back, looked in the mirror, and admitted to myself that something needed to change.
Namely? No more wasting time. No more wasting money. Also? Time to tame to ego.
My new outlook led me to Brooke Warner, a writing coach and Seal Press Editor. But before I found Brooke, I had to find my way to She Writes, a wonderful community of writers in every stage of the game. Oh. And did I mention that membership is free? Score one on the not wasting money thing.
Shortly after receiving my email of acceptance into She Writes, I saw a notice for a webinar with Brooke for members interested in learning more about the publishing industry and how to better prepare their work for success. There was a little bit of money involved...but seeing as the price did not involve a plane ticket, hotel room, conference fee, or a new wardrobe (because of course I couldn't wear the same clothes to every conference...who does that?) I figured I did pretty well. While listening to Brooke share her wisdom during the webinar, I knew I had done pretty well.
And when I finally scored an hour long consultation with Brooke (after waiting on a list oh-so-patiently for a few months)? I found myself wondering why I hadn't pulled my head out of my ass a long time ago, joined She Writes, got all participatory with other writers, and found Brooke before I spent a lot of money on glorified opportunities to hang out with my social media friends. (Disclaimer: If I met you at one of these conferences, I am totally talking about everyone else being the waste of money. Not you. Oh no. Cuz you made it all worth it. Yes you did. *Pinches Cheeks*)
An hour. That's exactly what my paypal account paid for and what I got with Brooke. Doesn't sound like much, perhaps. But trust me when I say every second was worth it. In those 60 minutes, Brooke gave new insights on my proposal and a few sample chapters, highlighting exactly what wasn't working and even pointing out a few red flags that most likely accounted for the majority of my rejections on the manuscript to date. Brooke also shared what was working and which strengths to capitalize upon. I hung up the phone wondering where she had been all my life and ready to edit the hell again out of my proposal and manuscript.
The best part was the follow up email in which Brooke called me bitchy. Not in the "OMG, Becky," kind of way but instead in the "I like your snarky voice" kind of way. Seriously, people? Best. Feedback. EVER.
I can't promise she will call you names, but I'm betting an hour on the phone with Brooke Warner may be an investment worth considering for those thinking about a writing coach.
Consider this the epilogue. If you are still reading, you are being rewarded for dealing with my long-winded-ness with a chance to score an hour long phone consultation of Your Very Own with writing coach extraordinaire, Brooke Warner. No, I am not making that up and yes, I did check with Brooke first before making this little announcement. Normally, these sessions run are not free, so consider this a big BIG opportunity to save some moolah and get some kickin' feedback on your little ole' work in progress.
To enter, leave a comment explaining why you think you would benefit from a phone consult with The Divine Ms. Warner. Make it good, people. I have a semi-secret-but-not-really panel of four judges who will be helping me decide who gets to make The Call for a Consult!
Entries will be accepted through midnight, EST, on Wednesday, May 25.