Dig Deep and plan for the Future

Sensational Saturdays

a blog for whatever I feel like writing

It’s halfway through April and I don’t even have a single seed planted.

Gardening is like writing. You need to get started, or you miss the season. Spinach needs to be planted early, so does lettuce. Soon, you’ve passed the time period for planting the early season crops and you’re on to the tomatoes and melons. And then it’s fall and you have nothing to harvest.

If you are a pre-pubbed romance author, you too have a possible harvest deadline. Many of us are going to try to enter the Golden Heart, but you need to start your seeds of your outline now. Have your outline done? Then it’s time to nurture it into a rough draft. Once that’s ready, get out the hoe and mow down some weeds, it’s the middle of the growing season and editing time. And then you have your final draft. Your story. Your harvest.

If you don’t plant early, you’ll find the opportunities for contests and pitching opportunities have passed. I’m going to RWA Nationals, and I plan to pitch a particular story, is it ready? No. But it’s close. I’ve planted the seeds, now I’m hoeing the weeds.

Snow and the Seventh Wolf is in its last bit of editing before I send it off to my publisher. I’ve planted the outline, nurtured the rough draft, now I’m hoeing the last weeds from the very end before sending it to market, where I hope someone buys my harvest. It’s always a little risky, but if you don’t start, you don’t have a harvest at all. And I should have gotten it finished last month. What happens when it languishes, waiting for me to pay attention to it? Does the opportunity fly past? I don’t know, but I guess we’ll find out!

What projects in your life need some nurturing? Have you started a garden? Do you have a manuscript in need of tending? Do you have a harvest date that you need to plan for?

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8 Comments

Filed under channeling success, Goal Setting, Sensational Saturday's

8 responses to “Dig Deep and plan for the Future

  1. This is a timely post for me. I keep letting other activities take over. I have an MS that I need to finish editing and other project started that are beginning to wilt from lack of water.

    • I really don’t know how you do it all. You not only work, but you have that killer commute. All of this is important, but somethings are more important than others, and the writing is right at the top. Or at least it should be!

  2. I’m happy to say I’ve got seedlings! Herbs and morning glories this year. Odd combiniation, but those were the seed packets I found when the gardening urge hit me. I talked gardening last night with a girl friend and brought home a sweet potato sprout–apparently one sprout yielded 43 potates in a pot last year, so I’m hoping!

    I’m starting a new manuscript, a novella, and have set myself a challenge to write 20,000 words in the next 2 weeks. Jessica, I think there are always opportunities. If we miss one, there will be another one, maybe even better for us.

    • I think you are right, there are always opportunities, but if we don’t try to hit some of them the time just goes by. We need to find a happy medium between getting the work out unready, just because there is an opportunity, and not getting it out at all. Not that you have that issue!

    • I came back to read replies and saw your 20,000 goal. WOW.Go get ’em Sharon!

      • I saw that and didn’t register that it was in two weeks. I will be impressed. I’m looking forward to reading about it on Romance and Beyond. Tune in for: Sharon’s quest for the 20K.

  3. Great analogy, Jessica, brings to mind a post by Sharon about a year ago on Romance & Beyond, ‘My Book is a Garden’.

    Sharon talked of weeding, pruning and thinning a flower garden, but a vegetable garden works just as well, if not, better, because of the harvest, or deadline, aspect. If we don’t plan, if we don’t work to a schedule, how can we be ready?

    The muse, assuming there even is one, is unreliable. Writing is work, success is work, publication is work. Work needs a plan.

    • I guess it’s a good thing I’m a planner! Even when my plans go awry, I like having a fall back plan. This year, it’s plant the seeds late and hope something comes up. As far as the writing goes: plow ahead. (Ha ha!)

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