It’s almost Time to Publish! Here’s How I Know

September 2016.

That’s the magical month. My goal is to send the manuscript of my novel out to agents right around when my kids go back to school.

People ask me how this works all the time. The best explanation I have ever seen is in the graphic here, from Shaula Evans (who offers support for writers on her website).

Back in the old days, before I became a full-time writer, I thought you could just dream up an idea, write the first 100 pages, send it off, and wait for the offers to pour in. Then, and this feels really insane for people like me who are used to regular jobs where the paycheck comes after you’ve done all the work, you’d get a fat check to cover your bills so you could do nothing but write.

No wonder I wanted to become an author!

It still works this way for some people, non-fiction writers and John Green, for instance. For the rest of us unknowns, we’ve got to write the entire book, and get it as polished as possible by taking it through multiple drafts, before anyone will even take a look at it. This means finding other means of staying alive, of course, like moving in with your 80-year-old mom, or sleeping out of your car, or writing in the evenings when you’re not at your regular job, or selling all your old Legos*, or organs if necessary, on eBay.

I’m really excited because I’m in the middle of my FIFTH revision right now, and the book is getting as close to finished as my critique group and I can make it. So, my deadline is September. No one will notice but you and me if I miss it.

But I won’t. I’m ready. And it’s a good thing, too–I already have an idea for my next novel.


*For all you nerd-types, I am happy to include this small piece of trivia: LEGO is a company. Ergo, there is no such thing as Legos. Which is why spell check doesn’t like it. Outside of the US, everyone else says “LEGO bricks” or “LEGO pieces”. To that I say, “Go US! Way to take something grammatically incorrect and run with it!” Just my way of saying Happy Birthday America this Fourth of July.


Photo credit: Tom Murphy VII – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

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