Friday, January 13, 2012

What I am doing...on this foggy cool day...revising and strategizing

I'm working at home! I'm writing - well, I'm revising. Getting close to done. My deadline for this revision of True is Monday and I think I'll be done by then.  I have about 15 chapters left to polish. I'm meeting my editor on Monday - will give her this to do an all-over read and talk about my package for submission. I want to start sending it out on Feb. 1st - not sure of my strategy with that but it will be to agents first of all and then I'll see. Then it is to work on revising The Rock Walker. I want to squeeze this year - make it my year for something to happen in the world of writing.
On the other hand, I'm feeling a big uplift with my therapy work - seeing more clients and wanting to continue expanding. I guess I'm just ambitious right now. I know that if I can get a good and secure clientele, that I can relax the worry about finances which is counter to being creative. I know it will give me less writing time but I'm better than I was - spend less time futzing about and more just getting to it. I'll be doing some training, workshops, this year too and that has me looking at how I want to do that.

It is time to think about putting this house on the market. We agreed to one more year last spring and I feel fine about getting it out there with all the rest of my offerings! I want to live in a smaller home. Right now there are three bedrooms, an office for each of us (my guy and me), a large workshop and a rec room. I would like a two-bedroom cottage with my office carved out of either our bedroom or the living space. I feel lonely in here when Sarah is gone and that is half the time. When we built this home we had two kids in Middle School. Now we have one with only one year to go (half a year if she does an accelerated graduation). And, most importantly, I'd like to have a smaller mortgage.

This home, like my novel, will take a certain skill in selling. We need to find the right agent - one who understands that an ICF (insulated concrete form) house is vastly different than a stick house (conventional wood-frame). We spend hardly anything to heat it. It was designed mostly by my guy with a little input from me. It will take a special buyer to appreciate these things and we're willing to wait for that. It is the opposite of cookie-cutter - it was designed to be very functional and without those things that people tend to want until they have them - things like cathedral ceilings (lose heat, make you feel lonely) and en suite bathrooms. Instead we have a kick-ass kitchen, a very efficient sorting system for recycling, a room with a bath and sink but no toilet as well as a conventional bathroom. Closet doors that open instead of ineffectual sliding ones. A feeling of space and warmth. I could go on. The point I'm trying to make is that this isn't a conventional home and it will be harder to sell unless we have an agent who gets that. I think that might be true of my novel too. It isn't exactly literary (like our home isn't exactly artsy) but it isn't formulaic either.
Strategy is my word for the day. I need a selling strategy - one to get me the agents I want for both my book and our home, and one to increase my therapy practice to a comfortable place.
a picture taken from Betty's Island...

What do you think? How do you prepare to sell something you care about?


Anonymous said...

I hope this is your year for a great writing success, Jan! Yes, to not to have to worry about finances is a great anxiety reducer, and helpful when we want to write. Unfortunately, very few of us can earn from writing the money we need to live on. Good luck with selling your house. Always good to have a smaller mortgage. And though I'd like a slightly larger place, there are many advantages to a smaller one, such as utility bills!

Love that photograph from Betty's Island. Makes me want to travel. But since I can't, I travel vicariously from the photographs that you and other blogger friends post. Thanks!
Ann Best, Author of In the Mirror & Other Memoirs

Faith Pray said...

I hope your home and your story get snatched up by people who love them - and soon! When my novel is ready to sell, I trim off the hanging strings, iron it for wrinkles and then send it to my agent. Here's the tricky part: once I send it out, I hold my breath - and don't sleep - for days! I made myself promise I wouldn't hold my breath anymore, but I do anyway. What we need as writers is a big, happy sign posted just above the workspace: "You May Write In Your Pajamas, But You are Not Your Pajamas. You are Also A Much Better Writer Than Your Pajamas. So Things Are Looking Up." Sorry. That's what my brothers and I call Trailer Jokes - when my dad had been working for twenty hours straight in his Art Studio Trailer and would come out blinking like a mole and make pointless jokes, we'd tell him to knock off the Trailer Jokes and get some sleep. Happy preparations, Jan! I'll go find some sleep now.