Tag Archives: Goal

Writing in the Margins Mentor Program

book-spines

The Writing in the Margins is a website dedicated to helping underrepresented authors find their place in the publishing industry. They have a Mentor Program which pairs an emerging author from a marginalized social group with an experienced editor or traditionally published author in order to work closely on preparing an unpublished manuscript to submit for publication.  All authors and editors work on a completely volunteer basis, and there is no charge to the emerging author.  Applications are open twice a year, and necessary applicant qualifications are highlighted prior to the submission period. Deadline for this round is April 15, 2018.  Material required to submit:

  • Finished, Unpublished Fiction Manuscript (or Five Completed, Unpublished Short Fiction Pieces)
  • Query letter
  • Statement of Intent (not to exceed 500 words). How would a mentorship help you reach your goals?

For instructions on how to submit, go here. As always, good luck!

P.D. Pabst
Blogger and writer of MG/YA fiction.

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ONE WORD A DAY

Sure, the process is as slow as molasses running down an iceberg in the North Atlantic Ocean. But one word a day will get you closer to your goal of a completed manuscript. Do I mean only type one word a day for life? I may have some rocks loose inside my noggin but I do know how to count! This process may be okay if you are writing books for children, but it isn’t practical for a novel of 70,000 words. It will take 191 years to write and I am not immortal.

So, what do I mean? On the days you believe you’ve no time to write at all, sit and write one word. Yes, one word. It will do two things.

1) Give a sense of progress for your manuscript.
2) Get you closer to finishing.

It sounds silly, but make it a goal. Actually, make it a writer’s pledge. Repeat after me: “If I can’t write for hours, I’m going to write at least one word.” There. We can swap spit and shake hands. We have formed a writer’s virtual pact to complete our manuscripts.

What is amazing, you may find it difficult to write only one word. Usually, a complete sentence gets structured, maybe even two. We do this because we are writers. It’s in our blood.

Now, let’s presume most days you will write two sentences at an average of fourteen words per sentence. You could finish the novel in approximately seven years. And if you only write one word on some of those days, you could still finish in approximately ten years. It’s a goal that’s more feasible than 191 years! (Thank goodness we don’t need to be bitten by a vampire to continue writing. However, I’m not objecting if you know one.)

Yeah, yeah, yeah. You want to write a novel in one month. Well, I wasn’t speaking to James Patterson. This is a good rule to follow for those who work another day job…maybe two day jobs! If you are breathing, you can write. Jot what you can, when you can. If it takes longer to get there, it’s better to complete your manuscript ten years from now than never at all. Don’t hide behind you’ve no time.

And there you have it…one word a day CAN get you closer to your goal. Just don’t be a noodlehead about it.

P.D. Pabst
Writer of YA and Blogger