A Fresh New Start
By Jenna Ness
Remember being a student, when every new school year was a chance to reinvent yourself – to ditch the poor choices of the past and start with a fresh slate?
As an adult, sadly, we don’t have the possibility of disappearing for three months each summer and then bursting anew onto the scene, like a butterfly emerging out of a chrysalis. Whatever happened to the possibility of the makeover, the rebirth, the grand entrance?
As romance writers, we still have the opportunity to work hard in private, then make a grand entrance.
It’s called the RWA national conference.
Did you go to the conference in
In the movie Happy Gilmore, after Happy is brutally rejected from a minor league hockey team, he doesn’t give up on his dream. Instead, he stands in front of a pitching machine in a batting cage, growling and clenching his fists while he lets baseballs pummel his body. When someone questions his sanity, he explains (between grunts of pain), “Only 364 days until next year’s hockey tryouts. I’ve got to toughen up!”
It’s time to toughen up.
What specific actions will you take to reach those goals? What are those goals, anyway?
When you applied for college, you probably had a safety school (which was guaranteed), a target school (which was not) and a "reach” school (which was a farfetched dream; think Harvard). What are your biggest, craziest goals for
By the time
For writing, my “safety” goal is to submit The Greek Billionaire’s Baby to Harlequin and enter it in the Golden Heart. My “target” is to write another book by November and enter that, too. My “reach” goal is to write yet another book right after I have the baby, so I have two brand spankin’ new manuscripts to pitch in
So what’s your big dream? Is it to finish that book? To get an agent? To sell? To get a bigger advance? To get an award or hit a bestseller list? Whatever your crazy goal, no matter how unrealistic or impossible it is, if you work your butt off you can achieve it – or at least, get closer to achieving it.
When in doubt, just take a deep breath and remember Elle Woods’s immortal words in Legally Blonde, when her former boyfriend expressed his shock that a “dumb-blonde” sorority girl could get accepted into
Elle (screwing up her little button nose): “What, like it’s hard?”
Be stubborn. Aim high. Andif you miss the target in