Hi! I’m Dana! I’m a (relative) newbie to romace writing. The good thing about being in my position is that nice people in the industry, particularly in OCC, take pity on me and explain things. Unfortunately, it also means I’m unpublished and constantly have to justify to my friends and family 1) why I’m still unpublished, and 2) why I’m not best friends with Nora Roberts.
After months of answering questions, I finally streamlined a hierarchy of romance writing and my place in it so I could copy, paste and email it to people. It’s worked really well for me so I decided to share.
Have an idea. Step 1 is fun and easy. Anyone who has ever said, “Wouldn’t XX be a neat story?” has achieved step one.
Write your book. I know it sounds like a jump but it’s not. You either have a book…or you don’t. Scary but true.
Submit your book for rejection…I mean publication. A majority of first books are rejected but the key is getting to a place where you have something you can submit. Basically, you’re Anakin Skywalker chafing at your boundaries and wishing you could fly.
Once you’re rejected (odds are you will be) you submit a copy of your manuscript and proof of submission to your local RWA chapter for Pro status. A “PRO” designation means you get a pin and are considered one of the “in” crowd. You’re Luke Skywalker and someone handed you a lightsabre. You don’t know what to do with it but you feel cool and that’s all that matters right?
If you are published you get a PAN designation and your very own book! With your name on it!. “PAN” stands for Published Authors Network. That means not only are you a member of the “in” crowd you are one of the cool kids and other writers look to you for help. Yup, you’re a Jedi.
Multi-published? Then you’re a Jedi Master. People ask your advice and you (probably) secretly refer to yourself as Obi-Wan.
So what’s left? Hit the bigtime and the top of the New York Times bestseller list. Your books sell thousands of copies even if people don’t know what the plot is yet. You’re Yoda, who cares if you’re less than three feet tall? People stalk you in elevators at conference.
Wouldn’t that be a great biography? “The Inner Yoda: My Journey to Romance Superstardom.” If someone beats me to it I expect full credit for the title!
Dana Belfry is an aspiring author and a proud member of the OCC/RWA. She happily lives near the beach, rollerblades as often as possible and constantly comes up with story ideas. She is currently working on a contemporary single-title. Visit Dana at her blog at http://www.danabelfry.com/blog/
Hey Morgan, you sound like my mom! LOL. Thanks for the kind words about my picture. I’ll be honest and say I’m not giving myself a deadline on the struggling writer phase. That moment, if it ever comes, will be a sudden thing in the form of “oh forget it, I quit.” Of course I’ve been writing in one form of another since I was 4 years old so it’s unlikely to happen.
R.G. Thanks for stopping by! I’m glad my attempt at humor went over pretty well. I was worried about it!
Oh, you’re so pretty, too! A face. I’m not shallow, just visual. I can’t take direction by listening AT ALL!
So, what is your timeline? After figuring what it means to be a writer, how long do you give yourself? Are there limits to your struggling artist phase?
“You’re Luke Skywalker and someone handed you a lightsabre. You don’t know what to do with it but you feel cool and that’s all that matters right?”
Great post Dana 🙂
LOL! Thanks Kaige! The truth is, I’ve tried other explanations but there is something about Yoda that everyone understands. It certainly explains why George Lucas is a gazillionaire. 🙂
Great list, Dana! Thanks for putting it in terms I can relate to!
I’m sure you’ll be on the Jedi Council in no time!
ROTFL Gwen that’s fabulous. Let me know how it goes!
Thanks for visiting everyone!
I am going to have to try the jedi mind trick with my next submission.
“This is the paranormal rom com you are looking for.”
I loved your chronology of getting published…rejected…published… Well, one of them. It’s gonna happen one way or the other.
And that’s a cute shot! *tugs Dana’s hair and runs*
ROFL. Funny, but true.
Oooo … you have an inner Yoda! How cool!
I have an inner wood nymph … (don’t ask!)
Hey you have to be honest right? LOL.
Thanks for stopping by Crystal! 🙂
“Submit your book for rejection…I mean publication”
Thanks for visitng, Lanie!
I have no idea how the new RWA rules affect my PAN fantasies. I should probably find out though. Basically I REALLY want a book with my name on it.
If you sell your story, is there a minimum amount of books sold/dollars earned to get PAN status? If you’re a member of RWA, that is.
Thanks for the great post. 🙂
Comments are closed.