I set a goal with the mastermind group to finish the manuscript for Daughter of the Deepwood by February 1. Over the past week and a half, I’ve gotten a bit over 10,000 words in and… last night the characters missed that proverbial left turn at Albuquerque. So, it looks like the manuscript won’t be completed on that new deadline. Argh.

There’s truth in the saying that no plot survives contact with the characters.

The procrastination part comes in with that same manuscript. I have come into contact with writers who dedicate themselves to a certain minimum word count or time for writing every day. They schedule this into their lives. I can’t do that. I’ve found that if the spark isn’t there, then the content is crap. So, I find myself waiting until the characters start speaking to me and then I jump back into the story. That’s one reason why I find myself distracted into writing other stories when I should be focusing on something else. That’s the reason why I wrote The Falcon of Imenotash.

I must say, though, when something grabs me like Falcon did, the story generally turns out to be incredible.

Lost opportunities also mark the past few weeks:

  • I responded to an RFP for a landscaper in Michigan who wanted to write a book on horticulture. He called me last week. We had what I thought was a great conversation while I attempted to provide some direction. I told him that he needed to decide what he wanted to do and then to let me know. He hasn’t called me back. Perhaps one of these days I’ll master the art of closing a sale.
  • I responded to an RFP posted by a screenwriter in Utah who wanted his screenplay adapted to a novel. I got so far as to schedule a phone call with him, but he canceled the project.
  • I sent a contract to a prospective client in New York and am waiting… waiting… waiting…

I respond to a lot of RFPs, actually; but what I haven’t been able to do is make the leap from reactive marketing to proactive marketing. I know people and businesses out there need my help, but the whole “identify and investigate” portion still eludes me. So, I’ll keep plugging away at it, trying to build the freelance business and hoping to hit that bestseller list.

In the meantime, head over to the Upcoming Books page and participate in the two quick polls there. One is for the cover of Daughter of the Deepwood. The other is for reader opinion as to which book I should tackle next. Two of the books are sequels and one will make a third in a series. Let me know what you think!