THIS IS NOT A NEGATIVE ENTRY! There’s plenty of negativity floating in the cyber universe without me adding to it.

What this IS about, is the journey to publication of my latest novel, currently titled Standing The Final Watch: Book One of The Last Brigade.

I’m going to be brutally honest during this writing. Some will probably tell me that’s a bad idea…oh well. If you want what others have, you must do what others won’t.

A mentor of mine, best-selling author Matt Morris, The Unemployed Millionaire, preaches that whatever it is that you are involved in, there will be a certain percentage of positive and negative responses. What you have to do is prepare yourself to push through the negatives until you reach the positives.

Once I finished STFW, I put a business plan in place. It will either be published, contracted for, or agented, by X date (this year). Simple as that. The only deviation is if I reach 200 ‘no’s’, in which case I proceed to Step Two of the business plan.

In the meantime, Step One is to use every outlet available to either achieve publication or sign with an agent. This includes various types of attempts, from query letters to contests. During this process, I’ll be revising the heck out of my query letter and editing the book yet again to improve it.

At the moment my ‘No’s’ stand at 17. For non-writers, the way this works is that a lot of the time when you send either query letters or requested manuscripts, you simply never hear back. It is up to you to track these submissions, and after a certain period of time to assume they are a ‘no.’ And just in the interest of full disclosure, one of those ‘no’s’ was temporarily a ‘yes’, when an agent requested the full manuscript. He first read Chapter 1-3, then asked for all of it. (Poor guy, he decided to pass after reading it all, although he was very complimentary). His loss.

But that’s what writing is, a long journey through an endless line of people hitting you with a figurative hammer. When you lose a contest, as I did just today, you can’t let it bother you. My query letter and first 250 words are much better from just having entered, and you meet some awesome people along the way.

So once the official ‘you didn’t win’ notice hits I’ll be at 18 no’s. C’est l’vie. Edit: it’s official No #18, with 19 almost certain come today also.

Oh, yeah, I forgot. The MS is currently in the hands of 4 publishers, 3 who have the full MS and one with a partial. There is a story attached to one of them that I should be able to tell soon, it’s a feel good story that could become a really feel good story, but either way I want to tell everyone about an incredible publisher.

So, wish me luck! That means either a signed contract, representation, or a whole bunch of fast ‘no’s.’