Today, I start putting myself out there. 2020 was great, but this is the year. I’m going to query agents about my book, Girl Island. But I’m going to make a contract with myself first, and I’m going to stick to it. The contract goes as follows:
- I will work harder than anyone to market my book. I will do what it takes.
- I will make the revisions. I will listen to the feedback to make my story stronger.
- I will give my heart to those who believe in me and work with me. And I will never let them down.
- I’m sure there is someone out there who is a fit for me, and vice versa. Not everyone is. I will continue to remember that.
- I will embrace the fact that I’m a scientist. And an environmentalist.
- I will never again shy away from the fact that I’m a person of colour.
- I will be unashamedly funny and irreverent. Occasionally, I will streak through the quad in the snow. While some parts of me may shrink in the cold, others, such as my writing brain, will be engorged magnificently.
- I will be fearless in wanting to be read. I’m fearless in my writing, so I’ll take that attitude forward.
- I will remember that I’m a damn good writer. I’m not Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Or Margaret Atwood. But I have what it takes and I’m getting better all the time. There are no limits.
- I will remember that as much as I’m a writer, I’m a storyteller first!
- If I need to be in it for the long haul, I will be. I won’t give up this dream.
And beyond that, I will continue to write stories that snap genres and that tackle the hard topics. I will write in a variety of voices, from many perspectives. I will continue to love this part of my life. And I will support and do the best I can for others who are on this journey, too.
27 thoughts on “My Writing Contract”
Those are excellent points in your contract with yourself.
And you don’t want to be Atwood or Marquez – you want to be you
Why ever did you shy away from admitting you are a person of colour? I’m glad you aren’t any longer. What is your ethnicity? (If you don’t mind… your googled pic tells me not much 😉 )
I am rooting for you and know that you will succeed.
I shied away from it because I thought it would impair my ability to get published. Call it a relic of prejudice I’ve felt in the past. There are many members of my family who’ve hd to hide their identities in one way or the other. It’s awful. And it’s wrong, and it’s no longer necessary, and if this ever happens to anyone else, I’ll be there for them.
Thanks for the words, Dale. I feel supported by so many. Yes, my online photos are mysterious, aren’t they? Well, here’s a first. East Indian.
Well I, for one, am glad you decided to stop hiding.
And that was my guess 😉 But I hate to assume.
My previous neighbours are all very successful East Indians who actually came from Botswana.. well, not the kids. They were all born here.
Yeah. I was distinctly not born here. But I’ve been here for many years, and this is home.
So that means you have a lovely accent. 😉
Born in the UK, grown up in Canada, heritage from Asia… it’s a lovely life.
Dang..I’m so boring. 12th or 13th generation (if not more) Quebecer on my mother’s side, hailing from France and my paternal grandfather (whom my father never met) was a Scottish Highlander…
Yah I don’t think it’s your background that makes you interesting necessarily…. you’re plenty interesting to me, Dale.
What a nice thing to say. I’m just a regular chica who is interested in many things ..
You’re good people. That is clear. One day, we will discuss over coffee or whiskey, depending on the time of day.
You’re good people, too. And yes. The proper beverage for the proper time…
This is a worthy contract for you. Of course I believe that some of those points are things you are already committed to and carry out every day. Go get ’em, Trent. You’ve got this!
Thanks Michelle. I try to live by this standard already, for sure.
Just curious: If you default on this contract how does that get resolved? Do you sue yourself? Inquiring minds want to know.
Dude, where have you been??? Good to see you.
Yes, if I default on this contract, I do in fact sue myself. I do that by serving papers drawn up by myself on myself, at a very inopportune time of the evening while I’m likely half-drunk. I will yell and scream for a bit, and then get to work on my defence. Also while drunk.
All the while further defaulting on your contract. It’s a black hole!
It’s totally okay. I’m my own lawyer.
You know what they say about people who represent themselves, right? No, seriously. I can’t remember…
I’m pretty sure I never knew…
You may not be Gabriel Garcia Marquez, but You are definitely the best Zeuqram Aicrag Leirbag I have ever known. Real Magicalism.
And please remember that as much as you are a storyteller, you are a first-rate, brilliant writer! Don’t sell yourself short. Please don’t Stephen King yourself into pulp! (King is a great storyteller who I cannot stand to read…..SO many cliches……go ahead, call me a heretic….wouldn’t be the first time or kind of heretic i been…..)
Appreciate that. When I was younger, it was all about the writing, and being all stylized and the like. Kind of pretentious, my writing. I tried to moderate that over time and stick to the story, and then inject the writery stuff where I choose. You can see it in some of my stories, an off-kilter part or a cut-away that really makes me happy, but can’t carry the story. I sort of want to be a writer and a storyteller. Now that’s a heretic statement…
I think that “off-kilter” part is part of your inimitable style. Truly Trent.
The querying is the hard part… just sayin’…
Yeah I know. But one must persist.
one must, i suppose.
Gotta. There’s no choice in the matter.
There is always a choice.