Welcome to my amazing new website design! I am so grateful to the incomparable Kimberly Cho of Half Cup Studio for creating it. The logo and the look of the site feel so resonant for me, giving me a boost, like a good mantra or mission statement does. A felt sense of clarity about what I’m about as an author.
I’m entering a new phase of my novel-writing as I complete the second draft of Rooting for Time and prepare to send it to “beta-readers.” This weekend, I plan to attend the Chicago Writers’ Association conference, Let’s Just Write!, where I will have the opportunity to “pitch” my book to several agents and publishers. In preparation for this, I have been quite busy.
I’ve been revising my first draft, cutting it down by 11% in the last 3 weeks. (Taking a haiku class with Miriam Hall really helped with that!). Working with Kim on the website included hiring a wonderful professional photographer named Romulo Ueda to do a photo shoot, learning how to do makeup for the photoshoot with help from Agata Marino and my writing buddy Christa Bruhn, and reacquainting myself with my pre-covid wardrobe. My other writing buddy Karen Milstein and I plan to attend the conference together, and have been zooming daily to practice our “pitches,” select excerpts from our books to read aloud at the conference, and check in about travel logistics.
As I have researched and written this book, it has gradually been transforming my relationship to time. For example, I took it as more than a poetic coincidence that my entire celebration of the Jewish holiday of Purim this year consisted of dressing up for and doing the photoshoot! Purim is the holiday where we celebrate the story of the Jewish heroine Esther, who becomes Queen by winning a beauty contest and is able to help save her people from a massacre. While the story is quite problematic, and how it’s celebrated by some today is atrocious, in this case the timing really helped me feel the support of my own roots as I spent an uncharacteristic amount of time and money on how I look, for a strategic purpose.
I have been listening to awesome podcasts and reading social media about how to find an agent or publisher. There is a ton of support out there for traversing this steep learning curve! I’m especially loving The Shit No-One Tells You About Writing. One of the things I’ve learned is that for my all-important “query letter,” I need two recent “comps” – comparable or competitive titles to help potential agents and publishers understand the target market for the work. So I’ve begun browsing bookstores and online book reviews, talking to librarians and booksellers, reading more, and thinking about books I’ve read that have influenced this one.
Unfortunately, I’m not yet at ease enough with all of this to be sleeping well, but maybe that will come when I’m not so new to it. It’s exciting, nerve-wracking, and overall, vulnerable, to be starting to put my work out into the world. Stephen King in his memoir On Writing says you should write with the door closed and revise with the door open. I’m sure there will be a lot more revisions to come before my story can be purchased in a bookstore. But I’m taking the advice of writing coach Laurie Scheer that it’s not a question of whether I will get published, but when.
8 thoughts on “Going Public”
So excited and proud of you!
Yay You. Big steps for a writer. But good on you that you understand you deserve a bigger audience and will help others by having one.
Congratulations Becca! This is stunning, with the look and feel and sound of authenticity and unbounded possibility. It’s a privilege to be part of the “cutting it down by 11%” in the time we’ve shared in Miriam’s haiku class that you refer to. I can’t wait to hear about your experience at the Chicago Writer’s Conference. All I can say is, “go for it!” You’ve got this.
You are MY ESTHER, Becca,. I’ve kind of known Since you were a kid that you have SuperPowers.
Uncle Mordechai. May you go from strength to strength!
This is so exciting, Becca! What a great blog post and beautiful website. Good luck at the conference – Rabbi Laurie
May your words flow like the rivers that water the earth and bring forth blossoms.
Yes to what others have said — the blessings, the celebration of your website, and the recognition of your Superpowers, which you so clearly have endeavored to use to contribute to life and love on this planet. I was so very moved to hear about Esther etc before Purim and look forward to hearing what happened that day and at the conference. Deep bow of gratitude to your willingness to listen to the ancestors and to honor your lineage with your love. May the door be wide open for your voice to be heard by more people.
Hey, Becca. I just read your latest blog. Then I went through much of your website ( I didn’t read all the blogs you’ve written. Some I’ve read before). As someone I respected would say to me, “You’re something else.” Well, Becca, “You’re something else!”