Wednesday, January 22, 2014

I Think This is My Most Ambitious Challenge Yet

Before I tell you all about it, I just want to let you know that I'm visiting Crystal today. If you can spot the lie over there, you stand a chance to win a copy of The Vanished Knight. 

So. I might have mentioned this before, but I'm a firm believer in challenging myself in order to become a better writer.

That's why I set such a huge amount of writing goals, and why such a huge goal is at to top of the blog.

Today... I felt inspired to take on a whole bevy of challenges by deciding to take on a book I've been toying with since last year.

I put it off because:

1) It's not a genre I usually write. This one's a mystery.
2) It probably won't sell anywhere but in my native country, in my native language (Afrikaans).
3) #2 means that my scope of royalty making would be pretty small, right? Right.

But. Today, my Afrikaans writer gran mentioned that she's thinking about entering this writing competition. The winners stand a chance to win anything from $4000 to $20,000 AND a contract with the biggest publishing company in South Africa. AND! The books have to be Afrikaans.

That equals some serious brownie points in any industry.

Needless to say, I'm going for it. This isn't about the money, but hey, it does make up for any lack of royalties I might get. And the book stands a chance of getting published.

See, even if I don't win, the publishing house takes first option on all entrants. In my mind, that equates to a full manuscript submission (right off the bat) to the Afrikaans equivalent of a Big 6 publisher.

I can't miss it. Just can't.

The hitch?

Oh there are multiple ones:

1) It's in a genre I haven't ever tried to write.
2) It's set in a time that, if I get anything wrong, it'll piss a lot of people off.
3) I have a bit more than seven months to research, write and edit the whole thing.
4) Which means that if I'm to stand a chance, I need to significantly deviate from my usual method. I.E. One draft. No hand writing. Editing without CPs (except my gran, who's awesome (seriously, I have no idea where to find other Afrikaans speaking CPs)). Planning said rough draft. *shudders*
5) I'm also preparing two other books for submission, while editing a third for publication.
6) And. The guest house refurbishment needs to continue.

Still, I'm going for it.

Because I'm brave.

Because I'm unhinged (or will be by September).

Because if I don't take this chance, I'll never be able to take myself seriously as a professional writer.

Watch this space.



  1. Sounds like a rare opportunity. It might deviate from your five year plan, but I say go for it.

  2. "Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway." ~Earl Nightingale

    It's one of my favorite quotes, and I thought it applied perfectly to your post today. I think it was meant to encourage persistence in going for a dream that seems a long time to achieve. But it works for shortened time, too. If you don't go for it, in October you'll wish you had. So go for it! You lose out on nothing if you try. Good luck!!

    Happy reading and writing! from Laura Marcella @ Wavy Lines

  3. Sounds magnificent to me. I admire your productivity, I must say. I wrote my first blog post in over two months today (oddly enough, about my own African heritage) -- that's how unproductive I am.

  4. A: AWESOME!

    B: I'm also writing a novel outside of my genre.

    C: That's an awesome challenge, and I bet you can do it. Good luck finding betas (I'd offer, but the language barrier problem).

  5. A bog challenge - but definitely worth a go. Good luck.

  6. Go for it. How can you not? It may take a shift in priorities, but that's OK. If you want to do it, you'll do it... just like I wrote over 1/2 a book in three weeks and it reads better than the first 1/2 I took my time on.

  7. Yeah! Go for it. Kick some trash. Make some noise, and be epic. I'm stoked for you, Misha. Here's wishing you the most inspired writing in your entire life!

  8. I love your ambition! You've totally got this. Life is all about how you make the most of opportunities. Good luck! :)

  9. How awesome! Go for it, challenge yourself and take advantage of this unique opportunity. And try your best to have fun with it ;)
    Good luck, Misha!

  10. Good luck!!! You're braver than I am!

  11. You already said this but yes, you will do this because you are brave.

  12. I think it's great that you're going to write a novel in Afrikaans! Smaller linguistic communities tend to be enthusiastic about books written in their language instead of simply translated. And you can always get it translated into English later. When I was in Estonia I was stunned at how much writing and publishing was going on in Estonian despite there being fewer than a million speakers in the country. I blogged about it here. Maybe it will give you some inspiration!

  13. Good luck! I think you've got an amazing chance!


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