Thursday, October 21, 2010

Goober Writers Anonymous--Christi Goddard

Goober Writers Anonymous is a group for writers to vent about past or present writerly mistakes for therapeutic reasons, to educate others, or just for a laugh.  If you would like to join the group and sign up to submit a guest post, please leave me your email address in the comments below.

Perks of joining:  You get to put the nifty little badge on your blog (yes, this does indeed make you cool), sharing with others and being a part of a group is always fun, and I will put a link to your blog on my blog below under Members of GWA.

There are plenty of slots still open for December and I would love to get January and February filled up as well!  So, join today!

Today's goober blogger is Christi Goddard!  I met Christi on the Bransforums and have been following her almost since the start of her blog.  I just love her attitude about the writing life and am so glad I've been following her for as long as I have.  So get on over there and join!  You won't be sorry.

Back yet?  Wondeful!  Enjoy Christi's goober story!

So, I’m sure everyone’s made some pretty big goober mistakes along the road to publishing. I’ve pretty much made them all. I could list them out, but that’d be pretty boring.

As some of my followers know, I started in fanfic. I also wrote roleplay. A lot of it, for years. After endless prodding from my readers and family, I decided to write my own story with my own characters. Right about *here* is where I lost my mind. Mostly because I had no information whatsoever about the publishing business.

I had my *shiny new idea* and felt positive I’d have it done in a few months. I thought I had to have everything together for an agent, so I contacted an artist I knew from Deviant Art to do my cover art, and asked a few of my comic illustrator friends to do some of the sketches. Yes, before I’d even written a word of my story, I already had cover art and illustrators.

Although this borders on mentally challenged, I don’t regret it. The artist I contacted has become one of the most important people in my life. He has pushed me to do better, to keep going, even when it feels like I’ll never make it. We both know the odds are good he won’t be my cover artist, but that doesn’t matter anymore. We still support each other through our endeavors, and I don’t know if I would have managed to finish my first book if it weren’t for him.

I got very ill and had two surgeries, which seriously set me back in writing. I rushed to finish it when I felt better, and had a book which was 157,000 words. I queried it, and knew NOTHING about editing. I had a crappy query letter and USED it. Far too much. I found forums and other blogs, and can now safely say I’m much better about the whole process now. The book is trimmed down, but it’s also shelved. I did everything wrong with it.

Armed with all my new information, I wrote another book. I felt confident about it in June. Now, in October, I’m pretty sure it’s going to be shelved, too. But that’s okay. I’ve started more. As my first one failed, I felt immeasurable despair, but with each new book I write, I prove to myself I *can* do this.

And so can you. Make those mistakes. Feel like an idiot. Feel all that pain and rejection. All it takes is stubbornness to succeed. No, wait. I think that’s supposed to be perseverance and patience.

Aww, Christi, this is such a great story!  I know you made mistakes, but I think we've all made them too.  Well, actually, I probably would have made the cover art mistake if I knew any artists.  And let me tell you, dear readers, I purchased a book a few years ago written by an agent on giving "getting published" advice and there was a section in there on how to stand out in the query.  It actually said to have a cover prepared (not cover letter.  Cover) and to send gimmicky gifts along with the query.  So, obviously, there's some really bad advice out there coming from people we would consider professionals.  

Thanks for sharing your story, Christi!  And good luck with your other projects!

So, what about you, dear readers?  Do you want to share where you learned the tricks of the trade?  Go ahead!  Brag about your friends, blogs, whatever you want!


  1. Christi~ thanks so much for sharing your story, and I agree that being stubborn is just as important as being patient:)

    Emily~ thanks for the post intro and comments!

  2. christi- i never contacted a real artist or anything, but i like to draw pics for my stories from time to time. :)
    and anyway, some of those covers you've posted by that guy are A-mazing!
    i hate to think you're going to shelf another one! but new ideas are super fun! :)

    emily- really, i think i've learned most everything i know from the bransforums! ya rebels have taught me quite a lot. lynda young has amazingly educational posts... as well as lydia kang, maybe genius, and clarissa draper... ummm... OH yeah! sommer leigh has taught me a lot about the craft, and of course my lovely crit partner has taught me so sos sosososos osososs osososos sosoooosoooooososo much! :)

  3. That is a great story, Christi! It's true that we all make mistakes and in a way it's a good thing because it teaches us what not to do and boosts us to strive to be better.


  4. I love this story. It shows how things that seem so obvious from the outside, (like having to provide cover art,) are anything but when you find out the real scoop.

    This whole thing is far from intuitive. Thanks for the story.

  5. Thanks for sharing your road thus far, and major kudos to you for being so resilient and dogged about continuing to write. A lot of people would give up if they knew their first--AND their second--novel was just practice. Gawsh, especially 157K of it! LOL My first 10+ novels were practice, but I'm glad I didn't know that's "all" they were at the time. I'd rather know that in hindsight. heehee.

  6. Thanks Christi for sharing your story. You sure have come a lone ways in a short time. I admire your spirit for continuing on. I'm a firm believer that the writing process is constant learning experience.

    Your experiences are what are shaping you to be an excellent writer. Growing and learning is important, and using it in your projects the best way to get published. In my opinion anyways; cuz that's what I keep telling myself.

    I was a little skeptical of this Gober Writer thing, but your story has inspired me to sign up too. I think its a great idea.

    Thanks for the opportunity to learn from other's experiences Emily, and thank you Christi for being brave enough to share.

    Excellent post.



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