Progress report on Lizzie project–how a non-academic gains entry

It’s been a while since I’ve posted and I apologize. I have a full time position which is a perfect writer’s job – deadly quiet for eight months out of the year. However, since March it has been busy here at the real estate office in the thick of the Spring Market–quiet will resume by the last week of June.

Busy with a plan

lizzie alcott2I have been busy however with my Lizzie project. I am convinced of the importance of my this work and want to make sure it gets out to the greatest number of people. Therefore, I devised a plan that will best facilitate this book getting out to the public.

Gaining credentials

I first surmised that since I have no official academic credentials (except for a BS in Elementary Education) and no connections to any college or university, that I will have to create some credentials. This blog certainly helps but I know I will have a much better chance of getting my book picked up by a prominent publisher (and attract the attention of a literary agent) if I am published in an academic journal.

Being a published author already won’t hurt but my books are in a totally different genre (if anything, they trained me to become a professional writer and that’s huge!). I basically have to start from scratch.

It definitely takes a village!

One thing I’ve learned about writing is how vital it is to be a part of a community. This community is a huge help along with the Louisa May Alcott Society (at $10 per year, the best deal in town!) and Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House (especially the Summer Conversational Series). I have developed relationships with wonderful people who have been so supportive and are eager to help. One of them has already agreed to be a reader.

writing your journal articleHelpful materials

One such help was the recommendation of a book from a member of the Society called Writing Your Journal Article in Twelve Weeks: A Guide to Academic Publishing Success by Wendy Laura Belcher. It is the equivalent of having a mentor at your side through every step of the writing process. It is practical and specific, giving you the best possible chance of being published in a journal.

I am in week three of the twelve weeks and feeling confident about where the paper is going. There’s a long way to go yet but if anything, it will help to synthesize the mountain of research I have which can make this project quite daunting. What has saved me so far is great attention to organization. This is huge.

Up and down

Those of you who have already had papers and books published know what this journey is like–exhilarating one moment, and discouraging and frustrating in the next. It’s a roller coaster ride with quite the pitch!

roller coaster

I hopefully will get back to more regular posts soon as work calms down next month. In the meantime though, I did want to let you know that the love of my life, this book, is progressing.

Thanks, as always, for your support! You people keep me on track and hold me accountable.

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6 Replies to “Progress report on Lizzie project–how a non-academic gains entry”

  1. I’m sure that your book on Lizzie will be the greatest of all time and not like any other. Remember, however, to read Little Women’s The Valley of the Shadow very carefully, where Louisa devoted a short paragraph to the fact that Lizzie did become difficult for a while: ” It was well that…for by and by, Beth said the needle was ‘so heavy’ and put it down forever; talking wearied her, faces troubled her….” That little description would go along with Anna’s “She doesn’t seem to care for any of us right now…” and the whole story also goes along with Dr. Kuebler-Ross’ descriptions of the five stages of terminal illness quite well. Also, if it’s worth anything, the post on comparisons of the March girls with the Alcott girls had an error: Beth March died at 19, not 16 (read Beth’s Secret where Jo said, “…nineteen is too young.” In any event, I am waiting patiently for your book although I can hardly wait to get my hands on it. I also agree that Anna, too, is worth reading about, especially since it was said in online biographies that she was the REAL student and possibly the most intelligent of the four scholastically. With much gratitude for all your efforts, Elizabeth Hilprecht (and you really DO channel Lizzie, but with much more drive. You ARE what Lizzie could have been if she wasn’t a proper 19th-century Little Woman.)

  2. I’m delighted that this project is still close to your heart. Your time is limited, but even if you don’t perceive much progress from day to day when, a year from now, you look back you will be pleased by how much you have accomplished.

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