I seem to be reading more slowly so far this year. I'm not sure if it's me, or that I'm picking longer books or what. But in February, I only finished 4 books, and two of those I'd mostly read in January, but finished in February. Still, there were all well worth reading, so at least I know my time was well spent.
Monday, February 28, 2022
Friday, February 18, 2022
Things I should do (writing life edition)
Write 3 morning pages first thing
Write at the time of day that my brain works best
Write at the same time daily
Write every day
Don't write every day
Talk with other about what I'm writing
Don't talk about what I'm writing until its done
Share writing in progress
Never share writing in progress
Seek feedback early
Eschew feedback entirely
Outline and plan every aspect before beginning a draft
Just write and trust to the future to shake out the details
Don't worry about correctness as I write
Obsess over correctness as I write
Write what I feel passionate about
Research trends and write to market
Read everything in the genre I'm writing
Don't read in the genre I'm writing
Think about my audience
Don't think about an audience
Write without adjectives or adverbs
Drink (coffee, wine, water . . .I'm not sure)
I tell you, it's enough to drive a girl to drink. Luckily I'm old enough not to worry too much about what others think I should do. I'll do it my way. You do it yours. We'll all get there in the end.
Sunday, February 6, 2022
Submission Challenge, January 2022
There's a lot of work in a writing life that isn't exactly writing. There's networking and promotion, research and reading, thinking. But the worst part for me? Submitting my work.
I've longed learned not to take that too personally. Whether or not a venue accepts my work is not solely about its quality.
Sometimes, it's as mundane as length (longer or shorter than they have room for), or bad luck in subject matter (they just accepted another writer's work on a similar theme). Or maybe *that* editor doesn't like my story--it doesn't mean another editor won't like it, or even that the same editor won't accept a different story from me.
So, no. I'm not angsty about the submission process. I just get frustrated by how much time it takes!
There's research involved to find reputable places. There's tracking, to make sure you don't send the same place a story they've already rejected. There's formatting, to comply with various submission guidelines (blind submissions, preferred fonts and formatting, file type preferred, etc.). None of this brings joy to my heart, so it gets bumped down my to-do list by tasks I enjoy more, which is no way to build a catalogue of published work!
Luckily, in 2019, I ran across Ray Daley and his Submission Challenge. The idea was that he'd provide a list of venues he had already vetted for speculative fiction submissions, and that those of us who decided to participate would send a piece of writing to one venue every day for the whole month.
I really appreciated the feeling of support and camaraderie in that challenge and considered the event a great success when I participated back then. I ended up with two publications from that bout of submissions, and learned about some great magazines and publishers I hadn't yet heard about.
I've tried to participate again a few times, but never quite had the time/energy/focus on the right timeing again until this year.
So, end stats:
Not bad, and there's still hope that some of these submissions will still lead to more acceptances yet. I'm especially pleased because one of those acceptances was for a piece that has been near and dear to me since I wrote it, but that I've had no luck placing for publication. My records (I use Duotrope to track) showed that this was the 11th time I'd submitted that story, so persistence paid off!
I've set a goal of submitting my work 100 times this year, and I've made a good dent in that already, thanks to the challenge. Plus, participating in this challenge gave me a push to finish and revise a couple of stories that had languished in my hard drive for a while and get them out there.
I also wrote a new story for an anthology I heard about during the challenge. (They're not open for submissions yet, but when they open, I'll be ready!)
And bonus! It gave me meaningful work that will further my career while I work my way through the next novel. I LOVE writing short fiction because it gives me a chance to experiment at lower commitment on a smaller scale. It's playful for me in a way that novel writing isn't.
I look forward to sharing my stories with you when pub day comes!
Wednesday, February 2, 2022
My First Writing Friend
Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG.
This month's optional question: Is there someone who supported or influenced you that perhaps isn't around anymore? Anyone you miss?
The awesome co-hosts for the February 2 posting of the IWSG are Joylene Nowell Butler, Jacqui Murray, Sandra Cox, and Lee Lowery!