This entry is about the excuses we give ourselves and how it can stop you achieving. With real life examples!
I had been telling myself that What’s the Worst That Could Happen? Was as good as it was going to get. When Steve offered to review it and give me feedback I nearly told him no, because I’ve already been over it so many times. In actuality it was a lie I was telling myself so I could continue to ignore the manuscript. Basically, I was lying to myself so I could be lazy.
I was focussing on other things, I told myself. Really important things, like zoo world on Facebook. So very important. Sure I’ve been writing some short stories and Rain, but I do believe in WtWTCH? I think it’s a good, marketable book. So why had I stopped shopping it around agents? I knew it needed a re-write and I couldn’t be bothered doing that.
How do you solve this desire to be lazy? By getting motivated.
In my case it was Guardian Angel of Writing Steve coming over and giving me enthusiastic feedback that did it. Other times I have become motivated by re-reading the manuscript and seeing that it had room for improvement. Visiting the museum also helps me. You have to find your own inspiration and stop giving yourself excuses to do nothing.
No more doing nothing, says I. More writing and working towards publication.
I do have one problem this week though. Matt suggested my Halloween Video short story would be good for everydayfiction.com if I can get it under 1000 words, but at 1200 I’ve stopped cutting. I have to cut proper content from the story and I can’t see how to do it…Frustration!
Some good linky on writing:
On Twitter the other day Cory Doctorow engaged in a YA lit chat in which an author answers as many writing/book related questions as they can over a certain period of time. There was lots of awesome on display but these two tweets struck a chord with me:
* Keep writing. What you write and how you feel when you write are are largely unrelated
* Secret to writers block: write even when you’re blocked, even when it feels forced. Inspiration sucks, working rules
Pay attention and follow the yellow brick rules.
Some tips on writing a fight scene. Of which there are many in WtWTCH? and in fact, in all my books. I use my roleplaying experience to write fights. It’s awesome.
Recommended via Dan R on Twitter some good thoughts and tips on writing first paragraphs for short stories. (GHOSTPIGS).
An excellent article and example of manuscript format.
And finally the best ever thing I have ever read in regards to rejections i found this week on the Apex publications contributor guidelines page.
Keep in mind that the search for awesome stories is as difficult as writing them. If you are rejected, don’t get angry—instead, become more awesome. Write something better, and better, until we have to accept you, because we have been laid low by your tale. It really is that simple.