Yes, I’ve talked about this before. Many times. But guess what? She’s still dead, so here we go.
Back in April, my Writer Self and I parted ways. It was amicable. But now that we’ve had some time apart, I think it’s time we get back together. She doesn’t know this yet.
Listen. We used to be a pretty good team. We wrote an entire novel together! It was beautiful! And honestly, I miss that creative drive that used to keep me occupied for hours on end.
It’s simple. I was feeling stuck. I wasn’t writing anything new. No ideas. I was stuck with my novel. I felt like I was running out of agents to query. I was questioning whether my story was any good. It’s only natural to doubt your story’s awesomeness–and your own awesomeness–when you are unsuccessfully querying agent after agent. So I stopped querying.
And I put that entire writing part of my being to the side. I stopped posting on Twitter. I stopped writing blog posts about writing. I took a hiatus from my online writing group at Scribophile. Aside from my kitty litter duties, I don’t spend much time in the room I designated for writing. And I feel as if I’m no better or worse off than I was. What exactly did taking a break accomplish? I don’t feel rejuvenated. I don’t have a handful of new story ideas to crank out. I just have me. Just the same.
When July came, I had an opportunity to send in a story for consideration in an anthology, a story that I have loved and that I’m pretty proud to put my name on. And by some miracle I haven’t wrapped my brain around, my story was accepted. I’m in an anthology.
If somewhere were looking for a reason to start writing again, getting published would certainly help. I believe it has done the trick. Sort of a delayed reaction, but I’ll take it.
I’ve decided–as I’m typing the words, actually–when September arrives, I’m getting back to it. I’m going to tweet for the hashtag games, assuming they still exist. I’m going to like and retweet. I miss that! I’m going to write more Writing Wednesday posts. About what? Uh, I’ll figure it out. I’m going back to Scribophile and reunite with some pretty awesome gals.
Will I write something new? I can’t say. That seems unrealistic to me. At this point anyway.
But here’s the biggie. I hesitate to type this because then I’ll be held accountable…by the 1-2 people who may read this post.
I’m going back to my novel, read it for the 187th time, and edit the entire thing. Maybe the 98th revision is the best. Time does wonders for edits. Perhaps I’ll be able to address some things I didn’t want to see before.
Then, I’m going to query. Maybe by the time I finish the latest edit, there will be some new agents looking for manuscripts. 🙂
I just can’t let it go.
To anyone out there who may be reading this, if you still believe in whatever it is that you’ve created, don’t let it go. How would your characters feel if you decided to kill all of them off? That may not be the most sane way to approach this. Point is, if it means anything to you, keep at it. Patience. Lots of patience.
If you’re in a similar situation and you came here for some writing advice, I suggest making some goals. Weekly. Don’t think, “I have to edit x number of pages.” Give yourself a reasonable chunk daily/weekly. Heck, monthly. Go crazy. But set some goals and stick to them. Write them down. Tell other people. This isn’t a new strategy by any means, but I think it could be pretty effective in your writing life. Good luck.
Until next time.
Time for a shameless self-promotion! If I don’t, no one else will. 🙂
Maryland’s Emerging Writers: An Anthology is officially out in the world! And although it still seems unreal, my name is listed in the table of contents. My story is in there, people! Page 54! (Well, part of it. They had an insanely small word count. And I babble like I’ve got all day.)
So if you’re looking for a great gift idea, look no further! Birthdays, weddings, bar mitzvahs, baby showers! Donate one to your local library. Add one to your own collection. This is why I could never be a salesman.
In all seriousness, if you’d like to purchase one of these books, that would be so very appreciated and humbling. Then let me know, so I can send you a thank you card. No joke.