Happy Monday, everybody. One more week of writing in the books, and here’s how I did.
Today’s quote comes from New York Times Best Selling author Cheryl Strayed.
“Writing is always full of self-doubt, but the first book [Torch] is really full of self-doubt, and it was much more of a struggle to keep the faith. By the time I wrote Wild, I was familiar with that feeling of doubt and self-loathing, so I just thought, ‘Okay, this is how it feels to write a book.’”
I’m hip-deep in the first draft of a new novel, and, oh man, the doubt and self-loathing are strong right now. Every word feels forced, every chapter worse than the last, every character poorly realized, all of that. I did not, however, let that keep me from writing because as Cheryl Strayed says “This is how it feels to write a book.” Well, this how it feels for me to write a book, and, well, if I want to write books I can’t let that self-doubt stop me. Thing is, that’s only how it feels in the moment. When I step away from the work and read it the next day, it’s not so bad. Hell, sometimes it’s even good. So, yeah, it can be a struggle sometimes, but once I learned to accept that some suffering is just part of the gig, it got easier to write my way through it.
Had a pretty good week with Hell to Play, even though I didn’t quite hit my goal of 10,000 words. I managed 8,600 on the draft, giving me a total close to 15,000 words. I’m satisfied with that. Last week I also started a new process where I review everything I wrote for the week over the weekend. That worked out well, and I caught some continuity errors and a few other things that might have given me trouble down the line and would have been more of a pain in the ass to fix in a completed draft. At my current pace I’ll have a 90,000-word draft in about ten weeks. I have a feeling it’ll be more like eight weeks as I find my footing and the writing comes easier. Still, three months for a first draft is plenty fast, and I’d be happy with that.
A quiet week on the ol’ submissions front.
I sent out two submissions last week, which gives me thirty-two for the year. I need to send another two subs this month to stay on pace for one-hundred subs for the year. That shouldn’t be a problem. I have one story that just needs to be proofed and submitted and another that’s close to it. No rejections last week, or really anything. Some of that has to do with my pending submission count getting a little low coupled with some publishers that take a while to respond. I expect I’ll be back on the rejection train this week or next.
I missed a lot of days last week with #vss365 microfiction, but here’s the best of the few I did write. As always, if you want to read my microfiction in real time, follow me on Twitter @Aeryn_Rudel.
“Hey, Mister, put on your new #mittens.”
“Aw, Mom. My old ones are fine.”
“No, the new ones.”
“They’re too tight.”
“They’re better. Two layers of Kevlar and steel plate over the fingers.”
“Fine. Happy? ”
“Now what do I always say?”
“I know, zombies eat you fingers first.”
Keep knocking out the words on the first draft of Hell to Play and send out at least two more submissions. Those are both manageable goals, and I hope to report 10,000 words next week and increased submission activity.
That was my week. How was yours?