Weeks of Writing: 7/6/20 to 7/26/20

Way, way behind on these, but here are my writing endeavors for the past three weeks.

Words to Write By

This week’s quote is from Stephen King. I’ve used this one before, but it’s one of my favorites, so I’m using it again. 🙂

“Sometimes you have to go on when you don’t feel like it, and sometimes you’re doing good work when it feels like all you’re managing is to shovel shit from a sitting position.”

-Stephen King

I’ve been feeling the quote pretty hard lately. Though I finished the first draft of the novel, I feel like I limped across the finish line rather than triumphantly sprinted over it. The last two or three chapters definitely felt like the aforementioned shoveling of shit from a sitting position. I’ve felt like this before, of course, and when that happens, the best solution is to get so some distance from whatever it is I’m working on. Invariably, when I go back and start proofing things won’t look or feel so terrible, and I’ll find at least some of that shit-shoveling was the good work Stephen King mentioned above.

The Novel

I finished the first draft of Hell to Play on July 14th, and I’ve let the manuscript “rest” for the last couple of weeks. I always need a little distance from a big project before I start revising, and two weeks is usually sufficient, though I might let this one go another week. A lot of authors do this, of course, but I do it because while I’m writing the first draft, the levels of self doubt and plain old fashioned fear of failure build up to toxic levels in my brain. In order to tackle the revision, I have to let those levels come down again, usually by not thinking about the manuscript at all for as long as necessary. I’m definitely feeling a lot less toxic this week, so I might jump in and at least read through the draft and make notes about what I need to fix.

Short Story Submissions

Three weeks and only three submissions. Not great.

  • Submissions Sent: 3
  • Rejections: 5
  • Acceptances: 0
  • Publications: 1
  • Shortlist: 0

Yep, three subs in three weeks. If I want to have any hope of meeting my goal of 100 subs for the year, I’m gonna have to do a little better than a submission per week. I’m sitting on 51 submissions for the year, which averages out to like seven and change per month, putting me on pace for something in the neighborhood of 84 subs. That’s not bad, but I need to step it up. Five rejections, but only one of them was what I’d call a tough no. I thought I had a pretty good shot at one market, and they held the story for quite a while, but it was not to be. Such is the gig.

Market Spotlight

This week I want to highlight another pro SFF market returning from hiatus. I’m sure most folks who read my blog are aware that Apex Magazine is bak and open for submissions, but for those who might be unfamiliar with this market, here are the highlights from their submission guidelines.

  • SFWA-certified professional market.
  • Short stories up to 7,500 words.
  • No reprints.
  • No sim-subs.
  • Payment is .08/word.
  • Editors will try to respond to submissions within 30 days.*

*In my experience, with some thirteen submissions, the editors only exceeded 30 days one time. That one time was when my story was held for further consideration, so, you know, I didn’t mind. 🙂

Goals

Here are my writing goals for this week.

  • Maybe start revising the novel. If I need another week, I need another week.
  • Finish and submit some short stories. It’d be nice to get somewhere around seven submissions for July.

And that’s the last three weeks. How’ve you been?

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