A Week of Writing: 12/14/20 to 12/20/20

One more week of writerly endeavors. Here’s how I did.

Words to Write By

Here’s a great quote from novelist Nora Roberts

“[As a writer] you have to have the three D’s: drive, discipline and desire. If you’re missing any one of those three, you can have all the talent in the world, but it’s going to be really hard to get anything done.”

― Nora Roberts

I believe talent is a necessary element in the makeup of a successful writer, but is it the most necessary? Some very successful authors like Nora Roberts and Stephen King seem to think not so much, or at least the level of talent doesn’t need to be off the charts for a writer to publish and make a living. I’ve seen successful authors along the entire spectrum of talent, from those whose prose just leaves me in open-mouthed awe and those whose prose is simply workmanlike (though they’re storytelling ability is often quite good). What I’ve found, though, regardless of the level of talent, is the authors who get published are the authors who finish things. And that, friends, is where I think Nora Roberts three Ds come in. To finish a novel, brave the feedback of your critique partners, revise the book within an inch of its life, and then submit yourself to the grueling process of querying and agent-finding and all that other stuff requires more than simple talent. It requires a whole bunch of drive, discipline, and desire.

The Novel

A little more progress on the novel, but it won’t be until the new year that I really get going again on the revision. Mostly what I’m doing now is finishing up some new material and working on my revision notes, clarifying things that need to be revised, and figuring our how I want to tackle them. My deadline for finishing the revision in January 25th, but I think I’ll likely knock it out in the first couple of weeks of the new year.

Short Story Submissions

Just one submission last week.

  • Submissions Sent: 1
  • Rejections: 1
  • Acceptances: 0
  • Publications: 0
  • Shortlist: 0
  • Pending: 7

Yeah, I only sent one submission last week, but there’s actually kind of a good reason for that. I was all set to fire off three stories and found there were no markets to send them to. When I went through my list of usual suspects, I found I’d already summitted the story and been rejected, the market had closed to submissions until the new year, or I had already had a story pending there. In other words, pickings are slims right now for markets accepting the genre and length of story I have to submit. Things will open up again in the new year, but I might just have to be content with 87 submissions and 18 acceptances for 2020.

The only submission activity of real note last week was the single rejection, but how that rejection happened is important. I had a story pending with a publisher with whom I’ve published before, and the story had been held for much longer than usual. Finally, feeling something was off, I sent a submission status query. Well, turns out, they’d rejected the story a couple of months ago but their system glitched and the rejection email never went out. I’m absolutely fine with this, because, you know, shit happens, but I bring it up because it’s a prime example of why you should send submission status queries when a story has been held longer than usual. Sometimes the editors are just running behind and sometimes an actual mistake has been made. You’ll never know unless you ask. So, ask. 🙂

Super Secret Project

Last week, I signed the contract for a project I am very excited about that must remain a secret for the moment. I hope to announce this project early in the new year and then bombard everyone with constant posts and updates about it. 🙂


No goals this week. I think I’m just gonna take it easy for the last week and change of 2020. Yeah, I might tinker with the book a little or send a submission or two, but if I don’t, I’m gonna cut myself some slack and just be okay with it.

And that was my week. How was yours?

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