Weeks of Writing: 11/15/21 to 11/28/21

The final two weeks of November have come and gone. Here’s what I got up to, writing-wise.

Words to Write By

This week’s quote comes from author Lawrence Block

“One thing that helps is to give myself permission to write badly. I tell myself that I’m going to do my five or 10 pages no matter what, and that I can always tear them up the following morning if I want. I’ll have lost nothing—writing and tearing up five pages would leave me no further behind than if I took the day off.”

—Lawrence Block

I’m kind of a collector of author quotes, but, oddly, I don’t think I’ve seen this one. I really like it, though, because it sort of validates the way I tend to write. When I’m drafting a novel, I go in with the attitude that I will hit my word count goal come hell or high water, and that it’s okay if those words aren’t perfect. In fact, it’s okay of those words are straight-up bad. I don’t generally “tear up” pages the next day, but I think to myself “I can fix it in post”, meaning that I can smooth out rough spots in revision. I do think the main thrust of Lawrence Block’s quote is very important. Giving yourself permission to not be perfect so that you can get on with the actual writing is vital. Personally, it’s the only way I can finish a novel.

Short Story Submissions

A slow couple of weeks in submission land.

  • Submissions Sent: 1
  • Rejections: 1
  • Acceptances: 0
  • Publications: 0
  • Shortlist: 0
  • Withdrawn: 0
  • Pending: 16
  • 2021 Total Subs: 101

I only sent one submission out in the last two weeks, and that has much to do with the fact that responses for my pending submissions have been virtually nonexistent. Generally, new submissions happen when old submissions are rejected. I mean, I do occasionally write a new piece too, but there hasn’t been as much of that lately. What you’re also seeing here is me intentionally slowing down as the year draws to a close. I wrote A LOT this year, and I’ve been feeling a bit of creative burnout. The good news is the two weeks or so that I more or less stepped back have recharged the creative batteries some, and I feel like I can be productive in the last month of the year. As far as submissions go, my guess is that I’ll hear back on a bunch of these in December, but I thought that about November, so, who knows?

The rejection was just a simple form rejection, but it WAS the 499th rejection I have received since I started tracking my submissions on Duotrope. In other words, I am at the precipice of a significant rejection milestone. 🙂

Freelance Work

Though I didn’t get many submissions out, I was not idle with the work I’m doing in Privateer Press’s Warcaster: Neo-Mechanika setting. I completed and revised the fifth of the seven stories I’ve been contracted to write. Freelance work is my primary goal this week (and maybe next). I’d like to finish the remaining stories this week, and I’ve already got a good start on one, so that seems doable.


Freelance work is my primary goal, but I might send a submission or two, and, hell, even tinker with a new story.

That was my week. How was yours?

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