Two more weeks of writing. Let’s dive in.
Today’s quote is from author Allegra Goodman.
“Know your literary tradition, savor it, steal from it, but when you sit down to write, forget about worshiping greatness and fetishizing masterpieces.”
Great quote, and one I’ve somehow missed all these years. I think a lot of us start out trying to sound like our favorite authors. I know I did. Those are the literary traditions I think Allegra Goodman is talking about. You read your favorite works and authors, and think, well, this is how a successful author should sound. Then, what happens is a subtle shift, you start to draw inspiration from those authors, those literary traditions, and weave them into your own voice. Sure, I take a little Stephen King here, and but of Elmore Leonard there, and maybe a touch of Robin Hobb over there, but again, how and what they write is inspirational, and I’ve long since stopped trying to sound exactly like them. (God, I hope). So, I no longer worship. I no longer fetishize. I do, however savor and maybe borrow just a little, and I think that’s okay as long as I sound like me and not like them. 🙂
I was pretty active over the last couple of weeks.
Six submissions over the last couple of weeks, which gives me 36 for the year. That’s exactly on pace for my goal of 100. I just sent another this morning, so I’ll end up with nine for April at a minimum. Not bad. That said, April has seen A LOT of rejections. I’m on a streak of 15 in a row, and last week I has two multi-rejections days. These little slumps happen from time to time, but, I’ll admit, I thought at least one of the rejections I received in the past week was going to be an acceptance. That’ll teach me to get my hopes up. 🙂 Anyway, the only thing you can do in these situations is keep writing and keep submitting. Those acceptances are around the corner.
About four years ago, I had a great idea for a novel. I started writing it, got about 35,000 words in, and then got spooked about all the research I needed to do. I moved on to write two other novels in the next four years, and while I enjoyed writing those books, I have yearned to return to Hell’s Aquarium. Last week, I did that, and I produced over 5,000 new words in the manuscript. I detailed how I’m going about reclaiming a novel I haven’t worked on in four years in this post. Anyway, I’m taking baby steps back into this book, writing at about half the speed I usually do on a first draft (1,000 words per day as opposed to 2,000). I’m sure I’ll pick up the pace eventually, but this is enough for now, and I feel pretty good about where the book is going.
The second volume of THE REJECTONOMICON, my Q&A column over at Dark Matter Magazine, went up last month. You can read it by clicking the banner below. The third volume is coming in May, and I’ve already got some great questions, but as usual, I want MORE!
Here’s how to send writing and rejection questions to me.
Got it? Then send me those questions!
Keep working on Hell’s Aquarium, send more submissions, and finish up a short story or two.
Those were my weeks. How were yours?