Monday, January 23, 2012

Giving Up

Relax, it isn't as serious as it sounds.

Sometimes, as a writer, you have too much on you're plate.  You've mentally committed yourself to various projects.  Or, maybe the deadline for the particular story you're writing is looming, but the story just isn't working out.  You have no idea how you'll meet the goal.

Unless you're contractually obligated, it's okay to give up sometimes.  It's better to let a story fall to the wayside than to stress out over a story that will turn out to be crap and not be accepted anyway.  The old saying "quality over quantity" really applies here.  You want everything you put out to be the best it can possibly be, and that's hard to do when you're concerned about getting the thing done.

Don't feel bad if you have to give up.  Just because you don't finish the story now doesn't mean you'll never finish it.  There have been many times when I have to put a story on hold because I can't think of what to do next.  Then, months or even years later, I'll suddenly have an epiphany, and I will finish the story.  

Of course, before you give up on your story completely, you should try to see if there's some way to tweak it.  A few weeks ago, I was writing a story for an anthology of true ghost stories.  I was writing about my first encounter with a spirit (long story), but it wasn't long enough to reach the 4,000 lower word limit.  I was about to give up on it until I decided to add an experience from college.  I was able to finish the story, and it got accepted.

Giving up is part of the business of being a writer.  You have to know when to stop working on something bad and when to keep working on something good.  Hopefully, you'll have more "keep working on something good" moments.  Those are the best.

Friday, January 6, 2012

I know the secrets that you keep/when you're blogging in your sleep.

(I'm not blogging in my sleep, but I'm not far from it.)

I have ten things out: nine stories and one poem, if I'm remembering correctly.  I wish I would hear something out of at least one of the places.  To be fair, I just sent one thing, and it's before the deadline on a couple of anthologies, but the other places have continuous submissions, I think.  These publications probably get hundreds of submissions, and I'm sure a lot of the a lot of the editors probably have other jobs and lives and stuff, but I'm impatient.

On the bright side, I received my copy of Evolutionary Blueprint on Wednesday.  That's the cryptozoology anthology that contains my chupacabra story "Night Things."

I didn't necessarily mean to match my shirt and the book.

So, that's pretty neato.

Monday, January 2, 2012


It's the second day of the year, (if you're reading this right after I post it and in the same time zone) and people are talking about their resolutions for 2012.  Many of these goals include losing weight and becoming a better person.  While I have similar resolutions, I'm not going to discuss them here.  Since this is a writing blog, I'll discuss my writing resolutions.

One of my goals is to have more things published in 2012 than I did in 2011.  I had five stories published last year.  Two things are forthcoming this year so far:  a haiku will be in the February 2012 print edition of Scifaikuest, and my end of the world story "Fire in the Blood" will come out this year.  Add to the nine things I have submitted to various publications, I think it's possible.

My main resolution, though, is to finish writing a novel.  I have a handful that I've started.  Two of those are a few thousand words.  My word goals is around 80,000, so that shouldn't be a problem, right?  Wrong.  Some people can write thousands of words in a day, but I lack the focus.  I'm starting out with 500 words a day.  Then, if I consistently hit that target, I'll increase.  I should have a novel written in around five months.

So, it's a new year full of promise, unless the Mayans are right.  Hopefully, a year from now, I'll have at least one finished novel, and I'll have the twin joys of editing and querying.  Good luck to everyone with their resolutions, and may 2012 be better than 2011.