Magic of the Everyday, Writing, Year in Review

First Quarter Update

It’s been a busy 3 months so far in 2016, and I thought I’d share some of my writing life and goals here, both to keep me motivated and to keep me honest. (And maybe to motivate some of you, as well? I can hope.)

Currently I have 9 submissions out, two of which are reprints (weeee–a “writer’s dream” of mine; reprints!), while another two are originals that have made it to their respective second rounds. I gotta say, I’m pretty amazed at this, since I’m “transitioning” to long-form writing. But flash fiction contests are  good for my soul, and those stories often are edited up to short story length, post-contest. And thus I have lots of submissions. Which is also good for my soul, and my sense of “being productive.”

I gave myself 7 big writing goals for the month of March, being a pretty hard task-master on myself. I completed 5 of the tasks, and am midway-through a sixth. The seventh I let slip. But I’m not too upset; after all, these weren’t simple little things, and life was very “inconvenient” this past month, meaning I was squeezed for time and mental bandwidth. Not an excuse–just not letting my brain weasels start racing through my head shouting that I’m “not being dedicated enough.” (Stupid brain weasels!) I’m actually quite pleased with how I did, all considered.

One of my life inconveniences this past month was indeed a 2-day stint of brain weasel super activity, combined with 2 back-to-back rejections, which pretty much made me wonder why I ever thought I could string 2 words together with any elegance or clarity. (Yeah, it happens, but it’s over now. I’m fine.) I was buoyed by the support of my peers, both my VP cohort and some writers from various other groups. If you were kind while I (or any other writer) was down and blue, thank you.

Speaking of transitioning, I did finish a draft of Jessamin Stow. The YA novel is now at a beta-reader. Book 2 of the trilogy is ready to begin, all outlined and pretty and just begging me to dive in. I’m eager to start, and yet hesitant. My synopsis is lovely, my outline so nice. Now I have to risk “ruining the perfection” with my first drafting process, which is never as beautiful as I’d like. I simply can’t go from “idea” to “final draft” without making a bit of a mess in the middle, and those Brain Weasels just love shredding me when I do. Still, this is the week I’ll begin (but that’s a subject for the second quarter roundup).

Fine weather and longer days of springtime mean more daylight, more enthusiasm, and more time doing things outside, which also helps my energy levels, both mental and physical. I find nothing more energizing to my writing than, ironically enough, taking a weekend away from writing to work or walk outside, do gardening, lose myself in pleasant chores like heavy weeding (I’m looking at you, Boston fern attempting to eat my palm tree!) or cooking, or even (gulp!) spring cleaning inside. While I’m putting my physical environment to rights, my mind is freed from the tyranny of logical thought and instead makes intuitive leaps that later present to my writer’s brain as thought-out and logical conclusions. Pretty nice.

It’s not been all second-looks and blooming flowers, of course. Since the year began, I’ve had 13 rejections, including those 2 that really stung! Lucky #13–it means I’m due for an acceptance, right?

If so, I’ll keep you posted. How’s your year going so far?

2 thoughts on “First Quarter Update”

  1. Ooh, reprints! I’ve never once tried submitting one.

    I’ve been remarkably unproductive of late, due largely to the late winter/early spring shut down my brain always goes through. I try to think of it as a recharge period, albeit a somewhat painful one. We had blooming flowers, briefly, but they are now buried under six inches of snow. Surprise! Nature loves to laugh at us.

    1. It’s surprising how living in a different climate changes how I act/react. When I lived up north, I’d slow down in the winter, especially late winter/early spring, like you say. But here, this is the best time of year: warm but not yet hot, with lots of daylight, etc. So I’m getting *tons* accomplished. Come August, I’ll probably be sluggish and dragging in the oppressive humidity, ready to hibernate until October or November’s more pleasant weather.

      But as you said, Nature loves to laugh, so maybe not…


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