25 January 2015

Predicting productivity, adjusting to challenges

This week I've encountered a couple of challenges in my writing life that have led to lower productivity levels than I anticipated. But really it all boils down to two skills I want to strengthen: the first being my ability to anticipate challenges and set realistic expectations, and the second being my ability to adjust to unexpected challenges.

To get more concrete about it: I'm house-and-dog sitting for some relatives this week. Although I give myself a pat on the back for anticipating decreased productivity on the day of the drive from my current residence to theirs, I failed to anticipate the amount of work a partially trained, 6-month-old, HIGHLY energetic Weimaraner would take. She's basically a toddler on crack: constantly wanting attention and playtime, virtually impossible to exhaust. I'll spare you all the details since this isn't a dog blog. The point is that I failed to anticipate it, it's going to affect my productivity this coming week, and now I'm struggling with the second thing: adjusting my expectations.

Other things I (re)learned related to my writing process this week:
  • Even in a stable environment, it's difficult to predict how much I'm going to be able to do. Work on WIP1 has been going more slowly than anticipated this month, and I've had to accept that my write-a-short-story-a-week schedule, while admirable, was overly ambitious. Maybe if my entire block of writing time for the week were dedicated to just one project I could meet the goals I'd set for myself, but sometimes my head just moves more slowly than at other times. It's not that I've been feeling sluggish, though that has definitely happened to me in the past. More that my brain is in some kind of intense mulling-things-over phase. So back to that whole adjusting-expectations thing.
  • It's easier for me to hear and incorporate developmental feedback when I'm still in the shitty first draft stage. Once I get to a draft that feels more or less done to me, I don't want to make major changes.

23 January 2015

Guest post: How author Ebony Williams defines success as a writer

The guest post series about success as a writer continues today with a contribution by radio personality and author Ebony Williams.

"It’s not about how many words are on a page, or how lengthy your book is, or whether you’ve put out tens to hundreds of books...." So then how does Ebony, who is on the verge of self-publishing her third novel, define success for herself as a writer? Read on to find out.

I wrote my first book when I was six. My mother found it the other day and was talking to me about it, laughing about the subject and hand drawn illustrations. It was about 30-35 pages, but for a six year old that’s not bad. I slowly started to fall in love with poetry, the art of making it rhyme and then not rhyming brought on a new sense of creativity for me.

21 January 2015

Feature article on E. S. Gibson & her book, SPLINTER

Last week I was contacted by Danielle Frost, a reporter for the Camas-Washougal Post-Record, who wanted to interview me for a feature article on my client E. S. Gibson, who has just published her first book at age 17. Of course I said yes.

The article is now live on the newspaper's website, and I encourage you all to go read it. Here's a little teaser:
“Most of the stories I have written are science fiction. It is big in my family. My parents also watched a lot of Star Trek when I was growing up.”
Congratulations, Liz! I'm so excited for you! =*D

18 January 2015

New goal: get rejected

Several unexpected and exciting things happened this week, one of which was that my mom told me about this NPR story about a guy who, in order to get over his fear of rejection, makes it a goal to get rejected in some small way every day. Which got me thinking about the fact that I haven't done much (any?) submitting in the last six months, and hence have neither had my work accepted or rejected for a very long time. I think I'm going to make it a goal to get work rejected by 20 editors this year. The beauty of this goal? If I send out 20 submissions and 2 of them are accepted, I have to send out more submissions and get rejected at least twice more to meet my quota.

I have too many other things on my plate right now to dive into this goal immediately, but I'll start submitting poems (and stories?) this summer.

Related to that, I've also semi-decided to query at least one of the books of poetry I'm putting together this year instead of trying to self-publish absolutely everything. I'm mostly in it for the experience of querying, which I'll be able to use to both empathize with and advise my coaching and editing clients, but if someone ended up accepting the book, that'd be pretty darn cool.

As for the other exciting things that happened this week? They are mentioned in my...

ROW80 Update
"A Round of Words in 80 Days is the writing challenge that knows you have a life."

16 January 2015

Guest post: How author Ruthanne Reid defines success as a writer

Science fantasy author Ruthanne Reid has three novels out - The Sundered (which is a great read, btw), The Christmas Dragon, and Strings - all with high ratings on Amazon; a fourth on the way, Notte; and a slew of short stories available on her website.

But none of that matters. Read on to find out why.

How author Ruthanne Reid Defines Success as a Writer


That's cheating, perhaps, to use one word, but it's true. Let me explain.

When I started this whole writing thing, I really had no idea how publishing worked. I wanted to write, find an agent, and then see my books on the shelf at Barnes & Noble, where they would inspire potential movie deals and copious amounts of fanfic.