Archive | Never Surrender

Starting a New Story

writing spaceAt the end of last year, I was feeling frustrated by my novel, again. I promised myself that if I could push through to the end of the year, then starting January 1, I would start drafting this new idea I’ve been outlining.

I was excited to make the shift, I really was. But I slept in on the first, then it was the weekend, so I didn’t really get started until a week or so into the new year. And once I did actually get started, I struggled. If you follow the blog, you know I have a goal of 500 words a morning, six mornings a week. I get up at 5am and sometimes I’m done super quick. Sometimes it’s like pulling teeth.

The first half of January was like pulling teeth.

My theory is that it’s just been a really long time since I started something new. I just couldn’t hit a stride with it. Then I started oversleeping, missing precious writing time. At one point, I even seriously considered giving up. I told my husband that I was just too tired. Getting up early every day is hard.

He gave me a little pep talk and reminded me that I love writing. That hour and half of fiction writing every morning is what keep me grounded in the fact that I’m not just some hack working in marketing. I am a writer. And so I must write.

Of course, that doesn’t make getting up so early any easier. So I’m bribing myself. Starting this morning, if I can hit my goal of six mornings a week for four straight weeks, I will reward myself with an afternoon at a spa and a massage. Over sleeping is allowed (because honestly it happens some times) as long as I hit my 500 word goal every morning.

I love a good massage. And a good challenge. Hopefully this will help me rebuild the habit and make it easier for me to keep my regular writing time intact. I’ll let you know how it goes.

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A Friendly Rejection is Still a Rejection

If you follow my blog, you’ve likely noticed that I’ve only been posting once a week as of late, instead of maintaining my regular twice a-week schedule.

I assure you, it’s not the start of a long, downward slide into a static webpage, but rather the outward sign of me taking things easy for a bit while I wait for feedback on my most recent draft of the novel.

When I finished the last version and handed it off to a few trusted friends, I really just needed to rest. I needed to sleep in past my 5am writing date, and go to a few of my girl’s soccer games on the weekend (instead of locking myself up to write, write, write). That was early April, and I told myself then that I would not stress about writing until after my birthday.

Well guess what. I am now officially in my late thirties (though I maintain that 36 is late-mid thirties), and it’s time to get back to it. I already got feedback from two of my readers, and I’m waiting on word from four more. It’s time to reach out and set up dates for feedback sessions.

In the meantime, I got a lovely rejection letter for my most recent short story submission yesterday. It’s rare that editors take the time to actually send notes, and she was very flattering – saying how she really liked it, but it was a little too grounded in reality for their publication (which surprised me, as I submitted to them because I thought the journal would be a good match for my story) – but it was a rejection nonetheless.

Oh well, onward and upward. I’ve already sent the story to the next journal on my list. I’m still in my top ten, so I’m not feeling too down about it.

An acceptance letter would certainly be a nice ego boost as I head into the next round of work on the novel.

Fingers crossed.

 

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Writing Every Day, The Challenge Continues

On January 29th I declared that I was going to write every day for the rest of my life. In the name of being honest, I feel I need to share the fact that my resolution lasted about four days. Not that I’ve given up, mind you, but I’m realizing that the dedication and commitment it takes to actually make 15 minutes every day to write is no joke.

I missed that first day while on vacation with the family in Tahoe. There was so much going on that I just straight up forgot. I decided to pretend it didn’t happen and just carry on. No one need ever know, I figured, as long as I never forgot again. And then, five days later, I forgot again.

The thing is, I’ve incorporated the practice in to my morning routine. I get up at 5 and drink coffee for 15 minutes while I write, and then work on the novel until it’s time to get the kids ready for school. I do this about 4 days a week, usually Monday through Thursday because frankly, by Friday, I’m ef-ing tired and just want to sleep in.

But on those days that I don’t get up early to write on my novel, I find it challenging to make time to write for 15 minutes later in the day. For me, the logical second choice is to write just before bed, but I’m usually so frazzled by then that I often forget.

All in all, since I made my grand proclamation three weeks ago, I think I’ve missed five days.

Still, when I first decided to get up every morning to work on my novel, I only got my ass out of bed about two mornings a week. Over time I’ve gotten better at it. I still have hopes that I might actually manage 5 days a week before too long. I have to assume it will be the same with my goal to write everyday. I have no intention of giving up. If I’m anything, it’s stubborn.

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