Friday, May 1, 2009

Goals...What Goals?

Here's a blast from four months in the past:

  1. Always have at least one story in front of a pro paying market. Right now I have four.
  2. Finish revisions of Rock Gods and Scary Monsters and query that sucker by the end of the school year.
  3. Write my third "novel"--a dark thing I'm tentatively calling The House Eaters.
  4. Write at least one high quality story a month. Quality may require that I set the story aside for at least a week before revising--a challenge for this submission junkie.
  5. Give myself some breaks. I nearly chucked the whole writing idea last summer because of unreal expectations.

(My "New Year's Writing Resolutions")

Some of the Blogs I ReadTM have discussed eliminated the end of month post. I'm keeping mine simple.

How am I doing based on those goals?

  1. I have exactly one story in front of a pro paying market right now. Have you seen how many are "on hiatus" or shut down lately? This goal might go the way of the dodo.
  2. Done and querying. I've sent six queries. No hits, no runs, no errors, not even a form rejection yet.
  3. Done and querying. Thanks to everyone who read and commented. I've sprayed on a fresh coat of paint, guided by the voices that haunt me and other clich├ęs.
  4. I did write three stories this month: one flash and two longer pieces.
  5. I'm not tired of writing, but I'm tired of trying to sell my writing. I used to pour over Duotrope with a certain fire, trying to find "the market" for everything I wrote. Not anymore.

To elaborate on #5: I like to write (I think). Sometimes it is very hard. Sometimes it seems to come easily, only to look back at the work and realize what a load of shite it is. The sense of "wow" is still there, though. That sense of "gee, I wrote that?" Selling the work...isn't fun. Never really was. The rejections? Are they bringing me down? Not really. Not anymore. I just don't enjoy the mental energy spent researching a market/agent, preparing a submission, launching it out into the world, and waiting. Maybe I'm far too impatient for this writing thing.

Maybe I just need some tranquilizers.


Jamie Eyberg said...

I would say you are doing quite nicely. I agree with you that the whole submission thing sucks. It was almost easier when you had to mail them in and everyone used the same formatting. It was called standard formatting for a reason.

Barry Napier said...

Yeah, you're doing great.

And as for the "writing coming easy sometimes"...that's the writing that scares me!

K.C. Shaw said...

I'm feeling the same way about submissions. I'm just not motivated like I used to be--I used to spend forever on Duotrope too, but not recently.

You're doing great on your goals, though. Good luck with The House Eaters; I know it'll find you an agent.

Aaron Polson said...

Jamie - I hear you there. I'm reticent to change the formatting for a market anymore.

Barry - I like to be scared. Lately, I'm a little constipated.

Thanks, K.C. Duotrope will always be my friend, but not my only friend.

Catherine J Gardner said...

I am the Queen of Impatience.

I like your twist on the end of month post, seems a lot less stressful.

Natalie L. Sin said...

Impatience is my middle name. Especially when I'm logged on Duotrope, trying to figure out which magazine I should be hearing back when.

Its like math : P

Jameson T. Caine said...

Just today I was looking at some markets and put them at the bottom of my sub list because they want wild format changes to the manuscript. I hate that!

Aaron Polson said...

Cate - at least you're the queen. ;)

Natalie - I gave up trying to predict market responses.

Jameson - I've basically done the same. Weird formats can be frustrating.

katey said...

I don't have a whole lot of patience naturally, and I think this decision to try and be a Real Writer has seriously contributed to my back problems. I definitely need tranquilizers. I feel your pain, and share it, although I'm way less prolific in terms of short stories.

It looks like your resolutions have really been tearing up though! Congratulations on that, it's a huge accomplishment, especially after only four months!

Anonymous said...

I have to agree on the submitting thing. Where is the old magic? Where is that feeling of completion, that ultimate "I'm done!" feeling when I finally hit the send button, or send it off in the mail? It was like a jaunty dance after writing the story. Now it's just wearying.

This might call for a writing challenge.