Monday, August 04, 2008
My circle of 5 is very healthy at the moment.** Unlike Smarty Pants, I’m a slow writer and have a difficult time getting many different things out simultaneously. I’m not looking for an agent, so that also lowers the number of potential submissions.
But this week I hit six! I’m very happy about that, and encouraged by my progress. I’ve come a long way from having nothing out for months at a time.
Even though I haven’t been nearly as consistent as I would like (I still have a tendency to let other stuff come first in my day), I’ve made very encouraging progress. I’ve learned to be careful, because I’ll tell myself I’ll write just as soon as I feel like it or get XYZ over with, and lo and behold I look up weeks later and don’t have a d*mn thing to show for it. So I’m trying to be much more conscious of what I’m doing, when.
Reaching my Circle of 5 goal this week shows me I’m making progress in the one area that has disappointed me a great deal in the past few years—the lack of quantity in my writing and submissions.
I’d like to pretend it is simply a lack of time, what with a family and business commitments too, but it’s really not JUST that. At various times, it might be related to any of the below:
1. When you aren’t being paid, putting writing high on your priority list becomes really hard. Especially with a family and other work responsibilities screaming out their own urgent cry for attention. Of course, you have to write before you can get paid, so that’s a catch 22…
2. I have a very emotional personality, thus rejections or bad contest scores tend to hit me hard for a few days, at least. Any momentum I might have at that point can be completely lost. I’m getting better at this (with much Playfriend help), but the disappointment still slows me down.
3. I tend to write slowly. This too is changing. Just recently I was able to switch from writing my first draft out long-hand (yep, you read that right) to typing it into my alphasmart. This has speeded up my process quite a bit, but that first draft is still slow in coming. I try not to compare myself with other people whose processes are much faster than mine, but that is hard not to do.
4. Procrastination. Need I say more?
5. Lots of unpublished writers, not faced with a concrete deadline, often let their muses rule them. We have a tendency to be hard on muses here on the Playground, but I’m still more likely to put other things off for my writing projects if that exciting inspiration is speaking to me.
6. Fear of failure. There’s a vicious cycle that comes with fearing failure. If you write, you have to revise. If you revise, it really needs to be sent out. If you send it out, there is a high risk of rejection. Did I mention I don’t handle rejection well… Sometimes a little voice whispers it might be easier never to submit at all. But again, I’ve made progress through the years. When I first started, that voice was yelling instead of whispering. :)
So there you have it. The honest struggles I go through to reach my Circle of 5 at any given time. None of them are pretty. Some probably don’t make any sense to anyone but me. But each one of the items on this list makes me more proud to have reached my goal this week.
So what goal have you reached recently that meant a great deal to you? What struggles did you face to achieve it? If you are a writer, what are the biggest obstacles to your writing time and how do you cope with them?
** For those of you who don’t know what this is, you can read Smarty Pants’s blogs about it by clicking on the Circle of 5 link at the bottom of this post.
Launch party for Instigator's first book is this Thursday! We throw a mean party here at the Playground, so don't miss it.
Next Monday, we'll be visited by two awesome ladies from our local chapter who are going to talk to us about writing as a team. Join us in welcoming Jean Hovey and Stephanie Jones on August 11th.