Less talk, more word count

Uncategorized Writing

I need to post a full recap of my Clarion write-a-thon efforts and a thank you to the donors. In the meantime, a little bit about accountability.

I’ve been bad about writing consistently lately (blogging seems to be a chronic problem). I’d write sporadically, finishing stories here and there, revising and evening submitting a few of them with some success.  Mostly, though, I’ve been draft stories and that’s it. I still have some sitting in my moleskines waiting to be typed up. I’ve been really, really bad about revising and submitting. I only have four stories in circulation, with another twenty or so waiting to be edited. Not to mention the two novel ideas floating in my head and various states of outline.

I could make excuses, but really, it comes down to sitting down and doing it. Butt in chair.

Well, I started neglecting twitter and the like to some degree, which gives me an easy excuse to talk about writing without actually doing. The big change I made was lifestyle — going to bed at roughly the same time every day and getting up around the same time in the morning. Now, I roll out of bed, get dressed, and go write for an hour or two.

I have two projects I’m working on this month, a new short story, Aye of the Hagfish, that I’ll be sending on to Dagan Books Fish Anthology and an as yet untitled post-partial ice age apocalyptic recovery w/mech story that I’m finally getting around to revising for Timid Pirate‘s Benevolent Apocalypse anthology, both due at month’s end. After that, who knows. I’ve got plenty of existing material to work from, but I fully intend to flood the market with new, original fiction by yours truly.

Anyone who I’ve worked with on deadline knows that I’m bad for them. I’m trying to fix that. Part of that is organizational (and damn my office is starting to look spiffy) and part of it is productivity. I could just cram the last week of the month and submit with minutes to spare, or miss the deadline and be morose for a week or two for another lost opportunity but fuck that. That’s no way to run a career.

I finished draft 0.5 (a longhand first draft, a reverse outline and a draft of what was missing) of Aye of the Hagfish. Tonight I’ll type that up and hand off that very rough draft to my lovely, patient, and wise wife for a first read and turn my attention to the mech story.

Life isn’t all or nothing but that’s how I’ve been trying to tackle fiction. It doesn’t work, at least for me, not in a way I can sustain. There’s a place for line editing but it’s not on the first edit. I’ll make a revision pass to fixing major issues and hand it off for comment. Pick up the next project and repeat, and so on.

There’s no substitution for action. If you want to write, sit and do it. There is no other alternative.

Posted on 10 Aug 2011 #process