Friday Morning FYI – 3/1/2019

Welcome to your Friday Morning FYI (I’m-in-Montreal-right-now-so-bonjour!-and-the-stupid-auto-publish-didn’t-work edition) – my chance to share observations/rants in short, easy-to-consume form.

I recently met a new writer who has put down a lot of words in a fairly short time. Those words aren’t all part of a single story, but could be arranged into an interesting narrative soaked through with cool, thought-provoking themes. More writing is needed to stitch everything together, which they were excited about and committed to doing. That made me think about what morphed into this week’s FYI:

I’m working on the final  three chapters of my latest novel. The key word there is ‘working’. There’s tons of fun sayings about writing, including ‘writing is rewriting’, ‘writing is stealing’, etc. In the end, it’s really just work. Regardless of what you’re writing you have to put fingertips to keys as much as you can (and can stand) or all you have is an idea. We’ve all got ideas, but we all don’t have finished first drafts. Get that draft done or, if it doesn’t excite you, move on to the next idea. Life’s too short to stare at something you have no desire to work on.

 

Thanks for reading.

{RDj}

Friday Morning FYI – 2/22/2019

Welcome to your Friday Morning FYI (something-like-a-year-since-the-last-one-of-these edition) – my chance to share observations/rants in short, easy-to-consume form.

I recently had a short story published (*shameless self back pat* – won 1st place) in a new annual anthology competition called The Bould Awards. It’s a small thing in the grand scheme and came after years of submissions, but it let me create an Amazon author page, which is kind of cool.

That got me thinking about all the paths to publishing available to writers today. It used to be that you’d type out your work (good god, how did people write anything without BACKSPACE, Cut > Paste, etc.?), somehow get the name of a publishing agent, stick your work in a yellow envelope, hand it to a smiling neighborhood postman, and pray. Now we’ve got blogs and online profiles, email, content-formatting submission forms, Twitter contests, live-pitching at conferences, small press open calls, Wattpad, hybrid publishing, a hundred forms of self-publishing, etc. This is good and bad, of course. With availability comes opportunity, but also mountains of content for decision makers to weed through and for your work to be compared against. Still, what a world!

That brings us to this week’s FYI:

The only thing worse for your art than comparing your work/struggles/achievements to someone else’s is assuming there’s only one path to whatever you define as success. Everyone’s golden ring is different. If you have one book in you, there’s options. If you have ten books in you or a bunch of short stories or fifty pieces of flash fiction or a poetry collection, same answer. Don’t get hung up on someone else getting picked over you for a contest, writer friends around you landing agents or selling short stories, or whatever. Focus on you and your art, craft it as best you can, and learn from every new sentence/paragraph/page/chapter/story. In the end the most important thing is to persist along your path, not trace anyone else’s.

 

Thanks for reading,

{RDj}

Friday Morning FYI – 2/2/2018

Welcome to your Friday Morning FYI (I’m-in-Sao-Paolo-Brazil-recovering-from-a-beef-hangover edition) – my chance to share observations/wisdom/rants in short, easily consumed form.

Last week, I FYI-ed my writer chums about being patient with revisions, relaying how it’s taken me nearly a year to revise my latest book. A friend reached out and recommended I take that post down because “You shouldn’t post about your writing or revision process. Agents are going to reject you if they read that and think you do things you shouldn’t.” If you’ll indulge me (if not, close the tab now) I’d like to address that concern.

First, no matter how much some perpetuate the myth, agents aren’t heartless monsters combing the interwebz for reasons to reject you when you eventually query them. Nuff said.

Second, I don’t plan to take a year revising any book I’ll write going forward. For the two books I queried before my current novel, I made mistakes in both the writing and the revising (and so, subsequently, the querying). Taking extra time with book three allowed me to identify where I’d gone wrong process-wise with the first two. What I learned will prevent me from now making certain mistakes in the first place, and write/revise smarter and more efficiently.

Last, writers should blog/tweet/whatever about their experiences, because we can all learn something from each other. We’re all students and teachers in this mad escapade of trying to line up 100K words in a pleasing order. Play nice and share.

Oh yeah, I need an FYI. Hmm. Maybe this… :

Don’t be afraid of agents, grow beyond your mistakes, share what you know.

That’ll do.

 

Thanks for reading,

{RDj}

The Villains Guide to Winning #NaNoWriMo Part 3: The Final Chapter

So you’re doing #NaNoWriMo again?

Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha! Good one! You almost had me there.

Oh, you’re serious?

Do you hate yourself? Are you off your meds? Is your family so intolerable you’d rather suck blue light into your eyes like mother’s milk for nearly seventeen-hundred words a day, every day through November? It can’t be because you actually want to write fifty-thousand words in a month. That’s frikkin’ batty! And by batty, I mean torture. All of it. It’s the worst, for realsies.

No? You’re not looking to waste dedicate hours of you day, every-damn-day, or lose days off the end of your life from the stress, doubt, and self-loathing that comes with legitimately participating in National Novel Writing Month, but still want the blog badge and Twitter header image?

Now you’re talking sense.

Continue reading “The Villains Guide to Winning #NaNoWriMo Part 3: The Final Chapter”