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,
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.
Thanks for reading,
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”
In which I write out loud about my impressions of #QueryKombat round 2. If you haven’t already, check out my post on round 1 here.
Continue reading “Thoughts on #QueryKombat Round 2”
I’m participating in #QueryKombat this year. If you’re not familiar, Query Kombat is an annual competition run by this writer and this writer and this writer, where you submit your query and the first 250 words of your novel. For the first round, 64 selected Kombatants are paired off to go one-on-one (shout out to O.C. Shaw, who is a friendly and gracious writer whose book I want in my life). Judges read your entries, offer constructive criticism, and declare a victor. Get enough votes and you move on to the Agent Round where literary agents review your entry and decide if they want to ask for more pages, and then round 2. Entries can be updated before the agents get to see it.
Continue reading “Quick (yeah, sure) thoughts on round 1 of #QueryKombat 2017”