Tag Archives: W1S1

Published: Broken (Free Download)

“You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.”

Ray Bradbury, Zen in the Art of Writing

Write 1 Sub 1 is a super supportive group of writers who, inspired by Ray Bradbury, have committed to write stories (or poems, or novels, or whatever) and submit them for publication on a regular basis. The hardcore members aim to write and submit one story a week. Some set their goal at one a month. The point, at least to me, is consistency. It’s easy to let our writing get lost in amongst all the other things happening in our lives and W1S1 definitely helps shine a spotlight on it and keeps you motivated and conscious of how much you are (or aren’t) doing in that arena.

I didn’t sign up for W1S1 this year, largely because my goals for 2014 didn’t include a lot of short fiction. However, I’ve been a happily participating member in years past and so, when submissions opened for Drunk on Writing, W1S1’s first ever anthology, I totally sent them my qualifying works. Happily, they accepted one of my poems, Broken.

Drunk on Writing has officially been published (yay!) but best of all, because of the terms of the contract I’m totally allowed to share it here with you for free. YAY!

You can download a copy of Drunk on Writing below.

I hope you like it 🙂

DrunkOnWriting
Drunk on Writing (.PDF)

For some reason WordPress won’t let me upload the .Mobi or .ePub versions, but I have them! If you want one, just drop me a line and we’ll make that happen.

Enjoy!

Looking Back at 2013

Rearview -- Photo by Rhonda ParrishWhat a year. To say it’s been exponentially better than last year would be a huge understatement, but at the same time, it’s been far from perfect. It’s that time again when I look over my goals, see how well I did, celebrate the good things and figure out how to fail better at the others next year.

I’ll list my goals for 2013 below, bolding the ones I figure I accomplished and addressing each briefly. I don’t want to turn this into a novel-length blog post 😉

Health

  • Lose 25lbs
  • Successfully complete the P90x program (I’m giving myself permission to swap Cardio X workouts in for Plyometric ones because I worry about my ankle and also, I’m a bit of a wussy)
  • No energy drinks
  • Significantly cut the amount of sugar in my diet. I have a complicated set of rules for this for myself, but I don’t want to bore everyone with sharing them.

Right. So I totally fell down on pretty much all my health goals (though I mostly managed to avoid Red Bull).  I’m not even sure what happened to tell the truth, I just never managed to get back into the habit of working out and watching what I ate. This needs to be my primary focus for next year though because if I’m unhealthy everything else falls apart too. I may need help remembering that over the coming months though, so I’ll have to figure out a way to address that when I set my goals for 2014.

School

  • Begin another course (or two) toward my degree no later than April 1st and complete it/them successfully.

I took Psychology 304 – Research Methods in Psychology (which is required for my degree) and passed it with a B+. A very irritating B+. I was point five percent away from an A. >_<

Editing/Publishing

  • Sell my cancer anthology idea to a publisher.*
  • Edit the cancer anthology, making sure the end result is something I am proud of.
  • Promote the hell out of the anthology, ensuring that there actually are royalties to donate to charity.
  • Continue to pursue my sekkrit projeckt with CJD
  • Increase Niteblade’s readership and distribution
  • Begin offering Niteblade in more file formats
  • Hold a successful fundraiser for Niteblade
  • Produce a NaNoLJers anthology if sufficient interest exists

Metastasis Cover FinalI sold the Metastasis anthology idea to Wolfsinger Publications and edited the hell out of that thing. I am *SO* freaking proud of this book. So proud, and my mother (who I dedicated my efforts to) would be as well. We’re still in the process of ‘promoting the hell out of it’ and our first statements haven’t come out so I’m not sure how sales are going yet. Fingers crossed though… and if they aren’t where we want them to be, well, I guess I’ll just have to put some more time in.

This year I did increase Niteblade’s readership, distribution and the number of file formats it is available in. We also held a super successful fundraiser (raising $604!) and even adopted a chimpanzee.

While I did check to see if there was interest in a NaNoLJers anthology, there didn’t seem to be. Maybe next year… And my sekkrit projekt kind of got left behind a bit this year, but maybe that’s something I can look to a little closer in 2014 as well because I sure wasn’t slacking when it came to editing projects this year.

In addition to Metastasis and Niteblade, I’m also working on an anthology with World Weaver Press. You may have heard of it, it’s this little thing I like to call Fae. And I also broke ground on the first of what is going to be a huge series of anthologies, A is for Apocalypse.

Writing

  • Participate in The Whittaker Prize
  • Successfully complete the weekly version of Write 1 Sub 1. For the ‘Write’ portion of this challenge I will count completed short stories or poems as well as individual scenes from longer works. By allowing myself to count individual scenes I will be able to work on longer works and still participate in W1S1
  • Participate in Writo De Mayo
  • NaNoWriMo and both camp NaNoWriMos are all optional
  • Finish writing poems for all the 2012 NovPad prompts
  • Actually successfully complete the AprilPad or NovPad properly, without having to make up prompts after the month has passed
  • Self-publish “Aphanasian Stories”
  • Look into the practicality of bundling and re-releasing some of my previously published short stories as ebooks
  • Follow through on my 2012 plans for my zombie poetry

Tesseracts 17Well, you win some you lose some, right?

For example, I participated in The Whittaker Prize (well, this year’s incarnation was the Not-Whittaker Prize) but when it carried over into November, when I was trying to do All.The.Things including NaNoWriMo I decided to drop out for my own sanity. I was successful with NaNoWriMo however… but then I totally haven’t written another word on my novel (which needs about 30,000 more of them) since then. >_<

I did participate in Writo De Mayo where my primary goal was to transcribe a family history my grandmother had written and format it as a book to give to her. I did, and she loved it very much making the month’s worth of work well, well, worth the effort. (Alas, now she has edited the proof copy so guess what I’m doing in May 2014? LOL).

I also self-published Aphanasian Stories. Sales have been pretty lame (read: nearly non-existent) but I’m glad those stories are out there and available to an audience who might want them, if not today, perhaps tomorrow. Plus, the reviewers seem to like them, so that’s good for my ego 🙂

I’m looking at bundling some of my other previously published short stories to re-sell as ebooks but right now I don’t have enough which aren’t under contract that have common themes, so that’s something I’ll have to look at again next year.

As for the zombie poetry collection? It’s a work in progress. Hopefully I’ll have something to show for it before the end of the year, but I don’t want to rush through and create an inferior product. Because.

Under the writing umbrella for 2013 I’ve had a fantastic year. I’ve produced some stories I’m really, super proud of, and many of them have found homes with dream publishers. Highlights definitely include being published by Tesseracts 17: Speculating Canada from Coast to Coast, work forthcoming in Kzine, Mythic Delirium and the Trafficking in Magick anthology, poetry publications with Every Day Poets and especially the story I co-wrote with Jo for Masked Mosaic: Canadian Super Stories.

Reading

  • Read at least 30 books

As of today I’ve read 47 published books. I’ve also been privileged enough to read one soon-to-be published book as a critiquer and a couple anthologies I may have mentioned above. I also read a crapload of short stories as submissions to Niteblade and those anthologies, so overall I think I crushed this goal 😉

A Month of LettersMisc

  • Participate in A Month of Letters
  • Do the Blogging from A to Z Challenge (bonus points if I come up with a theme this year)
  • Blog at least once a week
  • Take a social media retreat for one week a month all year
  • Attend WorldCon 2012 in Texas
  • Post writing prompts/exercises in NaNoLJers on odd numbered Mondays
  • Run and participate in the writing bingo in NaNoLJers
  • Don’t forget that life is for living, not leveling

I did well on these ones 🙂 Sadly I didn’t make it to WorldCon, we had some unexpected expenses that needed to be dealt with (stoopid money) and I kinda sucked at putting prompts up for NaNoLJers but other than that I rocked the goals in this area. My month of letters was a lot of fun and I still write to several of the people I met that month (in addition to the friends I’ve always written to — I’ve fallen behind on that, but working on catching up. Let’s blame a crazy autumn, okay?), I did the Blogging from A to Z Challenge with a theme (Niteblade), ran the writing bingo at NaNoLJers and significantly cut back on the amount of time I spend playing World of Warcraft.

My social media retreats have gone very well, except for during the times when I’m in the midst of a promotion or such and need to pop on at least once a day because of that. I think next year I’m going to set a daily time limit for social media stuff rather than trying to avoid it completely for one week of the month. I think it will be better for consistency and also my sanity. Taking a break has definitely been good for my productivity though, and my state of mind. It’s really easy to get caught in a loop when every time something happens you think ‘I need to tweet this!’ Stepping away regularly definitely helped me shift my perspective and live a more balanced life. And that’s what it’s all about, right?

In the next little while I’ll look at my goals for 2014 and share those here, but in the meantime I think I’m going to bask a little bit in the glow of a year which, while it wasn’t perfect, was pretty damn good.

Goals for 2013

W1S1 Year 3 GraphicEach year I like to set myself some concrete goals and share them publicly on my blog. Not only does this give me some sort of vision of what I want to accomplish over the year, it adds a feeling of accountability to help keep me motivated and on track. My goals for 2013 are:

Health

  • Lose 25lbs
  • Successfully complete the P90x program (I’m giving myself permission to swap Cardio X workouts in for Plyometric ones because I worry about my ankle and also, I’m a bit of a wussy)
  • No energy drinks
  • Significantly cut the amount of sugar in my diet. I have a complicated set of rules for this for myself, but I don’t want to bore everyone with sharing them.

School

  • Begin another course (or two) toward my degree no later than April 1st and complete it/them successfully.

Editing/Publishing

  • Sell my cancer anthology idea to a publisher.*
  • Edit the cancer anthology, making sure the end result is something I am proud of.
  • Promote the hell out of the anthology, ensuring that there actually are royalties to donate to charity.
  • Continue to pursue my sekkrit projeckt with CJD
  • Increase Niteblade’s readership and distribution
  • Begin offering Niteblade in more file formats
  • Hold a successful fundraiser for Niteblade
  • Produce a NaNoLJers anthology if sufficient interest exists

Writing

  • Participate in The Whittaker Prize
  • Successfully complete the weekly version of Write 1 Sub 1. For the ‘Write’ portion of this challenge I will count completed short stories or poems as well as individual scenes from longer works. By allowing myself to count individual scenes I will be able to work on longer works and still participate in W1S1
  • Participate in Writo De Mayo
  • NaNoWriMo and both camp NaNoWriMos are all optional
  • Finish writing poems for all the 2012 NovPad prompts
  • Actually successfully complete the AprilPad or NovPad properly, without having to make up prompts after the month has passed
  • Self-publish “Aphanasian Stories”
  • Look into the practicality of bundling and re-releasing some of my previously published short stories as ebooks
  • Follow through on my 2012 plans for my zombie poetry

Reading

  • Read at least 30 books

Misc

  • Participate in A Month of Letters
  • Do the Blogging from A to Z Challenge (bonus points if I come up with a theme this year)
  • Blog at least once a week
  • Take a social media retreat for one week a month all year
  • Attend WorldCon 2012 in Texas
  • Post writing prompts/exercises in NaNoLJers on odd numbered Mondays
  • Run and participate in the writing bingo in NaNoLJers
  • Don’t forget that life is for living, not leveling

Phew! I’m kinda exhausted even just looking at that list, exhausted and excited. I’ve set up some real challenges for myself, but if I manage to pull them off imagine how fantastic a year that will be!

*I know I’ve already accomplished this goal, but I hadn’t when I started mentally composing this list and since I achieved this goal in 2013 I’m still putting it on the list. This is not me putting things on here just so I can cross them off.

 

Looking Back at 2012

Rearview -- Photo by Rhonda ParrishIt’s that time of year again, when I look back at the goals I set the year before and create new ones for the year to come. These are not resolutions, I was sorely tempted to begin and end my yearly goals in the middle of summer just to get away from the R word, but it turns out that my desire to be lazy outweighs my desire to be contrary 😉 So here we go, how did I do on reaching my 2012 goals?

For 2012 I wanted to address not just writing, but also editing and schoolwork so I broke my goals up into four categories: Health (because that affects every part of my life), School, Writing and Editing. My specific goals for 2012 were:

Health:

  • Continue to eat healthy. In my case that is a low-sodium pescatarian diet.

I’m going to call this one successful (hence the bolding ;)) though there is definitely room for debate. I eat when I’m emotional and it’s been an emotional freaking year, but overall, I’m pleased with how I’ve done, not least of all because this year I was able to recognize when I was eating for reasons other than hunger. It’s a small step, but at least it’s in the right direction.

  • No drinking energy drinks

Um, I did pretty well with this at first, and I’m not drinking them now, but there was a period when my sister and niece were staying with us and also when my mom died that I used energy drinks as a crutch to get through the day without napping. Understandable, I think, but it means I didn’t reach this goal.

  • Remember soft drinks are a ‘sometimes food’ (Thanks Cookie Monster)

Erm… yeah. I started out strong on this one but as I write this blog there is a Diet Dr. Pepper sitting within reach on my desk so… yeah. Goal not accomplished.

  • Workout at least five times a week

This I was good at for most of the year. I was working out six days a week and was making Danica do it with me. We did some 30 Day Shred stuff, Couch to 5k (before I screwed up my ankle. Again) and were only a couple weeks away from completing the P90x Lean program when my Mom died. It sounds like an excuse, but when she died my world sort of tipped upside down and I am still struggling to get back into the workout habit. It will definitely be on the goal list for 2013. I’m calling this goal accomplished though because I did very well.

  • Lose 40lbs

Not even close. This has been SUPER frustrating for me because I felt like I was working really hard and the scale just wasn’t moving the way it was meant to. (I say that in the past tense because I sort of fell off the ‘working hard’ wagon in November and December.)

School: I think this year is going to be more writing and editing-centric so my school goal is optional, depending on time and stress.

  • Finish one, or, if I’m feeling super energetic, two more courses toward my degree

I didn’t do any courses toward my degree in 2012. I intend to change that up for 2013.

Writing:

  • Write the first draft of Consequence

Didn’t happen. I don’t have a great excuse as to why it didn’t happen, I just got distracted.

  • Participate in the monthly version of Write 1 Sub 1. I have a habit of writing ‘cast-off’ poetry for things like this when I become overwhelmed. That’s not acceptable here. Poetry only counts if it is in a complete and publishable form that I’m proud of. Same goes for stories.

Thank gawd for W1S1. Without it my writing productivity would have been even lower than it already was. I was successful in doing the monthly version of W1S1 and I look forward to doing a modified weekly version in 2013.

  • Figure out what to do with Shadows and my zombie poetry and get to work on doing it. This can mean looking for an agent, a publisher or any number of other things. I can’t be specific until I’ve made a decision

Done and done. Shadows has been shelved for the time being. I keep having ideas on how I can improve it and feeling the temptation to pull it out and revise it again but so far I’ve resisted. I think I need to move on for now. I’ll come back to Shadows someday, but not anytime soon. As for the zombie poetry, I’ve also figured out what I’m going to do with it… I just haven’t actually got it done yet. I will definitely be including that in my goals for 2013. The zombie poetry project is stalled temporarily while I wait on something I need from someone else, but soon… soon…

  • Either finish a first draft of Hollow Children or a transcription of Twixt

Hmm… I don’t know whether or to call this accomplished or not. Technically I didn’t do either of those things so I guess it’s not accomplished, however… instead of transcribing Twixt (I wrote the first draft long hand and so needed to type it up) I started doing the How to Revise Your Novel course using it as the project I was working on. What I discovered in the process of taking that course and doing the exercises was that Twixt, as it was written, was fatally flawed so I didn’t transcribe it. I didn’t begin working on a new draft either because it wasn’t until the end of November that I figured out what exactly I’d done wrong and how to fix it. Interestingly enough, that is also true of Hollow Children. I was hopelessly stalled on it until the end of November when I had an epiphany and figured out how to fix it. So there’s that…

  • Revise the whack of ‘mostly finished’ short stories sitting in my Dropbox and start looking for homes for them

I did manage to do this… and then I participated in the Whittaker Prize (see below) and added a bunch more ‘mostly finished’ short stories to my Dropbox to work on. Wheee!

  • NaNoWriMo is optional. So is NovPad.

I participated in NaNoWriMo and was successful despite restarting several times and switching projects three times. I attempted NovPad but was far less successful. The good thing about NovPad, as my friend Beth pointed out to me is that the prompts are always there. So I’ll keep working through them. Just like I did last year (see below). Ya know, it seems I’m not really very good at this NovPad thing LoL

  • Participate in the Whittaker Prize again this year, but in only one category, not both.

I participated in the short story section of the Whittaker Prize this year and ended up placing 10th overall with a final score, after six rounds, of 453. I… don’t know how that compares to how I’ve done in previous years but I feel really good about the work I produced for the Whittakers this year. In fact, one of my stories even tied for first on one of the rounds O_o That had never happened before LOL

  • Finish writing poems for all the 2011 Novpad prompts

Done. One of these years I may actually finish writing poems for all the NovPad prompts in November. One day…

Editing:

  • Implement the new payment system for Niteblade

Done. And best of all, it seems to be working. I haven’t finished all the totals for Niteblade’s sales for 2012 but I strongly suspect that when I do we’ll find that we had our best year yet. Yay!

  • Run a fundraiser and increase promotion in order to move out of the red

Done. We raised $108.78 to help pay our writers and artist.

  • Super Sekkrit Projekt w CJD (not Niteblade-related)

I’ve done what I can on this project and it’s now in other people’s hands. I’ve got my fingers crossed that something will come of it, but right now I have to wait and see.

Also? I blogged every week. Whoot!

You know, looking back, I’m actually super impressed with myself. I didn’t accomplish everything I set out to do, but overall I did pretty damn good. Even without factoring in all the challenges I had to overcome (because really, though this year feels like it was exceptionally bad for that, every year comes with its own set of obstacles, right?). Maybe I’m getting better at this whole goal setting thing LOL

In addition to the goals I set for myself, 2012 had a few other highlights for me as well. A few, just off the top of my head are:

I am seriously looking forward to seeing what 2013 has to offer 🙂

ETA: Edited to reflect the fact I’ve only read the first book in The Song of Ice and Fire series.

Round Up and Fanstory

I forgot to post a W1S1 update for June. In my defense July (which is when I would have posted it) was pretty crazy around here. We had two house guests (one of which was a toddler) in our very small house, someone I love was in crisis and we had a family vacation. All in all, a pretty stress-tastic month and I’m pretty pleased everyone involved made it through still upright and breathing 🙂 So, in the grand scheme of things, not such a big deal that I missed a check-in, right?

The good news is that my check-in would have said that I was still on track for my W1S1 goals. I’d written stuff, I’d subbed stuff, hell, in June I even managed to sell two poems and see a third get published. It was a good month.

As it turns out, July was also a good month 🙂 I sold five poems and saw a sixth get published in Imaginarium 2012: The Best Canadian Speculative Writing. When it comes specifically to W1S1 goals I managed to meet those too. I wrote a couple short stories for this year’s Whittaker competition and submitted a few things to publishers.

I feel like I’m building momentum and it feels good 🙂

My Whittaker scores have been less than impressive so far. Each round’s score is out of 100 and so far I’ve earned a 72, 64, and a 71. To be fair to my poor little stories because of the nature of the competition and my uber procrastination skillz they have all be completely unrevised first drafts so far.

It’s a slobby segue, but that brings us to another thing I wanted to talk about, something that came up just this week. Last year when I was doing the Whittaker competition I wanted to have some feedback on my stories and to revise them before I sent them in for judging, so I signed up at Fanstory.com.

Fanstory is one of those online communities where you critique people’s work in order to earn karma/points/dollars that you use to get your own work critiqued. There are loads of problems with sites like these and I was very aware of them going in, but I thought I could just shut my eyes to the ridiculous bits and get a couple critiques of my work from strangers (aka people who have no reason to be nice to me LOL).

I only posted my first drafts, no finished works, and I disabled them from public view once I’d received feedback on them. I hung around there for a couple months, until I couldn’t turn a blind eye to the problems with the community anymore, and then I left (I was too busy to keep posting critiques there anyway, to be honest).

Last week I submitted one of the poems I’d posted at Fanstory to Every Day Poets. It was declined within hours because it was previously published.

O_o

That was what my face looked like. Previously published? But… um… no. I hadn’t published it anywhere yet. What the?

It turns out the poem was still visible online at the mobile version of Fanstory. That despite the fact I had ‘disabled’ it (which was supposed to make it invisible to anyone but me) and I had actually closed my account.

I was not happy.

I re-activated my account and sent an email to the admins asking them what was going on and why my stuff was visible when it shouldn’t be. I was told “That was strange because it was our mobile version. So we didn’t have that set to be private. We updated it. So it is now. That is true for all your work.” At that point I didn’t trust their settings so I actually deleted all my work from the website, which seems to have fixed the problem. The admin also tells me that there was a check box I could have clicked when I posted my work for critique that would have kept it from being visible to anyone who wasn’t logged into their own Fanstory account.

I should have clicked that box.

I am not blaming Fanstory for what happened. It sounds like there was a bit of a bug with the mobile site, but it’s still my fault. I should have been more careful. I should have clicked the check box that would mean the general public couldn’t see my work, and when I left Fanstory I should have deleted all my work, not just disabled it.

I screwed up.

Learn from my mistake.

Also, if any editors from Every Day Poets happens to see this? I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to send you something that was online elsewhere. It won’t happen again.

**Insert Clever Segue Here**

One last, completely unrelated thing? I’ve decided to discontinue my Two for Tuesday posts. Not because I’m suddenly uber with consistency but because they allow me to be lazy. I don’t want this blog to turn into weekly posts of two photographs I’ve taken. It’s not that I don’t want to show off my pictures, I do, but this is supposed to be primarily about my writing. If I give myself permission to post pictures and have them count toward my one blog a week goal, well, that’s all I’ll do. Because I’m lazy. So buh-bye T4T. Buh-bye…

 

W1S1 Update for April

This is just a super quick update post because I expect you’re kind of tired of hearing from me everyday after the blogging challenge I did in April. No matter how much you might like someone, hearing from them every. stinking. day. can begin to wear you down, right? 🙂

I had a very productive month in April, and remain on track for my W1S1 goals. I didn’t write any new fiction but I participated in the April Poem a Day challenge (as of this post, which I’m writing on the morning of April 30th, I am a couple days behind but I expect to catch up this afternoon. I’ll update you next week when I write a post about all the challenges I did this month). I read through my poems the other day, to see how bad they were and discovered a great many of them are unfinished, but several have potential so… Yay?

I also made three sales this month and added at least one more poem into the pool of work I’m actively submitting which gives me 13 pending submissions right now.

Not too shabby, eh? 🙂

Rejection Rebooted

A couple years ago I wrote a post on Rejection that I thought was pretty good. Today I want to talk about rejection again, and because I’m lazy I am going to do that by rebooting my original post. So, if you’ve been reading my blog for a few years, some of this is going to sound eerily familiar, but some of it is brand new too 🙂

Around and around we go...My acceptance ratio, according to Duotrope, for the past twelve months is about 10%.  That means my submissions get rejected 90% of the time. 90%! That’s nine times out of ten. Crazy!

You need to develop a “thick skin” or find a way to deal with rejection if you’re going to keep plugging away in the face of that. As if that weren’t bad enough, I’m told by Duotrope that my acceptance ratio is higher than the average for people submitting to the same markets as me. That means I’m stinking lucky to be accepted 10% of the time.

Lucky.

Compounding the number of rejections we, as writers, have to deal with is the way we perceive those rejections. We give them so much more weight than they deserve. Truly.

As an example, a couple years ago NaNoLJers did a group poetry project where we wrote a poem together. Eventually we placed the piece to Sorcerous Signals. When that happened, Arnold Emmanuel,  one of the people who worked on the poem blogged about it and said:

…Rhonda sent out submission requests and omg, lots of rejection letters.  I thought to myself “Oh well, it won’t be published, that’s okay, least we tried,” and then one day all of a sudden I get an email that says something like “Remember that poem Alone we worked on,” and I’m thinking oh, and another rejection letter, but no, we got published!

How many rejection letters did we collect on the poem before selling it? How many ‘nos’ did we get before he figured ‘Oh well…’ and gave up on that poem being published?

Two.

Two.

And not two markets that are easy to place work with either. I’m talking about Lone Star Stories and Goblin Fruit. I’m not picking on Arnold, I’m not. I’m just using his words to show how subjective our perception of rejection is. We give it too much power.

I’ve another friend who wrote a story with the intention of submitting it to a specific market, sent it to that market and got turned down. His reaction is to trunk the story. I was shocked. Really? All that work and you’re going to say ‘Oh well…’ and give up on it after one submission? See? Again, giving a rejection notice too much power.

As an editor I can tell you, someone passing on your submission does not mean the submission is bad. It really doesn’t. Honest, honest, honest.

Rejection is a part of writing for publication and it sucks. It really does. It’s something we all need to deal with and the better our coping skills are the more likely we are to succeed because, when it comes down to it, perseverance is a HUGE ingredient in the recipe for success.

Sometimes I feel so worn down by all the rejection letters and the ‘close but…’ letters. I begin to feel like I’m never going to break into my dream markets, or find the perfect agent* and I begin to wonder if it’s worth it. Is it time to give up? To move on? But I grit my teeth and keep grinding away, and then when an acceptance does come it’s all worth it… for an hour or two. Then it’s back to the grind.

One way I’ve found to deal with rejection is to dwell on it as little as possible. When one market passes on a story or poem I don’t waste any time sending it off to another. I figure that way instead of dwelling on how disappointed I am in the first rejection I can focus on how hopeful I am that work will find a home with the new market I’ve sent it to. It’s a little thing, but it helps, and dude, lemme tell you, I’ll take all the help I can get.

How about you? How do you deal with rejection? What sort of tricks do you use to keep yourself going?

~*~

This blog post is part of the Blogging from A to Z challenge over the month of April and was brought to you by the letter R. Check back tomorrow when I plan to be talking about some of my stories that begin with the letter S. Apparently I write a lot of them LOL Shades of Green, Shadows, Sister Margaret

 

Motivation

Motivation. It’s one of the things I struggle with the most.

Well, actually, not motivation, per se, but more the willpower and the focus to sit down and freaking do the work.

But motivation is related to that, so it’s my topic for today :-p

I’m not alone in struggling with this. I think it’s pretty nearly universal. A lot of people have trouble getting their butt in the chair and their words on the page (figuratively speaking, of course, especially since I don’t write my first drafts at a desk these days). Kern Windwraith had a guest blogger, JoAnne, over at her blog the other day talking about this exact thing. Her point? Just Do It.

It’s fantastic advice, but doesn’t necessarily make it easy to follow.

Over time I’ve slowly begun to understand the things that motivate me. The two biggest ones are Deadlines and Accountability. I’ve totally signed up for workshops and paid good money just to have deadlines I had to meet. I’ve used my critique group meetings the same way. I didn’t win NaNoWriMo until I founded the NaNoLJers group (now run by the awesome Amber Stults) and knew that people were watching how I did and would notice if I slacked off.

Deadlines and Accountability. Those are the tricks for me.

This year, not only did I post a list of goals for the year publicly on this blog where everyone can see them (and see if I don’t meet them), but I also signed up for Write 1 Sub 1.

Write 1 Sub 1 has been fantastic for keeping myself motivated, largely because it combines accountability and deadlines together. The idea is pretty much summed up in the challenge’s name — you write 1 piece and you submit 1 piece. In my case my goal is to write (at least) one story or poem a month and submit (at least) one new story or poem a month. Some super ambitious people are writing and submitting at least one story a week. I’m not that brave or masochistic LOL I think most people doing the challenge write and sub the same story, but I’m not like most people.

When I write a first draft of something (especially poetry) I like to let it rest. A lot of people do, I know, but I like to let it rest a good long time. Like, at least a few weeks. At least. That means I’m never writing and submitting the same piece of work in the same monthly period, but I am writing and submitting, so that’s good.

We’re only four months into this year and already if it hadn’t been for W1S1 I wouldn’t have written anything new for at least two of those months. It’s easy, for me, to get caught up in the novel I’m revising or Niteblade, or whatever and just not write anything new, but W1S1 keeps that from happening, which is a good thing. A very good thing.

It’s not too late to join in if you haven’t already and this sounds like something you might find useful. You can check it out at Write 1 Sub 1 Do you use another similar challenge/website/program/group to stay motivated to write? I’d love to hear about it. Sometimes diversity helps and you never know when I may need a little extra something to help keep me motivated.

~*~

This blog post is part of the Blogging from A to Z challenge over the month of April and was brought to you by the letter M. Please come back on Monday when I’ll be talking about something near and dear to my heart — Niteblade.

 

Lull Before the Storm…

I don’t usually blog on the weekend. Hell, I don’t usually work on weekends period, but I’m making an exception today because today is the last day of sanity before the crazy that is going to be my April hits. Before I get into that though, I’d like to take a second to say yay. Yay! I am still on track with my Write1Sub1 goals. And also, thank gawd for Write 1 Sub 1. Without it to use as motivation I don’t think I would have produced any new material this month. But I did.

In March I continued to work my way (slowly) through the How to Revise Your Novel course with Twixt. I also started, then re-started a short (ghost) story. It’s going to require at least one more restart before I make it to the end, I think, but still… I also wrote several new poems which are currently resting before I go back and revise them next month and I revised two of the poems I wrote in November (O_o) and added them into my “submission pool” (for lack of a better description). That means I have 16 pieces all currently out looking for new homes. I made 10 submissions this month too, and if you’re paying attention that means you know I collected 8 rejection letters. Whee! LOL #trytryagain

Now, enough looking back, it’s time to look forward.

April.

April is going to be nuts, because I, apparently, am nuts.

In addition to everything I usually do I am going to be participating in three separate challenges. O_o I know, right?

First I’ll be doing the Blogging from A to Z challenge. The good news on this one is that I’ve got roughly half of my blog posts already written and pre-scheduled. That doesn’t mean I won’t have anything to do on those days though, because one of the more time consuming parts of that challenge is going to be visiting the blogs of other people who are participating. Also, I expect it to mean I’ll have increased traffic here, and I like to try to reply to all the comments on my blog, so… Yeah.

I’m also going to be doing the April Poem-a-Day challenge. I’m not actually interested in entering the contest portion of the challenge, but I want to write a poem to go with each prompt, ideally on the day the prompt is offered. If you don’t think that will be a challenge perhaps you weren’t aware that I’m still working my way through the prompts from the November 2011 Poem-a-Day challenge LOL

But wait! There’s more!

I also decided to check out Robert Brewer’s April Platform Challenge. I’m not sure how much of that challenge will be applicable to me because, well, I’ve never done a platform challenge before LOL, but it should be fun to find out.

So yeah… the crazy is going to start tomorrow. I hope the daily blog posts won’t drive you all away and I hope I’ll still be standing when May 1st rolls around.

Wish me luck, I’ll need it, and if you’re participating in any of those challenges with me, let me know. Company is always a good thing 🙂

Um… Questions Please?

Um… can you do me a favour? You may recall I mentioned that I’d signed up for the Blogging from A to Z challenge that takes place this April. Because I know I’m going to be busier in April than I am right now (though I’m plenty busy, I assure you) I’ve begun writing and scheduling some posts. The other day I had figured out what to write for almost every letter, but Q was evading me. Then I decided — Q is for Questions.

Now I just need some. Questions, that is. To answer.

I know you are really unlikely to be sitting there thinking ‘Yay! Now I can ask Rhonda this one question that’s been burning a whole in my brain since I first knew she existed!’ but, um, if you could think of anything you’re even slightly curious about, would you please ask it? Anywhere is fine, my main blog, Livejournal, email, twitter. I’m flexible, and it doesn’t have to be serious either. I’m just looking for some questions I can put together and make a Q is for Questions blog post out of while I answer them 🙂

Thank you very much 🙂

Write 1 Sub 1 check-ins take place on Sundays and since there aren’t any left in the month, I figured today was as good a day as any to update my progress. This month, in addition to working on the revisions for Twixt and making some solid plans for my zombie chapbook (more on that later 🙂 ), I also finished rewriting a story I first drafted almost a year ago as an entry to The Whittaker Prize. I don’t remember how it scored, but it needed a lot of work. It’s received it now, and I’m pretty fond of the result. I also wrote a new poem, which was very long for me (Very, very long. Like, multiple pages long. O_o ) and revised another one. The new story and the revised poem have been added into the pool of pieces I’m currently circulating around publishers, the uber long poem is resting before I revise the crap out of it.

I also sold a story, and I’d love to celebrate it, but I haven’t received my contract yet, so all I’m willing to say is a tiny little yay over here in the corner. Once the paperwork is done I’ll definitely be more excited and share here but until then…

ETA: It’s March 1st, and I updated this post to change the image I have above there so that it has the February award graphic from the Write 1 Sub 1 website. Also, since I originally posted this I have revised a few other poems and added them into the group I’m currently subbing to publishers. I currently have 14 submissions pending at various markets.