But the way this blog has been going, it sure looks that way, doesn’t it? Yeah, work/commute is taking huge chunks out of my time but I need to deal with that instead of sleeping in. It’s all about taking the steps we ‘know’ we need to take. And that can be hard.
For example, submitting our work out. Once you’ve done the ‘hard’ word –writing the rough draft, revising it, submitting it for critique- all that’s left should be easy. Just incorporate (or don’t) the feedback you got, fix the last few typos and…send it off. Except I, and I’m sure others, keep falling down on that last step. Why does that happen?
It might be that we don’t ‘need’ it enough. I really, really want to be a professionally published author but that’s just a gold star. What I really want to do is write stories that entertain me and share them with other people. Yeah, I’d like the validation of being a SFWA member or of getting a book deal. But I’m wondering if I ‘need’ it enough. I keep putting quotes around need because I don’t literally need to. I have a job, so this is a hobby or at best a second job.
This gives me the freedom to write what I want, instead of whatever Asimov’s or Analog will buy. But it also means I don’t have my back against the wall. It’s too easy to slack off. Which is what I’ve been doing, to an extent.
It feels like that is the last lesson I need to learn. That discipline. That need. I need to write, that is true. And I do write, I even have folks who I can inflict my writing upon (which is why negative critiques are so valuable from the Wordslingers. It keeps me from being completely self-indulgent). But I need to ‘need’ to submit my work as well.
It’s a mental trick, I’m still trying to find the right way to pull it off. I am going to keep trying to perfect it. And I’m going to try to help other writers, who might be as stuck as I am, to take that final step, too. The first way is a competition I’m setting up with the Wordslingers. I have a few autographed books that I think most of the group would enjoy. I’m offering them up as prizes for anyone in our group that submits a story before our next meeting on October 6th. As for me, I’m going to compete too. If I ‘win’ and get something out the door by then, I’m buying myself a Pizza Hut pizza. Don’t laugh, with this new diet I’m on, that is about as rare a delicacy as you can imagine.