Seriously, the IWSG in a once-monthly blog hop hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh that provides authors with an avenue to share their doubts and concerns, and to offer one another encouragement and guidance. Every first Wednesday of the month we gather to connect with one another and share our insecurities.
In my last post I laid out my 30-day, 90-day, and 6-month plans for getting my writing back on track. No more procrastinating, no more distractions, no more excuses, and no more good intentions. It was time to stop thinking about being a writer, and start being a writer.
So, how have I done?
Well, things started off very well with my 30-day plan. I not only managed to polish off one of my lingering short stories, a twisted little piece entitled Domestic Musophobia, but I even got it submitted - twice. The first magazine came back with a quick rejection, so I submitted it again. Should hear back on that one within the month. I started polishing off a second story as well, tentatively entitled Death in an Elevator, although that got put on hold for a bit.
Why? And what about the rest of my plans?
Well, everything went out the window when I heard about the 2-week open submission window over at Harper Voyager. I was complaining to my wife about the timing, and how it didn't fit in with my 6 month plan, so she stepped in and suggested (okay, demanded) that I take a couple of weeks vacation, send the baby to daycare, and just write. So, that's what I did. For a little over 2 weeks I immersed myself in the novel, worked through some major character alterations, redefined a major plot point, drafted a few new scenes, tied up all the loose ends, and gave it all a good final polish.
It was an exhausting effort, but it was unbelievably rewarding to hit the 'submit' button on that digital submission form. In hindsight, I think that short-notice, narrow-window was precisely the thing I needed. Odds are, I would have found excuses to delay my 6-month plan, and found reasons not to let go of the manuscript. Thanks to my wife's persistence, Between the Waiting and the Damned is now out there, being read by somebody other than friends and family, and waiting for a decision.
If, come the end of January, I haven't heard back, then so be it. I have a few publishers in mind where I think it could do well, and I'll keep shopping it around until I make that sale.
As for what's next, I need to get Death in an Elevator polished and submitted, and then it's time to dive into that next novel. It's a bit daunting, but also extremely liberating - I've been living and breathing Between the Waiting and the Damned for what seems like a lifetime now, so it's time to start something new and completely different. Letting go of that first manuscript . . . just being able to decide that it was done, and didn't need any further work . . . was hard, but I think it's something every writer has to learn to do before they can move forward.