Gary Hurtubise

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Tag: rejection

20th Post – getting re-engaged with writing in 2018

Hello, and Happy New Year!

Now, I’m not generally a fan of New Year’s Resolutions.  However, I’ve been in a bit of a writing lull recently, and have been looking for a way to get my butt back into it.  So what better way is there to get motivated than to find inspiration in other people’s New Year’s blogs!?

…but first:

Recap of Writing; Fall of 2017

  1. Rejections, rejections, rejections. These little messages in my inbox are becoming quite normal now – in fact, part of me gets a little thrill when I read in the preview box:  “Hello, thank you for letting us read your story.  Unfortunately…
  2. CANCON 2017 in Ottawa. It was great to meet some local and international authors, and do some <ugh> networking.  Looking forward to next year’s convention!
  3. Working full-time. This is my excuse for not getting a lot of actual words written this fall.  Thankfully, that will all change in February, when I’m back to part time! Yay!  (well, it had better change, or Trevor will not be pleased with me…)
  4. Getting started as a ghost writer… more to follow in a future post!

Ok – onto the motivational part:

Getting Back to Writing in 2018

Two author-bloggers that I follow have done all my work for me for this post.

C. Hope Clark – ready to get writing!

First, Funds for Writers blogger and author of the Edisto Island Mystery series, C. Hope Clark, talks in her New Year’s newsletter about taking a break over the holidays, then getting back into writing – 500 words per day, as a “benchmark minimum”.

Here’s what Hope has to say about January:

This time of year excites me. The whole clean slate sort of thing. In reality the days are no different, but there’s something rejuvenating at having a new chance at making a difference. . . at becoming better. . . at making longer and more productive strides toward a goal.

Read her full post here, and subscribe to her great free newsletter here.

Second, David Farland – renown author of the Runelords series – talks about how he hates the word ‘resolute’, but finds himself always making yearly resolutions.  This year’s advice to others is to develop a new relationship with your computer.  Here’s an excerpt of his #writing tips for the new year:

            …many of your habits are subconscious. Some people teach themselves that the computer is for videogames, or it’s for checking email, or it’s for chatting on Facebook. So when they sit down to the keyboard, by force of habit they immediately begin playing.

But what if you trained yourself to make writing your habit? What if you tried something like this:

Close your eyes and think about something that excites you. Perhaps it’s the idea of getting your first novel published, or maybe it’s an award you’ve won, or just the joy that will come when you complete your novel. Think about it, and let the excitement build for 15 seconds.

Now, sit at your computer, open the file to your work in progress. Do not do anything else. Instead, open your WIP and write one paragraph.

When you’re done with that paragraph, get up from your computer and walk around the room for a moment, thinking about what you might want to do with your work in progress.

Repeat step 1, thinking about something that excites you, and letting the excitement sweep through you.

I like it!  Read David’s full post here, and subscribe to his #writing tips by clicking his banner below!

Ok – with that advice in mind, it’s back to my keyboard for another 500 words today!

 

 

Picking the Right Market for Your Fiction

There’s this new feeling to writing that I get nowadays.  I haven’t done anything different, but different things are happening.

No.  Agents aren’t breaking down my door to represent me (yet).  Nor are all of my short story ideas suddenly Nebula or Hugo Award-worthy (…yet?).  But I do feel more confident with my writing – I know it’s of a higher calibre than it was a year, or even six months ago.  Plus, more people are taking notice of my work.  I’m getting more personalized feedback (to go along with my rejections!), and in some cases, I’m being given specific suggestions from editors, followed by requests to re-submit with changes made.

I’m trying to be more selective of where I submit my work too.  Many of my short stories are hybrid-genres.  They aren’t just science fiction, or fantasy.  I’m beginning to wonder if I’ve spent all this time submitting to ‘traditional’ markets, when I should have been looking for some of those magazines or journals who feature alternative writing.  I believe that’s why I was successful with “Flesh” last month (having it accepted for publication in Kzine).  And so, I’m trying that again with my story “Solace for the Soul-less”…

Sci Phi Journal

I came across Sci Phi Journal the other day, an online science fiction and philosophy magazine.  In it, they publish “stories that explore questions of life, the universe and everything and articles that delve into the deep philosophical waters of science fiction universes” (from their About page).  “Solace” is set in the future, but isn’t about robots or space battles.  Rather, it raises questions about identity and immortality.  Hey!  That’s exactly what Sci Phi Journal is looking for!  So I’ve actually withdrawn “Solace” from consideration at another magazine, in order to try my chances with a venue that might generate not only some interest in my writing, but some dialogue about it too.

Next on my list of things to do: another batch of agent queries!  On this note, here’s a good bit of advice written by Kathryn Craft, of ‘Writers in the Storm’, a writing blog that I follow.

The Big “R”

rejected

 

Ah yes, I’ve read this over and over from blogs by authors, agents and publishers – writers have to develop a thick skin – not the type at the end of your fingers from typing so much, but from suffering through an endless, impersonal torrent of rejections.

I’ve been entering short stories competitions for several years now, and have yet to break ‘honourable mention’ or ‘grab-bag winner’ status.  Nevertheless, the periodic rejections were spaced widely enough apart not to make to much of a dent in my psychological armour.  So no big deal.

I’ve currently got about half-a-dozen short stories circulating out there, searching for a market.  To date, lots of ‘thanks, but no thanks’.  Again – periodically enough not to get me down.

Now that I’ve finished a novel, however, and the search for agents is underway, the rejections are starting to come in at an accelerated rate.  Oh, and I’m reaching out for some freelance work too, to flesh out my writing even more… all to no avail, so far.

So, putting it all together, I’m getting close to having a steady stream of rejections coming in, from four unique sources.  It’s starting to suck.

sad_baby

       I can see why so many writers throw in the towel.  I feel like doing that right now.  I mean, what’s the point?  All this time and energy spent writing and researching and putting myself out there… for what?  Why hasn’t anybody seen my genius yet?

snoopy

Well, I’m not giving up.  I think I’m close.  I can’t *quite* feel it yet, but it’s not far away.

Plus, writing is just so much damn fun; why would anyone not want to be a writer for a living?!  So let’s keep chipping away.  There’s bound to be a few suckers wise individuals out there who’ll eventually end up publishing my stuff… right?! 🙂

Here’s a quote from Pierre S. Dupont IV that fits my situation perfectly, at the moment, and actually does give me a glimmer of hope:

       “I’m in a wonderful position; I’m unknown, I’m underrated, and there’s nowhere to go but up.”

Ok – that’s enough moping for now – I’ve got to get back to my world-building for the novel I’m writing during this year’s NaNoWriMo!

 

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