What better opportunity to get my arse back in gear than by once again taking part in the A-Z Blogging Challenge? A quick intro for those who have never heard of it before – blog every day in April (expect Sundays) and theme each post around the corresponding letter of the alphabet (first day is A, second day is B, etc.), leaving out Sundays gives you 26 days in April. I’ve completed the challenge twice before – once in 2011 and again in 2012…I failed miserably in 2013.
Right now I’m in a ‘transitional’ period in my life – some things have ended, some things have begun, and some things are stuck in the same worn out rut they’ve always been in. Whatever the case, things have to change. Putting my very wibbly life aside for the moment, I’m going to concentrate on the good, the bad, and the ugly of my writing.
My article ‘Embrace the Dark Side’ featured in the March edition of Writing Magazine – the UK’s biggest and bestselling magazine for writers…and…AND…I had another pitch accepted, so fingers crossed article no.2 will be featured sometime in the near future. I am also submitting short stories to decent markets. I’m expecting nothing more than rejections but I’m at that unique time in my writing career where even a rejection feels good…because it means getting a letter from the ‘big boys’.
I have no clear writing schedule. I have several unfinished novels. My short story ideas are a bit samey – I tend to stick to clichéd and hackneyed ideas. I have never written seriously out of my chosen genre. I have no motivation. I have limited resources. I am a big wuss when it comes to meeting other writers. Useful conventions are always in bloody London! I am paranoid about sending my work to beta readers.
I have to face up the fact that continuing stories without perfecting my craft is not a good way to learn. The ugliest of uglies is the fact I am NOT a good writer – I may have a couple of semi-decent short stories, some popularish bloggy rants, and a couple of decent articles, but mediocrity does not a good writer make. I have 10+ unfinished novels…that is not the sign of a good author.
I must study in the ways of the word-ninja, step out of my comfort zone, and get my arse in gear. I’ve already started my journey by pitching and submitting articles. By forcing myself to actually pitch instead of just complaining “no magazine would ever want one of my zany rants”, I’ve stepped up the plate and proved I can write at least a semi coherent piece deemed suitable for the larger world outside of my freaky darling blog followers.
By sending out my short stories I’m hoping (fingers crossed) for some feedback by the very same people that would consider publishing my work if I improved it. Just taking part in the professional process of submitting and keeping track of submissions is a great confidence booster. We’ll see how that holds up once the rejections come flooding in.
The biggest change I need to make is pushing past the oh so familiar 85k mark. I need to face the fear of endings I’ve had since the beginning (ha). Only then can I edit the chuff out of those gits that have been sat on my hard drive for years gathering virtual dust.
Arse. In. Gear.
p.s. it’s also Camp NaNoWriMo this month *gulp*