Somewhere near Esk in the Sunshine Coast hinterland.
I’m a pretty organised person. I like to plan things out so I know exactly what I’m doing when. I’ve got a full time job, a child and an addiction to Diablo 3. There is no such thing as spare time.
I planned out this year from January to December with the ultimate goal of submitting my first novel in January 2013 while also completing the first draft of a new novel.
How’s it going, I hear you ask?
Well, you might as well say I planned to drive to Melbourne and ended up in Darwin.
Okay, so it’s not that bad. But the original road map has flown out the window. The novel I wanted to work on turned out to be not strong enough to be worth it. So I put that away and decided to work a completed novella up to submission status. That, I’m pleased to say, is coming along well. I’m 3/4 of the way through the second pass.
In the meantime, I finished an 8k short that had been languishing on my heard drive for 5 years. I completed a 10k short that I want to submit to Extreme Planets anthology. I’m 3.5k into a novella for Crossed Genre’s Winter Well anthology.
I can’t help it, I just love short stories.
But while I’ve been doing this, I have also been thinking about my next novel draft, and I have one in my sights. Writing starts 1st July.
So while I’m nowhere near where I planned to be, I’m not upset. I’ve revised my plan and kept moving forward. I’ve been writing and revising the whole time (except for 2 weeks where I angsted over some words that were really giving me trouble).
I could have thrown my hands in the air and given up. I could have let the failure of that first novel send me into a spiral of writer’s block.
But I have learned three important things from writing and selling short stories.
- Not every story will work, no matter what you do to it.
- New ideas will always come along, demanding to be written.
- If you keep writing and learning and improving, you will sell stories.
I am not at all upset that this year didn’t fit in with my big plan. Because I still have that big plan. The end date has just blown out a little. And in the meantime I have explored new stories and learned more about the craft of writing and revision.
Never let a wrong turn make you miserable. You never know what you might see along the way. Just keep driving.
Your turn: how has the first half of the year gone for you? Have you lost your way? Are you still driving?