You see, I've got this problem. I write books, edit and edit and edit them, then park them on a shelf and don't send them anywhere.
I'm terrified of rejection. Stupid, I know. I was a missionary, for heavens sake, and you won't get much more rejection than that, but for some reason rejection of my manuscript scares the crap out of me. It's happened. I've sent it out a few places about three years back and even got some requests for partials out of it, but after a rather viscous rejection letter, I quit sending anything. Three years and I've sent out maybe four submissions, not counting the LDStorymakers first chapter contest.
I finally decided I have no right to be jealous of those passing me by and getting published if I'm not doing anything to make it happen for myself. Last year, Rebecca Shelly motivated a bunch of us to have a rejection contest to try and get 100 rejections within the year. I wanted to participate, but I just couldn't make myself do it. It felt like I was setting myself up for failure. So, I borrowed her idea and flipped it for something that works better for me.
As of December 31, 2008 I plan to have sent out 100 submissions, whether it be a query, a partial, or a complete manuscript. That's the plan, and thankfully I've got a sister-in-law who believes in me enough to shove me forward when I get scared. She's already been doing research-on her own, without being asked-on places that would be a good fit with my style of writing. She's not really giving me any choice, and maybe that's a good thing. It's nice to have somebody believe in me so passionately that they are willing to use much of the little time they have in helping my books to find a home.
I'm going to start adding some writing tips, things that have worked for me over the years. I love the writing quotes I always stick at the end of my posts, and I will continue them, but having experienced the joy of a successful tip just yesterday, I want to share the wealth around. So here it is.
Writing tip #1: Block Buster
Have you ever sat down to write and found yourself staring at a blank screen/page with no idea how to fill it? If so, maybe you should try Rebecca Shelly's advice and do some ramblings. Yes, you heard me right-ramblings. Open a blank word document or flip to a blank page and write whatever comes into your head as fast as you possibly can. You might even start with "I have no idea what to write about, I'm just so frustrated that I can't think of what to write so I'll do this for a while . . . ." Write anything that pops into your head and don't stop to edit. If you spell something wrong, that's okay. If it didn't come out quite right, don't worry about it. Two pages all one paragraph? No problem! Don't stop writing until you know what to do with the blank page of your manuscript-or you're so bored with ramblings that you move to your manuscript in desperation.
So, next time you're stuck with writer's block, write your way around it instead of trying to hammer through!
Quote of theDay: "I would hurl words into this darkness and wait for an echo, and if an echo sounded, no matter how faintly, I would send other words to tell, to march, to fight, to create a sense of hunger for life that gnaws in us all."
~Richard Wright, American Hunger, 1977