Write-a-thon Days 1-3

First failing: writing a post every day of the write-a-thon. I was totally going to do that. Then I didn’t.

Second failing: getting much writing done. Actually that might not be a failing. I have been in novel-writing mode for a couple of years and am trying to switch gears to short story mode for a while. Someday I might be able to keep both modes going at once, but maybe not, I don’t know. I think that I need to get kind of obsessive-compulsive about writing in order to do it and being OC about a particular novel feels different than being OC about the process of generating shorter stories from core ideas. A novel is one world, while each story is it’s own little world. I’ve been looking back through fragments and unfinished work to see if there’s anything I want to revisit.

The lovely and talented plunderpuss is going to try to help me get over my submitaphobia in exchange for quality time with his favorite cephalopod. So I’ve also been hunting down and polishing up stories that were actually finished in order to give them to him.

This is probably normal, but sometimes I look at my stuff and think, “hey, that’s pretty good.” And sometimes I just cringe in embarrassment even though I never showed it to anyone. Did those words come out of my brain? I swear they didn’t!

Two agent rejections on the novel query have got me in a funk like you would not believe. Okay, maybe you would believe it. But this is a big issue that I’m trying to figure out how to deal with: rejections depress me in a way where I find the actual writing hard to do. I feel like every idea I’ve ever had is the stupidest thing ever. Usually, writing requires that I at least temporarily believe that the ideas in that particular story are pretty cool. I have to believe that me writing is a worthwhile thing to do.

So I know this is going on — I know that my submitaphobia is in part a perfectly rational response to the fact that a rejection will mess me up emotionally. Who wants to feel like crap? Not me. It’s not like being unpublished makes me giddily happy, but you know. There’s pain and there’s pain.

I know that the trick is to somehow find a way to do it anyway but I have not found that trick yet. The worst thing is that I lie to myself about it — I tell myself that I know exactly what the problem is and I’m going to send something off anyway and it’s good, but then, you know, I get busy and believe me, not doing something that is not immediately required for survival is pretty much the easiest thing in the universe.

So, the struggle goes on. Will I really be able to get over it in the six weeks of the Write-a-thon? Stay tuned!

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  1. Favorite cephalopod?

    Jenn Hopkins and I were talking about this the other day. When I was writing, I found it handy to have a built-in pseudonym. (I mean, who in hell is “Elizabeth Larios”? Not me, surely.) It helped with the submitophobia a little to feel like I was just being an agent for some “Elizabeth Larios” person.

    1. Author

      Ha. I’ve sometimes thought about writing under a pseudonym just because. The one I have picked out is J.K. Gillian.

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