Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Sit Down

Now Playing: World Cup, duh
Just Read: THE CAPTAINS by W.E.B Griffin--Pretty fun and historically informative. Not the most exciting novel, but funny at times and definitely enjoyable.
Reading Now: A TIME TO KILL by John Grisham

Most young writers I've spoken to agree: one of the hardest parts of being successful is finding the time, energy, and dedication to actually sit down and produce. We usually have lots of ideas and a grasp of the craft that will surely get better with practice, if only we could make ourselves sit down.

A great part of being a member of Write1Sub1 is that it holds you responsible--you committed to a story per month (or week), and you have to report in each Sunday on your progress. It's like a fabricated deadline. You have a reason, a requirement, to do your work.

I am terrible about putting things off if they can be done tomorrow. What's the number one thing that can be delayed? Writing, of course. I have to go to work. I have to go to the bank or post office before they close. I have to run to the grocery store and then cook dinner and then clean the kitchen, and since I've got the broom out I might as well clean the rest of the apartment. Then there's a world cup match on, and some friends want to get together to watch it. Well . . . you can see there isn't much time in there to write a novella.

This month's story is particularly long for me--I'm already at 4000 words and it seems like it's barely started. With five days left in June, three of which I work, it's going to be a challenge to complete it.

So I added another fabricated deadline. A girl I work with is also a writer, but she hasn't written anything new in a long time. I told her that if she could finish a story by July 1, I would too, and we could swap. So now I'm obliged twice to finish this story by the deadline.

Better sit down and get to work.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Gratified and Determined

Now Playing: SURFIN' USA by The Beach Boys

How is that every month seems busier than the last?

It's the first day of June and I'm two weeks into my new assignment, working at Georgetown in Washington, D.C. I have barely had a free minute to write, but I started a story to finish for this month's W1S1 challenge about a girl who takes a risk that later spirals way out of hand. 

I was so happy to see my story "The Ascension Song" published in Every Day Fiction; I believe I've updated the link list to the left so you can click on over and read it if you want. I was especially flattered by the number and quality of the comments on my story. I've never had such a positive reaction, and it meant a lot. Thank you all so much for reading and being moved enough to tell me about it. 

Reading people's comments makes me want to write like nothing else. I recently heard that my girlfriend's mom had shared a link to "Dancing in the Black Blizzard," and her friend who didn't know me read it and enjoyed it so much that he looked up other stories I've written and commented on those as well. What a gratifying and rewarding experience, to be on the receiving end of such high praise. Thank you!  

I don't take the fact that people read my work lightly. I know how tough it is to find time to read short fiction, especially by a young author without many notches in his belt. But know that your efforts to read my stuff have direct effects on me. Over the past week, I've been more determined than ever to write, and write a lot, and write awesome, quality fiction for people to enjoy. 

I hope to have more published stories for you soon!