Oh, look: a vague title full of foreshadowing. It must mean something, right. Maybe it means this–
Back in the Real Home, busting through some work, and the mind is starting to revolt. You can only do so many test specs before you start losing it and your eyes cross like mad. And that’s when the mind wanders and gets you into trouble.
Or, in my case, I start thinking about things that have happened in the last day.
Yesterday was sort of a mash-up of all sorts of crazy things. Got involved in a discussion with someone who had a very strange view on evolution–”strange”, in this case, meaning, “I have no idea what I’m talking about, but your facts are wrong.” Helped out a little discussion a story with another writer–or, I at least hope I helped out. Maybe I made things worse.
And I had a conversation with another writer that was simple, that was just a few comments here and there about work and such . . . but there was one point that struck me, and struck me hard:
I mentioned that I had a story, a “erotic horror” that I was looking to edit, then look for a publisher. I said I wanted to finish my current WiP, then edit this story, then shop–
That was when I received the admonition: ”No. You need to look for a publisher now.”
I didn’t have to give this comment a lot of thought, because it became instantly obvious that this person was right.
We like to call this “The Writing Game”, because somewhere along the line someone thought, “Hey, you know, getting publishing is just like a game, you know?” Right. It’s just like Candyland, where you run the board have all sorts of nice things happen to you, maybe once in a while you’ll take a little slap, but in the end it’ll all be cool, you’re gonna win and win big!
Except that ain’t the case. It’s more like old-school Game of Life, where you run the board and encounter all those things we were told would happen to us: finding someone, getting married, having kids, getting a job, making money, and at the end of the game you end up in Millionaire Acres, fat and happy . . . unless you completely bone things, then you end up in the Poor House, living off cat food the rest of your life.
The Writing Game is a tough one. It’s closer to The Hunger Games in that you fight all these other people who want to come out on top, and you fight off all those who would stand in your way, and in the end there is one manuscript standing, your’s, and you stand there holding it high over your head, a big smile plastered across your face. Congratulations! You just Battle Royaled the hell out of everyone, and if you’re lucky, you didn’t leave too many figurative bodies in your wake on the way to the win.
So the advice, “Shop that story now!” is a good one. It’s being proactive. The story is finished, so what are you waiting for? Edits? You can edit the sucker while you’re sending out queries telling publishers just how your story is like the bestest ever, and would you like to see, say, the first five pages? The more I think about it, the more I’m thinking, “Sure, that makes sense. I gotta fight off all these other people, why not get a jump on them?”
It sounds very harsh. Were I one to used fictional metaphors to make my point–and whatever would give you the idea I do that?–you could say you’re vying to rule from The Iron Throne. ’Course, that comes with it’s own issues, because on your way to the top you could be pushed aside, and maybe even lose your head in the process by way of a rejection or two–or twenty.
But if you get there, and you’re strong enough to hold on by writing more and more, and getting those lovely narratives published–then you’ll make it through Winter. You’ll life to write day and day again.
Hell, don’t even think of it as being trapped in Winter. Winter is a time of death and desolation. It’s a time when everything stops and brings gray and white to the world, and you simply tough out the cold and depression.
Nope. It’s time for renewal. It’s time to get your act in gear and make your moves.
Spring is not only coming, it’s here.
Are you ready to be reborn?