I decided to charge ahead with NaNoWriMo in my last post, but I don’t think I’m going to hit the 50k this month. And that’s okay! There are two reasons I’m not going to “win” this year:
- Writing this novel is different than writing last year’s novel. I’m going more slowly, but I hope it will require a lot less editing. Last year’s novel saw almost a complete rewrite.
- Writing is hard. It can be harder after a course like the Writing Excuses cruise. They warned us about this during the retreat. With all that fantastic information, our brains can be a little overloaded.
Not to fear, dear readers. The second novel will arrive on schedule. This isn’t too hard to do since there isn’t a schedule, but I’m not going to let that stop me.
Adding the “-ing” to that word makes it look odd, doesn’t it? I don’t think I mentioned this, but I have started querying agents for that first novel. A fellow cruise-attendee encouraged me, as I was on the fence. I sent out my first letter and received my first rejection.
This is actually a happy thing! Rejection isn’t usually happy, but everything for this novel at this point is icing on the cake. My goal was simply to finish it, which I did shortly after November last year. The drafts, the improvements, the querying – all of it is extra. Extra experience on top of my original goal.
Goal setting is important, but so is celebrating goals when we accomplish them. I will never be less happy about finishing that book, no matter what happens next.
I took Mary Robinette Kowal’s Short Story Intensive class in June. As part of the class, I wrote a draft short story. I didn’t know what to do with it, but between novels, I spent some time editing it and then sent it off to Writers of the Future.
There were no expectations with this submission. Much like the querying above, I saw this as just part of the process of becoming a writer. I’ve never written a short story as an adult and knew the chances were low.
Then they emailed me to tell me my story had won an Honorable Mention! This is still technically a rejection, but I see it as a win. I cannot tell you how happy this made me; almost as happy as when I finished the novel. Writing is a lonely process, and I really have no idea how I am doing. Rejections can happen because you’re terrible or because you’re not quite there. It is nice to know my writing is closer to the “not quite there” side of the spectrum.
November has been good to this writer!