Saturday, August 21, 2010

No matter what I do, Friday keeps coming

Soon, school will begin again.  I'll need to get up around the time that's been passing as a bed time for me, and the whole cycle of not-sleep-enough, get up, get the kid ready for school, somehow manage to get myself ready for school, come home study/cook/find time to write then not-sleep-enough will begin on Monday.  I will join all the others who breathe a sigh of relief on hump day and eventually get to thank God it's Friday.

But for now, whether I settle onto the blog window or not, Friday means I'm looking at my writing productivity and lack of it.

....And, like now, sometimes that means I quickly do something else until Saturday.

That's not true, really.  It's not that I go into avoidance mode, it's that I get stuck in what I *have* to do--and how silly is that when I don't have to post here at all?  I don't have a boss who will pay me or not depending on what I produce.  Can't tell you how much I appreciate my recurring readers, but I don't think your weeks are incomplete until you check out my latest babble on reading and/or writing.

Theoretically, I could write about anything (hopefully, but hell, not necessarily within the scope of the blog).  Yet, I don't.  I think "I have to get this down" or "I've gotta tell them this" and "ugh, I haven't mentioned that project in a long time..."

And since I don't give a crap about any of that at the time, I go on to read someone else's blog(s) and watch a season of La Femme Nikita, or something.

My writing is like that, too.  The Hidden (generally known as Quinn's story to all you lovelies who have read chapters), might end up really being my first published novel....or it'll be the one in the bottom drawer forever (it doesn't suck, but it's got a fatal flaw that I may or may not be able to fix).  My need to have it ready for the world and sent out is a good one.  No one ever got published by leaving a work unrevised on her hard drive. But being unable to fix that flaw and unwilling to move on means nothing gets done.

Solution?  Do something.

Not just any something, since for me, that can mean playing three hours worth of Plants Vs. Zombies. But if I'd written down all the ideas that have come at any given time while I wasn't blogging, I'd have enough to post for the next two months.  While I was running around like a nut before my MiL came, I (in the true spirit of procrastination--in this case doing something productive to get out of doing something else productive) started two stories, each in a (slightly) different genre.

My new trick will be to build on that.  The next time I've got the kid in bed with hours to go before the spouse expects attention, and I'm NOT revising The Hidden,  I'll be writing something else.  Anything else, so long as  it's meant to be, sold.  I have a funny resistance come up when writing that, which tells me that I need to call on my inner Harlan Ellison*.

I am, have always been, a storyteller.  This is a truth of my being whether I ever make a living at it or not.  It's like being right handed; it  That gets all mixed up when the notion of money comes into play.  "You should be focusing on the work, the craft, your ability to entertain and, in the right circumstances to enlighten" meets "What?  Are you doing this for the money now?  If it's about money, you should just quit!"

Bullshit.  Yeah, the initial work needs to be for me, for the fun of a good story and the other joys I get from writing.  But if I *can* succeed at it, I *deserve* to be paid for my work, just like a builder or doctor.  Too many of us artsy types let ourselves believe that our work is worth less.  I'm officially taking myself out of that trap.

So...If three hours are scheduled to write fiction in hopes of a sale, then that's what's going to happen for three hours.  No blogging, gaming, or whatever instead.  If it's time to blog, then I'm blogging.  No fixating on blogging something I don't want to be bothered with because I got it stuck in my head that I HAVE post about that.  Got it?  Good.

*Ellison is famous for a lot of great spec fic writing, infamous for a couple of minor scandals that I don't currently care to seek out and link to, but perhaps best well known to me (besides for Deathbird Stories) for being out and loud about getting paid as a writer.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Links! Some yah gotta get before they're gone!

"The law isn’t about justice, Malcolm. It’s about the law."  ~Anita Blake

If you've been thinking about checking out Ardeur: 14 Writers on the Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter Series (Smart Pop), the Melissa Tatum article on Anita and the law is available for free reading just until Tuesday the 17.

Great Thea Gilmore video.  Even if the music style isn't to your taste, take a few minutes to imagine along.

Are you a U.S. or Canadian citizen with a young adult novel that's done or will be between October 1st and December 31st?  If it's not under consideration from other publishers or agents, you might want to send it to the Delacorte Press Contest for a First Young Adult Novel  Makes me wish I'd paid more attention to WriteOnCon.

I'd forgotten around Heinlein's business rules:
1) You must write.
2) You must finish what you write.
3) You must not rewrite unless to editorial demand.
4) You must mail your work to someone who can buy it.
5) You must keep the work in the mail until someone buys it.

I just found them again at Dean Wesley Smith's Killing the Sacred Cows of Publishing.  There's a lot more that I'm going to check out in there before bed.  Take a look!

ETA: Something weird has happened to the formatting so the links look like regular text (of course this happens in a post all about links, right?).  Wave your mouse on other the whole thing, or the bits that are likely to be links.