Stay calm and query on — Wrapping up September

Is September really almost over? It’s hard to believe that October is just around the corner, especially since for me it feels like September just got started. I have to say this month has been wonderful for my writing. Not only have I begun to query “Passage” (which is quite stressful!) to various agents, but I’ve managed to complete a short story I’ve been working on for quite sometime and get work done on a SciFi novel I’ve also been trying to complete.

Perhaps, my greatest rallying cry this month came in the form of a blog post that my brother emailed to me, entitled How to be a Professional Writer by Correia45 (plus its predecessor). Being a writer is my job, but after reading these blog posts, I realized I was treating my fictional work more as a hobby. I would go in spurts where I would write, followed by prolonged periods of procrastination; I had lost the drive and good practices that burned in me throughout high school and college, and had allowed external factors to hamper me. But now, I see the errors of my ways, and since reading those blog posts, I have been working on my writing or others every night, minus one day off, treating it like it should be: like job.

One of my writing friends had made a really good point when I met her at a coffee shop: I can dedicate so much time to writing during NaNoWriMo, so I should be able to do that during the rest of year. And she is right. Dedication to the craft should spread out throughout the year — writers should dedicate the same amount of time to writing as they do during NaNoWriMo; at least, if they are dedicated writers, who seriously want to make a career out of writing. And I have to face it: NaNoWriMos are not helping me.

I have not felt the NaNoWriMo drive for quite some time — not since that first event and the following JulNoWriMo. Nowadays, more often than not, I find NaNoWriMo time disheartening and frustrating, though this year might be different since I now know people who NaNo locally, and we can get together. It is always nice to belong to something and surround oneself with fellows who are striving to achieve the same goal. But largely, for the rest of the year and into 2014 and beyond, I’m going to focus on the larger pictures, not on a monthly binge; no, it will be a year-round binge.

And oh, what a year-round binge it will be! Short stories, novels, novellas and so on — they will all fill out my year, along with the writing that is sent to me for proofing, which I’ve been getting quite a bit of lately to my pleasure. And as I get others work, I am pressured toward biting the bullet and finally purchasing the Chicago Manual of Style (though it is so expensive!) because sometimes I just need “the source,” especially as AP Style conflicts in my head with other styles.

All and all, October is set up to be a promising month. Just have to keep up the momentum, keep time open for writing or editing and continue to view my writing projects as a job.

*** In other news, September added to my list of things I never expect when I came to work at the local paper. All on the same day, I got into a pasture with a full-grown bull and then got to see a calf born. Pretty awesome day, all in all. ***

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Categories: My Writing, Personal | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

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11 thoughts on “Stay calm and query on — Wrapping up September

  1. I’ve been wanting to seriously be apart of NaNo for three years now, and this is the first that I just may write my first sentence.. I am pro at procrastination, not to mention mostly just a poet, which doesn’t translate well with novel writing. I wish you all the blessings for the rest of this year and the next to find that inspiration every month, minus the stress, at least a little of it. I’m hoping I can find the courage to stick it through this year and give it an honest try. At least once!

    • smwright

      Oh definitely, you should! It is a fun experience, even though at the moment I’ve lost the spark for NaNoWriMo. Who knows participating in it might give you that courage to stick it out through the year. Also if there are any write-ins in your area go to them! They are so much fun! I’m cursed to live in a very rural area, so there are no write-ins in my area; at least, not in the recent years. I wish you the best of luck during the NaNoWriMo — just go for it!

  2. The birth of a calf. Now there’s something that will put all our writerly worries into perspective. For a few moments, at least! Thanks for your post.

    • smwright

      It was quite the experience for sure! I guess after I left, they had three more cows give birth. Tis the fall calving season!

  3. The Chicago Manual is worth every penny. I still have mine from college. I’d like to get the Writer’s Market as well so I can research some writing opportunities, but that is really expensive. I can just read IU’s copy for free. Good luck with all of your writing projects. My novel turned into a prequel and sequel so I’ll be busy this year too. Happy writing!

    • smwright

      Writer’s Market is really nice, though lately they have been making format changes that are making the anything but user-friendly. The 2012 edition, which I got for Kindle so I can view it on my phone or on my computer, does not use categories or subject classifications, plus it uses a name only index. The Kindle edition is so much cheaper than the hard copy, and I’m all about cheaper.

      Good luck on your projects! It’s always fun when one book decides it has to be a part of a series.

  4. That’s pretty awesome! I too am guilty of not spending as much time on my writing as I should. I’ve been trying to get back in the habit. Love the links! They are great articles to read. I’ll have to share them on my blog as well.

  5. Writing makes me feel awesome when I do it, it’s just actually doing it that’s the problem. Kind of like working out (: I fail at that too. Thank you for the words of encouragement… If I even get the courage to blog more often because I’m failing at NaNo.. I will be happy.. as long as I am writing something, I will be happy.

    • smwright

      It’s no problem! I hope you decide to take that plunge; it is truly an interesting experience to participate in!

  6. Good luck to everyone in October! It sounds like everyone’s very busy. Does anyone know how much the Chicago Style Manual and the Writer’s Market Guide runs?

    • smwright

      Chicago Manual is over $50. Currently, on Amazon the Writer’s Market is around $25; I’m aiming to purchasing the deluxe version, which is just over $27 right now.

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