Wins the race. Tortoise (steadily plodding along) versus the Hare (quick out of the gate and then loses interest). We’ve all heard it. We all know it. But if you’re like me it’s hard to embody the principle in today's fast-paced world.
I want things now! Right away! Instantaneously!
Waiting is so hard.
So what am I doing in the writing, trying to get a book published arena? The land of wait and see.
The only place in our email, tweeting, cell phone society where 3 - 4 months is still a valid timeline?
I’ve managed to make it work by submitting shorts. I write mostly short children’s fiction, but flash fiction, novellas, and short stories are my next endeavor.
I’ve blogged previously about the baby steps I’ve taken on my road to publication. And most recently on how small victories can lead to validation for the longer more arduous process. This month it has once again proved true for me.
In June I finished the revisions and submissions process of an 80,000 word novel. After a short break, I had plans to revise a second novel that sat on my desk top, first draft complete. Now, I know most writers recommend after you submit you should just jump into the next novel. And that was my plan. Forget the first, work on the second. But then... the big doubts float in. You know the ones. “But what if the first is no good. Why am I going to waste another two months revising. Maybe I don’t know the market. Maybe the genre is wrong. Etc. Etc. Etc.”
But then I got good news. Not on the novel. It’s way too early for that.
Three pieces I submitted in children’s fiction would be published and a fourth sold (and paid).
Now that’s motivation. Even though it’s not novel length (and maybe I’m not destined to be published in novel length) it at least let’s me know my writing doesn’t suck. I've made it to the surf. And my head's still above water.
So if you haven’t considered writing short, maybe you should. Just for the motivation factor. Plus the checks I’m accumulating allow me to continue taking classes, workshops and even attend a convention or two.
So although you may feel you’re taking time away from your novel in progress, writing a shorter piece and submitting it, before, during or after, can be time well spent and prove extremely valuable on the longer journey.
Feel free to comment on shorts or how you stay motivated through the long haul.
You can find links to two of my three published pieces this month on the side of this blog.
"The Duck Family Reunion" and "My Fear Wears A Bow."