WIPMarathon Check-In #8

Last Check-in: Ugh.

Current: *sigh*

WIP Issues this week: As I’ve said, this entire WIP Marathon, I’d planned to kick out the first draft of something that had been brewing while I tied up loose ends up on my last MS. And yet, the ENTIRE Marathon, I’ve done nothing but revisions for that other MS. I got basic plotting and world building done for my space opera, but honestly, I think even that will sit and wait. Since I wasn’t working on a new WIP as planned, general issues this week have been with myself. Those little voices that whisper things like, “You’re delusional if you think this is ever going to happen.” Reading amazing published books that make me feel like a child in a Fisher Price kitchen or workbench, trying to imitate her parents. That’s how I’ve felt lately. Immersive, wonderfully written books inspire me, don’t get me wrong. But at the same time, they’ve been making me feel like it could take another 10 manuscripts before I write “the one.” If I ever do. And I just can’t deal with that kind of negativity. This year is about being happy, being hopeful, and being positive.

So that little voice can keep on whispering, and while I may listen to it for a minute, an hour, or a day, the next day I expect to get up and get back to work, trying to better myself and my craft little by little. Because the people who make it are the ones who don’t give up, and I don’t plan to give up.

What I learnt this week in writing: Not so much something I learned this week, but something I’m learning all the time: subjective, subjective, subjective. I have a few friends whose stories were also in Pitch Wars, and they received NO requests from participating agents. These stories are well-crafted, engaging, entertaining, and stories I’d pick off a shelf and buy. It’s never down just to talent, unique ideas, great dialogue, intriguing descriptions, perfect grammar, developed characters, complete arcs, etc. You could have all of that but if the agent in question already has something similar, or isn’t into spies or succubi or secretaries or whatever your story is about, then you’re out of luck. And that’s just how the industry rolls. It’s a harsh reality.

This was a fun distraction as well: tickets to my double-date with Gimli and "I" :)
This was a fun distraction as well: tickets to my double-date with Gimli and “I” 🙂

What distracted me this week while writing: Pitch Wars. Burns Night yesterday, though we don’t need a reason to eat haggis in our house. I LOVE it 🙂 Not much else exciting happened, apart from I allowed myself to watch Star Trek: Nemesis for the first and last time. How I avoided knowing the ending for so long is beyond me, but I found it thoroughly upsetting.

Last 200 words: Alas, still revising. I think I’ll be ready to share words only after the marathon is finished, and this saddens me!

I haven’t achieved what I set out to on this marathon, but I’m SO glad I’ve participated because I’ve met some great people whose progress has been nothing short of inspirational, and I’m rooting for you all! 🙂


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14 thoughts on “WIPMarathon Check-In #8

  1. It saddened me too when I saw that most of the speculative Pitchwars entries got no request, but after about a day of agonizing over that, I realized it had to do with the AGENTS not being into that genre. Most of them geared toward contemporary, or entries that had contemporary leanings.
    Generally though, I think life is always 97% hardwork and 3% luck. And that 3% could make all the difference there is. So…

    And I was there last week too with you. After reading THE EMPEROR’S BLADES, I didn’t look at my WIP for about a day. I just felt like it was…nothing. And it was only today that I had a good pep talk with myself: I have to write in my own style, my own way. I can’t fashion myself after another author’s writing style, and I possibly will not have all the life experiences they have, but I can imagine. And I can soar with it.

    Hope you make great progress this week!

    1. Thanks, Ifeoma! It’s comforting to know I’m not alone in those feelings, but encouraging to realize it’s OKAY to have them, but to let them push me on rather than hold me back. And you’re right about that 3%. I think I just need to remind myself that that’s 3% completely out of our control, so I can’t beat myself up over it!

  2. The people who make is are the people who don’t give up -that’s so true! Reading amazing books sometimes makes me despair that I’ll never get to their level, but shutting out the voices is the only way I can get any writing done!

    The industry IS so subjective! I’ve read some amazing manuscripts which never got picked up by agents, either because they missed a trend, or because no agent fell in love with it. I’m struggling with that as I’m querying and the few responses I’m getting are either form rejections or “it’s not for me”. An agent has to really love a project to represent it, and since this is my fourth time querying, hopefully this time I’ll find someone who does!

    Hope everything goes well for you! 🙂

  3. Also, bear in mind? With pitch wars, you didn’t see the ninja requests that Brenda forwarded along. I know for a fact some of the speculative ones got ninja requests. 😉 Don’t give up, you have a good story. If I’d thought at all it would fit the person I’m interning for, I would have requested it and immediately told her “Skip the stack, you want it”. It just isn’t her style of stuff. <3 I was at the American Library association conference this weekend, and there were books getting lots of love I was like, meh at, and others where I was squealing at finding it while others looked at me like I was nuts!
    (Also, I guarantee, if you ever write something I think she'll like? I'll let you know and give her a nudge. Because you're awesome.)

  4. Exactly! You can’t give up. I have that voice, too. It especially likes to flare up when I’m close to finishing something. I’ve seen amazing stories get passed on, and it’s maddening, but you’re right. Grabbing someone’s attention is a matter of subjectivity, timing, and luck. I truly believe that if we keep trying though, we’ll make it. It’s science. 🙂 I had a moment a few months ago when I read something amazing and just wanted to trash everything I’ve ever written and quit. I think books like that make up better though. They make us work harder.

    1. Yes!! When you’re close and you look back and the voice just starts chiming in without invitation. And I agree, those books are part of the reason I write in the first place, the desire to create a world that moves other people the way my favourite books move me, so yes, they do make us work harder. I need to focus on that!

  5. Oh yes the subjectivity in this industry often blows my mind and makes me wonder how some books are ever published while others never see the light of day :/ Still, just keep writing for you.

    Be careful of comparing your first drafts to the pristine, polished, and edited final copies of the books you read. Once, those awesome stories were first drafts too and probably just as messy and imperfect as you might think yours are.

    Hope this week goes better for you writing wise! 🙂

  6. If it’s what you love, it doesn’t matter what anyone thinks or if you ever make a dime. Love it for what it is: writing that makes YOU happy. Keep your chin up!

  7. I’m late in chiming in on this, but your paragraph regarding that discouraging inner voice resonates with me so much that I had to comment. I remember telling someone a long time ago that trying to write a book makes me feel like a little girl parading in her mother’s shiny red heels. The fantasy is so real, but logically that little girl knows she can’t possibly fill such large, glamorous shoes. I love the way you put it, “Reading amazing published books that make me feel like a child in a Fisher Price kitchen or workbench, trying to imitate her parents.” That is EXACTLY how I feel. Like, what am I doing here? Considering all of the amazing pieces of literature out there, why does the world even need my mediocre writing? I guess the answer is, it doesn’t. But I need to write it. I suppose that’s what makes a writer a writer…that drive to write, despite those feelings of inadequacy, and hope that someday, a gem will be discovered buried in the heap of all that mediocrity.

    I’ve never read your work before, but based on the blog entries I’ve read, you’re an awesome writer!

    P.S. I swear any future comments will not be this long.

    1. Late schmate! Thanks for stopping by. I’m glad I’m not alone in hearing those kinds of voices, and wanting to bash them over the head. “Why does the world need my mediocre writing?” Yes. That’s how I’ve been feeling. But you’re right… and I don’t think the world *needed* anything that my favourite authors have written, but I’m betting they all wrote their stories because they simply couldn’t keep it inside. And if we can at least say we have that in common with them, then hell’s bells, I’ll keep at it 🙂

      Thank you so much for your comments! Mutual encouragement!! 😀

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