First In/First Out!
I re-upped my Duotrope subscription (if I may shill for just a moment) to kick myself in the pants and try to have stories out for submissions as often as possible. So far, it’s worked! I’ve had two submissions out at all times, and as soon as a rejection comes in, I hop into Duotrope and find another place to send it right back out. It makes my life so much easier, and saves so much time aimlessly looking for markets to submit to.
I’m very enamored with Short Story Podcasts right now. Most of my listening is from Escape Artists Podcasts, but I’m slowly trying to branch out. I’ve been so slow to hop on the podcast train, despite being part of one for TWENTY SIX EPISODES NOW, but it was just a matter of finding a niche that worked for me! I’ve also been terrible at not reading as much as I should (*sobs* I still haven’t finished Unlucky by Zom Barber, even though I thoroughly enjoy it), and these podcasts have helped with that. It’s really helped my ability to structure a short story, and I now have three more in the hopper awaiting revisions.
Something else that has really been helping my writing is taking time to watch a movie in my genre weekly. Not just watch it, but really analyze it, breaking it down and critiquing the structure and elements of some of the classics with a good friend (don’t tell her I called her that). It’s been fun to travel through what I consider a fantasy primer and see what’s stood the test of time (The Dark Crystal surprised me with how good I still find it, even as it terrified me as a child), and those that really did not (I’m looking at you, Legend). To be a competent writer, you have to know what you like and don’t like, so even though some stories have crumbled under analysis, it’s been educational. I think I’ve come out a better writer for it!
I won NaNo!
While Blood of the True Believer isn’t technically finished in first draft, it got me through. It’s been wild, writing two whole novels (one to near completion) in six months. I do want to talk about my NaNo experience, and the impact it had on my mental health, but probably another time. I’m really happy to have the experience of doing it, finally, but it is a feat of titanic proportions, and I don’t think it’s a reasonable or realistic goal for many writers. That said, I do still fully support it, but I think you really need to know yourself going in.
Also, my Nana called to tell me she read The Hole in the World, and I am not too proud to say I cried at her praise, which means so much to me, as she and my Papa were foundational in supporting my imagination as I grew up.
Ho Ho Ho!
I’m back in the FanFic game. Every holiday season I do Secret Santa exchanges with my RP community at Warden’s Vigil, and it’s the only time I force myself to get back to my writing roots and just do something for funsies. I really love and support fic writers. Without fic, I would not be where I am now. Writing is writing, and fic is a great way to explore the elements of what makes a good story inside the safety of a sandbox, and I would caution you all not to turn your noses at it.
Speaking of Holidays
Freddie Meowcury found out the hard way that Cronchmas Trees are not food. My poor little Prince of Meowtown.
If you’re looking to support creators in this season of giving, may I recognise a few of the following?
Bi Bi Bi (I HAVE TO PLUG MY OWN CAST)
Claire Faas (I am extremely biased towards my fellow Podcaster)
Risa Hulet (AKA Vylla)
Imogen Cassidy (Another shameless plug for my fellow Podcaster)
Zom Barber (HEY ZOM I REALLY HAD TO DIG FOR YOURS)
I feel like I should have a Patreon of my own. Hmm…
Finally, Mental Health
This can be a very hard time of year for so many. We are all facing challenges in our lives, and we shouldn’t have to do so alone. There is help available.
Take care of yourselves out there, and keep creating.