This week I decided to get serious. That’s why I haven’t been around much. I really love blogging. I love writing my silly little stories and making my observations about life and engaging with the blogging community, but there is one drawback to it all – I don’t get paid for it.
Most of my blog posts – particularly the stories – take quite a long time to write. I have recently come to the realisation that I should actually use that time more efficiently and use it to write longer stories, essays and so on that I can actually submit and perhaps earn a small income from.
I know it sounds slightly mercenary but I need to start earning some money from my writing or I suspect I will give it up completely. I do earn a bit of money editing freelance and doing odd jobs here and there but the work is very sporadic at the moment and I, of all people, need to get myself into a more stable working position.
So I’m attempting to change things. This week I sent out queries, short stories, an essay and a few other things including a proposal for a television writing gig I’ve had on the backburner for a while. I need to get my work out there and explore the possibilities of what I could do with it.
I have been afraid for the longest time to submit things but after everything that has gone on lately, I just thought: What do I have to lose? What am I waiting for?
You would not believe the amount of writing I do in a week. It is as if I have an obsessive compulsive side of me that has to write. I have an endless supply of ideas but I have just as many folders and files full of unfinished things.
This week I tidied a lot of that up. I finished three longer short stories (10,000 words) and submitted them. Whether they are published or not is irrelevant to me at the moment – the fact that I tackled them and finished them has made me feel so good. They were difficult stories to write stylistically. I really pushed myself with genre and theme. I think that’s why I was avoiding them. Writing that kind of stuff is hard work. It is a major brain work out. I am proud of myself for finishing them.
I was feeling bad about blogging and kind of avoiding it because I felt it was a snug little place for me to hide as a writer. I have my little niche here which I love but I think there comes a time where you have to decide to branch out a little further. One of the reasons I originally started this blog was to use it to showcase my writing; to be my portfolio, if you will. But if I’m not submitting my work anywhere what is the point of having a portfolio at all?
For a while I have been anxious about my creative life. I feel like I’m wasting time and the small amount of talent I have. Admittedly, it can be very hard to see in a concrete sense any benefits from writing. The marketplace is quite limited. However, that is no reason not to try.
Getting my work out there and dealing with the inevitable scrutiny that comes with that is not something I relish. But sometimes life is all about changing the way we do things, isn’t it? When I face change I get anxious. When I don’t feel I’m doing enough I get anxious. If I’m anxious either way maybe the best thing to do is to just go for it so that I can be in a position where I have faced change rather than still be facing it.
It sounds simplistic but it actually works. After finishing things I never thought I could finish and then submitting them I feel so much better. It doesn’t really matter what the outcome is, the important thing is the process which I am sure will lead to other things and improve my mental outlook.
I have that annoying song from the Rocky movies stuck in my head now. You know the one that is always in the background when Rocky is jabbing his fists into the air and shouting out Adrienne, Adrienne as he runs through the streets?
Gonna fly now
Gonna fly now
It’s important that we give the dreams we have a try.
Won’t you join me in trying out your dreams?
I don’t think it’s mercenary at all! You ate a brilliant writer and should see rewards for that!
Yikes, you *are* a brilliant writer! I’m sure you did not *eat* one! 😉
I couldn’t agree with you more. When I first started to send out my work, I was so petrified I had to have a friend sit next to me while I prepared the submission. And then she had to put it in the postbox! But I do believe that, ultimately, writing is about communication, and you have to get your work out there in order to do that. Sure, you’ll get rejections, but as they say, “you can’t win if you don’t play.” I wish you great luck, and I’m sending you a virtual hug for your bravery.
All the best for it, Selma, hope you have lots of success.
LOL. Actually, that’s a good idea for a story. I could be some kind of being that ate a good writer in order to become one. I really like that idea. I think I’m going to write a story about it. Thanks for the inspiration. You have given me food for thought. Haha.
By the way, I do so appreciate your support. You are awesome!
It is terrifying. I guess what we all worry about is that all that effort we put in is going to be for nothing because person after person is going to reject us. But there is only one way to find out and I can’t hide in the safety of my blog forever. You inspire me, Sue. I don’t always say so but I really look up to you.
I am going to give it my best shot. And that, for me, is quite a big deal. I am doing fist pumps in the air right now. YEAH!
My heart is bursting with pride and joy for you right now, Selma. I’m grinning from ear-to-ear and trying very hard to NOT go racing around the house, jumping on the furniture, and laughing like a deranged hyena.
SO. PROUD. OF. YOU!!!
You are inspiring to me, you know. I also have tons of essays, short stories (and an old blogs worth of stuff) that I dreamed of polishing and sending out. The creating and end results aren’t the only important parts of this process, the sending forth our little treasures into the wilds of the publishing world… Yes, it’s time.
Thank you, Selma, thank you.
I’m happy for you, I think it’s tough to even finish one piece, I hope you get publish and grow your wings – sounds lame but, anyway, happy writing
wonderful. a ‘get real’. go for it! and keep going no matter what! btw, intend to have success and it will happen. outstanding!
This is so terribly inspirational right now…
Well good luck and you’re very talented so you should find success!
My advice to you is just get your work out there. It is amazingly liberating to do so. Get those treasures of yours out in the wide world so they can become someone else’s treasures. And truth be told, I am quite fond of deranged hyenas 😀
It doesn’t sound lame at all. I want that for you too. I have high hopes for you. It is a lot of work to finish a piece and because of that it’s a shame to just keep it in the desk drawer afterwards. Submit, submit, submit. It’s my new mantra!
It’s time for me to get serious. It won’t get published if I don’t send it out. Onward and upward……
If I can inspire you then that is fantastic. Actually, you have made my day by saying that. Brilliant!
Woo hoo! Best of luck, Sel, dear!
I think we caught the same bug this week: I’ve just submitted something for the first time in three years (well, entered a contest, actually).
You should still continue with the blogging, and consider your posts as the building blocks from which your work could be built. You can combine two or three posts to make an article … you could even string some articles together to make a book.
I just finished Griff Rhys Jones’ ‘Rivers’, which looked like a collection of blog posts … which it might well have been. But the result was, nevertheless. rather readable.
Hi CRAFTY GREEN:
Thank you so much. That means a lot to me coming from a talented writer like yourself. Cheers.
That is FABULOUS. I am so glad to hear it. It doesn’t matter if you win or not, what really matters is that you are getting your work out there. YAY!!!
What a great idea. Thank you so much for that. That is such good advice!
I am wishing you the best of luck in trying out your dreams! You are a talented writer with a strong voice — I hope you are able to find the success I truly believe you deserve.
Good for you! You have a talent, it should be promoted. Ya can’t let fear hamper that. Somehow someone will see what we already know!! Best of luck to ya girl!
*SCREAMS IN EXCITED GLEE*
I am soooooo happy for you!!!! Submissions! Queries! I am so HAPPY FOR YOU!!!
Can you hear me from Idaho? 😀
I love blogging too, but I totally understand what you mean about too much time being taken away from the bigger projects. I thought I could handle one of the prompt sites, but I can’t do it. Not and ever finish my book, which I HAVE to do to feel like I’ve accomplished something. I’m SO SICK of being the only person in the room that’s never finished manuscript. I’m determined not to have that happen anymore. =) But DO keep the blog moving… ’cause that’s what the editors want to see. And you’ve got the followers – we all ♥ and adore you!!!
Whoot! Whoot! fly, Fly, FLY away!!!!
You are so lovely. I am really grateful to you. Thank you.
😀 😀 😀
Fear really does hold us back a lot, doesn’t it? I know it has hampered me a lot. I am tired of it having such a hold on me. I do so appreciate your support.
I heard a tiny scream. Very faint on the breeze. Nick tracked it on one of is iPod apps. ‘It came from Idaho,’ he said.
What you say is so important. We can get caught up in projects that while still beneficial, can prevent us from completing the things we really need to. Time doesn’t allow us to do absolutely everything and all we do is end up getting stressed if we try to do it all.
I will definitely keep the blog going. It’s my home away from home.
Thanks, Tex. I don’t know what I’d do without your support!!
So, I was wondering if you’d mind sharing your submission process and experiences on the Novel Place blog? As a writer who has not gone through this process yet, I would love to see what you do to get your work “out there.”
I will definitely do that. I have been preparing some lists of places to submit and hopefully will get myself together enough to post this week!