A weekly podcast about living the writing life.
A weekly podcast about living the writing life.
Episode 16: Query Updates & 2020 Goals
Sad news for this girl, I'm not ready to query after all. Sigh.
Hello and welcome to About This Writing Thing, a weekly podcast about living the writing life. I'm your host Sayword B. Eller, writer for women, podcaster, and MFA student.
I'm not one to talk much about my goals. In fact, I rarely set any for myself because I so often fail at reaching them. Same thing for resolutions. Why set something when you'll completely disregard it afterward. I'm not sure why I do this, but I do, so…that's me. This year I've decided to go against myself and set a few achievable goals. Maybe the problem with the goals I've set in the past is that I don't believe I can reach them and, thus, I sabotage myself bringing that self-fulfilling prophecy to fruition. Don't worry, I'm not getting into all that in this episode. I just happen to have realizations while recording and that's one of them. Thanks for helping me figure myself out!
First, I want to give you some updates. You know last week when I was so excited because I was finally finished with my book? Well, turns out I'm not. I'm one of those people that always says, when the story's told, it's told, no need to add words just to fit the market expectations. Unfortunately, agents and publishers don't share that thought- or so I've heard. This leaves me with two choices: 1) Submit it as is at 67k words (14k short of industry standard) and be rejected every single time, thus shattering myself over and over again because there is little hope an agent will pick up a women's fiction book that is so far below the standard of 80k, OR add the words. After much deliberation (and lamentation) I've decided to add the words. This is frustrating for a few reasons; my query timeline is thrown off, I have to put off really beginning my next project, my research trip may be postponed (because why research a topic if I'm not writing about it, right). I'm not dwelling on it. Like any writer worth their salt, I'm focusing on the task at hand. I'm adding the words. The only way I'm going to get this book finished is one word at a time. Eventually they'll add up to 80,000, right?
So that's my sort of sad news. I'm sad (and frustrated) that I'm not finished and can't move forward with querying, but anything that makes the story stronger will be worth it, right? Right? I really hope so. I don't want to be working on this book in March.
Enough about that. Let's talk goals. I don't set goals or resolutions, as I mentioned before I don't set goals for myself often, mainly because the moment a goal is set my brain says, "Nah." This year, though, I've decided to set a few goals that my brain may be happy with.
1) Read more. I don't read as much as I should. We all know the golden rule, right. If you want to be a good writer you need to read a lot and write a lot. I don't do too much of either, so in 2020 my goal is to read more. I'm also planning to expand my horizons. Right now I'm reading Alyssa Cole's Loyal League romance trilogy. Yes, I'm loving it. I'm planning to do a vlog on them when I've finished them all. In 2020 I'm going to try to read a bit more outside my genre. I'll also try to incorporate more male authors. I tend to read books by women. Shocker, right?
2) Write more. I don't write every single day. This is one of the main reasons it takes me a year and a half to write a novel. Some days are very productive. Other days not so much. I'll be working to improve that this year.
3) Less television. I love tv. Movies and shows are my favorite things. I watched a lot of television when I was growing up and I can't fathom breaking up with it altogether. That being said, I've already stopped watching as much as I used to, but that's because of this next goal.
4) Less gaming. Hubby and I are currently addicted to State of Decay 2. So, I've stopped watching as much television
Episode 15: Fear of Finishing
Do you have a fear of finishing? Turns out I do, and it's a big ball of complicated feelings that are causing issues with my new project. Sigh.
Mentioned in this episode:
The Hot Sheet
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Episode 14: Why Your Friends and Family Don't Have to Read Your Work
We all want the people we love to read our work. That validation is something we crave, but what if we stopped putting that pressure on ourselves and the people we love? I'm talking about my own experiences with this struggle and how letting go of the expectation has affected my process. No transcript this week. Sorry, y'all.
SPECIAL NOTE: In this episode I share the time I asked someone I admire to read my work and they didn't. In no way did I intend to come across as angry that they didn't read my story during the hardship they were experiencing. They truly were very sick during that summer and I completely understand not reading my story during a time when they were trying to recover from such an illness.
ANNOUNCEMENT: About This Writing Thing will be on hiatus until January 8, 2020. I say January 7 twice at the end of this episode, but that is incorrect. Episode 15 will drop on January 8, 2020 at 8:00 AM ET.
Want to keep up with what I'm doing until then? Find me on Twitter and Instagram. You can also find this podcast tweeting HERE.
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I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season and, more than anything, I hope you keep writing!
Episode 13: Corrections, Editing Updates, and Critique Tips
TO read the blog post about this episode go HERE.
Mentioned in this episode: Swoonworthy Virtual Bookclub. Find the podcast HERE. Check out Krista Harper on Instagram.
My 10 critique guidelines are included in this episode. We all have them. Well, those of us who are actively working with other writers. I'd love to hear yours! Comment below or reach out to me on Twitter: @writingthingpod or @saybeller. You can also find me on Instagram (saybeller).
Want to know more about what I'm up to? Check out saywordbeller.com!
Episode 12: Conducting Effective Research
We all have guidelines when researching history. Since I'm eyeball deep in historical data for my WIP, I decided to share with you my top 8 conducting effective research.
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Want to know more about me? saywordbeller.com
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Thank you so much for your support!
Episode 11: Revisions, Announcement, & the State of the Publishing Industry
I'm almost done withe my third draft! Also, I've got some exciting news to tell you! I also want to whine a bit about the current state of the publishing industry. Is it totally hopeless?
Palahniuk, Chuck, August 2013, Nuts and Bolts: "Thought" Verbs, https://litreactor.com/essays/chuck-palahniuk/nuts-and-bolts-%E2%80%9Cthought%E2%80%9D-verbs
Deahl, Rachel, November 2019, Is Publishing Too Top Heavy? https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/publisher-news/article/81637-is-publishing-too-top-heavy.html
Want to know what I've got going on? Check out my website: saywordbeller.com
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