A Writer’s Journal: March ’21

Stories Draft:

  • ‘Book of Elders’ Draft 0

Stories in Revision:

  • None

Words Written:

  • 13041 words

I’ll start this post with my biggest piece of news: My short story, ‘With Love, From Waystation 4,’ will be published this May by Typehouse Literary Magazine! I’m overjoyed that this short story found a home and I’m excited to see it out in the world in a few months. I originally wrote this story for the Out There anthology. And while it landed on their long and short lists, the editors ultimately passed on it. They sent a lovely rejection letter explaining their reasoning and with any rejection, it was a bittersweet pill to swallow. They acknowledged that it was a story they genuinely loved and encouraged me to continue writing and submitting stories. It’s a type of letter that I’ve received several times before. And while personal rejections boost my confidence in a small and meaningful way, they still cause me to wonder what I could have done differently to get my story selected. I’m not sure how to work through that feeling. All I can do is continue writing and submitting to the magazines I admire.

(And I printed out this specific rejection letter so I have that reminder that I’m a great writer and other people value my work)

I’m glad that Typehouse will publish this story next month and I can’t wait to share it here!

Of course the excitement of my upcoming publication distracted me for a day, but once that simmered down, I focused on completing a full draft of my novella. I’m using a website/tool called Pacemaker to track my word count and progress. When I first started this project, I used a website called Write Track, but forgot my login information and unfortunately have been unable to access my account. Before that happened, I enjoyed using Write Track. But now I’m in love with Pacemaker and plan to use it for other projects.

As you can see, my word count varies from day to day. Right now I’m averaging about 869 words a day and have a little under 27,000 words left until I meet my goal. But I’m on track to have this draft completed by mid-April. So what happens after that? Well here’s a timeline of what I’d like to accomplish during each month. I have terrible time management and project planning skills. I’m hoping to correct that by breaking my larger projects down into smaller, manageable pieces. (Also that sticker comes from my friends’ shop, Wyrd Sisters Designs. Check them out! They have fantastical, ethereal artwork that I really dig!)

If you can’t read my handwriting, I’ll break it down for you:

  • March-mid-April: Draft 0
    • Submit to beta readers by April 18 or 19
  • Mid-April-mid-June: Research & Revise Outline
  • Mid-June: Read Draft 0 & Take Notes for Revision
  • July: Revision–>Draft 1
  • August: Chill (Not really. I’m drafting another project then)
  • September: Revision #2
  • October: Line Edits & Submission

And at the very bottom of my proposed timeline is the submission period for the small press I want to submit to. It feels like I have plenty of time to draft, edit and revise this novella, but in my mind I feel like I’m racing against the clock. I think breaking it down into what I want to accomplish in a given month will help me stay focus and not juggle too many balls at once.

While my novella has a LONG way to go until it’s ready for submission, I’m enjoying this process so much. I love the main character and how she moves through this world. I’m trying to shy away from actively revising the story as I draft, but I’ve made notes on what I want to research and add to the story in future drafts. I’m also trying my hand at in-depth world-building for the first time. I hope to write speculative fiction for the entirety of my career, but I’ve always shied away from tackling universe/world creation. This project is forcing me out of my comfort zones in a lot of ways, which means there’s so much room for growth as a storyteller. I’m eager and nervous for the feedback my beta readers will have. But there’s so much potential in this story and I’m trying to excavate it bit by bit.

I’m also dreaming about another long project that I plan to start later this year. I won’t go into great detail about it right now. But I’ll share more once I’m through the outlining phase. For now, I will drop this hint:

One last point: I was able to receive my first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine earlier in March and I’ll receive my second dose in a few days. I know there’s a lot of misinformation out there about the vaccine. There are some great resources and websites that explain what a vaccine is and what it does to the body. Here’s an official website that can answer any questions you may have about vaccines. I’m also a fan of Vox’s short video essays that address vaccines and the COVID-19 vaccine specifically. Here are two videos that I think are great: mRNA vaccines, explained and Why you can’t compare Covid-19 vaccines. When you’re eligible for the vaccine, I hope you go and get it. If we want to safely return to the world and reduce the spread of COVID-19, then we all have to do our part.

Stay safe! Wear your mask! Wash your hands! Take care of yourself! And as always, Happy Writing!

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