The Title Writing Prompt Challenge needs a title, and this is a quick reminder about voting for one of the ten offered. You can vote at THIS post, and as another quick reminder, the voting closes at Noon on Thursday (about a day and a half from whan this goes live).
OK . . . now, then, about writing.
I recently left a comment on a post of a blog I follow. It was — you guessed it — about writing. The process of formulating and composing my thought for the comment (which I do on the fly) had me think about my writing, something I’ve not really done much lately . . . thinking, not writing; I write practically every day, even if only to leave a comment here and there. So, what about my writing?
Well, let me tell you . . . but first . . . a photo. But, not just a photo; a photo about a ginger.
Anyway, my writing . . . in writing that particular comment, I came to a realization about how much I’ve matured as a writer. Not just fiction writing, but writing in general.
Let’s get one thing out of the way before I proceed . . . I’m not saying I’m great, but I’ve become comfortable with the notion that I’m not bad.
“Disperser-san! What do you mean?”
I mean that I can compare my writing from a few years ago to my writing now, and I see a difference. The writing is more streamlined, efficient, with fewer awkward passages. Dare I say it? Sure . . . fewer mistakes even before I run Grammarly or ProWrider Aid as a check of what I wrote. In part it’s because of Grammarly and ProWriting Aid.
No, I don’t follow all their suggestions, sometimes because even though I know the rules, I want to break them, and other times because I don’t agree with the rules. Wait . . . not that I don’t agree with the rules; rather, the rules aren’t conforming to how and what I want to write. But, that’s the point . . . I know the rules, and I mostly follow them.
Reading some of my old stuff, I immediately see where I can streamline or tighten the prose, replace words and sentences to be clearer, and, in general, see where I can improve what I previously wrote. Mind you, I don’t beat myself up about it. Often, I let it be, secure in the knowledge that, going forward, I’m better than I was. Besides, almost everything you see on this blog was written on the fly and with minimal editing. Considering the effort I put into writing, I’m satisfied with it.
I think my supposed improvement has to do with the sheer amount of writing I do. We’re talking 3.5 million words just in this blog (over the course of 12 years). Lets see . . . 3.5M/144 months = 24,300 words/month.
That’s translate to an equivalent of nearly one NaNoWriMo every two months, or a decent-size novel every four months.
“Disperser-san! What about the quality?”
Obviously, not everyone agrees because I hardly win any of the challenges. BUT . . . I look back at the alphabet challenge, and aside from four or five offerings, I think much of what I wrote is pretty solid. Solid enough for me to shop them around (you know, when I get to it, although it’s difficult selling stuff when FNASR is lost).
Yes, yes, one has to find the right audience, the right publisher, stroke the rabbit foot, and sacrifice a chicken tender to the mythical gods of publishing . . . but you don’t even try any of that unless you have some confidence about what you have to offer, and I do.
Maybe, but, over the years, I’ve had some encouraging feedback and not just from family and from the few fans I have on the blog. Honestly, had we not lost roughseasinthemed and Colonialist, I might have already self-published. No, I’m not using them as an excuse, but they were reasonably priced editors (which I now regret not employing when I had the chance). These days, if I want my books professionally edited, I’ll spend more than I can hope to make back in sales. (Reference)
But, speaking of hubris, I think I can self-edit well enough for self-publishing. Heck, I’ve read professionally published books I thought were poorly edited (and poorly executed).
“Disperser-san! What’s really going on here?”
I … I … Holy Crap on a Cracker! I think I’m getting the submission itch again!
But, this is about writing, so I’ll point interested readers (meaning, other writers) to some posts that helped me clarify my thoughts about writing in general and my writing in particular. I’ve just re-read them, and while written with a humorous slant, the advice I reference is from a slew of published authors, and I offer a bit of personal perspective.
Here’s the thing . . . in 2015 — when all of these peices were written — I was pretty fired up about writing. Then came a bunch of crap (ok, not literally . . . except, maybe, Trump) and lots of stuff happening dampened my motivation . . .
. . . which is a bit strange that my motivation seems to be firing up now, at a time when the world literally seems to be falling apart, what with looming nuclear war, the possible collapse of the ecosphere, partisan bickering that’s likely to spill into violence, economic upheaval brewing, plus so, so, so many people acting like . . . well, assholes.
On the one hand, this seems like the worst possible time to try and sell mediocre stuff . . . but on the other hand, why not? Getting rejected can’t be much worse than watching the world going to hell in a finely woven basket.
But, them blog posts about writing (with bonus flash fiction in some of the posts) . . . there are a lot of them, with lots of writing about writing written by an unpublished writer who’s only half-ass serious about the craft; take them with a grain of salt (or a whole salt lick).
Here they are in chronological order (by the way, you can also find useful information in the comments) . . .
And, that’s that . . . and, if you’re not bored to tears, remember to vote for your title preference. Oh, and here’s the artsified version of the cat photo . . .
That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.
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