Tag Archives: writing drafts

A champagne rejection

Hello my dear readers and friends!

Lately, I’ve been more absorbed in my own writing so haven’t been posting here on a regular basis. Gosh, it’s hard to do it all! I have an update for you today.

I’m still keeping up in the 12×12 challenge, having drafted a new story each month – January through October – a few of those drafts being very skimpy. A few months I’ve come up with more than one, and I have yet to write a new one for November.

Another part of 12×12 is revision. Each month we are to try to revise a manuscript as well, and they don’t have to be ones we’ve written during 12×12. As long as we are revising one of our stories it’s acceptable. I’ve not kept up in that department, although I have tackled a few.

An added bonus is that we receive badges when we write or revise, so I’ve kept up the monthly drafts for the fun of getting those.

Let me see … my count to date is 20 new drafts and 4 revisions! That’s better than what I did when I participated in 2012 and in 2016. When we reach the end of December we get a place on the winners’ wall if we’ve written 12 or more drafts over the twelve months, no matter in what month they were written. I’m so happy to know I’ll be on that wall this year. My thought right now is that I’ll join 12×12 in 2018 and spend much more time on the drafts I already have, working them into polished manuscripts ready for submitting.

 

 

Now, here’s the really exciting part. This week I sent my very first query to an agent I admire. Within two hours I heard back. You may be thinking I’m excited because the agent answered positively wanting to represent me, but no. The reply was full of good advice and suggestions for the story I’d included. That, my friends, is called a “champagne rejection” – and I’d received one on my first agent query ever! I am not discouraged. I’ll try again later after applying myself to the rewrite and looking over my other manuscripts, too. And, a writer friend suggested to keep an open mind because there may be other agents with whom I could have a good working relationship. Oh alright.  😉

I’m also keeping up on reading books when I can. To see my total thus far you can check my “Books I read in 2017.” After adding a book to my list I write a brief review of it in Goodreads where I have surpassed my reading challenge goal of 200 long ago, doubling it, with mostly picture books. Yep! I love to read.

Are you taking writing challenges? Or reading challenges?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂 

 

 

 

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Words of encouragement from Ira Glass

On January 16 of this year I joined Julie Hedlund’s 12 x 12 in 2016. The goal for members is to write a picture book draft each month so that by the end of this year we will each have twelve completed drafts or manuscripts, hence, twelve by twelve. There’s no penalty if we don’t manage it but there is a huge amount and variety of encouragement to help us get there. I’m happy I did this for myself.

I participated when Julie first concocted the idea and made it public for 2012, the year she decided she needed accountability writing friends who would join her in this challenge she had set for herself to push forward with the ideas she had come up with during Tara Lazar’s PiBoIdMo. 12×12 (twelve by twelve) has grown into an amazing program during the years since, with hundreds of participants, and I am very glad I signed on for 2016. Three weeks in and I’ve learned a lot already. I’m among a group of writers who encourage and learn from one another (as well as learning from professionals who join in at certain times), plus – I might be in a small critique group soon.

There is still a little time left should anyone else want to join 12×12 for this year before the door is closed. I can’t recall exactly when that is but I think you have at least another week if you’re interested. 

Now I want to share with you a quote someone in 12 x 12 brought to our attention for encouragement. Do you know Ira Glass? Well, he said the following – and I have it written exactly as he said it:

“Nobody tells people who are beginners, and I really wish somebody had told this to me …  is that all of us who do creative work, like y’know we get into it and we get into it because we have good taste. But it’s like there’s a gap. That for the first couple years that you’re making stuff, what you’re making isn’t so good, okay? It’s not that great. It’s trying to be good, it has ambition to be good, but it’s not quite that good. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, your taste is still killer. And your taste is good enough that you can tell that what you’re making is kind of a disappointment to you. Y’know what I mean? A lot of people never get past that phase and a lot of people at that point they quit. And the thing I would just like to say to you with all my heart is that most everybody I know who does interesting creative work, they went through a phase of years where they had really good taste and they could tell what they were making wasn’t as good as they wanted it to be. They knew it fell short. It didn’t have the special thing that we wanted it to have and the thing what to do is … Everybody goes through that. And for you to go through it, going through it right now, if you’re just getting out of that phase you’ve got to know it’s totally normal and the most important possible thing you can do is do a lot of work. Do a huge volume of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week or every month you know you’re going to finish one story. Because it’s only by actually going through a volume of work that you’re actually going to catch up and close that gap. And your work you’re making will be as good as your ambitions. In my case, like I took longer to figure out how to do this than anybody I’ve ever met. It takes awhile. It’s going to take you awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. And you just have to fight   your   way   through   that. Okay?”   – Ira Glass

 

What do you think of this advice? What has been your experience?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂