WHT hit 40,000 words this morning. I remember in the past, I used to think that every 10,000 words I would get stuck. With hindsight, I recognise this for what it was: my humbling for hitting a milestone psyching me out. I would get to 40K in VOL and it would knock me for 6. As I’ve become more used to writing novels back to back, I get this less and less. I am testiment to the fact that writing can become as much a habit as brushing your teeth. Writing novels can be a process that flows as elegant as any production line, without sacraficing quality or heart. I do not censor my heart, I let it stream without break each day.
I am in a pickle though, Today was the 36th day of typing WHT, and I hit 40K. This fits with elegance the “write 10K every 9 days” model I fell into without any artifice. That means I will by March 11th hit 81K~. That’s, not enough. This novel is much longer than that. In fact it’s threatening to become a 110K story. Is that a problem? If I were working full time as a writer of course not. But I’m not, and I can only devote so much time each day to writing. If I want to hit my stretch goal of all 14 books in this series by the end of 2023, it’s a big problem.
So what can I do? Good question, I have no idea. I mean there is an obvious solution: get published stupid. All well and good, but how do I even go about doing that? I am not arrogant enough to believe I deserve publication in my work’s current form. So do I hire an editor? Maybe, but it makes more sense to bolster my name, get an agent, and then take their advice on editing. Of course should I get beta readers in the meantime I will take their advice, as I have so far. But there is a far bigger problem lingering here.
I am plain scared to send my stories off. Understand it’s not fear of rejection, I embrace failure. It’s the best way to learn anything. No my fear of sending my stories off is the same reason it took a month to fix my heating, and why I still cannot handle phonecalls to save my life. I am a shy person. I am far more introverted than I care to admit, and it is stilting my progress in a big way. Yes I might get rejected and there’s no gurantee an agent will want me on their books, but it’s a 0% chance if I don’t try. So what the heck do I do?
The answer is already on my Trello. I have a list called “Writing contests to enter”. There is a flash fiction contest that closes in 9 days, 300 words. I am going to enter it, and all the others on my list too. There’s a BBC one which I’ll enter an edited version of The Rope Broke into. There’s a novel contest for which I will submit Unreachable. Will I win any of these? I doubt it. But if I can even gain some kind of mention, it’s a credit. I need to find story collections to submit to. I don’t care about prize money or awards; I need exposure. If I can get enough of that, it won’t only mean an agent might take more notice. It might give me the confidence to approach one.
Here’s hoping. Back to work.