I came across these two interesting blog posts the other day:

First there’s: The Dos and Don’ts of Your Online Presence. The post has some good advice, and summarizes at the end with:

DO:

– Have at least a rudimentary website
– Let people know a little bit about you
– Give people a way to contact you
– Blog about your life and interests

DON’T:

– Alienate your future editors and fans
– Create a digital monument to failure
– Be an unwelcome dinner guest on Twitter

I’m partly guilty of the “digital monument to failure” part. If you remember, I used to have a tally of rejections on the side of this blog, and on my wiki I kept track of who had rejected what. Fortunately I rethought this practice, though I doubt I’ve done enough for editors to really look for me. The reason I thought it was fun to track rejections was two-fold. Firstly, rejections are pretty useless otherwise; they don’t get you anywhere. If I could tally them, keep stats on them, at least I could get some use out of them, at least they’d have some effect. Secondly, I thought it might be interesting for readers of my blog to see, since we all know it happens, yet there’s not much info about how much it happens to more successful authors. I now do my submission and rejection tracking duotrope.com, which I’m sure is better. From an editor’s point of view, who wants to be reminded of a bunch of failure? Even if they can guess just about every author’s been rejected, it’s not great for your impression on a stranger, is it?

Second there’s: Pushing the Boulder: Making the leap from short story to novel. Hey, *gasp* that’s what I’m doing! As the post writer says:

I love short stories for many reasons. At a pace of roughly one story a month, I’ve been able to dabble in all sorts of different things, from fantasy, horror, and science fiction, and things that slip between the cracks. Feedback from beta readers comes faster, within days or weeks, providing encouragement and confidence for an inconsistent ego. Positive reinforcement, sooner, kept me going when I otherwise might have given up.

Like the mountain, novels are a different beast. Unless you’re sending work to faithful beta readers, chapter by chapter, it can be months or even years before your efforts are validated. It can seem insurmountable when observed from page 1, with no end in sight.

It takes a leap of faith in yourself to scale the mountain, especially for the first time. The journey will be long, uncertain and difficult, with treacherous passes and pitfalls never imagined. The risk is greater, but so is the reward.

While I sort of fear that my novel won’t be good enough when I’m finished, I’m also more afraid that I’ll just lose interest and stop writing, and it will turn into yet another failed attempt. I guess the trick is to not think about the whole novel all at once, or how long it’s going to take you. Just tackle it one little piece at a time. Really, really. Of course, easier said than done, eh?

I’ve been thinking about starting another podcast to chronicle this novel-writing attempt, mostly for my own benefit, as a way to try to keep myself on the novel-writing path. (It’s easier to blather in voice than to try to write out coherent blog posts, methinks… not that my blog posts are really all that coherent but you know what I mean chickens and ducks and stuff… oh, oops, excuse my noncoherency.) Does the world really need another writing podcast? Well, no. But it doesn’t really need another fantasy novel either, so who cares about need? Not sure if I’ll do it or not… we’ll see…

Categories: Writing

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