This is somewhat related to one of my previous writing tips: Finding Time to Write. But making writing a priority goes a bit deeper. Sometimes I have all the time in the world to write, yet I just don’t feel like it. Especially in the midst of real life, or after waiting ages for responses to queries, or getting a rejection. When the hard times hit it’s easy to knock writing off the to-do list. Resist that urge.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned about writing it’s this–if you don’t make writing a priority, no one’s going to do it for you. (Great statement huh? Not mine. I heard it from Susan Essman at my writer’s meeting last week. 🙂 ) So true! I’m the only one that can write my book, enter contests, query agents and editors. I may have all the desire and drive in the world to write and get published. But if I don’t sit down and write out what needs to be written, who else is going to do it?
Have you ever felt like you need to write and you can’t make yourself stop? Even to eat or sleep. And other times you have every intention to write, but you keep getting sidetracked? In the midst of the writing feast everything seems to come easily and quickly. But it’s in the famine that we have to remind ourselves to write. Plant yourself in that chair and write!
Believe me, I’m saying this to myself as much as anyone. After my last rejection, I’ve hit the famine time. That’s when you start to question yourself. Since my YA book isn’t getting any bites, maybe I should start on my next book. Or should I continue to polish the first book? Keep looking for agents? Or try my hand at article writing to get my name out there? Maybe enter a contest to keep going? These are questions each writer has to answer for themselves.
For me, I decided to start on my next book. Then once I started, I went back to polishing my first book. You just have to figure out what works for you. Sometimes, when things get discouraging, jumping back and forth between projects can be a great way to keep things moving forward. And keep your writing brain active. As for the rest–I’ve ordered Sally Stuart’s Christian Writers’ Market Guide to look into places to send articles. I also found a great site with some upcoming contests: Stephie Smith’s Contest Chart.
So what’s my game plan? (I’ve always got to have a plan 🙂 ) I’ve got another agent on the list I’m going to submit to. Not getting my hopes up. I hope to enter a contest in the next month or two. In the meantime, I’ll alternate between polishing A Corner of Reality and writing the first draft of Enemy at Home. Hopefully everything goes according to plan. Yeah right!