Tuesday, July 12, 2011

One Hand Giveth...

Well, I spent about a day and a half walking on clouds after the sale of "The Machine" to The Absent Willow Review, but I knew at some point the writing gods would remind me what it's like on terra firma. That brings me to my latest rejection for "Summer of Change," one of my last W1S1 stories.

Last? Let's say latest. But in truth, I don't see W1S1 in my near future. I had planned on giving a few excuses involving my hectic personal life, but I don't need excuses, I need reasons, and the reason I'm taking a break from W1S1 is because I just don't see the same quality in my W1S1 stories that I see in my other writing. I re-read "The Machine last night and found that it's better than anything I've written in months. Not that the idea is necessarily better than, say, "Summer of Change," but it's more polished, has a better narrative flow. There's a voice that I don't have in the other work. It's no coincidence that "The Machine" has been revised (not rewritten; revised, polished) three or four times.

I'm not a quick writer, and I've found that the longer I stay in the challenge, the more difficult it becomes to meet the deadlines. I moved from the monthly to the weekly challenges because I thought it would light a fire under me--which it did--but ultimately the same thing happened, and I spent more time worrying about getting done than getting it done right

Things could change, of course. They usually do. 


  1. It's cool that you're increasing your understanding of your process, Joe. If you need more time for each work, go for it. Each of us have different demands on their time. The important thing is to enjoy it. Writing is fun, so much fun.

  2. You said it right, Deborah. I really feel like I'm learning what it takes ME to write a story well. And thanks for the advice.

  3. Joe,

    Great - whatever works for you is good. You don't need excuses; you just need to do what helps your writing. Sorry to see you go, of course, but it's great you've worked this out about yourself.

    Drop in from time to time, though!

  4. Do what works for you, Joe. It's YOUR writing process. But also remember what Bradbury said:

    "If you can write one short story a week -- doesn't matter what the quality is to start, but at least you're practicing. At the end of the year, you have 52 short stories, and I defy you to write 52 bad ones. Can't be done."

    Even if you switch to the monthly challenge, you're still producing new work you can refine later on. Heck, I'm polishing my stories with every rejection!