Author Topic: Goals and consequences -- how do you keep yourself producing?  (Read 4476 times)

bolddeceiver

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Since I decided to go from a casual writer who writes for his own enjoyment alone to working semi-seriously at getting at least my short work published, I have realized that I need to set goals with concrete consequences if they aren't completed in order to keep my work from getting buried under the rest of life.

Now, I'll admit right now that half of my reason for posting this is to have my goal in writing and read by some other people, to keep myself honest on it.  But I'm also interested in how other people keep themselves moving forward.

My goal.  I have a much easier time writing than I do editing, and as such have a lot of first drafts sitting around.  I picked one that I think has the most potential and am forcing myself through the work of editing and rewriting and polishing.  Now for the consequence.  If I do not have Remembrance ready and in the mail to magazines by November 1, I don't get to do NaNoWriMo.  This year will be number six for me, and I know I won't let myself miss it.

How do you motivate your writing?



Rachel Swirsky

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Reply #1 on: October 08, 2007, 07:32:33 AM
Try going to Clarion or one of the other intensive workshops, where you can encounter and subsequently sustain a writing community which has its own rewards and pressures.

Most major cities (or even minor ones, we've got one in Iowa City) have spec fic writing groups, also, which can help keep you producing if the groups are structured around deadlines. Finding a good writing group can be hard. You want to find one that matches your personality and your writing level.

If you don't feel like you're good enough to do either of those things yet, then my advice is to stop sending out and keep working on your writing until you are good enough to do those things. One thing I'm learning from reading slush is that I strongly suspect people are starting to send their work out too early, both in their own careers (they aren't ready yet) and in the story's life (they send out an early draft instead of revising to make the story as best they can).



bolddeceiver

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Reply #2 on: October 08, 2007, 07:41:35 AM
Yeah, I was in a really good writing group in my last town just before I moved, but all the ones I've looked into here just don't feel quite like a good fit...



Rachel Swirsky

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Reply #3 on: October 08, 2007, 08:10:00 AM
Are you willing to say where you're located now?



bolddeceiver

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Reply #4 on: October 08, 2007, 08:30:00 PM
Kirkland, WA, and it's tough to get into Seattle evenings...



Rachel Swirsky

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Reply #5 on: October 08, 2007, 08:43:51 PM
If you can get into Seattle on weekends, there are definitely groups. Many of them cluster around Clarion grads.

I recommend joining Codex, and meeting some of the CW people who are in the Seattle area. You could also try hanging around the clarion west boards at http://www.clarionwest.org, and see if there are Seattleites who might invite you into a group, or allow you to submit your work so that they can consider inviting you into a group. There may even be people around who have arranged groups in satelite cities like Kirkland.

I also recommend going to events at the SF museum, when they take place on weekends. The Clarion West parties that take place on Friday nights during the summer are free to all, and a good place to meet people who may be able to help you sustain a writing community.

Of course, I also recommend applying to Clarion West.