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Progress?

Lately I’ve been well…..wangsting over my lack of publication.  Stupid, I know, right?  The Inner Slave Driver seems to feel that I’m not working fast enough.  18k so far on Alpha Female + 70 or so notecards done for Pirouette in one month?  That’s slow?  As Alisia would say, mercy me.

Okay, so I’m just a wee bit impatient.  I’m very competitive, and when I hear about writers being successful, I always feel a little sick inside.  The whole, well, why the hell aren’t you there yet? Huh? routine.  And I’d like to make it clear that I am happy for those lucky writers–I’m sure they worked hard for it — and feel no ill will against them.  However, it always shines the spotlight on what I haven’t done.  And that just blows.

And I’ve been working hard, not lollygagging around here.  I just feel so…..inadequate.  Like I should BE there by now.  But one thing I keep reading everywhere it that every writer’s journey is different.  Some get lucky.  Some actually have more time to devote to it, and thus progress faster than me.  Others struggle.  I think I’m in the middle.  I know I’ve improved alot over the last 6 or 7 years, and I struggle with tendonitis on occasion, which makes high wordcounts impossible.  My progress is more slow and steady.  I might be slower, but my wrists don’t die and maybe I won’t need to pull out the Dragon again. 

Furthermore, I have other things as well — full time job, chronic illness, a husband.  A family.  Relaxation (what’s that?) or reading time.  I’ve learned that even I need breaks occasionally.  Even I need to back off, which has been tough with Pirouette because my every instinct is screaming at me to get back to it, fix it, polish it, get it out the door, and I know that it needs time to gel more.  I’ve got a ton of ideas, and they’re all documented.  Notecards are in progress.  I’m constantly thinking about it.  But it needs time.  And that’s time I wish I could be querying it, but as I’ve said before, it’s not flippin’ ready yet.  And that’s the biggest bug in my butt here.  I can’t send out an inferior, crap manuscript.  Can’t do that.  So I gotta cool my heels and wait till I can make it better.  Sometimes I just wish I could work faster.  But it is what it is.

I’m still hoping to make my one HUGE goal of submitting something this year.  Will probably be Alpha Female, which is going okay, except that the story got away from me and may no longer fit with the antho I was looking to submit it to.  Oh well.  It’s one of my rules: I go where the story takes me, even if I outlined it a certain way or had a different idea in the beginning.  I can submit it elsewhere if need be, so this isn’t wasted time.  And I’m getting good practice on writing on a deadline. 

This whole go where the story takes me thing is how Hereafter went from comedy to friggin dark fantasy and how Survivor turned into a rich, complex story about several key characters versus the few I wanted to focus on.  It’s how Pirouette went from practically fanfic (and no, I’m not proud of it at all, but it did start the whole thing in motion…gulp..5 years ago) to its own world and own characters and its own plot and worldbuilding and such.  But if I hadn’t followed the story for the 11 months it took to write that critical first draft, Pirouette would not exist as it is today.  I’m positive about that one.  So, Alpha Female changed a bit.  I like the changes.  I think they are strengthening the story.  I’ll make a ruling after I’m done with the first draft whether or not I’m going to try to revise it to the antho specs, or just revise/polish it and send it elsewhere.

So I haven’t been sitting on my butt moaning my fate.  I’ve been productive.  I just need perspective, you know?  I need to believe, now more than ever, that I can succeed at this.  It’s been my dream since I was a little girl.  It’s what I am.  And I want so desparately to get my stuff out there, and maybe make a living doing it.  Just got to wait my turn.

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