Let’s talk about…

Do agents get together and decide which blog topics to discuss with writers? I swear just about every agent is talking about burning out on writing this week. Okay, I’m going to hop on that band wagon late.

I haven’t been so much burnt out as unmotivated. Don’t get me wrong, I did hit a burnt out stage. That faded into this current blah, I’d rather do something else than write stage.

I’m hoping that’s about the change. For some reason, my motivation to write has been growing exponentially over the day. Yet I haven’t really done anything about it. So, I pulled up one of my many works in progress (WIP) and looked at it all of three seconds. 🙂 Then I remembered! Friday is almost here. I need to get my blog post up. Yep…As I said, I’d rather be doing something else. 🙂 And it looks like I’m doing just that.

Shame on me for not staying with my WIP. After all, writing is supposed to take precedence, right? Oh well, guess we’ll play by my rules tonight. But I will get to writing tonight. I promise!

Nathan Bransford asked this week in reference to burnout, “How Do You Escape It?” Well, I don’t know the answer to that question. If you’re looking for some profound answer, feel free to search the answers his readers gave. 🙂

I will tell you how I got to the burnt out stage in the hope of avoiding it in the future. It all began way back when. (I need someone to do that wave screen thing so we can fade to the flashback). I typed the final word of my novel and was ready to find a publisher. Do you hear squealing brakes? Yeah, I was naive enough to think a first draft was ready for submission. The only thing which stopped me was the desire to receive a little validation on my work. So I found a critique group and submitted the first chapter. I tell you what I didn’t get: VALIDATION. 🙂

The next few months I learned about deep POV, showing versus telling, and a bunch of other things I can’t remember right now. 🙂 Then I applied what I learned to my manuscript. If only that was the easy part. But no…there’s querying and writing the perfect query letter, which I haven’t mastered, by the way. But that’s another story. Then there were the contests and editing and revising and querying more and revising and editing and and and and… <big breath>

And then there was complete confusion. What the heck do these people want? Unique, but not so unique there’s no market for it? Uhm…okay. I’ll find something that hasn’t been done even though I haven’t read everything and have no idea what hasn’t been done.

So now that I’m working on new projects, I know what I won’t do, which led to my initial burn out. OVER EDIT. I kept thinking if I edit my work enough someone would want it. Though I’ve had a few bites amongst the many rejection, I’ve determined that’s not the case. Of course the writing needs to be there, but no amount of editing will change the initial story line. Either an agent/editor likes the story or he/she doesn’t.

One day I’ll revisit Shadow Cat and see if I can revamp the story line (mostly for my personal amusement). But as far as editing and revising in the hope of snagging an agent or editor, I’m done with that. With only 1% of writers landing an agent and even fewer making it to publishing, my focus needs to be on writing what I like and doing the best I can with me in mind. If something wonderful comes out of it, then Yay me! No more 42 revisions (which happens to be the answer to the meaning of life, by the way) until my brain feels like an old dusty cloth (you’d have to be my brain to understand what it feels like). Just the satisfaction of knowing I did my best, and my next story is on the horizon.

I’ve rambled too long. Anyway, I need to do something with my writing motivation before it fades. But before that, Tell me: What’s something positive you’ve taken away from the query process? And I’m not being sarcastic. Really, I mean it. For me it’s that the 1% agents want is so vague, it’s better to not flake out over what agent’s want and just enjoy writing for the sake of writing.

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