After 3 Years, It’s Still Only 11 Pages…

31 03 2008

My career as a writer peaked in third grade when I wrote a story that my teacher loved so much, she helped me turn it into a class play to be performed in front of the neighboring second grade class. I was in fourth grade the last time I completed a fantasy story.

I am beginning to think it’s about time for me to break back into the business.

I read quite a lot of books (especially from the fantasy genre) and I have come to the realization that I can write just as well as a lot of the published authors I read, and my ideas for stories are just as interesting if not more interesting than some of the published stories I read. Of course, some or all of this thinking could be attributed to personal bias. My dad told me I was a good writer when I was in elementary school and the praise has far outlasted my college professors declaring my writing atrocious.

So here’s my secret thought; I would like to be a published author before I graduate college. I would, at the very least, like to have seriously attempted to become a published author before I graduate college. I have a little over two years left with a story that is only 11 pages long after three years in the works… but hey, I started writing the story over three years ago thinking that it was at least halfway decent, and three years later I still think it’s at least halfway decent.

That has to count for something, right?

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5 responses

31 03 2008
Cliff Burns

Serious writing requires daily practice, an ironclad discipline. Writers write and that’s all there is to it. Talking about it, thinking about it aren’t the same things. It’s the courage to actually sit down and face that screen or page and commence work. Everything else is posturing…

31 03 2008
cirellio

ouch …
Well, imo even professional writers procrastinate sometimes. And there’s nothing in the rulebook that says you can’t start getting serious about it now. I would personally love to see some of what you’ve written since fantasy is my favorite genre :)

1 04 2008
siegem

Agree with the two above. I’m not a writer, but read someday that to write, you need to get the hands very dirty! I do not know you to say if you have or not the will to do it, but believe yes and hope to see your book on the stores (I would import a copy to my country to read).
May the force be with you!

5 05 2008
skmiller

Tobias Buckell has pointed out that “I will get something published within X amount of time” is not a good goal because so much of that goal is out of your hands. Ultimately, the publisher will make that decision, and it’s going to be on their terms, not yours.

So you might want to reframe this goal to “by the end of college, I will have written a novel that is ready to be submitted, and have started sending out queries.”

(Also, it usually takes a couple of years to go through the submission process, sell the novel, and then go through all the production stuff.)

5 05 2008
Lindsay

This is a very good point.

My post was more about showing how very different the thoughts in my head are from the reality of the situation. (Though I am pleased that a whole bunch of people who seem to know what they’re talking about felt like it deserved a response!) Sure, realistically I understand that actually getting published is rarely such a quick time line, and before I could even begin thinking about that I’d actually have to have a manuscript, but in my head I’ve managed to construct this secret thought of getting published before graduating (I’m not even going to call it a goal. ) Will it happen? Probably not… but hey, I might buckle down tonight, crank out an amazing novel in 3 months and have it published by next spring!

Here’s to hoping, right?

(And thanks to all the folks who commented! I appreciate all of your opinions and advice and encouragement!)

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