I had started 2019 so full of hope.
This was going to be the year when I wrote more, submitted more, was rejected more, and (hopefully) accepted more. And I was prepared. I had a calendar where I could highlight the dates of deadlines (pink for “hell yeah, I’ll submit” and yellow for “if I have time/an idea”), with a monthly reference sheet for which deadline was for which publisher/idea, plus links to their website and guidelines.
And then May and June happened. For part of May, I was travelling with my sister, so I didn’t have a lot of free time for fiction writing. After that, I was acting in a musical, which went up at the end of June. Between work, rehearsals, learning lines, and music, I didn’t have a lot of free time where I could be productive*.
Once July came, I wanted to return to my big plan, but it was tough. I’d lost my groove. I’d missed deadlines, and I was struggling to catch up with the submissions whose dates were getting ever closer. Not only did I feel like I was starting from scratch, but I also felt way behind everyone else**. The more I tried to Be Productive, the less productive I felt.
I wondered if I should give up, crawl under the covers, and watch Dimension 20 all day. I’d never catch up to the people who were out there getting stuff done, so I might as well give up***.
And although I may have done that for a couple days or so****, eventually my groove came back. Since July, I’ve submitted to 3 anthologies, wrestled a story into submission, had a really fun idea for a horror story, wrote 2 short stories, and finished editing a story that had needed work for a long time.
It helped to stop thinking of the big picture and concentrate on one thing at a time. Just get this one story written, or this one edited, or this idea thought out. Instead of insurmountable odds, it was one step at a time (but keep your eyes down and don’t look at the giant mountain ahead).
Maybe someday I’ll be able to look back on a year and think ‘Wow, I submitted a lot in the past year’, but it won’t be 2019. C’est la vie.
*’free time’ was basically ‘recovery time’.
**seriously, how are you all so productive?
***I even missed submitting a Kit Sora drabble that I wrote 2 days before the end of the month, because I wrote it on the plane and forgot about it when I landed.
****sometimes you have to ride out the non-productive days (without beating yourself up) and take advantage of any and all moments when you feel productive.