This fall I’m taking a mystery writing class from Gotham Online – one of my favorite places to get writing instruction. I used to think that a college education, combined with a few how-to books on any given genre, should be enough to get me started in any writing venture. And there’s nothing wrong with thinking that (because it’s probably correct) but it doesn’t account for time or discipline. The schedule and participation of a class not only keeps me focused on learning a new set of skills, but it also cuts out some of the trial and error that’s involved the learning.
There’s also the networking that goes on and critiques and individualized instruction, none of which come from a how-to book. I’ve taken sci-fi writing from Gotham in the past, but mystery is a new adventure. (It’s also one of my favorite genres to read.) So, here’s to learning new things! Hopefully I’ll soon be adding to my genre repertoire.
Disappointment and I are such old friends that I no longer have any qualms about letting myself down. While this is a fabulous approach for self-acceptance it’s not so great for getting things done. So, when a friend recently proposed holding my writing efforts to her standards, I was horrified. After discussing what would amount to a part-time job’s worth of hours-per-week, I promised to email her every day and report in on how much writing I’d done. I was really, really worried I’d acquit myself poorly. That was a month ago. So far it’s been a whole new writing experience. Chores, errands, and diversions of every sort used to preempt my writing because I could just write later. Now, the idea of telling someone else “I decided to rearrange my sock drawer in lieu of pursuing my dreams” makes me cringe.
I’m a little embarrassed at how much writing I wasn’t doing before. But it just goes to show how much it can help to shake things up. Now, when I find I can’t sit at the computer for one minute more, I take a notebook to the kitchen and write longhand, standing at the counter. (A little of that goes a long way, in case anyone’s wondering.) My writing my not have improved (yet) but I’m certainly doing a lot more of it.
Stay tuned. Next up, a new writing class through Gotham and Nanowrimo.
I’m too busy writing stuff to talk about what I’m writing, but not too busy to suggest everyone check out Scott Sigler’s latest podcast! Book 5 in the Galactic Football League series is being podcast (available in hardcover and, by next month, as an audiobook). But, you can catch it episode-by-episode via iTunes or through his website. I’ll confess, I had my doubts about “sci-fi football” – but this has been one of my favorite series, ever. If you haven’t been following the series, I highly recommend the entire thing. (Just starting out? Start with The Rookie.)
Few things delight me so much that I think everyone should try them. The GFL series is right up there with chocolate ganache and amusement park rides that go upside down while spinning. Seriously. It’s that good.
When the Taos Toolbox workshop ended in July, I left better equipped to tackle my writing and with lots of new ideas to consider when it comes to publishing. And then I got back to the nuts and bolts of daily life. Throw a couple of wrenches into the works, and it’s suddenly September, and I don’t seem to have accomplished a thing.
I kept planning to take the time to say something about Taos, but the experience was so complex that I couldn’t sum it up quickly or neatly. I kept planning to apply what I’d learned to my novels-in-progress, but what I’d learned was too much to put into immediate practice (like trying to unpack boxcar in a single afternoon).
So here I am, adding a blogpost to say that I’m doing things. Just not things coherent enough to report on -yet.
I’ve been sitting on this good news for a while: I sold a short story to the “Tides of Possibility” anthology. One of my lessons-of-late as a professional writer has been to never jump the gun on announcing a publication. Things can fall through, so I like to wait until it looks pretty certain, and this one does. The story I sold is the same one that got an honorable mention from the Writers of the Future Contest, so I’m excited that it’s going to be published.
Also, Goodreads is holding a giveaway of a copy of Trust and Treachery, so do pop over and enter for a chance to win.