Sunday, March 22, 2009

My Numbers

I believe writing is a continuous learning curve, where the more you write = the more you become skilled (like anything else practice makes perfect). Often though i find that as soon as i have a poem written or a short story/ novel scene typed, i instantly want feedback and i guess 'instant gratification' - even sans editing or polishing which is a disasterous habit for a writer to get into!

Like most writers out there i want to be published but need validation (instantly), which leads me to think ' oh i just typed up this poem, i'll enter for XXX contest' etc. Perhaps in that moment i believe (and it is at that moment) this is the best work i've ever written, but perhaps a week later i could stretch my skill muscle to write something much better?

So to curb myself i've decided on some numbers/goals which (and the last one is a bit redundant i know)

a] show that i'm a serious writer/poet

b] allow myself to practice = perfect

c] allow myself develop


100 Poems before i submit even one for publication

25 short stories before i submit even one for publication

1 novel completed before i submit one for publication


1stdaughter said...

I think these are great goals. I completely understand though about wanting feedback quickly. As I have been writing my novel I shot off every few chapters to my sister just for that reason. I think we are all searching for validation and don't want to look like fools when we finally do get around to submitting something.

Marty said...

You may considering posting your 100 poems and some of your short stories on the blog. That way you can still get feedback and meet your number goals at the same time.

Casey said...

Great job Emily!

I usually want feedback right away too, but I rarely seek it anymore. I've written enough to know that my "awesome" new piece of writing will likely disappoint me or be surpassed in the near future.

Related story: I decided I wanted to try to get some poems published a couple years back in order to get some small publishing credits. I wrote a new poem and thought it was the best thing I had written by far, poem-wise, so I sat on it a whole two days and then submitted it to a few places. I gave up after just few tries because I got sucked into my novel and lost interest. Well, I pulled up that poem the other day and read it. While I still adore it, I saw a GLARING mistake that would have made it an auto-reject across the board. Mid-way through I switched tenses. I couldn't beleive I had done that and not caught it.

It's amazing what some distance and practice can show you. I feel like I've come a long way since then but you just never know.

Emily Cross said...

1st daughter: nice to know i'm not alone! i wish i had a sister to send my stuff to, its great that you have someone like that :). this is why i find the WC sharing your work forum so helpful because the feedback really rings true and i think helps me improve

Marty: What a good idea! i think i will! might set up a blog for it and post one of my current poems? Thanks for the idea!

Casey: Isn't it amazing the difference time makes! i was the same with a poem i wrote years ago, thought it was best thing since sliced bread - read it recently and could see how 'childish' it actually was

Cindy said...

I completely understand about instant gratification. It's not only about wanting feedback, it's wanting acknowledgment that this is a completed work and it is at least halfway decent. I think many writers feel that once their first manuscript is complete, then that means sending it right to a publisher/agent. But sometimes a complete manuscript isn't about publication but about showing that you can be dedicated enough to complete something like that. It's also about learning what you're capable of and where you can or should go from there. Thanks for the post!

Lady Glamis said...

Emily, Marty has a great idea. But I would make it an invite-only blog. You don't want to post too much of your work out there for all the public to see. I'm just paranoid, i guess.

I post my novels on novel-blogs, but they are invite only. This allows me to get great feedback in a timely basis, and makes it fairly convenient for all involved.

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