Sunday, September 06, 2009

Two Steps Back

Lately, I've been feeling as if my writing capability has taken a dive. The last few stories I've posted up for critique have been pretty well clawed - even when I was feeling good about them. I continue to be concerned about the fact that I confuse people when I ... almost never catch the source of confusion in my own edits. Sometimes, I think it's an issue of people don't read all that carefully. Other times, I have no idea how to train myself to edit for this.

And I've gotten a lot of rejections lately, even from markets that accepted my stories in the past. The one story that has been getting really high marks (though still rejections) ... I can't seem to sell. There's only a few higher-tier markets left, and I'm reluctant to ship it down because I know it's a bloody good piece of work.

I wonder if it's my process. Writing two pieces - a novel and a short - and editing another novel keeps me continually switching up. I'm wondering if I need to work in larger chunks, for instance do a little bit of the editing each day, then a chapter of the novel and the entirety (or at least, a larger piece) of a short.

Or maybe I'm trying to stretch too far. I've been challenging myself a lot lately, not even deliberately ... but a difficult idea latches on and I'm eager to dive in. Maybe I need to pull back and simplify.

Or maybe I'm just losing it. I don't know.


Merc said...

Hmm, possibly it may be more an issue of "focus", since if you're bouncing around between too many projects, they may not be getting as much time/attention as they need...

(I've just put all submissions/editing on hold until I finish the novel because I'm finding I can't focus on writing and editing well at the same time. Which is annoying, but whatever. :P)

Do you think if, say, you devoted a week/few days/however long you can stand focusing on just one story to working on JUST that story to make it good, it would help?



Lindsey Duncan said...

I've pondered that. I've actually found that I get better results working a couple projects rather than just one - I get overloaded, and I incubate the project when I'm away from it and doing something different.

But -- I'm thinking that I am switching back and forth too fast, that maybe I've barely gotten back into project X and then it's time to switch back to Y. So I may start with larger chunks and see how that works.

(I use a goalpost system rather than a time system.)

Merc said...

(I work better with multiple projects too... though I've come to realize it's mostly writing on more than one story that works, not trying to mix editing and writing, lol.)

But yeah, maybe larger chunks (that sounds so wrong, lol) will help. Let us know. :)