It’s that time of year. Pitch contests are happening. Several other contests have finished up and the authors and stories are about to hit the market, and there are other contests and pitch events on the horizon. Spring is coming!
But in the meantime, the garden is fallow, everything is dead. On the writing front, queries drift out into the air, only to come back with form rejections or faint praise. And that’s like spring, too.
It’s easy to get excited when the daffodils come up, I find. It feels like the beginning of the end of winter. A lot like getting a like in a pitch contest or a morsel of feedback in a rejection. At the same time, it’s so disheartening to see freezing rain or snow in the forecast, to watch friends with full requests get that dreaded rejection. I know I feel like the winter of discontent is never going to end.
What keeps me motivated?
Much the same things that keep me motivated when it comes to actual spring.
When I’m feeling low from the winter doldrums, I break out my sketchbook and draw up garden plans (yes, even ones that could never work in a fantasy world), I get out my seed catalogs, I look at gardening books, I paint tulips and trees, and I break out the calendar and plan the first spring hiking trips, kayaking adventures, and drives into the mountains.
When the rejection doldrums hit, I plan what I want to pitch in the next six months to a year, look at submission guidelines, research agents and publishers to look at, and write query letters for new projects. And I read. Not only published books. I like to step up my Beta reading and critique work in the winter. It’s nice to help other author’s working through their own doldrums. Soon we’ll all have spring fever together!
Million Word Madness Update: 14,417 words
(Taking care of my diabetic dog has hit my word count. But she’s doing better, and I’m getting a little more sleep now!)