As some of you already know, I have signed up for this insane challenge called Write 1 Sub 1. Click the linky if you want the details or would like to participate.
Basically, it’s a program of sorts, where, throughout 2011, you write one story a week and submit one story a week to a publication of your choice. Or, you write one story a month, sub one story a month.
You don’t have to submit the story you most recently wrote–but, as I understand it, the goal is to aim to submit the new ones at some point during the year.
Write 1 Sub 1 is based on a method that Ray Bradbury used to keep moving in the forward direction, which is a common struggle for writers, I think. I know for me, it’s easy to get stuck in the: “this is crap, no one will ever read this unless I rework it completely” trap.
Then, of course, I never rework it. Whether it be because of lack of time, lack of interest, or (and this is usually the reason for me) the fear that after I rework it, it won’t be any better than it was initially.
So, that’s why I’m taking the Write 1 Sub 1 challenge. I need to move beyond this fear-hurdle of mine and just write.
And…well, you get the picture.
I’ve read a few participant’s plans for how they are going to approach it and using those as stepping stones, I’ve come up with my own plan.
First, I chose to do the monthly challenge.
They are calling this “Light Ray”, since it’s less intense than the weekly challenge.
Second, I intend only to sub to paying markets (token and up).
Yes, I know, there is a tradeoff for some pubs that have great readership–where being “paid” is of little importance because of the visibility you’ll get. But, being paid is just something I personally need right now, self-esteem wise. Though I reserve the right to change my mind later.
Third, I will resurrect old stories if needed.
Will every story I write and submit in 2011 be a “new” story? Yes and no. I intend on browsing many, many…many prompts, each month looking for something to get the creative juices flowing. However, if I don’t land on anything useful, I will take an old one I’ve been kicking around and rewrite it. I have several stories that are simply in the initial concept stages, some that have great basic bones, some with neat settings, cool characters or an interesting plot–all of which need to be reworked in order to be salable. So, they are there if I can’t (or don’t want to) start something “new”.
Is that cheating? Um…I don’t think so. At least I hope not. 😛 Besides, I think I already read of one writer who’s doing it so… *points finger*.
And besides, my approach to rewriting will involve opening a brand new, blank document and starting over completely. I find this provides me the separation that I need to not repeat the exact same mistakes that I made the first time I wrote the story. It puts a necessary distance between me and the original story, allowing for the experience I’ve gained in the time it’s sat there on my hard drive, to surface and influence the rewrite (hopefully in a positive way).
Incidentally, I did this with a 50K scifi novel last year. All of the sudden I decided it worked better as an urban fantasy than a straight-up scifi story. It wasn’t fun. But it *was* necessary.
How do I envision each month looking?
Writing: I’ll probably spend the first week browsing for a prompt, if I don’t already have one. Then kick some ideas around, do some research and some note taking. Second week I’ll likely start putting it all together. Third week I’ll get real depressed and tell myself it’s crap, but look for places to sub to anyway. Fourth week I’ll polish it and get it ready to go.
Subbing: In Jan, I’m sending off something I already have ready to go. So that’ll be my sub for the first month. The subsequent months, I will *try* to sub the story I wrote the previous month. And spend the days when I’m not writing, researching the right market for it.
Pretty simple, really. I don’t think I’ve missed anything, have I?