The Writing, and Quantity

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I read somewhere about in a study they did with musicians in college.  They found that the amount the musician practiced determined how successful they were later in life.  1-2 hours a day, and the person usually became a music teacher or did small ensemble work.  The folks that got the prestigious Philharmonic gig were practicing 3+ hours a day in addition to all the ensemble work they were doing for class.  I’m trying to apply that to my writing, although I’m not terribly sure how well I’m succeeding.  I know I’m hitting 1-2, just not sure if I’m getting all the way to that 3 mark.

I say this, because I realized this week that it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything about how the writing is going.  It’s going as well as it ever goes.  Some days it feels like I’m charging along.  Other days it feels like I’m flogging myself because I need to write and I just don’t want to.  I am in the weeds of the messy last ½ of Blue Gentian, and not enjoying it.  But I am making progress.  I’m trying to tell myself that I hate it because I’ve been over it too many times, and that it’s not a reflection of the actual writing.  I’m trying to tell myself that it’s definitely not a practice novel and it’s worth it to keep going.  Brian has been bucking me up about it as needed.

I’m hopeful that when I finish this draft, I will be awfully close to being able to shop it. Brian is my alpha reader, and he will have been through it all at that point and all revisions will be made.  I’m working on my synopsis and on my pitch letter.

When Blue Gentian gets too depressing, I’ve started to put together the 2nd draft of my next book – about a girl who has to travel to the Egyptian temple in the Grand Canyon to release a goddess from bondage so that the world doesn’t implode into a thing full of nothing but h bombs, earthquakes, and polio.  It’s set in the 1950s.  That’s going well, but slowly.  I’m in love with the world, so it’s nice to be in the middle of it for a while. Even if I’m not quite sure what the next part of the story should be.

I have a couple of short stories that are also going slowly, and I am shopping around another short.  Mostly it’s a waiting game at this point.  I hope to hear this weekend from the place I have it now, and then be ready to send it to the next place if the news is bad.  Spoiler: the news is almost always bad, although I’m a little more hopeful that this mag will say yes than I am for most others.

That’s how it’s going.  I’m plugging along.  And I’m hoping that quantity will eventually turn into quality.  I think the odds are in my favor.  If I can just get to hour 3…

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