The lovely Sarah Rios posted a link to this article on G+ this week, and I wanted to share it because it really hit home. I’ve been mired in this re-write, plodding along and doing my best and knowing it’s still not as good as it needs to be. And I want to give up, because I don’t know how to get it there. It’s a horrible feeling, it’s slowing down my normally speedy writing process and keeping me constantly behind on my goal of finishing by the end of August (which I might remind you, is tomorrow).
In short, the article says that girls who are smart are actually more likely to give up when faced with a problem they can’t solve. Not because they aren’t smart enough to figure it out, but because they have this subconscious perception that they are only so smart, and that’s it. It doesn’t go beyond that. You hit the ceiling, and there is no more upward movement.
But there’s this other quote that I’ve kept in my mind for a long time. Since well before Joe Konrath jumped on the self-publishing bandwagon. The line at the top of his blog used to say: “Do you know what they call a writer who doesn’t give up? Published.” I’ve kept that in my head for this entire, excruciatingly long journey. Don’t give up. Fight through. Break the ceiling, and then break the next ceiling, and the next one. Keep learning, keep problem solving, keep moving. Because the quickest way to not get published is to give up.
I’m really not that far behind. I’m doing well. I’m nearly done with Kaye’s half, and Kindra’s always been easier for me to write. I know what needs to happen and how to get there. The weekend trip to the grandparents put me behind, because I didn’t have as much (sober) time to write as I thought I would, but I’m still moving forward. I may not be done tomorrow, but I’ve got a long holiday weekend ahead of me. And unlike a first draft, or even the last re-write, I’m being careful about how I write, so it doesn’t need as much editing when I’m finished. A good read-through and polish and it will be ready for Natanya and the GUTGAA Blogfest. I need to fix the query, but I have a much better idea of what’s going on now, so a few tweaks here and there and it should be good.
So Aledans, if you’re feeling like giving up this week, just remember that’s the quickest way to not get what you want. If you’re pounding on that ceiling with your fist and it won’t budge, go get a hammer. And if you’ve been told Timin is an un-sympathetic non-character, kill his brother. That should give him some depth