August 3rd, 2009

A minor ‘Squeeee!’

I'm delighted to report that my 100-word drabble, Wild West Justice, currently holds the number one spot in the ‘Top 10 stories of the last 30 days’ rankings over at Every Day Fiction.   

Thank you so much to everyone who commented and/or gave it a star rating over there.  

I know it’s not quite on a par with having a book on the NY Times best seller list, but I'm still chuffed.  


Self-motivation – Here There Be Grindstones!

Much as I enjoy the revision side of writing, it's hard work.  I find it all too easy to let myself get distracted - usually by the Siren call of a good story idea. 


However, I know that if I ever want to succeed in this business, I need to learn how to focus on the task at hand. 


I’ve been thinking a lot about self-motivation lately. If you ask me, it’s probably the most important quality a writer can possess.   


Of course, natural ability helps too, but I suspect there are thousands of naturally gifted writers who give up on writing without ever getting published, while other, less-skilled, but better motivated, folk stay the course, work hard to learn and improve their craft, and go on to achieve success.   


I’ve got a lot of writing-type work to do this month. After getting myself in all manner of tangles during my last run through of Waking up Jack Thunder, I set it aside for a few weeks so that I could come at it again with a clear head.


Aside from the usual prune and polish work, and a few POV boo-boos that need fixing, I need to figure out what to do about an info-dump in the last chapter. If I’m to get this done by the end of August, I need to knuckle down and get on with it. 


With that in mind, I turned down an offer of some copyediting work last week, and I’ve set myself some daily ‘must get this much done today before I can play with my LJ friends’ targets, to help me reach my goal of having a (near as dammit) finished version of WUJT by the end of August.  So, if you don’t see me around it means I’ve been a lazy boy. 


As a further incentive, failure to achieve a daily goal means no McDonalds coffee the following morning.

Eek! I thought long and hard about that one, but sometimes drastic measures get the best results.


On the positive motivation side, a reward for achieving each day’s goaI is time to work on some micro-fictions I’d like to write and/or revise. Hopefully this carrot and stick combination will help me hit my target.


How about you? What little carrots and/or sticks do you use to help yourself reach a tough writing goal?