Dogged Days

The past week has been unusual for reasons good and bad. I won’t go into the bad things; the good stuff is much nicer.

My very good friends, Evil-Minded Plot Mistress and Demon for Detail have read through my first 16,000 words. Over a very pleasant Sunday brunch at our favourite café, we discussed what they enjoyed and what needs work. I admit to having a minor crisis of confidence later that morning. Could it be this story is too much like hard work for my reading team? Am I the only one excited by the characters and events? I made a deal with my self-critical brain; shut up for now and wait to see how the work is received after I submit it in October.

I was also very glad during the week to hear, once again, that persistence and determination will get me further in this business than talent. I went to a couple of workshops at the Brisbane Writers Festival, both given by Kevin J. Anderson and Rebecca Moesta. KJA is the definition of prolific – seven novels already published just this year – and what he and Rebecca don’t know about writing and publishing isn’t worth knowing. Although I’ve heard, or read, a lot of what they talked about before, both presentations were important reminders for me of what it’s going to take to get published.

It’s not about wishing or hoping or whingeing.  It’s about working.

A couple of years ago, I mentioned to someone how difficult I found it to choose what to do with my time. I whinged about all the distractions that kept me from writing and how hard I found it to think of sacrificing all those good things, like TV and computer games and playing in the band and going for a walk on a sunny day and sleeping in. I was told to think about my priorities, that it wouldn’t feel like a sacrifice to watch less telly if writing was more important. At the time, I didn’t believe it.

I do now.

Over the weekend I revised another seven chapters. Seven chapters! That’s over 15,000 words. Some of it was cut-and-paste but at least half was new writing or re-typing scenes from my first draft where a lot of changes need to be introduced. This was a lot for me on a busy weekend – a workshop on Saturday afternoon, breakfast with friends on Sunday morning, followed by grocery shopping, then catching up with a friend in the afternoon, a short sunset photography shoot of Brisbane’s Story Bridge and, finally, dinner with my family. I managed it by getting up early, by using my time, by being motivated, by being dogged.

Yes. Dogged.

I really want this. I’m prepared to work for it. I still have a lot of distractions – some are temporary, others will always compete for my writing time – but writing is number one now. I’m thinking about it, all the time. I’ll admit I’m not about to become like Kevin J. Anderson and work on books 16 hours a day, 7 days a week – well, not yet, anyway – but my commitment level is growing. Why? Because I really think I’m going to make it. Sometime in the next few years, a book written by me is going to be published.

Then another.

And another.

And so on.

Explore posts in the same categories: Writing

2 Comments on “Dogged Days”

  1. Rather nice feeling for me to read this entry and let you know that today, as I browsed through Dymocks book store, I saw a pile of books on the floor. At the top of the stack was one by KJA and I completely ignored the title as I pictured a Lee Dublin publication there instead :}

  2. leedublin Says:

    Hi DfD – that’s the kind of positive thinking I like to hear! 🙂

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