Sometimes you need to take a step backwards and retool before you can move forward with your writing. There you go – add that to your list of random parables. If you keep that kind of list.

After meeting with my writing mentor a couple weeks ago, I decided to go back into the novella that I thought I’d finished to pare down the language a bit. In an effort to be more concise, I’m trying to cut out any descriptions or details that aren’t necessary, and actually limit a reader’s ability to picture a scene in their minds. For example, there’s no need to say that a character is holding something in their left hand, unless it’s crucial to the story. With that editing finally done this week, “The Storykeeper’s Daughter” has been sent to its first magazine. Hopefully I’ll be posting some good news in a couple weeks!

Unfortunately, backtracking means that I’ve fallen behind on the amount of writing that I wanted to complete over the past few weeks – and the amount of stories that I have in circulation with editors has dipped significantly. Which means that “backtracking” is going to have to be followed by increased productivity so that I can pound out some of the stories I’ve brainstormed and some further work on my novel. Sticking to my weekly writing goals (balanced with ongoing new-house needs) should help with this.

Once teaching summer school is done, I’m going to try something new, which Hugh Howey suggested to me when he responded to my question on Goodreads:

Q: Hi, Hugh. One of the biggest challenges I’m finding with writing is carving out consistent chunks of writing time in my schedule, and making that schedule work for the important people in my life. I can’t imagine finding the time to write and market my work the way you’ve done! Any advice?

A: I find it easiest to write in the morning, especially with a day job. I set my alarm, and I didn’t check my email or the web for an hour or an hour and a half. In that time, I could get 1,000 – 1,500 words written.
I’m not much of a morning person, but I’m going to try this out while I don’t have to get up for work – one of the fringe benefits of being a teacher. I have a feeling I met end up sticking with writing in the afternoon and evening…

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