Welcome to Having Written

This blog is about me being accountable to myself and my goals. Recently, I realized that in the day-to-day making a living that we all have to do I’ve let my bigger goals slip away a bit. This will be my chronicle of struggles, failures and successes.

I make a living as a freelance writer, often writing article after article on the same topic for a variety of small business people and entreprenuers, with some corporate work sprinkled in.

I don’t consider myelf a beginning writer, though in many ways I’m still very much in the back of the line when it comes to fiction. I have a pretty full non-fiction portfolio. My first interview was with a high-powered New York CEO, and I’ve been shortlisted in a writing competition. I wrote a column for a high-end hobbyist magazine for a year–my first real writing gig. But my dream has always been to see my story on a bookstore shelf, and that’s just not going to happen unless I make it happen.

A brief publishing history: Some of my poems (at least some of them very bad) were first published in the early 1990s, my first non-fiction piece was published in 2000 and my first piece of fiction was published in 2003. I’ve appeared online and in print. I’ve made a living writing for almost the last 2 years, and supplemented my meager wages with part-time freelancing for about 8 years before that, though the pay and the projects were spread out quite a bit at first.

I’ve never submitted enough and have often gone great stretches of time without submitting anything at all. Time for that to change.

I have a novel in the first revision phase. It’s been in that phase for a long time now. I’m not ashamed to admit exactly how long–I simply don’t remember. That’s a long time. At least 2 years, maybe a smidge more.

I have several poems and short stories languishing on this computer (and some are scattered between two other machines) that I need to polish up and send out, or file away in the “it was good practice but don’t embarrass yourself by showing it to anyone” folder. And I need to get the novel through the first revision so I can start on revision number two, as I’m not kidding myself that one will be anywhere near enough.

My goals are these:

  1. Submit at least once a week. More is better, but one is the absolute minimum. The submission can be fiction or poetry, and it can be new or something that’s been rejected before. But before Monday morning of each week, a new submission needs to go out. 
  2. Structure the novel revision. I think the first baby step of this is to decide that I won’t fix everything in one revision. Just like I had to virtually beat myself about the head and shoulders to plow through the first draft without stopping and tinkering, I have to commit to plow through revision #1 with the understanding that I will be going back again. It’s all right to miss things the first time around.


Those are my initial goals. Posting and podcasting here about this process will help keep me on track, and I hope will help a beginner or two make similar goals and carry them out.


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This entry was posted on Thursday, August 19th, 2010 at 5:16 pm and is filed under Writing Goals. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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