A Year on Saturn

...is approximately 29.7 Earth years.

"A Year on Saturn" is the website of Shannon Fay,
freelance and fiction writer.

Clarion-West-Write-a-Thon 2017 Week Two: Today Will Be Better, I Swear!

Posted on: July 4th, 2017 by Shannon Fay No Comments

Clarion-West-Write-A-Thon Week Two

Last blog post I wrote about how much it meant to me when people sponsored me for the Write-A-Thon. I want to say thanks to Beth Moris Tanner, a fellow Write-a-Thon participant and a very kind and insightful writer and critiquer. I also want to say sorry, because for all my talk about how donations to Clarion West encourage me to write, it’s been a lackluster week writing wise. I wrote a 700-word mystery story and that’s it. I didn’t work on my novel, I didn’t work on my short story. I had a few ‘real life’ excuses to fall back on (work, health) but really the only reason is that I lost faith in myself. Last Sunday was my local in-person writing group. “I really like this,” a friend there said. “It’s my favourite thing you’ve ever sent in.” And yet all I could focus on was the criticism. Not because they weren’t fair crits, they were, that was the problem. I depressed myself by thinking about how much work it would take to ‘fix’ this story. What was I doing working on a short story anyway, when I had my novel to work on? But what if that was no good too? What if I was no good?

But several things happened as the week went on: I received a contract for a short story sale. A story of mine was published in a mainstream magazine. I was paid for the story, and able to use part of the paycheck to pay for two cavity fillings (one of my summer projects is fixing my teeth. I’ve been going to the dentist so often that I know measure big purchases against how many dentist visits the same amount would cover). I got an email telling me that a story of mine had been held for further consideration.

It’s rare to get a series of validations like that. Even then it didn’t totally shake my self-doubt; writers are like Schrodinger’s cat in that we are capable of believing we are awesome while simultaneously believing we are crap. But it did make me realize that I couldn’t celebrate my accomplishments and believably keep up the pity party. I had to let my self-doubt go if I was going to move on.

On July 1st Camp Nano started. I got up early and type out 750 words. I’ve done so every day since. I’ve sent back out stories that had been rejected. I (successfully) pitched an article to a magazine. I feel like I’ve come out of my mini-slump stronger for it. I’m ready for week 3.

As always, if you want to sponsor me (or any other writer out there, like Beth for instance) I would really appreciate it. I promise to keep writing.

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