Dancing to Dirges

Depressing and happy things Tim says, sometimes while drunk

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Followup on that Wisdom

Today is the last day to download the two stories I released for free earlier this week. If you want to have a chance at winning a free critique of your work (honesty is the only currency I can offer you) then you need to get on that action. I'm just saying. The links are right here:

Memory Analog

Memories of Copper and Blood

I have contacted the first winner of the weekly critiques, and will hopefully be providing them a critique by the end of this week. If you didn't win this week, don't despair. I'll be accumulating the submissions and selecting the best from the lot each week. The earlier you enter the more chances you'll have of winning so, once again, get on that action.

Finally, and this may seem a little harsh, but I can see how many downloads there have been of the stories, and I can compare that to the number of submissions I've received. I included the critique requirement on this offer because I wanted to establish a threshold of effort on your part. That's important because writing is difficult. Not just the act of writing, which is difficult enough, but the business of writing. The environment of the writing life is not easy, not for the writer, or the editor, or the various people associated with the business along the line. The verb you are going to see most often used in this business is 'Rejected'. The mental state you're going to most often face is disappointment. Unless you are rarely gifted or even more rarely lucky, you are going to expend a great deal of effort on things that will eventually fail. Sometimes spectacularly.

The thing that separates successful writers from aspiring writers is perseverance. Failure itself is inevitable, to some degree, for every one of us. The difference between the names you see on the bookshelf the names of your friends who have been in the same writing group for the last ten years and have stopped submitting to magazines but still talk a good game is the willingness to fail, to fail spectacularly, and to keep at it. To keep writing, to take criticism without taking offense, to overcome their pet weaknesses and professional hacks, and get up that fucking hill. That's all it is.

So. All of you who have downloaded the stories but not submitted critiques. Get off your ass. This is a good opportunity you've been given. If it's too hard to put the time aside to create an intelligent critique, or you're scared of having a professional give his honest opinion about your work, stop trying. Stop telling yourself you want to be a writer, and settle into the business of hobbyist. Because this is probably the easiest thing the writing world is going to ask of you. Stop putting it off.

Get up that fucking hill.


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