Hello, dreamers. After a brief hiatus to enjoy time with my parents for the holiday, this week I am back at it. I have a lot of plans, and a lot of work ahead of me. So let’s dive right in. Here’s what I’ll be working on this week:
Earlier tonight, I was getting ready to message my SFF chat group and ask whether now was a good time to begin querying a novel (with everything going on, my fear was that this was not a good time to be seeking representation, especially with most major publishing houses based in NYC). However, before I got the chance, I noticed several tweets about #RevPit.
Conducted by the website Revise # Resub, #RevPit is specifically designed to help writers with a finished fiction MS develop their work and polish to seek representation. Among other things, they offer in-depth feedback from established editors. That’s all the good news. The bad news is that the submission window opens on April 18, which is of course only five days from now (including today). This means I effectively have four days to convert the second draft of The Pioneers to manuscript, write a fresh query letter, and choose three editors (two choices, one alternate) to submit my work to. I’ll also have to write a synopsis, but as it’s left up to individual editors whether or not to ask for one I’ll probably back-burner polishing my synopsis.
So I’ll have a lot of work and not long to do it…which sounds perfect. I’ve been out of the game for a bit, unfortunately. This year thus far has been hard on my nerves; it’s take an emotional toll. But I want to move forward, to exert control over whatever parts of my life I can. I’ve found in the past I tend to do some of my best work under pressure, with tight deadlines. And I’ve found I grow when I have to grind it out to attain a lofty goal.
I really think this is the right thing to do. Do I expect to make it through a contest with so little planning, having spend to much time away from my work? Well, no. But if nothing else, the challenge and experience will surely be worth it.
When I sat down to write this post, I hadn’t anticipated the above announcement. As such, I’d planned to say that I was going to re-focus my attention on my short fiction this week. That was the plan.
However, I do still hope to find some time to work on my short fiction this week. I have several outstanding stories I’d like to finish, at least one of which should make it to the site here. So keep watching for updates.
Documenting the Pandemic
Hard as it is, amidst all of this I plan to start something new: keeping a record of what’s going on right now, not only in the world at large but in my life, personally.
The events unfolding in the world right now are unprecedented. That’s said a lot, but it bears saying again. The coronavirus pandemic has impacted virtually every facet of our lives. It has touched everyone, and that means that we all have a story to tell.
As such, lately historians have been urging everyone who can to keep journals, diaries, find some way to document what’s happening, to us as well as around us. What’s taking place in the world right now hasn’t happened for over 100 years. And, God willing, won’t happen again for another hundred more, if ever. That makes it all the more important to keep a record of what’s happening. For better or for worse, these events will shape the course of human events for years to come. In some ways they may change human society forever. Something like that deserves to be remembered.
As such, I invite and encourage my fellow writers of all stripes to join me in documenting these strange, unsettling, harrowing times. To produce a living, breathing record of the isolation, the fear, the suffering, the hope, the bravery, the perseverance. Don’t think your story isn’t important. Don’t worry it might be too grim, or too depressing. We’re all there. And we need to make our voices heard, now more than ever.
To this end, tomorrow I’m going to invite all my fellow authors on the Twitter #WritingCommunity to embrace the hashtag #WritingthePandemic, and begin generating and sharing content about our experiences, shared and personal, during this unsettling period in out lives. From baking bread to dying our hair, growing a quarantine beard, morbid fascination with tiger owners and the “COVID Fifteen”, we all have stories to tell, none any more or less important than any others. Because they are ours. The stories of the pandemic are ours to write. We’re writing them every day. So it’s time to lay it all down, and let history pass its judgements.
And if you’re thinking “Well, all I have is stories about spending all day in my pajamas, panic-snacking while watching Tiger King“, well, then write that.
I’d read the shit out of that.
It’s going to be a hell of a week, kids. But it’ll be a good one. And we need those, all of us. So for now, I’ll keep writing, you keep reading, and now more than ever, dare to dream. – MK