I’ve been trying for a while to explain to myself why the stuff I am writing now isn’t selling so well as the stuff I wrote pre-Mia.
I have come up against my own laziness. I got dinged for this in college. I had a professor during the rigorous humanites sequence (read a book, write a paper once a week) who, despite my A’s before him, gave me nothing but C’s and ruined my good grade average. Why? Because he thought “I wasn’t living up to my potential.”
It turns out I can write a pretty decent paper or story the first go around. I can do some cosmetic editing, send it off, and get an A or get it published in semi-pro markets.
But, now, all of a sudden, I am getting ambitious. But I am being lazy and not doing the work required to jump up a manuscript from ‘okay’ to ‘publishable by pro markets.’
I just read this from an essay by Jack McDevitt:
“When the draft is finished, when a complete narrative lies before us, with a beginning, a middle, and an end, we can begin the process of upgrading it to a professional level. That’s just a matter of criticizing our own work. Not necessarily easy, but certainly less daunting than what we have accomplished so far.”
And I think he lies. It IS more daunting. Taking apart what took me so long and so much effort to produce? That’s the hardest part. It take actual analytical thinking instead of just gut-writing.
But that’s what my problem is, I think.