As I board a plane back from El Salvador, I’m reflecting on the past month of writing, working, and authoring (whatever that means).
My biggest achievement, one of my greatest points of pride as a writer and human, is seeing a mentee of mine get his literary agent. I won’t name him, but he worked hard and it’s an honor helping another author launch their careers. 2021 has been good to me in that way.
On a more personal note, my agent recently asked me to cut 30k words (that is a whole lot of words) from a Young adult novel I’m playing with. It’s my most ambitious revision and, on the final day of May, I finally turned that in after a month of tinkering! My advice to anyone who’s in their comfort zone…get out of it. Try a new project, a new hobby, just stretch yourself because I can feel the growth in my BONES.
Finally, one last thing that jumps to mind now that I’ve submitted the latest draft of my contracted novel, was how difficult it was to dive back into some old passion projects. For example, there was a science fiction middle grade story I was keen on writing a few months back. I’d left it at almost one hundred pages complete before having to revise the novel I’d sold. Yet as I opened the word document and tried getting into the story, my motivation wasn’t there.
Now, I’ve found that the issue of motivation can come from two things—burnout (discussed in my last newsletter) or when something just isn’t working in the manuscript. In this case, it was a bit of both, but also something else…
It’s a sneaky condition, this one. The way imposter syndrome works is that, once you’ve achieved something—finishing a project, landing an agent, whatever—your mind will convince you that you just lucked out. That you don’t deserve it. You’re not good enough to replicate that success again.
To that, my friends, I say “watch me”.
Yes, it’s hard. The trick I use is to break down my achievements into the steps I took to get there, and simply replicate that. It’s how I’ve managed to finish that Young Adult revision I mentioned earlier. How I wrote my second short story after selling my first to UNICEF.
So, that’s just a slice of how my life has been this past month. Oh wait, I forgot to mention El Salvador…
To sum it up with three things I loved, there was delicious ceviche, the tastiest fruits, and watching the sunset over the beach with some old friends. Things that remind you that the best things in life don’t cost much or anything at all.
With that, thanks for coming along the journey for another month, friends. Can’t wait to see what June has in store for us…