Writing is a whole lot of doing the same sort of thing over and over and hoping for different results. It’s a lot of starting over, trying something slightly different (or radically different). Over and over.
Just got another rejection with more nice comments saying how the editor enjoyed the story but it wasn’t right and they hope I’ll submit something else and wished me luck placing this story somewhere else. Which is nice to hear, and I’ll definitely submit something else to them, but man, I’d really like “we loved this story, here’s your check”. I’ve had quite a few “nice” rejections now. They in fact far outbalance the form letters (and my one “mean” rejection). I know, objectively, that this is good. My writing is improving, people like it, it’s only a matter of time, etc… But inside, it still hurts. What am I missing? What can I do to push past this “good but not good enough” point? Keep writing. Try something else. Rinse, repeat.
In other news, I accidently started another novel. These things happen, I guess. One minute I’m laying awake at 3am wishing this month long bout of insomnia would go the hell away and the next I’ve got a teenage girl’s voice talking to me about how she doesn’t want to join the military and quoting Sun Tzu and *bam* suddenly there’s shapeshifters and an alternate realm and all sorts of plot-filled worldbuilding goodness pouring into my head. Next thing I know it’s two hours later and I have three strong main characters, an adversary, and a rough sketch of the world that is slowly getting populated. Don’t have an outline yet, still working on the characters and worldbuilding, but this novel is going to be a tiny bit epic I think. The scenes already in my head are pretty grusome and horrific, with a few that are painfully tender. I hadn’t intended to start another novel until Jan at the earliest, and the next one was supposed to be another project (which is already outlined, damnit!), but hey, I’m hardly going to argue with the muse.
I figure once I’ve got the world set up and a decent working outline, this novel won’t take more than a couple months to write (though the start will be slow because I have to take lots of time in December to edit my other novel). That’s the benefit of being able to churn out 3-5k words a day once I’m in a groove I guess. Hopefully someday if (when?) I’m a working writer that ability will stand me in good stead. For now I’ll just keep developing good habits I guess.