What are you doing for your writing?

Today’s Forum Friday question is simple:

What are you doing for your writing?

Writing is a long-term journey. Since I started striking out on the path I’ve realized just how much work is ahead of me: finding an agent. Making myself appealing to an agent (writing short stories, getting short stories published, building a platform, etc.). Finding a publisher. If all else fails, self-publishing and promoting like the dickens.

Since almost all of these steps are long-term processes, I’ve tried to arrange my writing efforts into more tangible, short-term goals that I can use as stepping-increments. For example, to improve my short story writing (with the long-term goal of getting short stories published, with the longer-term goal of having publication credits) last month I read a well-known short story every day.

As always, of course, there is probably more I could be doing for my writing or more creative ways in which to do it.

So I wonder: what specific, short-term writing goals do you have, and what are you doing to achieve them?


16 responses to “What are you doing for your writing?”

  1. Much like you, I am immersing myself in as many books in the genre I have targeted as possible. I have targeted as a goal short story writing. So I am following in your footsteps with the books you have posted about(the ones I haven’t read already) along with as many others in the specific genre I can. I am hoping to understand their structure, word usage and pacing. I am also writing writing writing.

    1. Immersion! Hoorah! That must be one of the funner parts of the learning process: getting to enjoy already-succinct sentences and stories 🙂

      Of course, the other major element– writing, writing, writing, as you say– is equally fun, if perhaps more laborious!

      Thanks for sharing 🙂

  2. Super short term: finish the short story I started last week. It’s at 1,600 words and I expect it to grow to 4,000 or 5,000.
    Short term: having now learned a little about promotions that work for self-publishing, I’m working on getting my second novel ready for Amazon and the Kindle.
    And I must complete what I hope to be the final draft of a screenplay version of one of my short stories.
    For me, it’s really all about finding the time to do these things while avoiding the distractions that keep me from them. Having suddenly experienced some limited success with One Night in Bridgeport, I have found a new sense of dedication and urgency to make the time for it.

    1. I like your style…chipping (or perhaps, in some cases, ‘hacking’) away across the board!

      Congratulations on your second novel and renewed sense of dedication with One Night in Bridgeport. I am sure you will use that fire to your advantage…and that the benefits will follow.

      I am perhaps most impressed with your adapting a screenplay from one of your short stories. Do you often write screenplays, or is that a new experience for you? Transposing must be a thrill!

      1. This is my first effort at a screenplay based on my niece’s interest in making a movie out of it. It’s been incredibly difficult because it is such a different way to tell a story. Plus, I’m not the best editor, re-writer in the world and going through multiple drafts of the screenplay has been very difficult for me.

        1. Wow– then you have my admiration all the more! I hope you’ll come to find the process as rewarding as it is difficult. I’m sure it will be sensational to see your work performed!

  3. I often have to concentrate on one line, phrase or word at a time. I struggle with metre and rhyme. Poetry is a difficult craft in which to shine. http://www.russellboyle.com/ is a website of mine.

    1. Someone once asked Stephen King “How do you write?” King replied: “One word at a time.”

  4. Given I’m already shopping a manuscript, my short-term goals lean more towards finding an agent, finding a publisher … but those are more-or-less out of my hands once the queries go out. My other goals are blogging and social media (building my platform) and working on my new manuscript (I just started so it’s going to take forever!).

    1. Fair play! Queries are a whole ordeal in themselves (I have yet to write a synopsis; that’s a big hurdle for me) but you’re right– once they’re out, the ball is in the other party’s court. Or parties’, because we’re meant to have to send out a LOT of queries, aren’t we.

      I’m in a similar place between books right now– shopping one manuscript and working on the next. Plus platform-building along the way.

      May we both keep our fingers to the keys and soon (in ample time) have two finished products before us! 🙂

  5. I am currently completing a trilogy of short stories – “Life”, “Liberty”, and “The Pursuit of Happiness” and recruiting beta-readers to help me improve them. I plan to submit them to literary agents by early-mid April.

    In the meantime, I am in conversation with former and current theater professors of my alma mater – Hanover College (Indiana) about adapting them into a script.

    My goal is to see these stories come to life in print and on stage by the end of 2013 or the first of 2014.

    1. A trilogy of anthologies! How marvelous!

      And that you’re planning to adapt some to script– even better. I’ve just said (in another comment above) that I think transposing one’s work must be an incredible sensation– this coming from a person who enjoys translating things from one language to another. “Script” format is like a foreign language to me, and I think it would be incredible to learn it, transpose, and then– reward of all rewards– see your story performed live before you!

      I hope you are able to do that very thing this year or the next! Best of luck in your endeavors.

      1. Just one correction – it’s a trilogy of short stories – “Life”, “Liberty” and “The Pursuit of Happiness”. Each story is between 15,000-20,000 words, so it will come out as one book (and hopefully a play in 3 acts).

        And yes, it is very exciting.

  6. I’m only sixteen and have little-to-no experience in the writing world and I wanted to ask: What does an agent do for a writer?

    1. As I understand it (and I do not pretend to understand fully, as I have not even started looking for an agent yet), an agent is one’s ticket in the door of a publishing house. Many traditional publishers will not even look at manuscripts submitted if those manuscripts don’t come with agent representation.

      An agent will help you sell your work to the big guys. They might also offer critique to help you improve your work and polish it up before sending it out for consideration.

      Here are a couple of articles on the subject:

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