Focussing On The Commitment

Focussing On The Commitment
Image: Creaky Toe

I worked through seven chapters of GATECRASH last night. The further I creep into the story the better it seems to get. Some of the writing, though, leaves a lot to be desired. One can tell it was written with speed in mind—quantity over quality—a side effect of NaNoWriMo if ever there was one.

I never took part in NaNo last year (I was fed up with it), which I think is what has fuelled as little desire to uptake the challenge again later this year. I would need to commit myself to not being overtaken by sloppiness the likes of which I am working my way through just now. It makes it a nightmare to rewrite but at least the story stands up—it’s a belter.

While making a few minor updates to my website I happened upon the short fiction page and realised that it’s been a while since I last had a short story published. ON A MONDAY MORNING was published in May 2008 by Static Movement and remains my last piece of published short fiction.

The upshot is I need to make two changes. First, I need to write more short stories among all the long fiction and poetry I write, and second, I need to target my work better. I do aim work at specific markets but if they get rejected I tend to look far and wide for best fits, which isn’t always the easiest thing to do. Couple that with the amount of submissions I never even hear back from and you can see why this business can get so frustrating at times.

You might notice a lot of these changes being applied through June’s GDR plan published at the bottom of this post.

The June issue of my newsletter, THE PATTER, went out yesterday. Click here to read it and don’t forget to subscribe if you want to receive it regularly. It’s only once a month and you get the heads up on all new releases plus exclusive competitions.

This is my penultimate GDR plan of my Writing Year. As you may remember, I run my GDRs now from August to July and use the Edinburgh Book Festival as my Writing New Year, my time to get fully recharged, inspired, involved and absorbed in writing again. And this is why it also seems the perfect time to generate my GDR plans for the coming 12 months.

With this in mind you might well notice a dramatic change in the amount and type of work I’m targeting: fiction and poetry are top of the list followed by some serious submissions but everything else is falling by the wayside.

It’s strange to think it has been 17 months since my last annual GDR review and that next month I’ll be thinking about my first one since the end of 2008. It should be interesting, meantime here it is, my plan for June 2010.

Monthly GDR Plan

* Complete first rewrite of GATECRASH
* Polish final draft of GREENER IS THE GRASS
* Write at least one new short/flash story
* Catch up on short/flash story backlog
* Re-submit any rejected/recalled short stories
* Submit to selected fiction/poetry competitions

* Write at least one poem per week
* Catch up on backlog

* Publish June ‘10 issue
* Announce hiatus
* Update site to reflect

* Get some local gigs to review for NotW
* Keep all websites updated and relevant

Reading & Learning
* The Grave Tattoo by Val McDermid
* Work anthology
* The Kenneth William Diaries by Russell Davies
* Suggs and the City by Suggs

The Scruffy Dog Review – SPRING ISSUE OUT NOW!!

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About Colin Galbraith

Keen runner, thriller author, Madness fan, Mets fan, St Mirren fan/owner, rabbit tamer, outstanding fake faller. Loves cannolis & espressos. #LFGM
This entry was posted in Edinburgh, Fiction, Poetry, Publishing and Marketing, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Focussing On The Commitment

  1. The most efficient way I’ve found is to make a list for each story: A markets, B markets, C markets. The A markets are a stretch but I think would work for that story– big name mags. The C lists are ones who don’t pay. The B ones are the ones in the middle. I start at the top of the A list, submit the piece, if it comes back, I send it out right away (well, that’s the plan, it doesn’t always happen). By targeting the stretch markets (highest paid) first, I usually end up either near the bottom of the A list or at the top of the B list, while if I started with the C list, I’d just be wallowing amongst the unpaid. Can’t make a living that way. Also, if I haven’t heard back in X months (depending on the guidelines), I send a follow-up, and if that gets no response within 2 weeks, I formally pull the piece and submit it elsewhere.

    I’m pretty sure I’m going to skip Nano again this year. Right now, I don’t think it serves my needs.

  2. Diane says:

    It’s strange seeing a GDR mid-year, although I do know people that do it with the academic year because if they’re in training, their years start in September. I don’t think I could move mine from January …

    There’s a review of The Grave Tattoo on Listen to the Voices ( if you’re interested.

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