on doing enough

So yesterday I downloaded Sonar, which is a pretty cool piece of manuscript tracking software. It’s very simple; it has who you sent what to and when, and keeps track of whether you got a response or not. It’s sort of for short stories, not manuscripts — there’s not really an option to say ‘Got a response, sent complete ms in’ and keep it all in one ticket, but that’s ok. It’s nifty, is the point. And now I’ve got this tidy little list of what’s been sent out to whom.

There are only four items on it.

This bugs me.

Now, of those four items, three are novels and two are complete ms requests. This is actually a pretty good return, as it were, on my efforts.

But man. Four items. It bugs me.

So I was thinking about /why/ it bugged me, and I think I’ve kind of got it. The problem is that, for example, I want to write a Jubilee script to send to Epic. Comic book scripts are only 22 pages. My tiny brain is saying, “22 pages! That’s nothing! Why haven’t you /done/ that and sent it /out/?” Same with screenplays; there are a couple I’d like to write, and those are 100, 120 pages or so. It’s a sort of daunting number, but really, I write novels, and I expect 350 or 400 page manuscripts, so 120? Not so bad.

So there goes my brain again, saying, “So what’s the HOLD UP? Get in GEAR! You’re SLACKING!”

And the hold up is that it doesn’t matter if it’s /short/; it still needs to be plotted and considered and written out. I’m working on a novel right now (yes, I am, faithful readers, even if you’re not seeing evidence of it at the moment). If I were spending 6 hours a day on writing, then maybe I could spend 4 of those hours on the novel and another couple on the comic script or the screenplay. Maybe there’d be a more impressive crush of submissions out. But I’m not, because I’ve got this day job that I have to spend 8 hours a day at.

On any /practical/ level, I’m doing quite well. I’ve written two and a half books in the last 11 months, as well as a 50 page comic submission and a whole bunch of rewrites and vignettes. But there really is this nagging voice that’s saying, “I’m not doing ENOUGH.” It’s really /frustrating/.

This afternoon’s writing angst brought to you by the letter S and the number 4.

10 thoughts on “on doing enough

  1. Kit, have I told you lately that I admire the hell out of you, and that now that my hand seems to be getting better enough that I can actually type at a rate to keep up with my thoughts, you will be helping inspire me to get my own ass back in gear for story writing? :)

  2. I’m quaking in my boots about having to write 5 papers over the course of a 10 week class. I mean, I know it’s college and all, but still.

    There’s a reason I’m an engineering student. :)

  3. You hold down a full-time job, have an SO and a life, and still manage to write 200K words (so far). That’s pretty damn impressive.

    That nagging voice is the full-time writer in you wanting to come out. Have a Stern Talking to it that it can’t until it’s good enough to make you fabulously wealthy and can quit your full-time job. :)

  4. It seems to me that if you were a short story writer then you *may* be behind. But the fact that you work full-time and are a novel/screen/episodic-series-comic writer and *have* written all that you have, I think you are far far beyond most people.

    And yet, it’s a good thing that you’re brain thinks you are behind. There will just be more of your stuff to read.

  5. *laugh* Yeah! Yeah! Except it doesn’t listen when I tell it that.

    2005. I’m hoping to be able to quit my job at the end of 2005. That’s the goal.

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