Saturday, 13 September 2014

Optimal Writing Time

There are a number of discussions around what time of day is optimal for certain tasks.  I have found that writing is one of those tasks that differs greatly from person to person in terms of the time of day a person is at their most productive, despite what the science may say.

Finding out exactly what time of day is best for you is one way to help productivity and assist in beating procrastination.  My husband is a night owl and likes to stay up all night when he has an exam coming up.  I could not imagine myself doing this as a study method.  Once I get past midnight, I'm too tired to think straight, let alone be creative. 

How come nobody talks about us day owls?

I've discovered with mixed feelings that my optimal writing time is first thing in the morning.  I think this is because I'm fresh and able to tackle complex tasks after sleep.  However it isn't always ideal - I love a good sleep in and for some reason, it doesn't work if I wake up at 2pm and try to write.  Perhaps it's got something to do with being over-tired.  When I do have a long sleep in it's usually because I went to bed after 1am.  There's also the fact that I already get up quite early for work, so writing in the mornings on work days is usually not an option.

When is your most productive time to write?

Friday, 12 September 2014

Rejected Again

Rejection can feel like a knife to the guts sometimes.  No, we don't want your stinking work (read: an important piece of you; an organ even), better luck next time.  It's almost like being single and getting rejected by a potential lover again and again.

Being rejected is part and parcel of being a writer (Just like using clichés!).  If you want to be taken seriously as a writer, you have to publish.  If you want to publish, you have to submit your work.  If you want to submit your work, you are going to get rejected at some point.  

My writing has been rejected many times.  Often my work is rejected in one place, yet when I submit to another place it will be accepted.  A lot of acceptances depend on the personal taste of the editor.  

Usually when faced with rejection I will shrug it off.  It's happened before, it's not a big deal.  I've been published in the past and so I have proof that I am, at the very least, a half-decent writer.

This time was different.  This time I felt my heart drop, and there was a gnawing feeling in my stomach.  That's when I realised - this has happened before, this disappointment and depression that comes with rejection.  Shouldn't I know better?  What makes this time different from the other times I've just 'shrugged it off'.  And those other times when I've felt equally rent, why was that?

Looking at this instance, I was ready to submit my work elsewhere.  I even had another publisher lined up to send the manuscript to.  However I think in my mind I was 70-80% sure that the first place would ask for my full manuscript (I had to send a sample of the work).  Why did I think this?  It was because I'd read one of their other published works and thought, 'I could do way better.'  Now that I look back on this, I realise the style was very different and yes, it wasn't my style.  But perhaps it's what they are looking for.  What I mean is, perhaps they were looking for something short and sharp and don't place as much emphasis on character development over time.

I need to put this work aside now to work on another project.  Hopefully when I come back to it I won't have lost all of it's will to live.  But perhaps next time I can take a more blasé attitude about submissions.  After all, I am a married woman now, why would I want to feel single again?