I can’t tell how much my “write about other things while I work through my current writing constipation” ploy worked (hopefully you enjoyed the one-off pieces), but I did get together with my writers group and got one helluva good pep talk. The basic gist was that you can only revise what you actually write, so it’s much better to get pure rubbish down on the page because you can always rewrite it and at least you keep moving. Yeah, that was it, but said much, much better.
And it worked! I’ve doubled my writing on Book #2 and have even worked through another stumbling block along the way. Progress! Huzzah!
As for Book #1, that’s inching forward as well. I received a personalized rejection the other week. Yes, that’s still a rejection. And, okay sure, my knee-jerk reaction was “oh great, someone took the time to personally tell me I suck.” But upon further review, it became clear that my query letter worked – something I did not want to take for granted, especially since the other rejections I’d received at this point were all of the “this isn’t the kind of story we’re looking for right now” variety.
Instead, I was rejected because my sample pages didn’t grab the agent. So I wrote the agent back to say thank you and see if the agent could elaborate (Where did I lose you? What kind of changes would you recommend? etc.), but any response will have to wait because the agent is on leave.
Until then, I’m taking a good, hard look at the start of Book #1 and seeing how it measures up to the openings of other books and submissions samples. Progress! Ish!
I have to keep reminding myself: No one said this all happens quickly or easily (or at all). So I’ll just keep moving forward, step by step, word by word…