Diamond State Romance Authors

Thirty Days in the Hole

by Harriet Hale

Last month I crawled in a hole to re-evaluate my writing. What did that thirty days look like?

I know you’re thinking about the scene from Cast Away when Tom Hanks is trying to make his first fire on the beach, aren’t you?

Well, I’ve …

1. Learned a new skill at my local chapter meeting.
2. Worked on a project that was out of my comfort zone and wildly different than what I normally write.
3. Found an awesome critique partner.
4. Revised & resubmitted work at a publisher’s request.
5. Started a new manuscript and answered an open submission call.
6. Done a lot of editing for myself and for other people (including my critique partner).
7. Participated in two events that required me to hone my pitches and my first pages.
8. Spent time reading other books and getting to know other writers.
9. Registered for a conference.
10. Started a writing challenge designed to make me write something every day.

So, my thirty days in the hole taught me I’d rather write than mope. I’d rather hang out with writers than wallow alone. Creativity comes in all sorts of venues and opportunities. Most importantly … I love to write. It’s fun for me, despite the litany of rejections. I can also see how I’m improving.

If I go back to The 13th Warrior – this is me, standing with my foot bracing a pike, roaring at the demons of rejection to come at me. I can take it.

Just don’t ask me to make a fire.

If you’re discouraged, it’s okay to talk about it and to look at why you feel that way. It’s also okay to make a few changes that might make you happier. Write something different, read a book, look at some of your old work you’ve shoved under the bed … be proactive about your writing career.

It’s spring. FINALLY. Go outside and get some fresh air, then come back in and read a good book.

Better yet … write one.


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