Okay, point the first: Twelfth Planet Press has offered up free e-copies of their 2009 projectsin the name of getting folks to read them prior to the Hugo nominations at this years Worldcon in Melbourne. That means there are free copies of Horn up for grabs. Make of this what you will. (I should also mention that the inimitable Robert Hoge has started a campaign to get Australian’s nominated to the Hugo ballot, and he’s compiling a small list of recommendations for people who might be interested; the real action is over in the facebook group where everyone’s pitching in names).
And so, point the second: February is the month where I combat The Fear again.
It’s a stupid thing, The Fear, all the more stupid because it commonly manifests itself when things seem to be going right. People start accepting stories and asking for submissions and nominating me for awards and suddenly this little voice in the back of my head starts saying “you don’t deserve this” and “you’re going to fuck it up” and the next thing I know I’m sitting on top of a dozen half-finished stories and binging on coke and junk-food because it’s so much easier to not finish things than to start sending them out and face the fact that maybe, just maybe, this time people will realise I suck. Nothing unusual about any of that, really. I’ve never talked to anyone who wants to write who hasn’t experienced The Fear at some point or another. It’s just part of the process, and if it wasn’t for the fact that The Fear creeps up on me in stealth-mode and messes with my head it wouldn’t actually be a big deal at all.
My way past the fear is pretty simple: I start submitting stuff. Lots of it. Writing and submitting stories is actually habit-forming, and The Fear stops being a factor after you get into the routine. It doesn’t go away, but I get to stop capitalizing it. And, as with most things, I can distract myself by focusing on numbers. Make eight submission in February. Accrue 100 rejections this year*. Make sure I write 1500 words a day. Forgo the coke and chocolate which is salving my psychological wounds as I wallow in self-indulgent panic about never getting published again.
So for February I get back to basics and focus on numbers again.
Current Project: Getting Back to Basics
Number of Stories Submitted in February: 0 of 8
Rejections Accrued in 2010: 0
Consecutive Productive Writing Days: 0
Days without coke and other soft-drinks: 0
Days without chocolate: 0
Today the Spokesbear is: Sighing and giving me meaningful looks as he gets all passive-aggressive about the fact that I *should be working* right now if I mean to make any of this happen.
*A goal picked up from my friend Chris Green, based off the theory that you can’t control the acceptances but you can send a bunch of stuff out.