My Year in Writing: March

handstypingThis Game of Thrones-ish winter continues and today, the first day of April, I walked to class while being pelted by snow flurries and drizzle. This did little to improve my mood. But by the end of the day the sun was shining, and promise of better days fell to the earth.

March was a busy month for me. First and foremost, I completed another entire book. Granted it was a novella (64 pages), but I can take heart that in the first three months of the year I’ve already written two new books, even if they are short form. I finished the book in two days (32 pages and around twelve hours at a time), and by the end of my typing spree I was happy with the finished product. It turned out to be a rockabilly novella about a teenage girl who finds herself surrounded by bad chicks and angry boys who teach her that life can be as honky tonk and hell yeah as one makes it. I entered it into two different contests by the month’s.

Writing the novella taught me two important things: First, contests motivate me more than writing prompts and they’re a good way to force myself to get to work. Secondly, I still haven’t been able to develop a writing routine, and am left to do what one friend referred to as ‘binge writing.’ I guess I’ve never been one for moderation.

My chapbook Bad Kids from Good Schools has been in the world for a month, and things are going slow. That’s to be expected since we’ve done no press outside of social media. Most small presses are composed of one or two people working late nights in their apartments trying to get things together, and the one advantage big publishers have over small presses above all others is experienced and effective marketing. I like the DIY ethic of small presses. Small press is punk rock. But to help get some readers for my chapbook I’ve submitted it for review at a few blogs that I like. We’ll see if any pick it up. In the meantime I have to do more to get the word out.

In a world as small as literary fiction, it’s important that everyone lends a hand. I’m more conscious of this every day. I buy small press books, and literary fiction from big publishers as well. I promote writers and works I like on social media, and to my students. This month since I sent my chapbook out for review, I also agreed to write a review of another book awaiting a reviewer on the website. I look forward to doing it, and hope that it helps the author move more books in the end.

The editing for my short story collection is coming along, and I’m currently in the process of addressing editorial remarks on the second story of the sixteen in the collection. The publication date hasn’t been set, but this only gives myself and my editor more time to go over each sentence before the book makes its way out into the world. I know when the time comes we’ll all be proud of the work we’ve done.

April is here, and the temperature is rising. The trees are struggling to bud, and birds are starting to call out in the morning. I look forward to see what the coming months bring, and am eager to get back to the page.

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