Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Monday, November 24, 2008

How I Spent My First Day as a Fulltime Writer

Well, I guess it’s real. As of today, I am writing fulltime. So how did it go? Glad you asked. Because it gives me something to blog about other than the weird rash on the back of my elbow.

Aren’t you relieved?

So here in no particular order are a few random thoughts from the beginning of being a full time writer.

First, for those of you interested in the LDStorymakers Writers Conference, things are moving along quickly. The incredible, and talented, Scott Wright is just about done with the online registration form. We expect to have it up and running by early next week at the latest. This year’s conference is going to be bigger and better than ever, with special classes on children’s book writing, screen writing, article writing, and all the other usual good stuff.

Second, I do not understand why people collect rejection letters. I guess it is proof that you are getting your work sent out. But looking at my rejections only bums me out. Even when I know I have a five book deal and lots of good things in the works, seeing old rejection letters raises all the old doubts again. I started by just cleaning my desk, and ended up having to take a walk to remind myself that I am a published writer. I’d much rather focus on good reviews and positive feedback than old rejection letters.

I think it takes a few days to get adjusted to the fact that I am writing full time. I keep starting to think about work things I need to do, only to go, “Oh, yeah. That’s not my problem anymore.”

Which brings me to how much writing is a mental thing. You have to feel good about yourself to do your best. You need to feel that what you are writing is the best work being written. When you feel good about your writing, you write well. When you start doubting yourself, everything you write seems like garbage.

Also, so much of writing is about getting into a rhythm. I know there are people who can write in fifteen minutes here and twenty there. But for me, I need to get into the right mindset. If I am going to use my free time wisely, I need to treat writing as the fulltime career it is. I started this morning by getting up and seven for a quick run before breakfast and settling in to hit the keyboard. Find whatever works for you, but if you are going to treat writing as a profession, you need to be professional yourself.

The day’s results? 3200 words. Not as much as I would have liked, but I spent a good portion of the day getting my new laptop working right. I’ll keep you updated on how things go from here.


At 11/25/2008 2:07 PM, Blogger Matthew Buckley / Marion Jensen said...

Jeff, I completely agree with your 'writing is mental'. I think having a 'big ego' helps a writer. Because they can get 100 rejection letters and still think, "they are all wrong, and my writing is incredible." I can't do that. I get one rejection letter and I throw in the towel.

Good luck.

At 11/25/2008 2:38 PM, Blogger David G. Woolley said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 11/25/2008 2:48 PM, Blogger David G. Woolley said...

When Jeff gets a rejection letter he sends the pitiful publisher a copy of a famous autobiography that had, as its working title:

Viereinhalb Jahre [des Kampfes] gegen Lüge, Dummheit und Feigheit" (Four and a Half Years [of Fighting] Against Lies, Stupidity and Cowardice).

Keep working against all those publishing lies, stupidity and cowardice Jeff, and give us the word count for Tuesday already.

David G. Woolley

PS: If you want the published title for the autobigraphy Jeff, just ask.

At 11/25/2008 2:52 PM, Blogger J Scott Savage said...


I totally agree. That one of my big reasons for being against SASEs. If you want my book, call or e-mail me. But if not, don't send me back a stock rjection form with my own stamp. Maybe we could get agent agents. This people would send out queries for us and we'd never need to see the rejections.


I'm currently at 1700 words. I'll bite. What is the title?

At 11/25/2008 2:57 PM, Blogger Kerry Blair said...

He's referring to Hitler, Jeff. I don't get it, either. :)

There's a lot of wisdom in this blog. Thanks!

At 11/25/2008 3:44 PM, Blogger RobisonWells said...

Jeff, I'm envious. I wish I didn't have a job! (Well, and I wish I had a five book deal, and a whole lot less debt.)

At 11/25/2008 5:50 PM, Blogger David G. Woolley said...

I love this picture. Where did you get it?

At 11/26/2008 1:27 AM, Blogger Nancy Campbell Allen said...

I don't like writing in 15 minute snippets either, Jeff. It's hard for me. I'm trying to learn to use up every spare minute, but just when I get into the groove, I get interrupted and it's like being hurled through space at warp speed or something. BAM. Back into real life, where the four-year-old needs something.

I mean, doesn't he realize I'm busy? Sheesh.

At 11/29/2008 8:36 PM, Blogger Keith Fisher said...

Hang in there you are my hero. I am enjoying your foray. I hope to join you someday so I'm watching closely

At 12/01/2008 6:17 PM, Blogger Danyelle Ferguson said...

Wohoo, Jeff! Congrats on becoming a full-time writer. You are awesome!

PS - I can't wait to sign up for the conference!!!!!!


Post a Comment

<< Home