On Validation During the Writing Process (and why it’s okay for writers to want that too)

I’ve written before on the topic of writers and validation.

That previous post was related to which form of publishing one might chose to pursue (self-publishing vs. traditional), and what that choice may or may not say about one’s need for acknowledgement by writing industry professionals, which in turn may or may not relate to the strength of one’s self esteem.

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My Cheating Writing Heart

good-and-evil-hearts

Usually, it’s writing that I cheat on other activities with.

Many years ago, in a fluke of proprioception I’m largely unable to reproduce with my moods and in other activities, I mastered the skill of daydreaming with a neutral expression on my face.

This revolutionized the way I move through the world, for it enabled me to almost always be working on my writing, even when I’m not literally writing.

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Once Upon a Time, Once More

butterfly-net

And just like that, I’m nearly two-thirds of the way through the rewrite of my WIP.

I should rephrase that: I’m two-thirds through the second draft of my WIP, with an as-yet-undetermined number more to go after that.

And it’s not exactly “just like that” either, for I’ve been hard at work on this draft since January.  This has involved, in addition to multiple rewrites of chapters one through three, a first crack at the additional 15 chapters I’ve completed to date some of which were in much better shape than others.

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On Recognizing the Interim Rewards of Writing

My chapter revision tracking system, with special emphasis given to chapters 7, 15, 21, and 30 (formerly 31)

My chapter revision tracking system for draft 2, with special emphasis given to chapters 7, 15, 21, and 30 (formerly 31)

The ultimate reward of writing, obviously, is publishing a book and having it read to widespread appeal.

But long before reaching that point, should a writer reward the intermediate stages of his/her writing journey?

In the past, I’ve written not only about both the importance of goal-setting, but also of ensuring your goals have corresponding plans to power their fulfillment.

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A New Answer to the Big Question

The Helix Nebula, nicknamed the Eye of God

The Helix Nebula, nicknamed the “Eye of God”

Years ago, I blogged about a common big question that often arises in writing.

Namely, the question of when you can properly call yourself a writer.

At the time, I’d just found “The Answer to the Big Question” in my house.  This was a list explaining the various circumstances that make one a writer that I’d printed from the internet years earlier when I too was uncertain on this matter.

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Revising is Hard, But Not in the Way I Expected

Keep calm and revise onI’ve now been actively revising my WIP for about three-and-a-half months.

I have to admit, I haven’t progressed nearly as far as I’d anticipated, to date having reworked only seven chapters out of a total 31.  And that’s not counting the fact I have to go over chapters 1-3 all over again.

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Getting Ready for Revision (for the Very First Time)

First draft manuscript

If I were to equate the current stage of my writer’s journey with that of the classic Hero’s Journey, I’d now find myself at stage sometimes referred to as “The Belly of the Whale”.

Which, in my opinion, is perhaps the most perilous of all the stages – even more so than the main confrontation of the story’s climax – for at this stage, the hero still doesn’t have a complete sense of what s/he is up against; a true, Rumsfeldian “unknown unknown”.

That is to say, I’m getting ready to revise my first completed novel.

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