April 9, 2017

Waiting and thinking (or thinking and waiting)



A writer’s life involves lots of waiting. Waiting for submissions to be either accepted or rejected (so that you can submit them somewhere else, and then the waiting cycle begins again). Waiting for accepted stories to appear in print or online. Waiting for the launch of your new book. Waiting for reviews. Waiting for the sales statistics. Waiting to get paid. 

Over the past few weeks, I’ve received three rejection letters (and promptly resent the rejected material elsewhere; I’m very, very serious about trying to get my translated stories “out there”). A short story of mine has recently appeared in the April issue of the Polish speculative fiction magazine Nowa Fantastyka. I’m waiting for news about other submissions. I’ve steeled myself for a long wait (in one case, the decision will probably come in October).

Meanwhile, there’s nothing for it but to keep writing (I’m working on a new novel in Polish – the first three chapters are almost finished, yay) and keep slowly translating “The Thistle Queen”. With Hans the troll’s permission, I’ve temporarily suspended the “read every day” part of my New Year’s resolutions because reading every day seems to interfere with my writing (it impairs my ability to write in my own voice) when I’m working steadily on a WIP, rather than just experimenting and pottering about.

I’ve also come to a point where other things besides writing need some serious thought. Right at the beginning of April, I briefly came down with a nasty virus (either a norovirus or something similar). I didn’t vomit, but had fever, nausea and other unpleasant symptoms, was unable to eat for over 50 hours, narrowly avoided dehydration (now I know that when you start getting weak & dizzy every time you stand up, postural hypotension has kicked in and it’s time to get serious about drinking that yucky-tasting oral rehydration mixture) and had ample time to rethink my lifestyle while I was lying in a darkened room with a splitting headache on the second day.

Apart from the occasional cold, I very rarely get ill, so I'm treating this as a wake-up call. Living my life mostly in front of a computer screen isn’t doing me any favors. Now, my No. 1 plan for spring is to spend more time outdoors, eat more veggies and eggs (I’m the kind of thin, underweight, not-crazy-about-eating person who will subsist on sandwiches and cornflakes if unmotivated) and get healthier. One of my New Year's resolutions for 2017 was to "exercise or go for a walk every day" (I'm managing to stick to it for about 20 days each month... not a shining success, but not a total failure either). It was a step in the right direction, but it's not enough. I'm not in bad shape but I was fitter two years ago. Hans the troll says he’ll try to find a way to persuade me to start running.

And as for the waiting... the best cure for impatience is to get distracted by something else, so I’m going to do my best to submit some more material here and there in the coming months (both in Polish and in English). A novelette I wrote in Polish in December has been waiting until now to get edited and partly rewritten (it needs a different ending). I’m looking forward to sitting down to it over the Easter holidays!



2 comments:

  1. I can so relate to the writing part. I can also relate to the rejections (I, too, have a habit of sending them out again, unless I'm waiting for a specific market's submission window).
    I hope your plan of getting healthier will succeed. I'm trying to get more fit (over three years in an office job made me grow... in mass ;) ), so I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you.

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    1. Thanks! I've read about your determination to exercise daily and I was really impressed! For me, spending time outdoors is crucial, I've become far too used to saying "meh, it's so cold/rainy/windy, I don't feel like going for a walk today" for 3-4 days in a row. I'll be doing a lot of nordic walking this spring to make up for my lazy winter.

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