Raise Your Standards: Chris Fox

My goals for this year are to return to my pre-burnout writing routine. I’ve lost so much time since this time last year. I wonder with regret at how much I could have achieved. Maybe I could have so many drafts completed, maybe a few more stories ready for publication. But I can’t go back in time. I can only move forward with intention.

Hand shitting and the occasional clap

I had a thought today, what if I don’t get over my burnout completely until the one year anniversary ticks over. That’s next May! Right now I have no desire to write anything (despite writing this post) in fact, I’d rather shit in my hands and clap.

And I was starting to improve only a month or so ago too. I had slogged it out and got a novella out and did a draft of another, but maybe that was the reason. I pushed myself too much too soon.

The idea of story creation seems tedious and I’m having feelings of inadequacy. But that’s ridiculous because I’ve improved so much in recent times and I got the stories mapped out. But at the same time what if I fuck it up? What if later on, I find out that there is a better way to write it? What if I’m not the right on to tell this story? (But come on I’m the one that thought it up, I’m the only one to tell it) I’m all mixed up and nothing can really do anything about it but me.

When doubt sets in . . .

There are times when I doubt if I’m ever going to become a successful writer or that down the line I’ll fail and give up. That idea cuts me deep. But when I voice my concerns to Chris he tells me that you only fail as a writer when you give up. He says that me putting my work out is more than a lot of other people will ever do and it makes me feel better about myself 🙂 Thanks Lovely Chris.

What value do you bring?

I’m re-reading ‘The Mental Game of Writing’ by Bell and there is a section about uniqueness. More specifically your uniqueness. He asks you three questions about what you bring with your work. They are:

  1. What do I do well?
  2. What can I do better?
  3. What are my unique ‘add ons’?

With me and my self-evaluation and comments from my close ones, I can say that the things I do well are worldbuilding and characterisation. I’m hoping that my plot and storyline are pretty competent as well. Things I can do better in regards to my writing is re-establish my writing routine, finish first drafts and start more marketing.

But what about my unique ‘add ons’?

What makes me different from other writers? I know that there is not another Stephanie out there, but no one can see that because I don’t market myself. I write a lot of novellas because I don’t pad my stories out, but my style is not like that of McCarthy’s The Road. I’m slowly making my way up to larger books because I’m training my brain to deal with larger projects. Maybe despite writing seriously for the last seven years I still have to refine my ability.