Wednesday, May 25, 2011


I'm writing this on Sunday (5/1). Milo has just posted the weekly Write1Sub 1 check in. I'm looking forward to hearing how the group has done this week.
It can be a lonely business, writing, though I love it to bits, tapping into a community like Write1Sub 1 can make all the difference. I am not alone. All over the world there are people doing the same things as me: writing, subbing, laughing in the face of rejection, and celebrating the occasional acceptance. It's good to be part of a community. That's the best thing about Write1Sub 1 for me.
Let's check in: the first post this week is from Sandra Davies who's written 80K, so far, this year. Wow. Well done, Sandra. I'll add my own post soon.
Another benefit of Write1Sub1 is learning about markets. I had an acceptance from Eschatology this week, and I heard about that market from Write1Sub 1. I like to think that it goes both ways. A couple of writers have thanked me for pointing them in the direction of Scifaikuest-- glad to do it. What goes around, comes around.
Yes, I've really been enjoying Write1Sub 1, so much that I've just signed up to another writing community- A-Story-a-Day in May. (And, yes, I'm counting this guest blog post -- everything counts).
I've been doing well with the Write1Sub1 challenge. I've only skipped one week in March and when I missed the March Martian award-- I was gutted. What is it about these challenges that's so motivating? The aspect of public accountability? Yet there are no dire consequences if we fail. In fact, there's a community waiting to commiserate with us. It's the same with my monthly targets on my blog. You wouldn't have thought that they would make much difference, but, yikes, the month I didn't post my targets, my word count hit rock bottom.
There's something special about being part of the community, about saying: Yes, I'm going to try my best to get this thing done. And these communities don't just happen, there are three people spending a lot of time making sure everything goes smoothly. So, thanks to Milo, Simon and Stephen, who've given us a chance to come together in this way .


  1. Great post, Debs!

    I hear you about being feeling "gutted" in March. May is almost over and I'm cutting it very close (for me anyway!) on the write/sub process. Logically, I know it doesn't really matter but, you know what? It still really does, doesn't it? :)

  2. "All over the world there are people doing the same things as me: writing, subbing, laughing in the face of rejection, and celebrating the occasional acceptance." And that's what Write1Sub1's all about, Charlie Brown. Well put, Deborah. Thanks for the post!

  3. I hope you don't mind hearing from the FNG, who's only begun dabbling in this writing thing, who's still in his first week here at W1S1, and who has all of one whole submission under his belt, but I just wanted to say that I really enjoyed your post, and that I wish you nothing but tremendous success Debs!

  4. Anonymous5/25/2011

    This is Debs, Blogger isn't letting me comment today.

    Madeline: you can do it. I'm sending you my patented vibes.

    Hey Milo, thanks.

    Hello Chris, it's nice to meet you. Thanks so much for commenting. And that one sub? It's the first of many, I'm sure.

  5. Thanks for an excellent blog, Debs. I really enjoyed it.

  6. Excellent blog this Debs - W1S1 certainly keeps me on my toes so far as submitting is concerned - I still haven't overcome challenge no.2 which is to get paid for something, but that's fine and I'm resisting spreading myself any thinner and concentrating more, at the moment on quality (because I didn't always)

  7. Anonymous5/25/2011

    Debs says:

    Thanks Stephen and Sandra. Good luck with challenge number 2, Sandra. I'm sure it's just round the corner.

  8. Yep. Community is good. Nice post, Debs :)

  9. The community aspect of Write1Sub1 has been the biggest benefit, I think. You can't have accountability without someone to be accountable to, and these weekly (or monthly, in my case) check-ins really do the trick. As the deadline for May approaches, for example, I find myself lying awake at night, worried that I might not reach my goal. That's accountability, homes.

    More important to my mental well-being, of course, are all the well-wishes and words of encouragement from other writers, especially the ones who have found a modicum of success. Learning that Deborah Walker suffers rejections, for example, is a revelation. Same goes for finding out that Damien Walters Grintalis has a "bad stories" folder--or that she's even capable of writing bad stories.

    I'm the better for knowing these things, and I wouldn't know these things, in all likelihood, if I didn't take up this challenge.

  10. I just watched that Ray Bradbury video. Best of luck with what you're doing but I think you took away entirely the wrong message from what he was saying. Entirely the wrong message.

  11. Hey, Sam, Hey Joe, I'm glad you enjoyed the post.

    And Joe, I know what you mean, when I found out that some of my favourite writers took years to make the first sale, I was amazed. Good to know these things, that's why I like to be open.

  12. Hello Anton,
    Thank for your good wishes. What's your take on Ray Bradbury's message?

  13. I'm also curious as to where Anton thinks we're getting it wrong, and what his interpretation of Bradbury's message is.

  14. Just guessing here, but the "wrong message" could be assuming that all of the stories we write this year will be published. I don't think they will -- not right away, anyhow. Some are going to be gems, and some, in Bradbury's words, will be "dreadful" and undergo major revisions before they find a good home. Am I way off the mark, Anton?

    Our goal this year is to become better writers. We get better by writing. We deal with rejection better by submitting. And as Deborah has said so well in this post, we have this W1S1 community, and it's really something special.

  15. There are two parts to Bradbury's message (as there are two parts to Robert Silverberg's journey). The first part is developing the necessary skill set to write consistently at a professional level. This requires persistent story writing. It requires persistent submission and practice at responding to feedback. Persperistence, in other words. The second part of his message, and one we will do well to pay equal attention to, is that becoming a "great" writer requires leaving this process behind at some point. Then, with a full toolbox in hand and a skin thicker than a shark's, we begin to explore our inner terrain and can truly add something of worth to the world. I suspect one seldom gets to this second step without passing through the first. When it does happen, it's often a one hit wonder (or maybe a one series wonder). Sales are really only plot points in our journey; rejections are minor complications. It's the climax and resolution we should be striving for. That's what I take from the Bradbury video. And that's why I'm here.

  16. I never would have known about Write 1 Sub 1 if someone in my writing group hadn't said, "Hey, check this out. Anyone wanna do it with me?" And now two of us have reached a major goal: having stories with our names on them published.

    If not for this fantastic group of people (and I mean both my writing group and the Write 1 Sub 1 crew), I wouldn't have seven published short stories under my belt right now. I would never have known the bliss that you feel when you're holding your first check in both hands, panicking that it isn't real and will disappear as you watch it. I love the lows as well as the highs because I know others are having similar experiences.

    And even if I never get another acceptance (gods forbid, knock on wood, and all that), I will never regret having started this journey.

    All right, enough pontificating from me. Thanks for the post, Debs!