Tuesday, February 14, 2012

100mph With No Seatbelt

I have a pretty bad habit of running myself ragged.  For this reason, my intentions this year were to decrease my workload and work on dealing with stress better.  It just makes for a happier person.  And while my intentions were good, I think I'm just laying asphalt on my way to a dark place with twin hockey-sticks.

There's A Light!
One of the biggest factors in my constant headache has been the bucket-full of fail I've been dragging along behind me.  All of my efforts and hard work only lead to more effort and hard work with barely enough pay-off to put some new tread on my tires.  This week, however, has been awesome on so many levels.

Emma Trevayne, a YA cyberpunk fiction writer whose work I'm eager to get my greedy little hands on, recently hosted an antagonist writing competition with the prize being a query critique by none other than Brooks Sherman (aka Paul Rudd's evil twin) from the Fine Print Literary Agency.  If anybody's read my query, you know it's pretty awful and in desperate need of fine tuning.  While I didn't win, I did get an honorably mention as "Most likely to dissuade me from seeking physical affection ever again", and the opportunity to submit my wretched query and the first three chapters of my book, Doors!  I'm not getting my hopes up on this one, but getting a partial request after nearly a year of editing and revising is enough to have my doing the Muppet Dance through my living room.  (Thanks for bringing back that era in my life, Emma)

Last night, a company I've been ghostwriting for finally agreed to renew my contract at the price I was asking after nearly a month of trying to low-ball me.  I had pretty much written them off, but having them accept my demands was a huge ego-boost for the quality and professionalism of my non-fiction writing, something I normally never touch.  Let this stand as an example to all freelancers... don't sell yourself short.  If they love you, they'll come to you.  (BTW, I consider $0.02/word a fantastic deal, up from just about a dollar per page)

Probably one of the most unforeseen opportunities of all, Mary Ann Loesch liked my artwork enough that she asked me to help design a new cover for her book, Nephilim.  I can understand why, the cover is a complete turn-off, but the premise of the story is INCREDIBLE.  Seriously, can't wait to read it, though I'm not sure I can make myself until there's a different cover =X  I'm such a sissy sometimes.

Tack on a day job, three daddy's girls, a manuscript I've barely touched this past month and my steady struggle to shoulder my way into online literary circles and I'm trying to figure out when I'm going to have time for anything.

I don't see myself easing my foot off the accelerator anytime soon and certainly no rest stops, but I have the world's most supportive wife and enough success in the past few days to put a little gas in my tank.  Words to my fellow writers:

"Just keep chiseling at that wall.  The writing world is hard to break into, but efforts are not, it would appear, in vain."


  1. I'm glad I'm not the only one to feel this way. Thanks for the great post. And congrats on the partial! That's super exciting.

  2. Sounds like you had an AWESOME week. I understand about not wanting to get your hopes up, but I think you're a fantastic writer! It will be your time sooner or later, why not now? GOOD LUCK!

    And definitely keep up the good work!

    My husband tells me all the time it's nuts being married to a writer. ;)

  3. Congrats about the cover, too. That is AWESOME. Ummm...I know you're a guy and all but the cover is NOT UNAPPEALING. ;) Nothing wrong w/ those muscles. But, cool that you're getting the shot! I know yours will be better.

    1. Oh no.. I wouldn't kick him out of bed... if I were into that sorta thing... and he didn't snore... or have a wicked case of IBS...

      I'm just saying that it's not a romance novel... which I run from unless beta-reading.

      And thanks for all the kind words :)

  4. Congrats Matthew! I meant to tell you, too, that your guest blog on All Things Writing was awesome and received a phenomenal amount of hits over the weekend. We got great blog traffic and I need to add your blog to our list of blogs to follow.

    I laughed at the comments posted about the cover. I wouldn't kick the guy out of bed either, but oh, how he doesn't represent the story! Lol.


    Mary Ann

  5. Just know you've got a lot of people supporting you, and weeks like this make everyone smile for you. And hey, you've got some good momentum in multiple areas. Most people would kill to be successful in just one.
    Fantastic job, buddy!