Monday, February 6, 2012

My Advice? Make Shit Happen

Before you indulge yourself in learning how to make shit happen, I'm thrilled to be visiting over at Lenore Appelhans' excellent blog, Presenting Lenore. I'm talking about dystopians in general, and NOT A DROP TO DRINK in particular.

People sometimes ask me if I have a certain routine I go through before I write, something to put my mind in the right place. I've been to conferences where speakers advise a few moments of meditation, lighting the same scent of candle, or listening to some music that you find inspirational before you put your fingers to the keyboard. I have a slightly more straightforward approach.

I plop myself in front of the laptop and say, "Ok, Mindy. Make shit happen."

And honestly, isn't that what we're doing when we write? Making shit happen to people that don't exist? But forcing the fecal matter to flow isn't only restricted to the word count output for the day. When I give myself that one sentence pep-talk it covers all my bases.

Blog not ready to go for the next week?
Haven't tweeted for awhile?
Need to get on the crits for my partners?
Running out of interviewees?

Make all that shit happen.

More importantly, when I was still on the agent hunt I'd hit those stagnant pools of time. Queries are out wandering to people who may or may not be non-responders. Five out of my ten came back form rejections. I've got partials and fulls out but everyone knows that's not a guarantee and I shouldn't just twiddle my thumbs hoping they love me. So what did I do?

Made shit happen.

If I knew my query was ready and I didn't have a lot hanging in the wind, I sent out more. There's no hope in getting that YES email if that special person waiting to read my query doesn't know I exist yet.

So next time you feel like forward progress isn't on your side, ask yourself:

Did I make shit happen today?

14 comments:

Yvonne Osborne said...

Not yet, but I'm getting ready to.

Thanks for the pep talk.

Marin McGinnis said...

Excellent advice. :)

Mama Zen said...

I love it!

Bethany C. said...

You are the master shitter!

Elle Cosimano said...

Woman after my own heart. I think you should put this on a t-shirt. I would wear it proudly.

Mindy McGinnis said...

Yvonne - no problem!

Marin - it's a tough love online writing course :)

Mama - thanks for hopping over from Lenore's!

Bethany - Yes I truly have a multitude of ways of talking about shit.

Elle - You know... that's not a bad idea. The 13'ers should do that!

Maureen Wanket said...

This blog rocks. This post is amazing. Thank you so much.

Jenny Phresh said...

You now need to make a badge for your blog with this statement on it. Do it right now! Thanks for the pick-me-up.

Mindy McGinnis said...

Maureen - Thanks for stopping by! I'm glad you like the blog.

Jenny - I'm thinking t-shirt.... :)

Gennifer Albin said...

Cross-stitched wall hanging.

Mindy McGinnis said...

Genn - I should embroider it on a pillow!

Adrianne Russell said...

I'd definitely buy that t-shirt!

Mindy McGinnis said...

What about the pillow Adrianne? I should open an Etsy shop...

Adrianne Russell said...

Pillows would be awesome. That way I can remember to make shit happen even in my dreams.