The Experiment, the YA Panel, the Failure, the New Cover, and the Attempt at Making Some Goals

My writing productivity experiment is delayed—I just have too much freelance work to complete in the next few days, so I can’t count these as normal writing days. Maybe I’m procrastinating because I’m scared, or I expect to fail, or I don’t want to push myself too hard. Who knows.

Friday night, I was part of a “Juicy YA Reads” panel at Inquiring Minds in New Paltz, New York, with Jennifer Castle (author of The Beginning of After, who I hope you’ll soon see here on this blog) and Kim Purcell (author of Trafficked, who wrote this beautiful Turning Point), and we had such a great conversation about the YA community, our book covers, working with editors, writing contemporary fiction, and so much more. We had a fabulous panel moderator, the awesome book blogger Nicole from WORD for Teens—and she really knew how to give us questions that got us talking. Thank you so much to Inquiring Minds for inviting me! Such a wonderful bookstore, and such a great night!

So there is the good. The bad is that I’m very sad to say that I failed in a secret goal I had this month: to submit a short story to One Teen Story before their submissions closed for the year. I switched gears and changed short stories in the last week, and that was my downfall. I was one scene away from making yesterday’s extended deadline… and I couldn’t get it finished in time. I’m really disappointed in myself.

But even though I have no hope of being a part of it, I can still be a fan. I can’t wait to read One Teen Story when it comes out. There aren’t enough short-story venues for YA fiction.

And this week I saw the latest—and I think maybe final?—version of the 17 & Gone cover. I am so in love with it. You hear that all the time from authors, I know. It’s sort of rote and maybe you think we have to say it, but oh wow am I happy. I can’t wait until I have permission to show you.

So this week, after a freelance deadline and a family visit, I will try very hard to do this experiment, and—most excitingly—I will try to finish up the latest version of the proposal for my next YA novel. You can see a peek of its inspirations on Pinterest. Or maybe I’ll finish that short story anyway—because I hate the idea of giving up on it just because I missed a deadline.

It’s a new week. Maybe I’ll accomplish what I wanted this time. And hey—if anyone tried that writing experiment and it’s going well, let me know!

4 responses to “The Experiment, the YA Panel, the Failure, the New Cover, and the Attempt at Making Some Goals”

  1. You’re being too hard on yourself, as usual. There’s always next year, and in the meantime maybe you can submit that story somewhere else?

    I’m going to try my own version of the Rachel Aaron experiment and see how much it helps my productivity (um, probably a lot). Working on revisions was a legitimate excuse for putting it off, right? 😉


    • Aw, thanks, Camille. I wanted to try to submit, but it is what it is—and you’re right, I can get the story ready and send it elsewhere. (I don’t necessarily think it needs to be considered “YA” actually, just because there is a teenage narrator.) Thanks for the encouragement 🙂

      And yes, working on revisions is a legit excuse for anything! (SO EXCITED. You know why.)

      I’d love to know your own version of the experiment… Maybe mine will be more like yours!


  2. I always get frustrated, even stressed sometimes, when I don’t meet my personal goals. But, I think writers, in general, have to be multi-taskers and sometimes there are just too many tasks to do at once. Best of luck getting everything you want accomplished next week.


  3. SO I read the long post you had linked to and at first was ‘No way! Graphs, goals – not for me!’ But then a funny thing happened, I scribbled a plan of a scene, got some forward momentum happening and voila! Success – on my scale, not on the 10k a day scale! So I blogged it, course I then lost the notebook, but that’s user error right?


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