Some traditions are easy to keep up. And this year has made one particular tradition easier than ever.
This is my eighth “State of the Fourth Estate” report*, and it is, per tradition, late. Only two weeks, which isn’t all that bad: in 2017, it was almost a month. That delay took real effort; this one was simple because there are so very few date references these days. Remembering whether it’s Monday or Thursday takes a conscious effort, and as for keeping track of the weeks and months, well, why bother? It’ll only depress you.
* The eighth report, but only my seventh year of writing. The first SotFE post came at the six-month mark.
That said, sheltering in place has been a great boon to my writing. I’ve made more progress on Draft Three of Demirep in the last three weeks than in the previous three months of squeezing it in around work. Prior to the lockdown, I was hoping to finish the draft and find beta readers around the end of the year. Now, assuming I can keep up my current pace for the rest of the Shelter in Place period, I could be starting the beta before baseball returns.
Which reminds me: it’s time for me to start thinking about the next project, since I’ll be working on that while the beta readers are doing their thing.
Anyway, I’m hoping that, once I go back to work, I’ll be able to keep some of the momentum on both projects. I’d love to have TBD go faster than Demirep has.
Meanwhile, Like Herding Cats continues to make the rounds of agents. Waiting for responses has always been one of the most frustrating parts of the writing business. It’s even worse now. “Agent X normally responds to all queries within six weeks. We’re at the two month mark. Is she running slow? Not reading queries because she, like so many others in every field, can’t concentrate? Maybe she did read it and I never got the response because her work-from-home setup has issues.”
Not surprisingly, writers are very good at creating speculative scenarios to account for normal variations in response times. These days, we could fill whole volumes with our panicked musings. Not that anyone would want to read them.
I wonder if I could get more–and more favorable–responses if I offered to send partial and full manuscripts printed on toilet paper. We’ve got a spare roll or two, and I could probably find a continuous feed printer fairly cheaply. Hmm. Probably not, considering current feelings about things people have touched.
As always, thanks for hanging around and reading what I write.
Onward into Year Eight!
Send us the extra rolls first. We tried to get comic TP online. Takes June to deliver, even without a certain person’s ugly face on it.
Good luck continually with both agent and writing. People are doing a lot more reading of late.
If the backlog is really that bad, I think we’ll hang on to what we’ve got. Despite my earlier comments about possible alternatives, those aren’t much better than doing without…
And, while people are doing more reading, (a) publishers are slowing down and (b) piracy is up.
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