I shouldn’t be writing about this rule since I’ve broken it consistently lately. Or maybe that’s a good reason to blog about it. In any case, after I started seriously writing and submitting fiction, I came up with a “rule of twos” for myself to help keep from getting discouraged.
The rule is simple – always have at least two things out. By “thing” I mean a writing project of one sort or another and by “out” I mean have it someplace where the project’s fate will be decided for better or worse by a third party not related to me by blood, friendship or bribery. Having a proposal or manuscript out to an editor is having a “thing out.” So is having a completed book or partial manuscript entered in a contest. The idea behind my rule of twos is that I could always be hopeful that somewhere my writing was about to progress through the publication process.
And if one of those two projects got rejected or received a poor score, then I could always be hopeful that the second project would meet with a happier fate. Once that rejection (or acceptance) arrived, I had to send something else out so that I would always have two projects pending.
So what do I have pending right now? Ummm, I recently entered Toto’s Tale in a contest but I haven’t actually sent out the books so I can’t count that yet. I have no manuscripts or proposals out. So I’m 0/2 in the Rule of Twos scoresheet. And that’s bad. It’s time to polish up my current project, get it out and finish up the next one. Then I’ll be ready to send it out when I learn the fate of one of the other two. Or maybe I could even expand the rule of two to include a third. It certainly won’t hurt my chances.
Now I’d like to know what “rules” or other tricks other writers use to keep up production and/or morale. Please share. I need all the help I can get!