Welcome to My Official Web Page!

Welcome to My Official Web Page!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Getting Kicked Off the Plateau



Just a reminder: Don't forget to sign up for this weekend's HAIKU BLOGFEST!

A while back, Paul Greci posted about Submission Belly, a strange phenomenon whereby authors gain 3-5 pounds while their work is on submission to an agent, editor, or even for a contest. I've been trying to shed my Submission Belly since January, but to no avail.

A few weeks ago, I started a cycling class with a cheer leader/drill sergeant hybrid of an instructor (who I think does speed before the class). She's a maniac- I spend the entire hour panting and drenched in sweat while she plays techno and yells at us.

It's worth it- I've finally lost those last sneaky pounds. All it took was someone kicking my butt off my comfy plateau and making me work. HARD.

I think the same thing might be happening with my writing. I got a swift kick in the rear a couple weeks ago from someone who knows what they're talking about. It hurt, but I think it's going to push me up the rest of this mountain. I once knew a guy who hiked almost all 20,320 feet of Mt. McKinley, but had to turn around just before he reached the top- he could see the pinnacle, but never made it.

I can't let that be me.

What about you? Has anyone kicked you off your plateau? Where on the mountain are you today?
Image from Denali Alaska Guiding

23 comments:

Amalia T. said...

I got a kick last week, myself! Two actually. It suuuucked to hear, but I think I already knew it deep down, so I think it hurt less than it might have. I can't say I'm excited about the workload it means for my near future, though. ugh!

If you ever need someone to talk to, I am only an email away :)

Roland D. Yeomans said...

I am the one who has to kick me off my own plateau.

My main characters murmur, "Oh sure, you can write of heroes, but can you be one? Can you wear your own spandex? If you can't finish what you start, what was the point of all these past hours?"

My main characters are such nags!

Have a great week, Roland

Rayna M. Iyer said...

Looking back is the worst thing anyone can you. When you see how much you have done, you somehow lose all motivation to make the last bit.
Unless you are one of those people who is able to look back, and push yourself forward.
Congratulations on finding that kick in the rear.

Lynda Young said...

I finally scrambled to the top of my plateau. But I won't be there for long. When I start to edit my current WIP, I'll likely kick myself off the top ;)

Where did I put that hidden stash of chocolate?

aspiring_x said...

critique always gets me going. makes me want to be better.

VR Barkowski said...

I'm slow up the mountain, but I'm still moving forward. Last week I received a telephone call from an amazing agent who had very kind things to say about my writing. That was a huge kick in the pants. Almost convinced me if I wrote something marketable, I'd get published or at least find representation. :)

Stephanie Thornton said...

Amalia- I'm glad and sad you got a kick (if that makes any sense). I'm with you on the workload- I've got my work cut out for me!

Roland- I don't know about the spandex (Is that required for all superheroes?), but I think you can definitely do it!

Rayna- I know exactly what you mean. It's hard to think you have more work ahead of you when you've done so much work already.

Lynda- I've been on the edge myself, but some amazing people pulled me back. Thank goodness for chocolate!

Aspiring_X- Critiques usually do that for me too. Sometimes it just takes a while.

VR- Wow! A telephone call from an agent- that's fabulous! I'm sure he/she had some wonderful things to say about your writing!

Kelly M. Olsen said...

Hi Stephanie. Thanks for commenting on my blog about SmellyCat. If I love myself as much as I love my cat, then a kick in the ass from myself will help me get 'er done in the extra weight department. However, I think the only thing that will push me forward is a reprieve from the guilt I carry from taking the time I use for writing away from the family. Once I can nip that in the bud, I'll finish that damn novel.

Stephanie Thornton said...

Kelly- I have that guilt too, but I try to write only at night or early in the morning before the rest of the family are up. That usually seems to work, but I sure miss my daughter's naps now that she's outgrown them!

KarenG said...

Wow interesting analogy, I like it, and I recognize it. Yes, definitely have been kicked off recently but unfortunately it wasn't a weight plateau. Too bad I could have used a 3-5 lb loss.

Valerie Geary said...

Thanks Stephanie! This was definitely something I needed to hear today. I thought I was pretty far up the mountain, then the fog cleared and I realized I still had a long, long way to climb before I reached the top. Good thing I enjoy hiking! Also... good thing I packed a lot of granola. :D

Julie Dao said...

Good for you! Work off that belly :) (I had never heard of the writer's belly before but it totally makes sense and I will probably experience it firsthand when I start submitting in a month or two... yikes) I think a kick off the plateau is something we all need once in a while. I definitely got one last month, which prompted my hiatus but I am back and ready to climb!

Lola Sharp said...

I have vacation belly...and revision/stress thighs. I need someone to kick my ass off the plateau.

Great post!

Elspeth Antonelli said...

I hadn't heard of Submission Belly. More good news. However, when it comes to motivation I work best with generous helpings of guilt. Guilt works.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Oh, wow. You have no idea how this post just kicked me in the gut. I have been holding me back - too lazy and fearful to press forward, unable to step back. Time to hit the pinnacle in a blaze of meteoric brilliance?!! I'll try. :-)

Jemi Fraser said...

I had an incident a few weeks ago that I'm still recovering from - although it wasn't all bad! I'm such a wimp :)

Taryn Tyler said...

I think I may be trying to climb to many mountains at once. If I fall off a couple maybe that'll keep me focused on one or two . . .

Vicki Rocho said...

I kick myself off the plateau once in awhile. I get far too comfy in one spot.

L'Aussie said...

Ha, submission belly! Love it! What about writer's belly altogether! Takes a lot of chocolate to write a book! A good-humoured account of losing those last few pounds, now how are you going to keep them lost?? Without a drill instructor?

paulgreci said...

It sounds like you got a helpful kick,and are using it in a good way.

Good luck as you continue to climb!

Kittie Howard said...

I kick myself everytime I return my work. Like, Why didn't I catch this?? Duh! All very frustrating. But something inside keeps pushing me to get the story out.

Portia said...

Ha, submission belly! Love it :) Sometimes that kick in the pants hurts-I've had a few in the last few months, but after the sting eases I usually get excited about the revision work ahead.

—Portia

Kathi Oram Peterson said...

Wow! I've been trying to cycle three days a week for 45 minutes each time, but I haven't dropped any weight. Might be because I'm reading a book while my legs are busy. It's the only time I have. But you've made me think about checking out the spinning class. I'm just afraid I'll have a heart attack or something. Talk about conflicted.