This past weekend I had the honor of reviewing drood's latest manuscript. It was a last check before he submitted it to his editor for publication and I was checking it for any obvious errors -- spelling, duplicated words, timeline inconsistencies, etc. It took a good chunk of time to go through, making numerous comments and doing some background fact-checking of my own at certain points.
For instance, did you know that "What's My Line" was shown on Sunday nights at 10:30pm and that you can actually find out who the panelists and guests were for each individual broadcast aired? There's even a yahoo group devoted to the show. (the moderator of which graciously confirmed those two points for me)
And you'll have to read the book to figure out what the heck those facts have to do with anything. (How's that for a plug from a loyal DONK?)
Doing all of that work with the printed word (okay, the typed word) showed me two things: one, that I could carve out some time during the week to do so work with writing if I really wanted to and, two, I really want to.
So I've been going over the two short story-like pieces that I had been working on but put up for a while. After a bit of distance I'm seeing that some of the editorial changes that I had thought were going to be necessary really are necessary. (Lopping off the beginning paragraphs of each piece, for instance)
Once they're done I need to spend some time in the local college libraries going through some of the relatively obscure literary magazines to try and match up my pieces with some publications that might consider publishing them. At the same time, it's really time to start biting the bullet and get back to work mapping out the Victorian-age kid's novel I've been putting off writing for far too long.
I only wish I had greater confidence in my writing and my ability to tell a (long) story.
Practice and patience.