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About This Writing Thing

Jan 2020

Episode 17: The Year of Submissions

2020 is all about submissions! Well, and writing and podcasting and workshops, but you get my point!

Follow me on Twitter & Instagram: @saybeller

Follow this podcast on Twitter: @writintthingpod


Music: Blue Dot Sessions, Cupcake Marshall on Love & Weasel (2019).

Jan 2020

Episode 16: Query Updates & 2020 Goals

Sad news for this girl, I'm not ready to query after all. Sigh. 

Episode Notes:

Hello and welcome to About This Writing Thing, a weekly podcast about living the writing life. I'm your host Sayword B. Eller, writer for women, podcaster, and MFA student.


I'm not one to talk much about my goals. In fact, I rarely set any for myself because I so often fail at reaching them. Same thing for resolutions. Why set something when you'll completely disregard it afterward. I'm not sure why I do this, but I do, so…that's me. This year I've decided to go against myself and set a few achievable goals. Maybe the problem with the goals I've set in the past is that I don't believe I can reach them and, thus, I sabotage myself bringing that self-fulfilling prophecy to fruition. Don't worry, I'm not getting into all that in this episode. I just happen to have realizations while recording and that's one of them. Thanks for helping me figure myself out!


First, I want to give you some updates. You know last week when I was so excited because I was finally finished with my book? Well, turns out I'm not. I'm one of those people that always says, when the story's told, it's told, no need to add words just to fit the market expectations. Unfortunately, agents and publishers don't share that thought- or so I've heard. This leaves me with two choices: 1) Submit it as is at 67k words (14k short of industry standard) and be rejected every single time, thus shattering myself over and over again because there is little hope an agent will pick up a women's fiction book that is so far below the standard of 80k, OR add the words. After much deliberation (and lamentation) I've decided to add the words. This is frustrating for a few reasons; my query timeline is thrown off, I have to put off really beginning my next project, my research trip may be postponed (because why research a topic if I'm not writing about it, right). I'm not dwelling on it. Like any writer worth their salt, I'm focusing on the task at hand. I'm adding the words. The only way I'm going to get this book finished is one word at a time. Eventually they'll add up to 80,000, right?


So that's my sort of sad news. I'm sad (and frustrated) that I'm not finished and can't move forward with querying, but anything that makes the story stronger will be worth it, right? Right? I really hope so. I don't want to be working on this book in March.


Enough about that. Let's talk goals. I don't set goals or resolutions, as I mentioned before I don't set goals for myself often, mainly because the moment a goal is set my brain says, "Nah." This year, though, I've decided to set a few goals that my brain may be happy with. 


1) Read more. I don't read as much as I should. We all know the golden rule, right. If you want to be a good writer you need to read a lot and write a lot. I don't do too much of either, so in 2020 my goal is to read more. I'm also planning to expand my horizons. Right now I'm reading Alyssa Cole's Loyal League romance trilogy. Yes, I'm loving it. I'm planning to do a vlog on them when I've finished them all. In 2020 I'm going to try to read a bit more outside my genre. I'll also try to incorporate more male authors. I tend to read books by women. Shocker, right?

2) Write more. I don't write every single day. This is one of the main reasons it takes me a year and a half to write a novel. Some days are very productive. Other days not so much. I'll be working to improve that this year.

3) Less television. I love tv. Movies and shows are my favorite things. I watched a lot of television when I was growing up and I can't fathom breaking up with it altogether. That being said, I've already stopped watching as much as I used to, but that's because of this next goal.

4) Less gaming. Hubby and I are currently addicted to State of Decay 2. So, I've stopped watching as much television because I'm playing more xbox. In order to be more productive I'm going to work on cutting this time way back. Full disclosure, I played the game for an hour before recording this episode. This will definitely take some effort.

5) More industry knowledge. The more I know about the publishing industry, the more I can talk about it with you. It's that simple. 

6) More movement. I've never been interested in exercise. I think one summer in 1994 I flirted with being a runner, but that was when my little teenage heart thought I would be a model. My life is sedentary. In 2020 I'm going to make a concerted effort to be more active. 

7) More writing & reading vlogs on my YouTube channel. I haven't posted a video in months, but I love the #authortube community, so I'm going to try to get back to it this year. Fingers crossed. 


That's it. Simple, right? We'll see. 


If you enjoyed this episode please give me a "like" and make sure to subscribe. Thank you so much for being here every week. You can follow me on Twitter and Instagram @saybeller. You can also follow this podcast on Twitter @writingthingpod. 


Have a great week. Keep writing!

Jan 2020

Episode 15: Fear of Finishing

Do you have a fear of finishing? Turns out I do, and it's a big ball of complicated feelings that are causing issues with my new project. Sigh. 

Mentioned in this episode: 


The Hot Sheet


Thank you so much for following my writing journey! If you like this show let me know! Leave a comment or give me a "like" and subscribe! Or both! 

Find me on social media: Twitter & Instagram

You can also see what I'm up to on my website: SaywordBEller.com

Dec 2019

Episode 14: Why Your Friends and Family Don’t Have to Read Your Work

We all want the people we love to read our work. That validation is something we crave, but what if we stopped putting that pressure on ourselves and the people we love? I'm talking about my own experiences with this struggle and how letting go of the expectation has affected my process. No transcript this week. Sorry, y'all. 

SPECIAL NOTE: In this episode I share the time I asked someone I admire to read my work and they didn't. In no way did I intend to come across as angry that they didn't read my story during the hardship they were experiencing. They truly were very sick during that summer and I completely understand not reading my story during a time when they were trying to recover from such an illness. 

ANNOUNCEMENT: About This Writing Thing will be on hiatus until January 8, 2020. I say January 7 twice at the end of this episode, but that is incorrect. Episode 15 will drop on January 8, 2020 at 8:00 AM ET. 

Want to keep up with what I'm doing until then? Find me on Twitter and Instagram. You can also find this podcast tweeting HERE.

You can find this podcast on iTunes and iHeartRadio as well. If you like what you hear please like and subscribe. If you're feeling generous you can even share me with your friends. 

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season and, more than anything, I hope you keep writing!

Dec 2019

Episode 13: Corrections, Editing Updates, and Critique Tips

TO read the blog post about this episode go HERE.

Mentioned in this episode: Swoonworthy Virtual Bookclub. Find the podcast HERE. Check out Krista Harper on Instagram.

My 10 critique guidelines are included in this episode. We all have them. Well, those of us who are actively working with other writers. I'd love to hear yours! Comment below or reach out to me on Twitter: @writingthingpod or @saybeller. You can also find me on Instagram (saybeller).

Want to know more about what I'm up to? Check out saywordbeller.com!

Nov 2019

Episode 12: Conducting Effective Research

We all have guidelines when researching history. Since I'm eyeball deep in historical data for my WIP, I decided to share with you my top 8 conducting effective research. 

If you like this episode please be sure to "like" this episode and subscribe! If you'd like to share I won't be upset! 

Want to know more about me? saywordbeller.com

Want to see what I get up to on social media? You can find me on Twitter and Instagram using the handle @saybeller. This podcast also has a Twitter account that you can follow HERE!

Thank you so much for your support!

Nov 2019

Episode 11: Revisions, Announcement, & the State of the Publishing Industry

I'm almost done withe my third draft! Also, I've got some exciting news to tell you! I also want to whine a bit about the current state of the publishing industry. Is it totally hopeless?

Palahniuk, Chuck, August 2013, Nuts and Bolts: "Thought" Verbs, https://litreactor.com/essays/chuck-palahniuk/nuts-and-bolts-%E2%80%9Cthought%E2%80%9D-verbs 

Deahl, Rachel, November 2019, Is Publishing Too Top Heavy? https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/publisher-news/article/81637-is-publishing-too-top-heavy.html

Want to know what I've got going on? Check out my website: saywordbeller.com

Interested in what I've got going on every day? Check me out on Twitter and Instagram

Oct 2019

Episode 10: The Cost of Being A Writer

Transcript available HERE.

Mentioned in this podcast episode:

Jane Friedman

Womens Fiction Writer's Association

The Author's Guild

Editorial Freelancer's Association

North Carolina Writer's Network



Thank you so much for listening to this episode. You can find me on Twitter and Instagram using the handle @saybeller. 

Oct 2019

Episode 9: Rejection, Ramblings, and a bit of Grumbling

Some explicit language is included in this episode. 


I am now offering LINE EDITING services, not developmental editing services. I don't know why my brain ceases to function when I hit record! 

Also, because I am rambling a bit in this episode I want to clear up a couple of things that may be unclear: 

1) When speaking about social media followers: I think it is important, as writers, for us to build and be a part of a strong and supportive writing community. I love the writing community on Twitter because there are so many wonderfully supportive members who strive to help other writers. On both Twitter and Instagram I follow back writers/authors who follow me. However, I do unfollow those writers who unfollow me. Mostly because we were only connected due to a mutual follow back. I'm not on social media to up my numbers, and I'm certainly not there to up anyone else's. I have 1700 followers on Twitter and most of them are writers. I am so grateful to be connected with every single one.  

2) I do not mean to accuse the unnamed writer of plagiarism. What I meant to say is there are a number of coincidences that seem uncanny. That being said, I think if there was any sort of borrowing from the smaller author it was unintentional. Perhaps the bigger author read the "smaller" author's book because it was the same subject matter and some of those details subconsciously made it into the bigger author's book. As a side note: I think it sucks that the earlier published author is being overshadowed. 

3) When I mention the editor not stopping the repetition in the book I recently started reading, I meant pointing it out and suggesting heavily that the author remove it. Seriously, repetition of this type slows your narrative down and should be avoided. Literary and upmarket writers (hand raised) often use repetition as a stylistic choice, but it isn't to remind the reader how many years (35 times in 10 pages!) the MC has been away from home.


Oct 2019

Episode 8: When Life Gets In the Way

I've been missing for two weeks! Have I been writing? No. Here's what's up.

Transcript available HERE.

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Thank you so much for listening!