keep it simple sausage

Over the past few weeks I’ve been writing synopses. I just Googled “plural of synopsis” and yes, it’s synopses. Odd word.

If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.


I learned a lot about my stories from writing a few hundred words on each one. I understand each one better now and have found it’s self-propagating too. The more I worked on the synopsis, the more ideas I came up with for the story.

I sent off a query to a major publisher a couple of weeks ago through their submission portal and I was super surprised/chuffed/terrified to get a positive response so quickly. My first chapter piqued their interest but my synopsis needed work. What I had sent was more of a blurb; I needed to tell them the story, not sell them the story.

With my sister/editor’s help, I went back and ‘told’ the story and submitted it along with my full manuscript, as requested.

Who knows where it will go from here. Fortunately I have two other first drafts on the go. One is three quarters done and the other that is half-baked at best, in both meanings of the term.

We can’t hang too much on the outcome of such interactions because what will be will be. All we can do is keep at our creative work, keep pitching, keep writing, keep learning, keep growing. I like the saying ‘what is mine will come to me, what is not mine will never touch me.’ This goes for the good and the not-so good.

Some days I feel like I’m getting somewhere. It feels good. Then some days I feel like a hack who has no idea what they’re doing. Both things can be true. I am a hack and I am getting somewhere.

Life is busy and borderline chaotic. I’ve just listened to a great episode of Holly Worton’s podcast Into the Woods. She talks about two different kinds of motivation. There’s ‘toward’ motivation and ‘away from’ motivation. I am mostly a ‘toward’ person. I set goals and action the steps between where I start and what I want comfortably. ‘Away from’ motivation doesn’t work for me.

But I am in position of privilege. I can take it slow and steady. I a day job and a roof over my head so I can take my time to some extent. I am lucky to be pulled by love towards my writing goals, not pushed by fear.

At the end of the day though, we must remember that we are so lucky to be able to pursue our creative goals and treat it as the blessing it is.


  1. Stuart Danker

    Yep. That’s exactly it. We can only control our own source, which means doing what we can without thinking too much about what could have been in terms of interaction with others. And your final sentence really tied it all perfectly—no matter what we do, we should remember how lucky we are to be able to pursue them!

    1. Christine Betts

      Absolutely Stuart. I’m not sure where you are in the world but the Australian PM made a gaffe last night about being ‘blessed.’ It was so cringe I couldn’t believe it and he’s said some truly cringeworthy things. But acknowledging our privileges is so important.

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