In the last post I wrote a bit about how rejections suck. How the adage “write more, submit more” does help some in the regards to the anxiety of waiting, but results in rejections coming at you rapid fire and how that can wear on a person.
Getting rejected sucks. There’s just no way around it, and the path to becoming a professional writer is littered with rejections. And not even once that professional writer belt arrives in the mail (I so wish there was a belt—Texas buckle style) the rejections will continue to pile up.
October 1st marked the first day of the first quarter of the Writers of the Future contest and one year since I began to seriously pursue a professional writing career. It’s often good practice in any career to look back over the year to see what progress has been made, both for a sense of accomplishment and to hopefully shed light on where to go next.
In a previous post, I made the comment “if you count flash, and I do ….” I’d like to expand upon that.
In the previous post I wrote a bit about attending the Character and Voice Workshop by Dean Wesley Smith and Kris Rusch. Again, run there, run there now. Seriously. It’s that awesome, so much so I’m willing to violate grammar to make the point.
I want to talk about one other thing this workshop drove home for me. I am capable of writing quality stories in considerably shorter time frames than I ever thought possible. Let me say that again: I can write quantity and quality. Whoa. This has very interesting implications in the new future of self-publishing—but more on that later.
In a previous post, I wrote it took me three to four months to write a story. Well, present-Jeffrey wants to smack past-Jeffrey. It’s a myth that a story has a long gestation time–one I bought, until I was forced to prove myself wrong (seriously, run there, run there now). Before I left for this workshop, my 2012-2013 writing goal was to write six short stories: four for Writers of the Future and two extra on the side. After, my goal is twice that and the only reason it isn’t higher is that I’ve lost the first half of year to that myth (my writing year is slaved to Writers of the Future Contest, October to September).
How am I doing? It’s September, and I’ve written 12 stories for almost 100,000 words. If you count flash, and I do, it’s actually 13 stories.
There are many myths in writing. Debunk them: read both Dean’s and Kris’s blogs, get to their workshops, talk to them. These are seasoned pros on the leading edge of publishing–soak up what they have to teach. My writing would still be stuck in restrictive, confining myths without them.
This past week, I went to my first ever Worldcon, the largest science fiction convention (I think) and the one where they present the Hugo awards. It was also the first time I ever rode a bus to travel between cities–I liked Worldcon better.
Often a writer, when lamenting about a story stuck at a market and confessing to obsessively tracking Duotrope, will hear advice along the lines of, “Just keep writing. Ignore it and write another story and submit that one.” The first time a writer hears this, it sounds reasonable. The fiftieth time, you just want to strangle the person. The advice is equivalent to the dentist telling you to floss your teeth. Yeah, I get it, can we move on please?
1. Sign up.
2. Click “Create Recipe”
3. Click on the blue “This”
4. Click on the Yellow icon “Feed”
5. Click on “New Feed Item”
6. Navigate in a separate window to the RSS feed of the market you’re interested in.
7. Copy the URL from that page into the box “Feed URL” and click “Create Trigger”
8. Click on the blue “That”
9. Select “email” or “gmail”
10. Open a separate window and open your email account.
11. It will ask you to activate email account, do so. The email client will throw a warning; I was ok with it.
12. When on the page “Choose an action,” select “send an email”
13. Enter the email address to send the update to. I changed the title of the email to say the market name “Writers of the Future Update” and left the body of the email alone. I didn’t put in a URL attachment.
14. Click “Create Action”
15. I recommend putting in a description so you can tell all the different markets apart. Mine are just “Writers of the Future Duotrope Update,” so I can tell them apart.
In my last post, I wrote about being a writer in the digital age and my preference for it. Notably, how easy the internet makes research. Here are some other tools I use for writing.