Sorry for going dark again, but I had to think hard about what I wanted to do next, and I needed the write words to come to me, and they have.
At the outset of this blog, I said I was unpublished, and it’s true, but only in terms of being paid.
Last summer, my old critique heard about these anthologies that were looking for submissions, and they all suggested I submit to them as they did,
At first, I resisted. Why? Because I wasn’t getting paid to contribute, and it won’t count as a clip I can use, since I wasn’t paid and the anthologies weren’t from a well-known press.
So, why’d I submit anyway? One reason only-
I was tired of hearing “No” from agents I queried my books to.
They accepted nearly everything sent in, no fierce competition was nice, but it felt hollow to get published this way. The few short stories I’ve written are longer than most magazines are willing to consider, 500 word gems do not come easy to me, no matter how much I work them.
Another perk was these anthologies didn’t want “All rights” as most magazines do now, and I’ve yet to learn how to write things I know I won’t want to reuse the same world and characters but still have the level of quality and care put into it.
I thought if I’d be able to let go of my frustrations if I sent those anthologies my stories because I knew they wouldn’t say “No” unless I submitted too late and all spots were spoken for, but that didn’t happen.
Even now, nearly six months later, and despite all my efforts to do so, I don’t feel any different about this.
Everyone in my group and other writers I know preached to me it doesn’t matter and that I should be grateful I was published somewhere at all whether I was paid or not, but they don’t understand how I feel, because they have other things they’re good at, things people value and are paid for their hard work. Even if they never get published (Which would be a shame because I know how good they are) they do so many other things that make them feel needed and feel some sense of accomplishment, even if they hate the job.
I know there many writers who believe any non-scam published work means something, and yet many writers believe writers disserve to be paid for their hard work. I think both points are valid, but even though many writers don’t make a living solely through their words, it doesn’t mean we always want to give or work away for free.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for being charitable and sharing what help I can offer to my fellow writers, we all need some kind of support, but I still want to be paid for some of my hard work, and I don’t think that’s shallow to feel that way.
I know these are frustrations I’ll always have to deal with, just like the writers before me, but I hope solace comes for me sooner rather than later.
I’d love to hear from you. How do you handle setbacks in your writing career? What helps you make peace with the waiting game we in the business always play?
Did writing stop being fun for you? Were there times you felt like you weren’t getting any better in spite of the months and years spent revising?
Yarns for our Youth 2 (Not yet Available. Coming Soon!)
I might not update this weekend, as I’ve got a lot of reading and soul searching to do, but check back Tuesday, March 1st for an important update about ttheT.A.A. Prose and Poetry Slam.
Until Next Time, May the fantastical fauna be with you,