Great news: another one of my stories, Aiden’s Acting Up Again, has been accepted for publication by The Rusty Nail Literary Magazine. I’m not sure of their publication schedule, so I can’t tell you when to look for it, but of course I’ll pass along the info when I get it.
So, after months (maybe over a year?) of rejections—approximately 42—suddenly I’ve gotten two acceptances in seven days. It’s amazing, to say the least. I don’t really have as good a grasp as I should on the demographics of my followers, so I’m not sure if there are people out there in the same boat I am (aspiring writers) reading the blog. I purposely decided quite a while ago to not write about writing so much, because it bored me, and if it’s boring to write about how must it be to read?
Anyway, if there are any beginning or aspiring writers reading this (or any aspiring anythings for that matter), all I can say is the hard work is worth it. I’m still in the very early stages of my (hopefully long and successful) writing career, but getting these first two stories accepted has wiped away a lot of the frustration I felt writing day in and day out, thinking I was spinning my wheels and maybe wasting my time.
There were many mornings where I would get up at 6am like clockwork, grab some coffee, sit down at the computer and…stare at the screen for fifteen or twenty minutes without writing a word, before giving up altogether and browsing the internet (and on occasion, I still do). Sometimes I would get angry with how little progress I seemed to make. I would think, I’ve been getting up 90 minutes earlier than I have to to work on this crap, and it’s going nowhere—what the hell am I doing? Am I just wasting my time?
Deep down I knew I was getting better—I could see it in the new stories I was writing. But without any sort of validation from an outside source (and rejections swiftly piling up) I began to wonder if I was right. Finding online critique groups helped up to a point; there I get useful feedback, but there’s no shortage of unnecessarily harsh criticism in some of those groups; some people just seem to seethe with bitterness, eager to tear apart anything they deem unworthy. *On a side note: to the person who critiqued a story of mine by saying it was “lazy as fuck, and you know it,” that story was accepted for publication last week, so you can stick your critique where the sun don’t shine.
One of my New Year’s resolutions was to get something published this year; I thought that was perfectly reasonable, but by mid-April I began to have my doubts. Then I read a column on Lit Reactor by Richard Thomas, who seems like a very cool guy; always looking to help writers, not to mention a killer writer himself. In his column, he pointed out that many publications accept simultaneous submissions—meaning you can send something to them as well as others at the same time. Why, he asked, would you send out submissions one at a time when you could send out three, five, eight, etc? He compared it to looking for a job: you don’t apply for one, wait to hear back, then apply for another. You apply for ALL OF THEM. It seems obvious in retrospect, but I never thought of it that way.
In late April, I went for it. I submitted four or five of my stories to three or four different places each, and what do you know? He was right. I’ve seen results.
I hope you all have a good weekend. I’m going to be doing research/planning a heist on a nearly impenetrable underground vault before heading to Oklahoma for a good old-fashioned fish fry.
I’ll end with a word of warning—you’ll probably get sick of me updating when the stories are available to read, so brace yourselves. 🙂