I suppose it’s no secret that I’d like to have a fabulous writing career. I haven’t figured out exactly what that means. I’ll probably flesh it out as I go along, kind of like an outline. Here’s what I do know: I want to write things that people are interested in reading and I’d like to be paid for doing so. I hope that will lead to more people discovering it, and enjoying it. Upshot: I’d like to be published in the traditional way, by folks who have been at it for a while and know what they’re doing.
There’s a whole discussion on the interwebs about traditional publishing vs. self-publishing (aka independent publishing). I don’t know what my entire writing career will look like by the time it’s all over. Independent publishing might figure in, but not until I’ve learned a hell of a lot more about it.
My plan for now is to submit my fiction to magazines when it’s short and agents/publishers when it’s long.
However. I don’t have total control over how soon anyone will be interested in publishing my fiction. One thing I can do is to improve my writing, and thus my odds. There are multiple ways to do that, and I’m trying a few, but the underlying tenet is this: I need to keep writing. That’s why I post ad nauseum about writing daily, with a heavy emphasis on 750words.com.
The other thing I can do is to submit stories. It does me no good to sit on a story, stew over it, or endlessly show it to various groups for critique. I’m still working on when to let a story go. I may blog about that some other day. For now, I’m trying to aim for sooner rather than later. I have one story that’s as ready as it’s going to be, and which has, in fact, been submitted to several markets. I have another story that’s close, I hope. It’s the one I submitted to The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction a while back, and which I’m revising next week. I will be looking for new readers for it soon. It’s already been through alpha readers and beta readers. What’s next, gamma readers? Omega readers, since I hope this will be the last pass? Anyway, if you’d be willing to read a 6000-word story for me, please leave a comment below, or facebook message/tweet/email me to let me know, and we’ll work out how to get it to you.
Ahem. I promised scoreboards today, didn’t I? Here’s my progress report.
Updated Scoreboard 1: Submissions
March 7, 2014
Submissions: 3 Acceptances: 0 Rejections: 2
If that’s not immediately clear, let me explain. As I said above, I have limited control over how soon my writing will be published. Two things I do have control over are:
- my writing process (practice makes perfect) and
- my attempts to get it out there (it does me no good sitting on my hard drive)
As long as I keep writing daily, with an eye to reducing suckitude, I’m doing what I can for the first part of the puzzle. As far as the second part goes, here’s my goal:
#Submissions + #Acceptances > #Rejections.
Since 3 + 0 > 2, I win!
As long as #Submissions + #Acceptances > #Rejections, I’ve done what I can on my end.
Updated Scoreboard 2: Words Written
March 6, 2014
-885,494 words- from a 478 day streak (out of 907 total) on 750 words.com
That word count puts me within 115,000 words of the million words Ray Bradbury says you need for mastery.
If I can manage to write an average of 800 words a day going forward, I can have my million-word party in about 143 days. As of this writing, that makes it July 25th, or thereabouts. I’ll firm up the date later.
So here’s the plan. If you want to come to my million-word party, leave a comment below, or message me via email, Twitter, Facebook, or Google+ to let me know. I’ll make sure you receive all the relevant information.
I don’t know what all will happen at this party, but there will definitely be singing and alcohol. And seriously, I’d love to see you there.