Wednesday, December 11, 2013

On the Joy of Trying to Be Successful at Writing

It's getting close to the end of the year and Matthew Bennardo, editor of the Machine of Death books and seller of more than a few short stories, did a summary about how his year went. I figured maybe I should do the same. I'm not sure if it's uplifting or depressing.

If we go from January 1st to now - I'm still all tangled up win the home stretch of my novel and it's unlikely that I'll do any short story submissions right now - I sent out 22 submissions and had 3 acceptances (I'm fudging a little here - one went out Dec 20th but didn't get accepted until January. Screw it, it counts). In baseball that batting average would earn me my outright release, but given this industry I'll take what I can get. Almost all of these submission were out before August, as I spent a good while working on a novella I thought for sure would get picked up (I was wrong) and since then book book book book.

The money is laughable, of course. I wasn't really trying with the pro-paying markets. The Machine of Death story somehow managed to throw more money my way - I think I'm in the vicinity of 0.25 cents a word there at this point - but at this point any money from writing is pretty much gravy. Sales are what I'm after, and four pro sales look better than three. Once i finish the novel and switch to the first edit I'll get back to writing short stories as well. Maybe even go for some better paying markets. I do note with some small measure of glee that the most recent sale marks the second story bought that was passed on by Daily SF, which pays great rates but tends to publish some of the worst stuff I've seen. I gave up on even reading them 6 months ago because I got tired of grinding my teeth with frustration. Man, i can't wait to be a successful novelist and be able to look back on this and laugh. Or maybe weep a little. Or both.

Writing: 641 words. Action! Conflict! Another day when I was upset to see it was time to go to work. I could have written all day. If I didn't have a 'real' job . . . 2-3K a day would be reality.

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