You remember how I said my first story rejection didn't bother me much? That I just shrugged it off?
Well I've gotten a couple more since then, and each one stings a bit more than the last. For awhile, my stats on Duotrope (the awesome, free website that writers can use to find markets and track their submissions) showed my accept rate as 50%. I had one story rejected, and one story accepted.
I'm at 25% now, because I haven't had any more accepted.
I know I got really lucky (although I like to think my intensive market research paid off, too) getting the second story I ever submitted accepted, but it also spoiled me a bit. I expect better results of myself now.
Although at the same time I'm glad I did get an acceptance, otherwise it's possible I might have gotten discouraged and given up by now.
As it is, I'm still cleaning old stuff up and submitting it, trying to write new stuff, finding backup markets for stuff that's out so I can immediately turn it around when it's rejected, and actually looking into bigger markets. Semi-pro to pro markets.
I'm also getting excited about editing something longer than a short story. I've got a 20k short that I'm going to polish next. I think I'm ready for it.
And after that? Well, practice makes perfect (hah), but more importantly, practice builds confidence.
With each story, I'm getting closer to being ready to tackle my novel.
My goal is to have a novel ready to start querying by the beginning of next year. This has been my year of short stories. It was supposed to be mostly editing, but it's taken me a bit more time to figure out how the heck to do that. I don't see it as much of a setback. I see it more as me having to reassess my goals based on new knowledge.
The editing classes I'm taking starting in September should also help. Hopefully. It'll be interesting to try to write a Nanowrimo novel, where you have to suspend the internal editor, while taking an editing class.
Speaking of Nanowrimo, I was contacted by the public library, and they want to do some programming for NaNo this year! I'm thrilled to death they want to get the word out about it and host some events and write-ins for us. This year is going to be legendary.
I'm getting so excited for Nano, in fact, that I've started buying items for survival kits. Really, that is one of my favorite parts about being ML: putting together kits filled with goodies for the participants. Well, being ML in general is my favorite part, but spoiling my Wrimos is a big part of that. I really do love to share my passion and excitement for writing with everyone.
I just hope I'm able to write a novel this year. I'm still having trouble writing anything longer than a short story. I had planned on giving Camp Nanowrimo another shot this month, but that was an epic misfire. It was a week into August before I even realized it.
But I'm a writer. That's what I do. In November, I write novels. I always get nervous about it, which is usually unfounded. My mind knows what to do. I just have to make the time to do it.
Anyway. It's been a long and twisted path, this road to becoming a published writer. I've always known it would be, but I've found that the twists and turns are less scary as I'm winding through them than when I was looking at them from afar. It doesn't seem as insurmountable now. It's almost like, when I first started this journey, I kept thinking I had to jump across this huge chasm from unpolished writer to published writer. Turns out, it's more like building a bridge. I'm putting a slat down for each step I take.
Although I have to admit, the road has been much easier with R.L. Naquin forging the way ahead of me first and calling back to me along the way, warning me of pitfalls.
Well, and the excitement (and work) of success. Her first novel, Monster in my Closet, came out at the end of last month. You should go buy it if you haven't yet. It's a super fast, fun read. I laughed, I cried, and I fell in love with all of the characters.
Rachel truly is an inspiration to me. She's part of the reason I've come as far as I have on this journey.