I've been quiet. I apologize for the silence. It was the sort of silence that occurs when you take a breath and hold it.
I feel like I've been holding my breath. Waiting to exhale, as it were.
I've finally heard back from all but a couple of my previous batch of short story submissions, and none of the news has been good. I had my one lucky break, and now I starting to feel very far away from my dreams again.
I'll keep at it, of course. Even as I fought with myself whether to send the same stories back out or not, I researched markets and sent them today. I keep plugging away, expecting rejections and not acceptances now.
I've lowered my sights a little bit, too. Instead of choosing by highest paying market, I'm aiming for exposure instead, so I'm targeting markets with higher acceptance rates. Smart or stupid business practice, I don't really know, but honestly I just want my stories out there. The money (at this point) doesn't matter.
Someday, of course, I'd love to support myself solely on writing. But I'm not dedicated enough to the craft yet. I'm still learning. I'm still feeling my way through the process. I still need to learn how to edit longer manuscripts.
This past year has been a lot of trial and error and revamping of my writing goals. I've written at least one flash fiction story every month over the past year. I've learned how to edit shorter works. I've learned how the submission process works. I'm also figuring out what I want.
So while I'm falling short of a lot of my goals this year, I realize that it's because they were unrealistic. Or uneducated. Not because I'm not capable.
I won't give up. Not again. That's one of my goals for the up and coming year: no quitting. But I have accepted that there will be slumps. And that I might feel like quitting sometimes.
Looking forward, I probably won't be submitting anything else for awhile after this current round I just sent out: it's time to focus on National Novel Writing Month and try remember how to write novels. I've been a short story writer this year, and while I'm nervous to put my noveling pants back on, I think it's time.
I just hope flash fiction hasn't ruined my ability to tell a story in more than 1000 words!