I don’t know about you, but my writing progress tends to go in fits and starts. I’ll be rabbiting along, getting nowhere, and then I’ll write something amazing which sells fast and I will feel like I’ve made progress, like I’ve reached a new level in my writing.
And then I’ll rabbit along at that level for a while, feeling like I’m going nowhere again.
I’m at the rabbiting stage at the moment. I’ve made some good sales, I can see improvement in my writing, but I’m not producing the amazing writing that I aspire to. I feel like I am in writing limbo.
There are three ways to make progress in any skill. One is practice, which you have to do a LOT. The second is self-learning, where you concentrate on one particular skill until you’ve improved it. The last one is learning from another, whether it’s a mentor, a writing course or a workshop.
I feel like I’m in need of that sort of learning. I’ve been practicing like a manic. I read the best, and I try to learn as much as I can about how the best writers do it.
But in terms of the third way to progress, I’m stuck. There aren’t that many workshops and courses available where I am, and most of them are for beginning writers. And as for SFF writers, well…they are few and far between.
So, I’m in limbo. Back to writing and subbing and trying to get somewhere.
I’ve been a bit lax with my submissions this year due to the trans-continental move. But I finally got my act together and started submitting again this week.
So my first sale of the year is “Rebirth” to A cappella Zoo. They’re very much a “strange” market, but I read one of their issues last year and found it fascinating.
They’re open to submissions until the end of May, so if you have an odd, offbeat story languishing on your hard drive, consider submitting to ACZ. And don’t forget to track your submission progress through Duotrope’s Digest (it’s free!).
My contributor copy of this anthology arrived the other day and I’ve been devouring it in small bites – very good for the literary waistline. It’s a cracker of a book, and I’m embarassed to say that, when I submitted, I really had no idea what it was.
So now I feel like the backwater cousin among such names as Joyce Carol Oats and Tess Gerritsen and J.A Konrath. But it’s certainly a nice place to be, even if I am hovering beside the punch bowl and eating all the vol-au-vents.
But the anthology is brilliant – I read some stories out to my husband on the way home (25 word stories are just right for car reading and discussion) and we were alternately amused and touched. It’s amazing the depth of feeling you can get in 25 words.