I’ve seen the looks when someone asks what you do and you reply “write.” It’s kind of a combination of exasperation and rolling eyes with a “why don’t you grow up?” kind of stare. Writing isn’t considered a “real” job by a lot of people. Around here, it’s a hobby. A stream of consciousness that lands in the local newspaper every week. A few hundred words that you spend “a lot of time” on.
Sure, for some people writing is just that, but for me it is a lot more. For me, it has been work. I’m not saying I’m great at it yet. I still have a lot to learn like: proper usage of emdashes and effective ways to tell instead of show and why. I used to have problems with spelling but that has vastly improved. Even my over-use of purple prose has pared down so that descriptions are crisp and precise (most of the time.) But I know I have a long way to go yet.
My work over the last two years has improved. I see it when I look back at what I wrote over a year ago and scratch my head. It is not a huge improvement, but it is there. I am finding a voice that I am comfortable with.
So with being comfortable, I have begun submitting my stories. Shorts to various markets and most of them have been rejected. I really don’t mind the rejections because every time a story comes back, I see something I want to improve. What does bug me though sometimes is a reason for the rejection. Is “it does not fit our current issue” a polite way of saying it bites, or does it really not fit the theme of the issue? Is this polite rejection just a form letter? How are you supposed to know?
Well this weekend, things have changed. Two of my stories have gotten acceptances. That’s right, I am PUBLISHED! First, on Friday, I received an acceptance from Support The Little Guy on “Tasting Humanity.” I squeed all over Twitter and Facebook and everywhere else I could find a moment to say something. Then yesterday I came home to another acceptance from With Painted Words for “You Don’t Belong.”
I am still in shock over it wondering if this is some odd mistake. One acceptance I can see but two in just a few days?
I’m still riding the high of it, which is a great feeling I must say, and I hope that enthusiasm carries over for the next few weeks into NaNo. I had a quick debate with myself over if I should drop it and concentrate on my short stories, or go ahead and work on it. I have decided since I have already committed myself that I will see this through. I have not worked on my novels much in the past few months, what better time than now to do it? I am hoping to fit in a few short stories in, revisions on what I have already written and maybe a few new ones. I’m still going to try weekly for Show Me Your Lits. I have two Beta Reads scheduled along with a few anthologies I still need to write for.
I can say that I am really looking forward to it!