This morning I submitted four short stories to various publishers. Two of the stories went to the same publisher by invite, though they still have to go through the submission process and aren't guaranteed a spot in the book. The other two went to separate publishers, one in Australia and the other here in the states. I made my notes and marked each submission with the month and year, and that's when it occurred to me that it is indeed 2012. Sure, there was the same old drinks and celebration last night (very low key this year) but I believe it's when you first write 2012 on a check or document that it becomes a reality (or when you write 2011, curse yourself, and have to change it).
What does this all mean? Well, I started thinking about my writing...hobby (I can't truthfully call it a career--I don't make enough money to live off of, so I feel I must call it a hobby). I realized that it has been five years that I've been seriously submitting my work to publishers and collecting far more rejections than acceptances. That got me pondering where I am with my writing and where I should be and where my fellow writers are.
When it comes down to it, we all go our own pace no matter how talented we are or however much we are mindlessly chasing a dream that will never come true. For some it will come true, for many it has, but for most it will not. That's a sad truth, but reality stings, doesn't it? There's no reason to live in denial or have ridiculous expectations, and I think that's how I made it through the past five years writing and submitting my stories. Besides, I have to write. It's therapeutic and necessary.
To date, I have had 39 short stories and two novellas published from early 2008 - 2011. My debut novel People of the Ethereal Realm is due out in 2012 from Twisted Library Press as well as a short story called Tale of the Abnormal Beauty Queen which will appear in the anthology Darker Minds.
Not too shabby. There are a lot of writers who have accomplished far more than that in the same amount of time, but as I said earlier, we all work at our own pace and some of us are far superior at the craft than others. I fancy I'm somewhere in the middle.
Here's to bigger and better things in 2012.