So there’s all kinds of stuff going on here in Suzuki-world; cousins from Japan, sight-seeing, impending preschool for girl2, impending kindergarten for girl1, a headache of a car pool schedule, etc. etc.
But let’s forget all that and talk about something I don’t usually talk about.
Yep. I think compared with other neo-pro/amateur writer websites in my genre, I do very little talking about the submission process and/or writing process.
And I was thinking about that today (when I should have been working) and decided it was because
1) I don’t think I know what I’m doing and I am reluctant to appear foolish
2) I don’t want to jinx anything
And let’s face it, it’s reason 2 more than anything else because lord knows, I do enough of 1 every day that it really doesn’t bother me anymore.
I don’t talk about writing a story because I’m afraid I’ll jinx myself out of writing it. I don’t talk about submitting because I don’t want to jinx the submission process. I don’t report my rejection times or admit how much time I spend on submission response pages because somewhere in my subconscious is the idea that if I don’t talk about it, maybe somehow it won’t be real, thus taking some of the sting out of rejections.
And now I’m wondering if that isn’t a kind of cowardice on my part. If I don’t talk about writing, and I fail, than I don’t have to admit I was doing it, and I can choose to quit at anytime without the shame or quilt of being a quitter.
Anyway, Paul Jessup just discussed the life cycle of a newbie writer and I have to admit that the stages did seem scarily familiar to me.
I think right now I’m in this part of the cycle:
“You will drive yourself half insane at this point. Because you can’t figure out why the stories you love aren’t going anywhere, while the stories you find mediocre (and at times downright lousy) are making it into magazines. And not crappy magazines either, really damn nice magazines.
So, you will join more critique groups. You will look at each word, edit five hundred times. Read over accepted and rejected responses, looking for a pattern. Pulling your hair out, cursing, licking your teeth with a forked tongue. It’s times like this when you are just about ready to give up- because damnit, you have no idea why anything sells at all. And you realize then you are just as clueless as when you started.
Hence comes the next stage. When you realize that what has happened is that you have gotten better. That, not every story sells because right now the market is FLOODED with short story writers. There are more writers than there are readers (and more markets for any reader to keep up with). That your story needs to sing, dance, sparkle-sparkle and fuck the sky in order for it to sell. Because damnit, each editor has over 200 manuscripts to look at.”