Sunday, September 8, 2013

On How I Just Need to Suck It Up and Keep Trying

So I' m in an odd position, for me.  I have a short fiction collection coming out in November, a short story in Horror Library, Volume 5 in October, a short story in Anthology Year Two: Inner Demons Out coming in November, some flash fiction just come out in Dark Bits, and I have two short stories sitting with publishers (one in the maybe pile of a pro-pay) and three novellas with two different major publishers. Billy the Kid: Down in the Dark is with beta readers, and another potential novella idea hit me this morning.

This all sounds like great stuff, right?

And mostly, it IS.

Except for the worry that all my irons in the fire will end up cold, dead,  and rejected. See, I have this little problem: I have little or no real confidence in my own writing, at all. Especially short fiction. I've been told over and over again by very credible sources that I'm a good writer, a better than average writer, and the reality is, of course, that EVERYONE needs to get rejected sometime, and I'm hardly going to skip all that...

But, I have this other little problem: I GIVE UP TOO EASILY. Especially when things get rejected.

And that's gotta stop.

I gotta stop putting my head in the sand when I get rejected. What I need to do - should these short stories and novellas get rejected - is suck it up, keep trying, and get them back out in the market soon as possible. And to cut to the quick: no, I'm not ready to self-publish. I don't think I have enough street cred to go that route, yet, and more importantly - I don't have the cash. We're on a pretty strict budget around here, and I just don't feel comfortable taking a financial risk with no guarantees.

So I need to suck it up. If my story to the pro-pay is rejected, I need to get it right back out there again. Same with my Lovecraftian story. Same with those novellas. Bottom line is, if all those things get rejected, I still have five finished projects - that are FINISHED - that can be sent elsewhere.

This, of course, is the part of writing that sucks. And I'm not so good at it. Not that I don't handle rejection well, in that I don't want to face critique, or think my writing is "all that" and how dare you reject me? The opposite, actually. When I get rejected, I just kinda hang my head and get all depressed. And that's NOT the way to go.  I need to keep submitting, keep writing, and keep submitting. 

Honestly? The writing part is EASY. I love that. That's one of the most enjoyable parts of the day. The submitting?

The waiting?

The rejection, and then the inevitable re-submitting and waiting again?

Yeah.

That part I hate.

But I've really got to get over it. If these things get rejected, I gotta suck it up, keep writing  and more importantly, KEEP SUBMITTING.

There. 

I feel a little better.  Now, off to read and then bed, so I can get up tomorrow, face my email and potential rejections like a man, and keep writing.

That, and worry endlessly about what the advance reviewers will think of the collection...