I have finally gotten to the point where I have some reasonable expectation that editors and publishers will read my stuff and not say to themselves “That sucked. Next!”. I’ve been told enough times by people in the know that I can write so I don’t have quite the doubts I used to.
That doesn’t mean I expect every single thing I write to be accepted but it has given me the confidence to write stories I wouldn’t necessarily have attempted in the past. A great example of this is GalaxyBillies. I love reading the SciFi and Fantasy with Comedic tropes but I never felt good enough to do it myself.
Now I’m doing it and, while it may not be the funniest thing ever written, I have had enough people enjoying the story that I consider it a success.
I’m also looking at other genres I’ve never considered before. For example, Steampunk would be fun to write. I’m still working to develop a story (and world) that would be worthwhile so I’m not quite there yet, but I no longer look the other way when the genre is mentioned.
I think all this comes from writing all the time. Just like all the experts say, the only way to get better is to write. The more words I put down (with conscious thought, that is) the better I feel about my writing. I’ve progressed beyond “I hope I can may, someday get published if I’m really lucky” to “I WILL get published. It’s only a matter of when.” That is a HUGE change in mindset and is a reflection of the confidence I have in my writing.
I’ve also gotten to the point where I know that if one of my short stories doesn’t sell the first time, I can probably find a secondary or tertiary market. That means I’m not writing stuff to shelve anymore. It’s less about practicing my craft and more about honing it.
It doesn’t hurt that I now know several editors, publishers and even an agent or two. Those people have all given me great tips and advice to move forward as a writer and I’m doing my best to follow their suggestions.
So what’s next for me? Why, more writing of course. I will continue to submit and I will try new things. Hopefully that will all mean better writing and more accepted stories.
I submitted another short story this week, this time to Flying Island Publishing. It’s interesting to look back and realize that the last story I wrote that was 3,000 words took me three months to write. This one? Two days (not continuous either). Actual writing time was maybe four hours at the most. It is an interesting tale that takes place in my fantasy realm. That will be my second short story set in the realm. Perhaps one day I’ll have enough material to put an anthology together.
I should be hearing about my short story contest entry in the next week too. Fingers are crossed that it gets the nod.
Lastly, I have started revising my Middle Grade/YA novel as per publisher’s request. I’m hopeful about this one too.