Friday greetings, my people.
I hope everyone is well, and looking forward to the weekend, and remembering to always keep focusing on the good stuff. Not an easy thing to do in today’s world, especially if you make a habit of watching the news, but we’ve got to do our best.
This morning, my most recent story was published. If you click here, you’ll be able to read it. It’s called ‘ShipShipShip’, and I’m very proud of it, and if you take the time to have a look, I hope you like it.
As well as being my most recent piece, though, ‘ShipShipShip’ also marks a sort of story-boundary for me; it’s like a roadside inn on the rocky mountain path that has been my writing career to date. It’s a little uncomfortable to admit, but it’s the truth, so here we go: I don’t have anything else, in terms of upcoming publications, in the pipeline at the moment. That’s not because I haven’t been writing, or sending work away, or anything like that; I’ve submitted plenty of stories over the past few months, but I’ve had a lot of work rejected. That’s absolutely fine – it’s par for the course, and completely normal, and something for which I prepared myself many months back. Those of you who have been following me for a while (thank you, by the way) will, perhaps, remember me gearing myself up to be knocked back, over and over and over again, right here on the blog. I’m dealing with it, and it’s surprisingly okay.
But now I’m in a position where I’ve pretty much exhausted my submission opportunities, and there’s a yawning gap of nothing between now and the end of June, when my next major deadline starts to kick up. That’s a frightening feeling, in a way. I’m looking into the next few weeks and all I’m seeing is a dry riverbed, with the odd tumbleweed drifting on through, and I don’t like it.
I’m trying (as I am wont, though I don’t always succeed) to see the positive in this – I have a lot to focus on at the moment, and so going through a fallow period where I have time to regroup and make some plans for the future may not, in truth, be the worst that could happen. But, having said that, it’s an amazing thing to have a story published, and it’s a little disheartening to know I won’t have that experience again for a long while. I love the feeling of receiving that elusive ‘yes’ from someone to whom you’ve entrusted your work, looking forward to seeing it appear, and finally (if you’re me) proudly adding a new link to your ‘Writing’ page.
It is, of course, also a little scary: ‘What if people hate it? What if I offend someone? What if this is the absolute worst piece of writing that anyone has ever read?’ So far, though, I’ve managed not to enrage anyone or cause an international incident, which is a relief.
So, where to from here? Well, I’m always on the lookout for more places to submit work. I do have a few on the far horizon, and if I’m lucky I’ll unearth a few more. I have some short stories that have been bubbling away for the past few weeks; they’re eager to find a home, so I’ll be revisiting those and polishing them up, straightening their collars and wiping their sticky little faces, and hoping for the best.
Oh, and yes. There’s also the small matter of the fact that it’s now time, finally, to start contacting agents. I am, I hasten to assure you, all over it.
So, like I said. I have plenty with which to be occupying my mind. Perhaps the distraction – a pleasant one, but a distraction nonetheless – of having stories published is something I can do without over these next few weeks; to everything there is a season, after all. I’m in a preparation phase, a planting phase, and I’m hoping for a strong rainy season a few weeks down the line.
Happy Friday, happy weekend, see you tomorrow for a review of Emma Pass’ fantastic novel ‘ACID’, and until then, take care.