Submit or die

15Sep08

I’ve recently started Holly Lisle’s “How to Think Sideways” Career Survival School for Writers. I’m only one lesson in, and I’ve already learned a valuable lesson: I’m a perfectionist who plays it safe. That’s really not good, because I have to accept that I’ll never write a ‘perfect’ story. Each and every one of them will have flaws. What I have to aim for is a serendipity of great story, good writing, and flaws that enhance the story rather than chuck people out of it, or worse, make people throw it away.

So, I’ve forced myself to be brave, and I’ve forced myself to be ruthless, and I’ve taken a little bit of a risk. Three short stories, polished and gleaming (I hope) plus one flash fiction piece (also sparkly) are now out in the world, fluttering their way hopefully towards editors.

It amazed me how hard it was, firstly to keep my concentration on actually editing the little brats and picking up the slips and errors and irritators, and then actually to decide yes, it’s ready to go, and I’m going to send it . . . there, and this one there, and that one there. I found myself looking for excuses not to do it, pre-guessing rejections, trying to tell myself the guidelines were too hard, that I wasn’t going to fit. But I’ve allowed myself no wriggle room, and the deed is done. All I can do now is wait. And hope.

I feel a bit ill, but at least my chances of getting published are slightly better than they were when those stories were stored on my c drive.

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3 Responses to “Submit or die”

  1. 1 uppington

    Hey, I feel your pain! Congratulations on making the move. And welcome to the ranks of the Obsessive Mailbox Haunters.

  2. Congratulations on sending out your work! The first time is the hardest 🙂

  3. Thanks! I’m trying really hard not to think about it, and work on the next batch . . .


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