Monday, February 29, 2016

Short Story Second Round Blues

As I've mentioned before, I've been writing quite a few short stories lately. My goal for this year is to write one a month, and while I haven't quite made it (one short story did end up exceptionally long at around 9,000 words), I've been writing and submitting at a good clip. And I've gotten some good results--three of my stories made it to the second round for pro and semi-pro magazines/podcasts (Apex, Pseudopod, and Andromeda Spaceways, if you're curious). But I haven't yet made it all the way, which has become a bit disheartening.

The frustration of making it to the second round is that you feel so agonizingly close. You made it past one hurdle--the rest should be easier now, right? But that does not seem to be the case. Don't get me wrong; part of me is thrilled to have made it this far. "Almost" is better than an outright "not in your life." But it's still a "no."

I guess the only way to beat the second round blues is to keep going--write more, submit more, and push myself to get good enough that "almost" becomes "yes." I've been reading more magazines to get a better idea of what editors like (though I'm getting annoyed with one magazine, which shall remain nameless, that sends out a form rejection letter insisting I buy their magazine to help my chance at submissions. A. That's cliche advice available to any writer who googles "short story submissions," and B. Stop trying to sell your magazine via form rejection letters. Seriously, that's annoying, and I'm sure you can come up with a better marketing strategy than that). I feel like my writing gets better the more I keep working, and hopefully that will pay off soon with a lovely acceptance letter. Besides, eventually I'll have more than enough stories to fill an anthology. 

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