My writing lately has been a bit of jazz, a bit of blues, and more than enough elevator music; ups, downs, and the blahs—must be the weather, the blustery winds and sheets of chilling rain penetrate my clothes and rust these older joints, the mind dulled by always wearing a hat. The Pacific Northwest continues to get hammered; this morning came the first snowfall of the year.
As I sit at my computer, I ponder the upcoming year and what I hope to accomplish. The first goal, as always, is to write every day. I have mentioned this often, so I will not belabor the point except to say creating every day should be every writer’s goal.
Last week I wrote about how I begin the marketing process, and now “The Eyes of Destiny” has been sent to the first of eight possible homes.
Between working on the follow-up novel to The Returning (which has been sent to several agents), I have a number of stories in various stages: some need polish, some would do well to be revamped, while others have been waiting too long for my attention. I will soon decide which one to shape for submission, and start working on it.
The Submission Circle
My goal in 2016 (and perhaps yours as well) is to complete six to eight stories and get all into the marketing stage. This accomplishes several things at once:
- Keeps me writing, fingers and mind a continual nest of ideas and word-play.
- Having several stories out at once dulls the rejections that are sure to arrive.
(Note: when a rejection arrives, grumble and moan if you must, but there’s work to do on the present story; drop down to the next market on your list, and get the rejected story back out there. If you receive a few rejections, it might be time to re-evaluate the worthiness of the piece, especially if all the rejections are “form” responses. If you receive a personal rejection, take heart—you are moving up the line, ever-nearing publication).
- Experience gained from writing and sending out stories cannot be over-stated. One, the more you write, the better you become; two, the more you are rejected, the tougher the Rhino Skin becomes.
By the end of 2016, strive to get several stories in constant travel, returning to your inventory, only to be packaged and sent out once again—this I call the Submission Circle.
The habit of writing every day affords production, and the law of averages dictate that at some point your writing will be published. True, at first you may receive nominal monetary value, and perhaps none at first; like any field of endeavor, apprenticeship precedes success.
With that in mind, I conclude with a favorite quote, one from President Calvin Coolidge:
Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence.
Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent.
Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.
Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts.
Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.
See you on the next page,