Output: Pitiful

Every Day Fiction is in the process of selecting stories for the Best of 2009 Anthology (there’s a thread about it here – if you haven’t already, feel free to check out my last couple of stories published there, maybe comment/rate them, and if you have a forum account feel free to mention me). I think “Apotheosis Cake” might be worth putting in there, but I won’t be surprised if I get left out.

What the nomination thread has really made me realize is that my output this year has really not been very good. Most of the other writers listed in the nomination thread have got a good half dozen stories to pick from. Jens and Stephanie are pumping out novels faster than I’m getting flash pieces done, and Erin has created an entire new person, from scratch. There is no excuse!

I’ve worked on far fewer prompts this year, and out of the couple of stories I’ve had published recently (or soon-to-be-published), at least one of them was actually written last year. I’ve more or less decided not to attempt NaNo this year, in the interest of getting something done instead of wasting a month, but really I’ve been wasting most of this year. I feel stagnant.

To my credit, most of the stories I submit get accepted within a couple of attempts. It would be nice to say that I’m just exacting and have high standards for myself, but it’s really just because I’ve actually only finished a handful of stories this year, and the few I have submitted just happened to hit the right editors at the right time.  I should be getting a steady stream of unfortunate and regretful form letters. But I’m not because I’m simply not sending out enough submissions. I have a ton of half-finished stories laying around doing nothing for me. There’s no reason I shouldn’t have a piece in Every Day Fiction every month or so, or in every issue of A Thousand Faces or 10Flash. I should be working on podcast stories, too, an area I would love to get into.

So starting in August, I’m going to start pumping out the short fiction, as much as I can manage. I’m setting a goal of submitting at least one finished short piece a month (whether it’s flash or longer works). That doesn’t seem like much, but for me it’s a huge jump in productivity. I need to get this discipline down before I attempt a novel again.

The whole purpose of setting up this blog to begin with was to force myself to write more and on a regular basis. It worked well for a while, but I’ve slacked off these past few months. Time to get back on track.

Listen to me, I sound like Charlie Brown, gearing up to take another run at Lucy and that damn football.Charlie Brown, art by Charles Schulz, of course


Sorry about the rambling. Gay has a great post about this sort of thing over at the Flash Fiction Chronicles that pretty well mirrors how I’m feeling at the moment. Here’s to rejection!


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