Three years ago, I walked out of Clarion and called a mulligan on two decades of bad writing. I had, I said, never written a thing before this day, at least not one that counted. And so I started clear.
I use these anniversaries to look over what I’ve done since then – both to remind myself of what I’ve accomplished, and to serve as a showcase to others as to the kind of effort it takes for a mediocre-to-good author like myself to scrape the bottom layers of what one might call “a professional” career. (Not that I’m ashamed of what I’ve done – I’m quite proud – but I’m nowhere near a household name, and have been nominated for no awards.)
This is what it takes. At least for me.
In three years:
- 51 stories started
- 46 stories completed
- 32 stories final-drafted and submitted to at least one market
- 172 rejections (or, on average, one rejection every six days for the past three years)
- 19 stories sold
- …6 to “professional” markets
- 12 stories published
- 3 stories made into audio productions
- 6 stories retired when I realize I’d be embarrassed if I got them published
- 1 novel written and completed
- 1 old novel read for notes and revision
There are geniuses out there. For the rest of us, it’s a lot of hard work.
Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.