Writing is a lonely business. Just you and the page. Oh, I know, some writers collaborate on work, but I’m not aware of a professional fiction writing duo who have built their careers around such efforts.
There’s another layer of lonely that emerging authors (a strange, widely used term) struggle with. We (because I’m somewhere in that category) can go long stretches where nothing is heppening. Nothing, as in: nothing emerging in print, nothing being accepted, nothing encouraging being said by…well, anyone except our most ardent admirers.
If you are writing for more than the sheer joy of it (and I am), if you have ambitions of making a meaningful amount of income from it (and I do), if one of your primary goals is to get your stories in front of an audience (and it is), then such stretches can become really demoralizing.
Which is why it is so important to enjoy the times when good things are happening (and they are).
- My first ever Twitter fiction piece is being pubished at Tweet the Meat next week.
- My story “Discounted” will be published within weeks in Shroud Magazine #8.
- I’ve just signed the contract to have “Rope Tricks” published in A Sea of Alone: Poems for Alfred Hitchcock.
- And I just received a rewrite request from the editor of a well known (in some circles) anthology series. They like the story I sent them. Like it a whole lot in fact. But they have some very specific issues with it that they offered me a chance to address. It’s a rare offer and I feel honored by it.
So, this is one of the good times at this stage of things. I hope to work and earn my way to a level where the definition of good times will be much different. But, on any journey, it’s important to look around, to take in the sights and sounds along the way.
I’m thankful for the encouraging stretch I’m on. I don’t think I can expect it to last. But I’ll remember the joy and excitment I’m enjoying now. Those memories, and the maddening delight that is the writing itself, will keep me working…until the next stretch of good times comes.