I’m on the verge of a big round of submissions to SF magazines — really, my first, and something that I put off for far, far too long. Even though I’m busy, it’s not as much work as one might think, since I’ve had a bunch of stuff ready to send out for a long time, and a bunch of other stuff that’s only a once-over away from being ready, and still more that needs a good solid working-over, but not a complete rewrite.
So here I am, with my laptop and OpenOffice, and I’m ready to get all these things ready. I have American and Canadian postage stamps for my SASEs (Self-Addressed Stamped Envelopes), which is what everyone in this field knows you need to include for the
rejection letters responses.
Actually, I’m not feeling that nervous about sending this stuff out. Rather, my current anxiety runs more to the side of overconfidence, I fear: once you’ve published more than 3 short stories or a single novelette, you cannot enter the Writers of the Future contest, and I think my own stuff is, in fact, good enough to win at it. Still, I’m at the point where I don’t want to put off publishing anymore, so I’m going to just hope that I win something in my first entry, and hope to heck that I won’t get any more chances to enter the WOTF contest after that — after all, having several real publications in the next year would be a very nice way to ease the pain of not being able to enter WOTF, for sure, and would certainly ease the way to publishing novels, as I hope to start doing in the next year or two.
The other anxiety I feel, a little more worriedly, is that I might get a bunch of stories — several years’ worth — published, and then drop into obscurity as my rate of production, normally, is only a few stories a year. Maybe part of it is that I have been working in obscurity all this time — the more I publish, the more my incentive to work on new projects would grow, perhaps — but I worry that if I publish too much all at once, now, then I’ll have nothing to send out for a while, and my name will drop into the forgotten pile. I was thumbing through old issues of Asimov’s and F&SF that I picked up in Canada, and let me tell you, there are a lot of forgotten people who achieved, multiple times, the very thing that to me seems like such a big stepping stone.
Anyway, some small part of me knows I’m putting too much stock into this, and that I ought to expect more rejections that acceptances at this point; maybe worrying about these other issues is a way of easing myself past the issue of worrying about rejections. Anyway, all I know is that a bunch of envelopes are going to be crossing the world in the next few weeks, with my little hopeful stories in them, trying to find themselves homes.
I’ll keep y’all posted on their searches.