ALEX J CAVANAUGH, in his great wisdom, created the opportunity for any writer who feels like he or she needs a guilt free forum to vent all about their insecurities. Every first Wednesday of the month is the day for all who want to, to let it out. The Insecure Writers Support Group.
So, what’s my deal this month? Well, my plan to be super positive went out the window, as I’m feeling a bit down about everything.
I think I’ve always been looking for ways to gauge how close I am being a pro-level writer. I realized about a year and a half ago that the best way to tell would be to submit to pro markets. So I did, and I have.
And since that time I’ve had zero sales. Nada. I’ve had multiple stories out to all my dream pro short story markets for a while now. They keep not being accepted.
I received a rejection last week for a horror story I’d written. It had several personal notes in the rejection. That’s supposed to be a good sign, right? But then, when I read the notes, they say things like they didn’t care for the name of a secondary character, or, they think my math was wrong when used in the story (it wasn’t, but upon rereading, I can see why they thought that – that really is my problem).
And I’m thinking, WTF? I can change the math, I can change names. Don’t use that as a reason to reject the story. Tell me what’s wrong!
Of course, they rejected the story for other reasons, I know they were being helpful, or trying to be. It’s just that, well, I want someone to say, ‘Hey, this is pretty good, we want to publish it.’
So, I joined an online critique group for some feedback. I submitted a story that I thought was pretty good, but still didn’t seem quite finished to me. And that’s when I started getting feedback. And more feedback, and more, and more. And now I just want it to stop. It’s too much.
One person said it was the best (that’s a paraphrase) thing they’ve read since they’ve joined the group.
Someone else said it was such a mess that they weren’t sure if it was good or bad. It was just too all over the place.
The grammar was awful… no, wait, it’s actually pretty tight.
The aliens at the end were awesome! The aliens at the end was a stupid idea (an FYI, my story had no aliens – that looks like something I need to address, since more than one person thought there were).
And on and on it goes. Crits are pouring in and I want them to stop. I don’t like it. I’m not sure what I can take away, since stuff was all over the board about what was wrong with the story. It did manage to make me feel beat up.
IN OTHER NEWS, I self-pubbed a new novelette this week. I've done my darnedest to make it free on Kindle for the next few days. Please download it now if you're ever going to be interested. Well, unless it's not free, in which case you should wait until it is.
|I don't know if it's a good cover. But it was damn hard to do.|
I wrote it several years ago for a charity in town, the book it appeared in sold horribly, but the charity still got something from it. I reread it recently, realized the rights are all mine, and thought it was still a pretty cool tale – even if I had to fight the urge to rewrite every word. Since not that many markets are interested in reprints, I figured I’d put the thing up for the world to see. It isn’t spec fic at all, just a story about a guy discovering his grandma’s secret history.