When I first started thinking about writing this post, I was definitely focused on what I haven’t done. I didn’t send out a single submission to agents for my novel. I stopped writing short stories in the summer–at least, I stopped finishing stories. I wrote two first drafts, then never bothered to try to polish and edit them.
I could blame part of my lack of progress on moving across the country during the summer. Even after the move was finished, I never seemed to have much drive or energy for anything creative. I looked at the number of rejection slips I’ve collected over the last couple of years and got so discouraged, I stopped sending out subs. I resolved to quit writing shorts completely.
Then I heard about a submission call that intrigued me. I still couldn’t bring myself to try writing something new, so I decided to look over all of the stories that were still lingering on my hard drive.
As I did so, I realized I still like my stories. It dawned on me that I needed to work and edit several of them all over again — I’ve learned a lot as a writer since I first started subbing some of them. One, in particular, sparked the idea for a complete overhaul. The basic events of the story will remain, but not much else. And I’m ready to look at the other stories, with an eye toward possibly tearing them to shreds and seeing what I can salvage from the carnage.
Thinking about sending stories out again forced me to realize that I have achieved things in 2014, even though it felt like nothing happened. I got my first short story published. I had a second story accepted for publication. I was short-listed for the first time at a pro-level magazine (though that ultimately ended in rejection.) Baby steps forward, maybe, but I’m that much closer to my ultimate goals.
I’m not quitting. I’m going to write again. To take on the highs and lows of sending stories out on submission. So, bring it on, 2015! I’m ready for anything you might throw my way…