Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The problem with achievement is the more we achieve the higher the expectations we set ourselves.

My first publication, an acceptance by Antipodean SF had me bouncing over the house in transports of joy. Now an acceptance by Anitpodean SF is pleasing - but not the high point it was the first time.

So now I expect a lot of myself. I want to sell stories to paying publications. I have a mental list of places I'd like to see my work published. Perhaps I should lower my sights - just try and get things published - anywhere. At this point in my writing endeavour does it really matter if the market pays or not?

Shane and Nathan had a thread on Shane's blog - expressing disappointment in the CS05 gangs lack of success over the last 12 months. Success is all relative. Compared to any other period in my life 2005 was my most successful writing year ever. I had some publications, I was well placed in the odd competition, longlisted in the Varuan Awards, I even received a couple of positive comments in reviews... but I want more. Ever greedy.

I know my writing style and technique has a long way to go in improvement - that I need to be patient and keep working. Is it wrong to want it all now?


Blogger Shane Jiraiya Cummings said...

Heya Sooze,

You have indeed had a great year, and you're definitely on a roll for 2006 (well, there's the Redback thing due any day now, if nothing else!).

I don't reckon I've properly expressed what I meant in my comments to Nathan on my blog. I've articulated it better since (to Ange), so I'll give it a go here.

I know it takes a while to "recover" from Clarion. I've not written regularly since, just fits and spurts - so I guess everyone must be similar. I did however think that many of the 'quieter' Clarionites would shake things up a bit more. Sure, there's you, Nathan, Me, Suzanne, Mark, Ellen K, Rjurik, and Lily all making our marks, but dammit there were some great Clarion stories. I LOVED stuff from Evan, Anne, Alison, Kenrick, Trevor, Tessa... hell, I think everyone produced at least one story which rocked.

I guess this is the thing - we all have lives and obstacles, and no Clarionite has any obligation to see their stuff published, but I'm just so surprised all that great stuff isn't being seen by the wider world.

For instance, ALL the Clarionites who responded to my call to contribute something to Shadow Box made it into the anthology. That's only a third of the 2005 class. It's like lining up the bottles, handing someone a gun, and asking them to shoot, but them deciding not to.

Don't get me wrong - I'm not complaining about that! These opportunities are optional, of course - but there are there for the taking. I'm suprised more of these opportunities aren't being taken, that's all.

By the way, I don't think it's wrong to be greedy. I want it all too! I'm using the karmic approach - the more I put in, hopefully the more I get out ;)

12:55 AM  
Blogger Shane Jiraiya Cummings said...

Oh, I forgot to add:

As someone who's been on an extensive merry-go-round of submissions and rejections (and sales), don't lower your sights.

You have pedigree. Clarion gave you that.

I consider it in terms of 'critical mass'. It's like a snowball. It builds as it goes faster. The more *good* sales you make (like Shadowed Realms and The Outcast), the more people will seriously consider your work.

People like Ellen K have considerable critical mass, but networking helps them as well. To use me as an example, networking has helped me a little bit, but the sales critical mass is helping even more. I can probably sell to non-pay or token pay US zines without too much trouble, but that won't help my critical mass/career.

Same with you. Supporting Antipodean SF is great, I continue to give them stories every six months or so. But you've gotta aim high. Find markets in Australia and the US who suit your style. For me, it's horror and dark fantasy mags like Surreal and Book of Dark Wisdom (both of whom I've sold to). For you, it could be these, or more general publications like F&SF or Strange Horizons or our mate Rob Hoge at Aurealis.

If you know where you want to be, getting there, and growing your snowball while doing so, is so much simpler. Aim high!

1:07 AM  
Blogger Suzanne said...


You must always aim high. Start with the big markets first. I always sub my best stories to WotF first, then I send according to fit to: Asimov's, Analog, F&SF, Strange Horizons, Realms of Fantasy, etc.

I have not broken into any of these markets, YET, but it's only a matter of time.

1:27 AM  
Blogger Susan said...

Thanks for the cheer squad guys - I'd sort of blogged this after a few evenings of sitting in front of a blank computer screen.

You've inspired me to keep my sights raised high - and that greedy isn't bad!

I've got something (a Clarion story) sitting in the shortlist pile with Rob and subs out at Book of Dark Wisdom, Ticonderoga and a few other places at the moment and I'm working on something that I hope to sub to Agog! So I'll stop grumping and get more motivated about subbing and writing!

8:06 AM  
Blogger Greg Liddle said...

I am kind of new to blogging.
I have a writing site.
Come and look at it if you a spare moment

10:09 PM  

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