head down, ass in chair

I'm going to talk a little bit today about writing again, but more on the business side of things. Not all of us (not most of us) are going to be able to write, sell, publish, and market novels. But writing is...well. Writing. It's writing about all sorts of things.

Most of you know I've been involved with a project called Electric Spec for three years now. On this anniversary, we're about to launch a new website (let's all cheer for Stuart and make him blush now!) More on that later. We fund and run it ourselves, three of us (well, four with Stuart's help) and a lot of unpaid hard work. For a long time, it meant no more than a credit on the bottom of query letters. But that little project slowly created gateways into so many things. Conversations. Presentations. Panels at conferences. Mentors. Wonderful friendships.

Lately, doors are slamming shut on the book market, like in every other market but warzone government contractors and Presidential cabinets. As our economy, and the publishing industry, spiraled down the toilet, I made a conscious decision to write several short stories. I truly believe nothing teaches a writer to write like writing short stories. Plus, it adds up to credits, which means I'm a selling writer.

Three rules:
1. Write them.
2. Submit them.
3. Keep submitting them.

Since last summer I've had rejections, but quite a few of them have been personal. I know how many factors come into choosing stories for issues; I just attended my own production meeting last night. So when an editor says, "I really love your stuff, send me more!" I listen. I know I'm on the right track. I know editors don't say such things lightly. I pay attention to markets and strive to write for them. I've gotten a couple of requests for rewrites (working on one now, in fact). And, I've sold two stories, have a slew of them out there making rounds, and have a contract for additional projects.

(A word on these projects. These are outside my genre, but money is money. I had to ask myself: What to do? Take an "artistic stand" or sell my words because I'm a writer?)

Anyway, it's been a lot of head down hard work with my ass in my chair. Snowboarding and giggling with my kids are literally the only fun things I've done in weeks.

Except when I get letters from editors telling me they're buying my stories.

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