Hope Has a Flavor

Last week was filled with disappointment and rejections. No news for me on the second quarter of the WotF contest yet, which means I’m HM or worse for the fourth time (looks like the finalists have been notified). Got a form letter rejection from one place that had held a story for final consideration, heard back about another (rejected as well, though very nicely). Oh well, back into the mail they go. For now.

And yet, I feel good. I went to a workshop on how to pitch ideas and write blurbs this weekend and got my mental ass kicked… and I still feel good. Hopeful even. Happy. Why? Because I sat and listened to a bunch of professional writers discussing this interesting new publishing world (and the interesting old publishing world) and I have to say, these are damn exciting times to be starting a writing business in. I came home with new skills, new ideas, and the germs of exciting plans that will be revealed soon (and more on that sekrit project I keep mentioning).

I’m thrilled to be a part of this stuff. There is so much for me to learn, and things are changing all the time. It’s awesome to attend Dean’s workshops and be surrounded by pros living and doing the things I’m working on doing. I feel more like a professional myself these days, growing all the time.

So yeah, I’m exhausted and excited and my brain’s full of stuff I need to sit down and really process. I’ll work on that and hopefully get some more comprehensive posts out about my plans and my latest writing adventures.

It’s a good time to be a writer.

7 Responses to “Hope Has a Flavor”

  1. Alex J. Kane

    I’m extremely glad to hear that you think so. I myself have been feeling a little grim as of late, for various reasons. Most have a rather bleak outlook on the future of the publishing industry, but I think that the power of online publishing and the future of e-readers has been vastly underestimated.

    I used to read a lot of the advice put out by Robert J. Sawyer, and I gotta say: I think that guy is wrong about so many aspects. He admits to running into an aspiring writer at a convention. The conversation basically went thus:

    Aspirant: Yeah, I’m hoping to become a successful writer.

    Sawyer: Oh, yeah? Have you read any of my books.

    Aspirant: No, actually, I haven’t…

    Sawyer: [turns silently, walks away.]

    I think that sort of behavior is just ridiculous, and on a more basic level, just damn rude. Sure, it’s a good idea to know your market, but that sort of discouragement and egotism isn’t warranted. I’ve never read any Sawyer, and after reading him admit to that story on his own website, I never will. There are plenty of great writers out there right now, and I doubt that many of them have that bad of an attitude towards beginning writers. To me, that sort of attitude wreaks of fear — fear of losing ground to new talent, becoming obsolete.

    Another thing he speaks of is, more or less, “Online publishing is an oxymoron. If you’re not good enough to get published in print, then keep practicing until you are.”

    Okay, so selling to Lightspeed, Strange Horizons, or Clarkesworld is a path to failure?

    I call bullshit.

    [/end of bash-fest]

    Thanks for the glimmer of hope.

    • izanobu

      Ha, yeah, it’s ok Alex, rant away 🙂 Writer egos can be pretty fragile and not everyone has the “pay it forward” mentality. Oh well, their loss.

      I do hope that he means self-published online stuff and not the online pro mags, cause that would be super silly.

      It’s a brand new time and things are getting more and more interesting by the moment in publishing. We’re entering the age where “trunk story” may become an obsolete term and I, for one, am excited.

  2. Alex J. Kane

    I like the sound of that! Don’t want my soon-to-be-trunked stories to die… I like em. Most of em, anyway.

    • izanobu

      soon-to-be trunked stories? Have they been out to all the pro mags and prestigious semi-pros? I figure it takes a good year to two years for each of my stories to hit that threshhold, so make sure you aren’t trunking something too soon 🙂

  3. Alex J. Kane

    I probably won’t throw in the towl too easily, but I’ve got one or two stories that I’m pretty sure will never see the light of day, at least not as they’re presently written. Maybe, maybe not. I’ll keep them out as long as I can, though. I should have said “trunkable.” Hehe.

  4. A.R. Williams

    I’m glad to see your doing well.

    Yeah, I’ve discovered Wesley Dean Smith’s posts just recently. Or more accurately, I should say rediscovered. I had read some of them before, but his rant on not needing an agent kind of made me block him out a bit. But after that dustup where the agent wondered if they should be charging 20% because they do more work now then ever before (like writers don’t) I have to say I agree with him now and have seen the light.

    I do think writers have a tremendous opportunity to get out there and do the work themselves. Most will not though.

    For too long we have been told that self-published authors are those who couldn’t make it and are desperate to get published. Perhaps. But there are a lot of “I’ll do anything to get published authors–walk all over me!” going the traditional route.

    I hope things continue to go well for you, and I hope that all the finalist have not been contacted for Q2 (keeps fingers crossed).

    • izanobu

      Thanks, AR. I have a feeling all the Q2 peoples have been contacted, but a tiny flame of hope lives in me, too 🙂 And there’s always next quarter (though I think I accidentally screwed up my entry and might be a straight reject for breaking the rules, sigh).

      Dean has strong opinions, but the more I listen to other authors as well and think about things, the more he starts to make sense. And I’ve been applying his advice about submitting novels and having promising early results. Results talk loud for sure 😉 In the end, a lot of what he advises is just good business sense.

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