So, the time has come for feedback from the people who pay money (who in one sense are the only ones who count, right?) for writing.
Today I’m going to submit my third short story to a professional paying market. The killer is that I can either submit it to a market that pays about five times what any of the other markets pay and have to wait for about seven months for feedback or I can submit it to a market that responds in about two days. I’m opting for the first choice, ostensibly because if it’s good enough to sell for that amount, then I should sell it to the highest paying market. (I do want to make a living at this after all.)
But, there’s also some niggling little voice in the back of my head pointing out that this delays the pain of rejection by a whole seven months thereby giving me that much more time to become embedded in this whole writing path before someone tells me I suck at it. (Not that I actually think I suck, but we’re in that developmental stage where I think I’m much better than I probably am. That is a topic for a post on some other day, though.)
Of course, I’ll hear back on the other two I submitted in about three months’ time, so by then I’ll already have some sort of clue as to where I stand. Not that one rejection signals a bad story, it just signals a potentially bad fit. (Yeah, yeah, yeah. Easy to say, hard to believe.) I fully expect a rejection on the second submission – it’s a literary piece and I’m not a literary type – but I have hopes of at least receiving some constructive feedback on the first one (it’s a market that gives feedback to the top x% of stories and is only for newbies).
Anyway. Better for me to send the stories off and let them hang out there for months while I work on other things than to send them to quick turnaround markets that then have me thinking about a story every couple of days. Or so I tell myself…
And, in the spirit of reminding myself and others of how it all works, Marion Zimmer Bradley on “Why Did My Story Get Rejected?”