I need to burn four vacation days before the end of the year. If I don't use them, I lose them.
I keep a few until December at my wife's request. She worries that someone might pass away and we'll need to go somewhere for a funeral. It's her practical side in action.
So today I burned one, establishing today as Writing Day. My wife suggested that we drive to Grants Pass as something to do but I had plenty planned and nixed the idea.
A writing day is about writing. Sitting down and writing as if this is my life. So I got up when she did. Showered and dressed. Prepped and ate breakfast. Now I'm settling down to write at home. In a few hours, I'll take a break and walk to The Beanery and write more. It's a writing day and I'm destined to write like crazy.
Spent time late last night looking at markets for short stories. Bleak. My stories don't fight into any handy niche.
I also spent time thinking about an interview I heard on Sunday morning radio. A Wisconsin writer was talking about how hard it was to break into traditional publishing if you're not in and around New York or the major west coast cities. He spoke of his efforts and then how he ended up self-publishing. After his fourth self-published book, an agent found him and a deal was made.
Between my story and his story, it's a clear picture of most people's situation. Most of us shop for an agent or market for your story or novel and hope that you finally find someone, attending speed panels, going online, shopping conferences and pitch sessions, reviewing market lists. It's a frustrating, demoralizing, debilitating experience.
The other way is to take one of the many growing venues and just get your work out there. Let others find it if they do, let agents and publishers come to you, if they do. But doing so at least gets it out of your head. And maybe you'll develop a fan base and get fan feedback and have the fun of being a writer with published work others enjoy.
And in the writer's angst portion of the post -
This current situation is untenable. To put it professionally, it sucks. It blows. So sumpen gotta be done. Finding a place to submit the story is hard. Then, being rejected by them is a head shot that undermines my confidence. Now I need to find another place to submit that damn story.
Well, enough with that. There is another way. I'm heading that way.
Causes Michael Seidel Supports
Kiva, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Propublica.org, Doctors Without Borders, GreaterGood.com