Hello all you ghouls out there! Tonight we open the casket on the subject of being the new guy in the room, the one just now striking out on their own, and the one who will make mistakes. Nobody who starts writing is a pro from the start. It takes time and it takes some luck, but if you lack skill the luck can’t help you get very far. In the long run, your mask gets thrown off and the real you steps forward. Am I a pro? Hell no, but I can see the writing get better with each tale I write and that’s how it should be. When I go back and look at some of the old stuff sitting on the hard drive, I cringe. That is my focus for tonight, it is a learning experience when you start out.
I have been pretty lucky in my dealings with publishers so far (except for one and I pulled an awful story I submitted just to prove he was accepting anything). I’ve worked with Armand Rosamillia, Eric Beebe, Jessica A. Weiss, Adam Millard, the crew at Pill Hill Press, and the guys at Knightwatch Press. All of them have been very supportive and its been super to be a part of their press. I owe each of them for giving my work a place to scream bloody murder at the world. They are all professionals and I hope we can continue to work together in the future.
It hasn’t all been smooth though. I started out with rejections and my first acceptance into an anthology was cancelled. It did sell later so everything is cool there. Have I always sent stuff to upstanding publishers? We want to get stuff out anyway possible at first and the answer is no, we don’t always send to the right places at first. The above comment about the pulled story is why. I sent something in I knew was crappy (it was the second story I’d ever written) and as I expected, he took it. Then there was a large e-mail shouting match about the contract and I pulled the story. I did it partly because I wanted the story buried again and also because the guy was an ass. This same person just rewrote a friend’s first story without telling her and then said some very unsavory things. It will be ok though, what comes around goes around and his day is coming.
Those are the issues we deal with starting out. Some of us don’t have fairy god-parents who we rely on to make our career happen. Most of us have to put the fingers to the keys and put the boots to the floor trying to make it all happen. Do we make some rookie errors? Yes. Do we learn from them? Yes.
In the end, I’ll know I have my career because I fought and bled for it. I pushed and scratched for it, avoiding all coat-tails in front of me. You know what? I’ll sleep better and my work will be better for it. I’m not going to do it half-ass and expect others to push me through. I’m an adult and I can take care of myself. Things have happened quick and it only goes up from here.
Well, I’ll stop there for this evening so I can write some more and drink some more too.
2 thoughts on “In the Beginning…”
I love that you start with acknowledging that we are imperfect. I feel pressure to never make a mistake. That’s too high a standard. I want to make mistakes. I want to learn. I want to create a culture where it’s okay to be imperfect. Cheers! Happy writing!
I wish I was perfect so I could quit the day job and just write. I’m cool with mistakes, that’s what editors are for. 🙂