Just another reminder to check out the Kickstarter for Fictionite, a new reading app by Fiction Vortex. There are still some Early Bird rewards left at the $10 pledge level. At this level you get beta access to the app, and with the Early Bird bonus, you get the same amount of app currency as … Continue reading Support me, by supporting Fictionite
This is a very good article on failure, and the artistic process in general. I think the biggest take-away for me is the passage: “Think of it like this: If you have three finished short stories and the first doesn’t sell you still have two more in circulation. If you write one short story and wait for it to sell before writing the next one you may never be published ever—you may not even ever get to write that second story.”–This is right on.
I, of course, take this advice to a perhaps ridiculous level. I have about forty stories now on my tracker. I have 31 pending submissions. So far, I have received 15 acceptances, and 81 rejections! But just as this article says, having so many stories circling around, I feel less invested in each individual piece. The more I write and submit, the easier each rejection becomes. It feels like moving to a point of perfect Zen harmony, where I am satisfied with any response, acceptance or rejection. This helped significantly with my book submissions.
I have recently received the first response from an agent, and it was a rejection. But it didn’t even cause me to stutter. I sent out queries to two more agents this week, and if those don’t pan out, I have a bunch more tagged in my Writer’s Market book. At this point, I have enough success to know I am doing something right, so all I can do is keep driving on.
Failure is a reality of life. But it is a truth that today’s youth are not being taught. I recently started negotiations with a graphic designer to maybe do a cover for my book. The discussion was dead on arrival. The designer was fresh out of college, had no experience, a completely blank resume. Yet she expected to get near professional rates for her work. Of course, I wasn’t going to pay that for work I could not gauge the value of. Plus, as an artist myself, I know how it is to get started in the business.
Half a year in and most of my publications are still with free or token-pay publishers. You have to make a name for yourself, build a resume, before you can start demanding professional rates and respect. Hand-in-hand with that comes failure. Lots of failure. You have to get through the failure and prove your worth, then you can call yourself a professional.
It can be discouraging, but if you look at the most successful writers, people like Stephen King or J.K. Rowling, they struggled for their success. They worked other jobs while the wrote. They got rejected, time and again. But they kept at it, and in the end it all proved worth it.
If you really want to be a professional writer, you just got to grin and bear it, embrace the struggle and let it make you stronger. If you do, you’ll make it someday.
On February 1st of 2011 I wrote about the various definitions of “successful” and with six years passed, and two things appearing in front of me at more or less the same time, I thought it time to look at that subject again with the more negative connotation: failure.
First, I read Rivka Galchen’s article “Mo Willem’s Funny Failures” in the New Yorker, in which she told this story:
Willems’s books reveal a preoccupation with failure, even an alliance with it. In “Elephants Cannot Dance!,” they can’t; in “Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!,” Pigeon, despite all his pleading and cajoling, never does. Willems told me, “At ‘Sesame Street,’ they would give us these workshops about the importance of failure, but then in our skits all the characters had to be great at what they did, everything had to work out. That drove me…
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So, I have some exciting news. The new reading app for Fiction Vortex now has a Kickstarter campaign. The app is called Fictionite, and once up and running, it will allow you to connect to and read all the different fiction series being produced by Fiction Vortex (including my own!). If you haven't had a … Continue reading Fictionite Story App – on Kickstarter!
Here is a great tool for writers: the bus test. It is a quirky way to measure the value and emotional depth of your characters. I do not agree that a reader has to "become" a character. In fact I find that idea preposterous in most cases, since fictional characters are by their very nature … Continue reading Share: The Bus Test
Iric couldn’t have guessed that Sergeant Vott was such an avid Foxes and Larks player. The moment the big man found out the rookie watchman was learning the game, he disappeared into the dark, dusty storage room. “Any man with even a slight measure of wits should know this game,” Vott said from the cavernous … Continue reading (Flash Story) The Adventures of Iric, Vol 19
Here is a great little story with some fantasy trappings. I think the author does a great job of building and maintaining tension until the end. The revelation at the end was a surprise. I was expecting something humorous, but this story is instead dark and serious. Or at least that's how I felt when … Continue reading SHARE: The Creature in the Pit
The old man chuckled, the wisdom lines on his face bursting out in chaotic patterns, not unlike the cracks on a spot of sun-dried mud after a storm. “This isn’t funny,” Iric said, trying to contain his frustration. “There’s a thief on the loose, and if I don’t catch him, Sergeant Vott will have my … Continue reading (Flash Story) The Adventures of Iric, Vol 18
I see the golden glow. It pulls me in, towards its generous warmth; I cannot resist. Zap! *Written as a response to Three Line Tales, Week 64
Every once in a while I do something different on this blog. Today is one of those days. Again, I am violating my rule to keep things here about writing. But in my defense, it is still about fantasy, in a way... This weekend is the prerelease for Amonkhet, the newest set for the collectible … Continue reading Are you ready for Amonkhet?
I have been gaining a few followers to this blog lately, to which I am left deeply grateful and humbled. It is very encouraging to know that people like to read my stuff or appreciate the things I share. A while back I was raving about another fantasy blog writer that I was hooked on. … Continue reading Senpai noticed me!