In less than a week's time, I'll be off to Kansas to visit the folks, which means a lot of driving to get there and even more in the way of eating and drinking once I'm there. I accomplish little else during these vacations and this year will most likely prove to be no different. Not a big deal. What I will be doing a lot of though, is considering where to send my writing in 2010. Of course when I say "send", I'm talking about venues for exposure, publication, etc. for both short stories and the novel I'm working on.
A consideration in all of this, is will these venues help gain me the exposure and critical experience I need, as I work towards becoming a publishable writer. When you start looking at the outlets for writers of the short story, in terms of magazines, ezines and so on, the number of them available for submission is staggering. It's easier to get your feet wet on the internet, because many of the zines get back to you in a fairly timely manner. Most of them also get tons of hits, are run by top notch people and populated with some really good talent. I wouldn't be here today without them.
So we all know about the great blogs, and sites that are out there, and what I wrote above, was no revelation. Didn't you know, that I would have an ulterior motive? Here goes: I would like to ask a favor, of those who are so kind to frequent this blog. If you happen to read some of my work online, please feel free to comment, er, freely. Here's where I'm going with this. You've just read one of my stories. It was just so-so in your opinion. That's cool. Only, and I'm dead serious with this, rather than not comment at all, feel free to add something like the following: "I like how you did this, but you might want to work on these things with your writing..." If you don't feel comfortable saying this in the comments section, by all means send me an email.
I realize asking the above is huge and can make people uncomfortable. But I'm to the point at which I like to hear what's right with my work- trust me, those comments kept me going when I was ready to give up- but I now also desperately need to hear what's wrong with it also. I'm not saying I need to hear an asshole say "you suck" just because he can- hell, I can hear that anywhere (and do). No, I want constructive criticism that will improve my writing and prepare me for the world of query rejection that comes with this craft. Then I want to take that rejection and improve. I'm finding that a writer who desires to be published, has no use for rose colored glasses.
So what's the plan for 2010? In reality, chances are that I'll write no more than 5-6 short stories for 2010. While I love the format and wish publishers would once again open the door to the short story, I've found that I prefer the novel format. Not only that, but my last short and arguably my best, took me upwards of six weeks to really nail down. If that's the amount of time it takes for a good story to gestate, then why mess with a good thing? You don't. But you have to pick your battles and for now, working on the novel wins out. I must give this novel, my absolute best.
On that note, said novel is on the first leg of a hardcore critique tour. I hope to have enough feedback, that I'm able to make changes and start sending out serious queries by Summer of '10. If it takes longer, then so be it. In the meantime, I've another novel started and I'm enjoying the time off from the previous. Honestly, I'd been over that first novel so many fucking times, I just couldn't stand to look at it anymore. Having time off from it, can only prove beneficial and working on this new piece, is like taking a bare-assed trip into a new world.
As with all of my ramblings, I look forward to your input.