Welcome to the sequel to Journal of a Potential Sale, where I compared expectations of my first literary magazine offer with the reality. I am glad to say that my revisions were accepted and I’ll have a short story in a market sometime this year! My reactions, in no particular order:
I felt less joy than I expected, but it was a drawn-out process, so the emotional reaction was less of an explosion and more of a steady hum. I experience stronger feelings when I write the last word of something I am proud of. If I can clock my own inner dialogue for a minute, I think that’s a good sign. The folks at Rejection Survival would be proud.
That said, A tiny bit of external validation goes a long way. I feel like I can breathe and stop worrying that I’ll never be good enough. I can be. You can too, reader.
Along the way I learned (again) the importance of getting second opinions and revision.
The Sold Story is the most rewritten piece in my stable. After the usual 3-4 drafts I give most short stories, I gave it another three hard re-writes when I submitted it to an anthology that would accept nothing over 2,000 words. It was this shorter version that received a “maybe, with changes,” so the final product ended up being something like the 9th draft.
“Art is never complete, only abandoned.”(Paul Valery)
It is hard to get out of your head and see what’s actually on the page. Many of my short stories have not seen another human being. My actions indicate that anything under 5,000 words I believe I can handle myself. But, there is a problem with that. It’s the same problem that comes with online echo-chambers. Sometimes, we cannot get out of our own perspective.
My Partner in Crime, who happens to also be my wife, gave the Sold Story a once-over. She found a plot point that I thought was clear to be a little confusing. It was all there in my head. Why wasn’t it on the page? When looking at the actual words through her lens, I saw the fuzziness, and the final product was better for it.
Keep on keeping on, readers. Happy reading. Happy writing. Good hunting.
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