What’s In a Blog?

I was going to wait to make posts here until I had News or something Cool about my writing career to share — but like a lot of things, publishing is about a lot of Waiting so I had nothing new all year.

Which is kind of a sad state for an update-section of one’s website to be in, you know?

But since it’s my birthday and the end of the year, I figured I should do something! I also just read an article from Cat Rambo about what to write about when you have nothing to write about (for blogs) — and one of the suggestions is to share a snippet of what you’ve been working on.

Since sharing snippets on Fridays is one of my favorite things about one of the discord writing communities I’m in, I think I’ll give that a go here too. So you have that to look forward to in the next year.

In the meantime, I thought it might be fun to share my statistics for the year:

For 2022 in short fiction:

  • 13 Submissions –
    • 0 Acceptances
    • 8 Form Rejections
    • 2 Personal Rejections
    • 3 Still Awaiting Responses

But I also:
> Went to my first WorldCon (Chicago!) in September and had a great time and met so many fantastic kind people! Really enjoyed getting to hang out in person for the first time with so many Lady Astronaut Club members ❤
> Went to GenCon in August and discovered there’s a writing track?! and got to meet very cool people, snagged a last minute spot at a Read & Critique that was super validating
> Attended Futurescapes in March (hello cohort! Y’all are awesome!)(gosh was that only this year though? feels like forever ago)

One of the great things about WorldCon – aside from the wonderful panels and lovely people – was how much it reinvigorated my enthusiasm for writing on the novel. After two Futurescapes revamping the first chapter(s) for the umpteenth time, and then not making it into either of the other juried workshops I’d applied for (Clarion West and Viable Paradise), I was kinda stuck and bummed out about working on it despite learning a ton.

But the energy of being around other writers at GenCon and WorldCon was the best kind of infectious. I sat down after WorldCon and worked out a better structure for the novel, then started thumbnailing scenes and sections. It helped a lot — when I went back to prose-writing I doubled my word count in a month. Which is a lot, for me! And I’m keeping up the momentum, which is nice.

I wrote a couple new short stories this year, one for a flash fiction contest, the others just because. I’m always torn on writing shorts when I could be working on the novel, and vice versa — guess I just don’t know which path I ought to be focusing on.

I also worry about my writing style with short fiction. Many of the (absolutely beautiful) stories that I read in places like Uncanny or Strange Horizons or Deadlands or Beneath Ceaseless Skies and many many others — all markets I’d love to be published by one day — tend to be very… not sure how to say it. Message-heavy? Clearly hitting on something deep and emotional and relevant to the world today.

And I feel like my work tends towards “fun adventure” without that deep easily-felt modernly-relevant core. I suppose I just don’t think of things like the author of those stories I love do? My experiences throughout my life have been relatively sheltered, all things considered. Add in the ADHD disconnected-from-emotions and yeah. Fun adventure stories is me.

And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with either approach, to be fair! Clearly, I love those stories! It just means I think my chances of ever getting into those markets with those editors is very small, because of it, since I don’t know how to write those stories. I wonder if I should just stick to novels, where I feel like it’s easier to just be “fun adventure stories”.

That’s what I’ve been musing over lately, anyways.

I did a pretty terrible job of keeping track of the short and long fiction I read this year, too, so guess what’s getting a dedicated page in my bullet journal to hopefully help with that in 2023.

I want to end on a positive note, so let’s celebrate what progress we have made!

4 thoughts on “What’s In a Blog?”

  1. Happy birthday, Sam! Querying sounds like such a blah limbo to be in, but you’ve got the passion and I know it’ll pay off. Keep at it! Those conventions sound amazing and that kind of face to face networking is always a good thing.

    Curious what writing Discord you mentioned (if you’re ok sharing)? I want to get more involved with writing groups as I wrap up my big art projects & start making more time to write in my life. No conventions for me anymore which means good online places are gold to me!

    As for year-end progress, I’ve done a lot of planning and practice scenes and made some big format decisions and while I feel eternally in planning/WIP limbo, I’m just happy to get something, anything done in a year full of upheaval for us. I’m looking forward to a more peaceful and boring 2023 where we’re not moving house, nobody’s in the hospital, and nobody has grievously injured themselves lol.

    1. The writing discord is one of the spinoffs from Futurescapes this year and was invite-only; the admins are folks I used to play Storium with! Small world, really! But there are a _lot_ of other great writing discord communities out there. Most of the ones I know of are part of author patreons (cannot say enough good things about Mary Robinette Kowal’s patreon; her classes every month are worth their weight in gold) but I’ve also heard a lot of great things about DreamFoundry’s discord.

      Sending out stuff to short fiction markets is both like and unlike querying in that you send out and you hope but at least I don’t have to write a query letter for each one, hah! — all they want in cover letters for short fiction is “Hi, here’s my story, it’s this long, thanks so much for reading!” and sometimes if you’ve been published before/where, and if you’re of a marginalized demographic. I’m a long way off from querying the novel, and won’t that be an interesting adventure!

      Yes I’m so glad you’re finally settled in your new place! Here’s to a peaceful and healthier 2023 for all!

      1. I’m not sure why I hadn’t thought to check the authors I enjoy to see if they have Patreons and communities. That’s an excellent idea! DreamFoundry sounds really interesting as well. It appears I have MOAR RESEARCH to do!

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