Sending Out Stories…

One would think that a natural outcome of writing a story is to send it out for publication. Not so. It is very difficult, at least for me, to finally admit that a story is ready to go out. I am not confident in my skills as a writer, and I have this big urge to just let a story sit until I am confident in my skills, and can give it that final revision that will make the story the best that it can be. But when is that day going to arrive?

I have a large backlog of partial, rough draft, and nearly finished stories as a result. I may not be the best writer that I am eventually going to be, but the time has come to be brave and just send out stories and find out if any professional editors think I have what it takes.

I actually decided this back in November 2007. I immediately sent “The Journey” to Every Day Fiction with the full expectation of a swift rejection. The idea was to prime the pump, get the ball rolling, show some pluck… and to remember what it was like to get rejected. Well, they accepted it instead.

Today I sent off another story; fully expecting rejection. I did at least five final revisions of it. Yesterday evening I was thinking of another tweak I could make, and realized that I was just delaying. It is just fine as is, and perhaps the tweak would make it better, but perhaps it would make it worse. As you can see, sometimes I over think things.

I have some other stories that need some more revision, and I am going to get busy with them. One has a fast approaching deadline. I guess my point of this entry is that I am not going to obsess on trying to get the stories as perfect as they could ever be. I am going to simply get them to be as good as my current skill set will allow, learn from the process, and then send out more stories.

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4 Responses

  1. I have very seldom sent the EXACT same version of a story to two different places. Usually I find a word or phase here and there to tweak. It really doen’t make much difference, but it makes me feel I am imporving the story somehow. I remember Tom Petty remarking once that he was never through with an album. The record company had to come and take it away from him or he would fuss over it indefinately.

    Ultimately I seem to be the worst judge of my own writing. Some of my own stories that I though were the weakest have gotten the most favorable responses. Some that I was especially proud of elicted either indifference or downright harsh responses.

    So, sometimes I have to just throw a story out there and see what happens. (Of course, usually what happens is it bounces right back to me)

  2. I am the same way with the computer programs I write. Very rarely am I completely satisfied with the end result.

    I figure even form letter rejections will tell me something about what I need to break into a particular market. What I dread the most are the one line “thanks, but no” rejections.

    My story is in the mail. No pulling it back now.

  3. I tweak unceasingly, too. Almost everytime I write open a story, even if I haven’t looked at it for months, I find something to “fix.”

    Basically, no story is ever finished until it is sold.

  4. I just found a word that needed fixed!!!
    Oh well…

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