I’m still in the throes of an insomnia cycle that has been whooping my ass but good for what two, three months now?
So, given that I seem to have expended all of my cognitive abilities and am stuggling to stay awake right now I’ll just blabber for a bit.
First thing on my mind. Yesterday, while I was struggling to stay awake at work, I made a wee zip file. Inside this zip file you’ll find a very basic submission tracking spreadsheet along with a txt doc to tell you how to use it and give you some ideas for customization. Right click and save as here. Feel free to share that with anybody you think might need it.
That was on my mind because I’ve been doing some submitting here and there. I got a very fast rejection from Strange Horizons for a story myself and a friend thought would be great for them. I’ve submitted to them three times over the years and I think I’m putting them on my list of not again. They are just not into me.
I’m finding SF/F/H hard to break into.
Someone else looked at the aforementioned show and their, uh, feedback was just “This is too literary”. No clarification though I asked and I do recall a SF writer (cannot remember who right now) said on a podcast that sometimes people dislike their use of literary stuff in their SF/F.
I feel pretty out of place in those waters. I don’t see a lot of things written in the way I write. I do things that aren’t, uh, I dunno done there a lot. At least not that I see. I feel like some of my recent work is probably too SF/Fish for most lit mags (see also my years of writing too erotic/sexy for a lot of lit mags) but not done as Sf/F is done so not for those magazines either.
I don’t know. I have a tendency like a lot of writers to get angsty about things. More so when I feel like maybe what I’m doing with these genres is not real so I’m unwise in submitting to those markets and annoying editors. I don’t want to be that person.
That said, I am disappointed. Not because just because rejection, but more that, if SO many of the things in SF/F are so fantastical, why can’t the writing get out of the comfortable realm too?
Most of my favorite SF/F is quite literary. And I hate that I need to acknowledge that. Like why do people have the idea that if something is X genre it cannot be literary and vice versa?
I just don’t understand why that particular line has to be drawn and adhered to.
This is why I’ve put these type stories out on my own in general.
I don’t know.
I will submit to other places but fact is I write how I write.
These are things I think about. And because the submission process is what it is, I have no way to verify any of my feelings. I mean I could say that stories are just not good. But when the feedback I’ve gotten from other folks is OMG YES and the industry is Oh yeah no, it makes me feel stuff.
Especially as tired as I am. I’ll probably chew on this for a while.
OH yeah, I do keep a list of publications that are just not into me. There are a few that I’ve submitted multiple things to and while some have been like, we love you send more and others have been standard after a while I do realize no you don’t want it. I do have a process. I will go back and check rejections to see if they are form or have something else. What the rejection wiki calls a higher tier type.
There are also a few that have done things that I don’t like or do things I don’t like that I will read but not submit to.
And a note to editors, it really sucks when you heap praise and say how much you love our submissions but never publish us. Like, it makes things feel awkward and at least I feel weird.
I did get an acceptance. LOL it is for a SF experimental flash thing that had been rejected for reasons. So I sent it to a regular flash site (links on the day it goes live) and voila boom accepted after not even 24 hours.
Can I share a fear?
This is a situation that happens to me a lot.
A person reads one of my pieces at Medium or XOJane and comes to tell me they love me. That is a total win and serious yay.
But then, they find out I write random other stuff and sometimes it is not nice stuff.
I have gotten into more fucking arguments with people because they want me to only be nice Self-care Shannon or Rageful Negress Shannon and it just makes me tired. I was telling my bestie that sometimes it feels like I have to vet people I talk to about my work and that fucking sucks. I hate it.
I am not a particular kind of writer. I’m not a journalist. I just write.
I write what’s in my head and it’s pretty noisy in there.
I don’t want people to be completely unable to accept that. I feel like it loses me audience or something.
And this is on my mind because as my dear publisher reminded me recently, we’re having a book baby in a scant few months.
Like, it is a thing that is happening.
IT IS HAPPENING.
And honestly, I’m pretty fucking scared. The writing part, I got that. That I know I can do. I can fucking write.
But then I think of other stuff.
What if nobody buys it? I don’t want to have wasted my publishers time and money and effort if it’s wah wah.
What if, what if… Everybody hates me blablabla.
Also, I’m just terrified. I have feelings I’m not sure how to navigate.
So I guess I’ll just dive in.
At home we’re finally just about out from under the three months of gigantic bills.
To put it into perspective I spent pretty much most of my money that wasn’t my rent on just these bills. Even with our rental increase, some super expensive doc appointments for my partner Uniballer and some other bullshit we’re almost there.
I’m pretty close to being able to save more which is great.
If you want to help and you want some stuff to read now would be a great time to shop in my Etsy store. I’m not in panic mode anymore but we’re kinda scraping the bottom of the barrel a bit and I need some stuff.
What stuff? Honestly foundation and face powder and I really -really- need a new hoody to wear home at night. Next month if no further shit happens I’ll be avle to put most of my Patreon money into my Smarty Pig account for my laptop.
AND those two donors from the past few weeks, y’all don’t even know you really saved my bacon. Thank you so much.
Okay, that’s it. I’m gonna go home, have a phone date with Milcah tomorrow and hopefully sleep.