What ten years looks like.

I was digging around in my files for something and I stumbled on a copy of my most comprehensive submission tracking. Y’alls. You want to see what almost ten years of rejection looks like?

First thing, there are a lot of them missing. Looking at a couple of other ones and looking through my email, the actual submission numbers for 9/7/2010 through 8/20/19 are closer to 1k or so. But y’all know how much of a data driven boner type person I am so here we gonna get it.

You’ll notice almost all of these are rejections. Some of these things got picked up. Some never did. Some I don’t even remember writing.

This is why I say I eat rejection. I think I have another whole ass list (different) that if I can find it I will post it.

Buckle up babes.

Title Submission Date Organization Status
Walker 9/7/2010 2:07 Necessary Fiction Declined
Waking Oshun 9/22/2010 20:48 decomP magazinE Declined
Being Human 1/21/2011 21:16 kill author Declined
Still a Strange Girl. 2/2/2011 22:46 Battered Suitcase Accepted
Selling Myself 2/28/2011 21:25 Monkeybicycle Declined
Familiar Skin 3/4/2011 2:37 Storyglossia Declined
Familiar Skin 3/7/2011 17:49 Necessary Fiction Declined
Lady Things 3/21/2011 18:17 Eclectic Flash Declined
Lady Things 3/25/2011 22:53 fwriction : review Declined
Ladies Night 3/27/2011 3:25 Leodegraunce Declined
Ingenue 3/28/2011 20:25 A-Minor Declined
Sleeping Beast 3/29/2011 2:22 ABJECTIVE Declined
She Didn’t Make It. 4/14/2011 2:15 Little Episodes Declined
Dog and Girl 6/10/2011 3:09 d.ustb.in Withdrawn
Keith  Appropriately. 6/14/2011 21:55 The Midwest Coast Review Declined
Meeting God 7/15/2011 17:53 wtf pwm Declined
Lady Things 7/21/2011 20:39 Stone Highway Review Declined
Lovers of the Ages 7/28/2011 3:22 Specter: A Curated Literary Website Declined
Baby Miracle In Love 7/29/2011 17:08 Black Fox Literary Magazine Withdrawn
Lovers of the Ages 8/15/2011 17:54 Metazen Withdrawn
Nice Ladies and Wild Women 8/19/2011 18:44 [PANK] Declined
Good Bye Fat Girl 8/24/2011 17:35 Used Furniture Review Declined
Good Bye Fat Girl 9/2/2011 17:20 fwriction : review Declined
Goodbye Music 9/9/2011 17:37 Word Riot Declined
Familiar Skin 9/10/2011 3:04 Atticus Review Declined
Goodbye Music. 9/13/2011 17:15 Belletrist Coterie Declined
In HippySunshine I Trusted 10/10/2011 17:37 Specter: A Curated Literary Website Accepted
Single Black Female 10/26/2011 17:21 Gertrude Press Declined
Calling Oshun 10/31/2011 17:52 MUD LUSCIOUS PRESS Declined
Several Poems. 11/8/2011 17:27 Counterexample Poetics Declined
Familiar Skin 11/8/2011 18:03 Left Hooks Declined
Four Poems by Shannon Barber 12/9/2011 22:02 Camroc Press Review Declined
4 Poems. 12/14/2011 18:43 Interrobang Magazine Declined
The Woman in the Niqab 12/14/2011 18:56 Dark Sky Magazine Declined
The Black Mermaid. 12/26/2011 17:09 Publishing Genius Withdrawn
For Her to Sleep. 2/21/2012 3:01 Word Riot Declined
Familiar Skin 2/23/2012 2:39 Girls with Insurance Withdrawn
Awful. Greedy. Beauty. 3/1/2012 21:00 Two Serious Ladies Declined
Awful. Greedy. Beauty. 3/7/2012 18:28 Corium Magazine Declined
Girls  Girls  Girls 4/23/2012 18:57 SmokeLong Quarterly Accepted
Flirt. 5/11/2012 3:23 The Molotov Cocktail Accepted
Familiar Skin 6/15/2012 3:47 Linden Avenue Literary Journal Accepted
Nice Ladies and Wild Women 6/15/2012 4:11 fwriction : review Declined
Te Quiero Butthead. 7/31/2012 4:23 Out of the Gutter Online Declined
Princess  The Dope Fiend and Daddy: A love story. 8/8/2012 4:59 Slit Your Wrists! Magazine Withdrawn
No Habla 8/8/2012 5:37 Camroc Press Review Declined
Te Quiero Butthead 8/11/2012 2:52 The Monarch Review Declined
No Habla 8/11/2012 3:08 Used Furniture Review Accepted
The Female of the Species 9/11/2012 3:25 Menacing Hedge Declined
Black Mermaid 11/26/2012 18:16 Quickly Withdrawn
Keep Her Away From Me. 11/26/2012 19:41 Word Riot Declined
Go Home. 11/30/2012 18:46 Northern Lake Publishing Declined
Keep Her Away From Me. 12/5/2012 17:31 Bloom Withdrawn
Go Home. 12/7/2012 2:53 Side B Magazine Declined
She Didn’t Make It 12/13/2012 3:55 deactivated TOSKA Magazine Accepted
Various poems. 12/26/2012 2:37 Behind Closed Doors Withdrawn
Of a Body 2/4/2013 17:51 Unshod Quills Declined
Go Home. 2/21/2013 16:54 Curbside Splendor Publishing Withdrawn
Bridget Approved. 3/21/2013 18:54 Looseleaf Tea Accepted
Princess  Daddy and the Dope Fiend 3/27/2013 19:18 Necessary Fiction Declined
Black Mermaid. 5/4/2013 3:22 Jersey Devil Press Declined
A Small selection of poems. 6/5/2013 3:32 Bone Bouquet Declined
Of a Body 6/5/2013 18:13 BLACKBERRY: a magazine Declined
Princess  The Dope Fiend and Daddy: A love story. 6/5/2013 20:28 Prickly Pear Printing Declined
You Are Not Us. 7/1/2013 19:03 Word Riot Declined
You Are Not Us. 7/6/2013 3:03 The Rumpus Declined
Princess  The Dope Fiend and Daddy: A love story. 7/15/2013 16:50 10 000 Tons of Black Ink Declined
Of a Body 7/15/2013 17:15 Gravel Accepted
A Woman Obsessed. 7/22/2013 16:46 Portland Review Withdrawn
Dream of a Not Mother 7/23/2013 21:40 Cease  Cows Declined
Poetry Submission from S. Barber 10/20/2013 17:43 Birdfeast Declined
The Quick Dozens 12/18/2013 4:10 The Citron Review Declined
Various Poems 1/9/2014 3:35 DREGINALD Declined
Tempted 1/26/2014 17:45 [PANK] Declined
Go Back. 2/6/2014 20:46 Vending Machine Press Declined
Meditations of an Aging Whore 4/18/2014 19:09 tNY.Press Declined
Cutter Love 4/22/2014 18:38 Red Bridge Press Declined
Tempted 5/11/2014 18:18 freeze frame fiction Declined
Becoming Mujer Congelada 6/6/2014 19:37 Menacing Hedge Declined
Meditations of an Aging Whore 6/6/2014 19:56 ExFic Accepted
Various Poems. 8/26/2014 3:54 Barn Owl Review Declined
Driver 8/29/2014 3:31 Wyvern Lit Declined
Driver 11/29/2014 13:53 The James Franco Review Declined
Driver 12/16/2014 22:14 Gay Magazine Declined
In Mourning of Us 9/7/2015 20:31 The Offing Declined
How I Could Just Kill a Man 3/10/2016 21:28 The Offing Declined
Poetry Suite Submission 6/24/2016 17:04 The Suburban Review Declined
Body For War 7/14/2016 21:07 Black Warrior Review Declined
Cocaine Monster 9/1/2016 23:22 Intrinsick Declined
Black and High Functioning. 10/6/2016 21:32 The Manifest-Station Accepted
The Cowboy’s Mermaid or A Story of Wet Love in the Dry World 12/22/2016 21:25 Rigorous Accepted
Quickest and Dirtiest Guide to Diversify Your Publication. 7/11/2017 16:22 Submittable Content for Creatives Declined
Various Poems. 8/2/2017 11:34 Okey-Panky Withdrawn
JT Leroy Is My Daddy 11/11/2017 14:42 Electric Literature Declined
Misc Poems 3/7/2018 13:28 POETRY Magazine Declined
Misc Poems by S. Barber. 5/10/2018 14:45 Dream Pop Press Declined
The Boy. The Black Man. 5/15/2018 16:41 The Rumpus Declined
Misc Poems 5/16/2018 10:27 The Offing Withdrawn
Misc Poems 5/30/2018 13:15 BOAAT PRESS Declined
Shannon Barber 6/8/2018 14:32 Submittable Promotion Completed
We. Them. I. Us./Black Reign. For BBQ Becky  Permit Patty and other scared White People. /Generational Blood Songs. 6/29/2018 11:24 The Sun Magazine Declined
Tongue Fuck 7/13/2018 11:42 The Molotov Cocktail Declined
Bad Bitches Suite 7/24/2018 11:06 Virginia Quarterly Review Declined
We. Them. I. Us. 8/31/2018 11:03 The Adroit Journal Declined
We. Them. I. Us. 9/12/2018 11:36 Electric Literature Declined
Blood Fugue 4/20/2019 15:30 Heavy Feather Review Accepted
I Confess. I Hurt. 5/3/2019 14:15 Gay Magazine Declined
Make me a Monster 8/20/2019 15:34 The Rumpus In-Progress

Hi you still here? BUT WAIT THERE IS MORE. I found another sheet. From 3/29/10 through 8/29/14. Buckle in babe.

Piece Market Date Sent Response
Murder Room Sex and Murder 29-Mar-10 Acceptance
Self  Vs. Self Sleep. Snort. Fuck. 21-Jun-10 Acceptance
Bloody Knuckles Molotov Cocktail, The 13-Jul-10 rejection
Bloody Knuckles Underground Voices Magazine 23-Jul-10 rejection
Black Girl is a Dreamer. amphibi.us 27-Jul-10 Acceptance
‘Parasites Who Are Lovers Brain Harvest 27-Jul-10 rejection
Bloody Knuckles Out of the Gutter 10-Aug-10 Acceptance
Want Black Words On White Paper (bwowp) 31-Aug-10 Withdrawal by author
Walker Necessary Fiction 7-Sep-10 rejection
Walker Red Fez 17-Sep-10 rejection
Street love Sleep. Snort. Fuck. 17-Sep-10 Never Responded
Waking Oshun decomP 22-Sep-10 rejection
Thank you Tony. Legendary, The 28-Sep-10 Acceptance
True Love delinquent, the 5-Oct-10 rejection
Waking Oshun Misfit Magazine 25-Oct-10 rejection
4 poems Gutter Eloquence 1-Dec-10 Acceptance
I Cannot Wait THIS Literary Magazine 1-Dec-10 Acceptance
True Love Every Night Erotica 5-Dec-10 Acceptance
A Golden Misadventure Sexology: A Literary Journal of Sex Writing 5-Dec-10 Never Responded
Still in the Streets Children, Churches and Daddies 21-Jan-11 Acceptance
Being Human kill author 21-Jan-11 rejection
Waking Oshun Every Day Fiction 31-Jan-11 rejection
Still a Strange Girl Battered Suitcase, The 2-Feb-11 Acceptance
‘Parasites Who Are Lovers Circlet Press (Website) 2-Feb-11 rejection
Being Human Night Train 28-Feb-11 rejection
Familiar skin Storyglossia 4-Mar-11 rejection
Being Human Bastards and Whores 4-Mar-11 rejection
Familiar skin Necessary Fiction 7-Mar-11 rejection
The girl I met Amaranthine Muses 24-Mar-11 Acceptance
Familiar skin Sick of ‘Em?: The Anti-Literary Journal 24-Mar-11 Never Responded
Meeting God Short, Fast, and Deadly 25-Mar-11 rejection
Ladies Night Leodegraunce 27-Mar-11 rejection
Ingenue A-Minor 28-Mar-11 rejection
Sleeping Beast ABJECTIVE 29-Mar-11 rejection
Never a wife One Forty Fiction 29-Mar-11 rejection
Ingenue Dr. Hurley’s Snake-Oil Cure 31-Mar-11 rejection
Ladies Night DOGZPLOT 4-Apr-11 rejection
Waking Oshun Strange Horizons 12-Apr-11 rejection
Ingenue Literary Burlesque, The 5-May-11 Acceptance
Ladies Night Anomaly 5-May-11 rejection
Sleeping Beast Death Head Grin 5-May-11 Acceptance
Selling Myself Busk 9-May-11 Never Responded
Dog and Girl d.ustb.in 10-Jun-11 Withdrawal by author
Single Black Female Staccato Fiction 27-Jun-11 Withdrawal by author
Meeting God wtf pwm 15-Jul-11 rejection
Lady Things Stone Highway Review 21-Jul-11 rejection
Bite Freaky Fountain Press Showcase 28-Jul-11 Acceptance
Lovers of the Ages Specter Magazine 28-Jul-11 rejection
Senryu Duet Mused: The BellaOnline Literary Review 29-Jul-11 Acceptance
3 poems- murderer. 5 lies about shannon, burned an Ink Sweat & Tears 29-Jul-11 rejection
Baby miracle in love Black Fox Literary Magazine 29-Jul-11 Withdrawal by author
Lady Things Burner Magazine 29-Jul-11 Never Responded
Waking Oshun Pear Noir! 8-Aug-11 rejection
Lovers of the Ages Metazen 15-Aug-11 Withdrawal by author
Nice Ladies and Wild Women PANK Magazine 19-Aug-11 rejection
Goodbye Fatgirl Used Furniture Review 24-Aug-11 rejection
Meeting God Furious Fictions 26-Aug-11 rejection
3 poems- murderer. 5 lies about shannon, burned an Clutching at Straws 31-Aug-11 rejection
Owner of Mouths Other Room, The 1-Sep-11 rejection
Goodbye Fatgirl fwriction : review 2-Sep-11 rejection
Nice Ladies and Wild Women Fix It Broken 2-Sep-11 Withdrawal by author
Goodbye Music Word Riot 9-Sep-11 rejection
3 poems Indigo Rising Magazine 9-Sep-11 rejection
3 poems Spilling Ink Review 9-Sep-11 rejection
Goodbye Music elimae 10-Sep-11 rejection
Familiar skin Atticus Review 10-Sep-11 rejection
Goodbye Music Belletrist Coterie 13-Sep-11 rejection
Selling Myself Whistling Fire, The 19-Sep-11 rejection
The Woman in the Niqab Neon 26-Sep-11 rejection
The Woman in the Niqab Eunoia Review 10-Oct-11 rejection
In Hippy Sunshine I Trusted Specter Magazine 10-Oct-11 Acceptance
Dog and Girl Cezanne’s Carrot 10-Oct-11 rejection
Single Black Female Pure Francis 24-Oct-11 rejection
Goodbye Music Scissors & Spackle 24-Oct-11 Acceptance
Baby miracle in love Bare Root Review 24-Oct-11 Never Responded
Being Human Corvus 25-Oct-11 rejection
Single Black Female Gertrude 26-Oct-11 rejection
Waking Oshun Mud Luscious Press [online quarterly] 31-Oct-11 rejection
Goodbye Fatgirl Milk Sugar: An Online Literary Journal 31-Oct-11 Acceptance
The Woman in the Niqab Read Fiction 31-Oct-11 Withdrawal by author
3 poems- murderer. 5 lies about shannon, burned an Counterexample Poetics 8-Nov-11 rejection
Familiar skin Knockout 8-Nov-11 rejection
4 new/old poems Camroc Press Review 9-Dec-11 rejection
Corporate whore Left Behind: A Journal of Shock Literature 9-Dec-11 Never Responded
3 poems- murderer. 5 lies about shannon, burned an Subliminal Interiors 9-Dec-11 Never Responded
Dog and Girl Foliate Oak Literary Magazine 14-Dec-11 Acceptance
4 poems Interrobang?! 14-Dec-11 rejection
The Woman in the Niqab Dark Sky Magazine 14-Dec-11 rejection
Waking Oshun Melusine 14-Dec-11 rejection
Black Mermaid Everyday Genius 26-Dec-11 Withdrawal by author
Waking Oshun Wigleaf: (very) short fiction 3-Jan-12 Withdrawal by author
3 poems- murderer. 5 lies about shannon, burned an Randomly Accessed Poetics 6-Feb-12 Acceptance
No Habla Apocrypha and Abstractions 13-Feb-12 rejection
For Her to Sleep Word Riot 21-Feb-12 rejection
Being Human Dirtflask 21-Feb-12 rejection
Black Mermaid anderbo.com 22-Feb-12 rejection
Familiar skin Girls with Insurance 23-Feb-12 Withdrawal by author
Awful Greedy Beauty Absinthe Revival 28-Feb-12 rejection
Awful Greedy Beauty Corium Magazine 7-Mar-12 rejection
No Habla Ad Hominem 19-Mar-12 Lost/Returned
Girls Girls Girls. SmokeLong Quarterly 23-Apr-12 Acceptance
Flirt Molotov Cocktail, The 11-May-12 Acceptance
3 poems- murderer. 5 lies about shannon, burned an Smoking Poet, The 14-May-12 rejection
Familiar skin Linden Avenue Literary Journal 15-Jun-12 Acceptance
Nice Ladies and Wild Women fwriction : review 15-Jun-12 rejection
Single Black Female Belly Fat Magazine 15-Jun-12 Never Responded
Insomnia Shadowbox 18-Jun-12 Withdrawal by author
Te Quiero Butthead Out of the Gutter 31-Jul-12 rejection
No Habla Camroc Press Review 8-Aug-12 rejection
Princess, The Dope Fiend and Daddy: A love story Slit Your Wrists! E-Zine 8-Aug-12 Withdrawal by author
Te Quiero Butthead Monarch Review, The 11-Aug-12 rejection
No Habla Used Furniture Review 11-Aug-12 Acceptance
Te Quiero Butthead Bone Parade 20-Aug-12 rejection
Black Dyke Dream or Prayer to Gay Oshun Broad! 7-Sep-12 rejection
Being Human Menacing Hedge 11-Sep-12 rejection
Being Human Linguistic Erosion 4-Oct-12 Acceptance
Te Quiero Butthead Yellow Mama 8-Oct-12 Acceptance
Nice Ladies and Wild Women Word Riot 26-Nov-12 rejection
Black Mermaid Quickly 26-Nov-12 Withdrawal by author
Go Home Rusty Nail, The 30-Nov-12 rejection
Digger Safety Pin Review 5-Dec-12 rejection
Coffee Blue Aberration Labyrinth 5-Dec-12 Acceptance
Day/Dreamer Aberration Labyrinth 5-Dec-12 Acceptance
Nice Ladies and Wild Women BLOOM 5-Dec-12 Withdrawal by author
Awful Greedy Beauty Thirteen Myna Birds 7-Dec-12 Withdrawal by author
Go Home Side B Magazine 7-Dec-12 rejection
Princess, The Dope Fiend and Daddy: A love story FRiGG 12-Dec-12 rejection
Digger Misfits’ Miscellany 12-Dec-12 Never Responded
She Didn’t Make it TOSKA 13-Dec-12 Acceptance
Feminism Beat Me Red Fez 13-Dec-12 rejection
Freedom Brevity Poetry Review 26-Dec-12 rejection
Firestarters Infernal Ink Magazine: Devilishly Erotic Horror 26-Dec-12 Acceptance
Lycanthrope Behind Closed Doors 26-Dec-12 Withdrawal by author
Bridget Approved Blackness Crack the Spine 28-Dec-12 rejection
Freedom Mad Swirl 28-Dec-12 Acceptance
Awful Greedy Beauty Flash Me! The Sinthology 19-Jan-13 Acceptance
Of A Body Unshod Quills 4-Feb-13 rejection
My hood Drabblecast 11-Feb-13 rejection
Go Home Eunoia Review 20-Feb-13 rejection
Go Home Curbside Splendor E-Zine 21-Feb-13 Withdrawal by author
Insomnia damselfly press 25-Feb-13 rejection
Killer, Duck and The Boys Thuglit 9-Mar-13 Acceptance
Of A Body Momma Tried 18-Mar-13 Withdrawal by author
My hood Animal: A Beast of a Literary Magazine 18-Mar-13 Acceptance
Bridget Approved Blackness Looseleaf Tea 21-Mar-13 Acceptance
Waking Oshun Expanded Horizons 27-Mar-13 Acceptance
Princess, The Dope Fiend and Daddy: A love story Necessary Fiction 27-Mar-13 rejection
I Grew Up To Be Her Coming Together: Girl on Girl 4-Apr-13 rejection
Glass Girl/Woman. Alone Bop Dead City 3-May-13 rejection
Black Mermaid Jersey Devil Press 4-May-13 rejection
Minstrel Show Fiddleblack 4-May-13 rejection
Glass Girl/Woman. Alone Dressing Room Poetry Journal 4-May-13 rejection
Bad Shannon(s) at the End of the World Visceral Uterus 10-May-13 rejection
Lycanthrope Rattle 15-May-13 rejection
Glass Girl/Woman. Alone Bone Bouquet 5-Jun-13 rejection
Princess, The Dope Fiend and Daddy: A love story Wilde Magazine 5-Jun-13 rejection
Of A Body Blackberry: a magazine 5-Jun-13 rejection
Insomnia Epiphany: An Unpretentious Publication 6-Jun-13 rejection
Bernie’s Warg Pseudopod 8-Jun-13 rejection
Glass Girl/Woman. Alone Sugar House Review 13-Jun-13 rejection
Black Girl/ Bitch/ Dreams Pyrokinection 16-Jun-13 rejection
Black Beauty on Fire Red River Review 16-Jun-13 rejection
Street Mama Los Angeles Review of Los Angeles, The 29-Jun-13 Acceptance
Go Home litbomb 29-Jun-13 Never Responded
You Are Not Us Word Riot 1-Jul-13 rejection
You Are Not Us Rumpus, The 6-Jul-13 rejection
Bernie’s Warg Strange Horizons 12-Jul-13 rejection
Of A Body Gravel: A Literary Journal 15-Jul-13 Acceptance
Princess, The Dope Fiend and Daddy: A love story 10,000 Tons of Black Ink 15-Jul-13 rejection
A Woman Obsessed Portland Review 22-Jul-13 Withdrawal by author
Dream of a Not Mother Cease, Cows 23-Jul-13 rejection
Spider Queen/Unlearned Yes, Poetry 23-Jul-13 rejection
Dream of a Not Mother Postcard Shorts 30-Jul-13 rejection
Go Home Bumf 27-Aug-13 rejection
4 new/old poems Sporklet 19-Sep-13 rejection
Organic Human Dissident Daily Science Fiction 20-Sep-13 rejection
misc new poems/feral 3:AM Magazine 5-Oct-13 rejection
Spider Queen/Unlearned Birdfeast 20-Oct-13 rejection
Destroyer I/II/Exctinction even Blood Lotus 20-Oct-13 rejection
Tempted Thursdaze Flash Fiction Series 27-Oct-13 rejection
Insomnia Blue Monday Review 15-Dec-13 rejection
The Quick Dozens Citron Review, The 18-Dec-13 rejection
Glass Girl/Woman. Alone Camel Saloon, The 9-Jan-14 Acceptance
Tempted Black Market Lit 9-Jan-14 rejection
misc new poems/feral DREGINALD 9-Jan-14 rejection
Tempted PANK Magazine 26-Jan-14 rejection
Go Home Vending Machine Press 6-Feb-14 rejection
Meditations of an Aging Whore theEEEL 18-Apr-14 rejection
Cutter Love Rivet: The Journal of Writing That Risks 22-Apr-14 rejection
Bernie’s Warg Tor.com 7-May-14 rejection
Tempted freeze frame fiction 11-May-14 rejection
Tempted StepAway Magazine 28-May-14 Never Responded
Becoming Mujer Congelada Menacing Hedge 6-Jun-14 rejection
Meditations of an Aging Whore ExFic 6-Jun-14 Acceptance
Imbas/Black Girl/Bitch Melancholy Hyperbole 12-Jun-14 rejection
misc new poems/feral Leaves of Ink 15-Jun-14 Acceptance
Becoming Mujer Congelada Rock Bottom Journal 15-Jun-14 Withdrawal by author
misc new poems/feral Rust + Moth 20-Jun-14 rejection
Cutter Love Urban Graffiti 11-Jul-14 Acceptance
Reach Back and Get It Black Mirror Magazine 11-Jul-14 Acceptance
4 new/old poems Rusty Truck, The 11-Jul-14 Withdrawal by author
We Deserve it Nailed Magazine 26-Aug-14 Acceptance
4 new/old poems Barn Owl Review 26-Aug-14 rejection
Driver Wyvern Lit 29-Aug-14 rejection
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Why it Ain’t working Pt II. Feelings and shit.

OKAY so I have some further thoughts.

If you’re catching up basically, I’m fully retiring from trying to make my creative life financially sustainable and or a part of my actual income. What that means for the moment is this.

  1. I won’t be doing the most to self-promote or get folks to buy my kindle stories. I may put some more things on Kindle but I’m not going to go nuts to promote it.
  2. I am closing my writer FB page. The cost in terms of time and money I’ve paid hasn’t been worth it in terms of returns.
  3. I’m not going to keep trying to hustle this way.

The part of this that is difficult for me is that I am a hustler. I’ve never made enough income to thrive from any dayjob so, I hustle. I’ve worked PT, done survival sex work, back in the day I worked FT for a content mill churning out hundreds of words for pennies. I’ve written catalog text, porno, custom porno, I wrote custom erotica for a sex worker it was some weird Mary Sue shit she sold some customers, I sold foot photos, smoking fetish videos, I’ve done a lot.

In the last six years or so, I fully believed I could make my creative life financially sustainable. I took classes, I did a lot of research. I tried freelancing on a larger scale, I shopped around for an agent a bit, I shopped the stuff I’m writing over at Patreon, I tried offering affordable stories on etsy, I’ve tried using the pay thing on Medium, I spent $$ on advertising, etc etc etc.

Every creative hustle I’ve tried has cost me and I’ve not profited. I really worked hard at figuring out what my needs were for these endevours to work for me both financially and ethically.

  1. It was absolutely necessary for me to keep the pricing structure on my work accessible. Save for when Milcah and I released SCLAB 2.0 everything else I’ve sold has been in the 1-5$ range.
  2. I knew I wouldn’t make more than say 4$ per hour but I was very invested in hustling up enough money to equate to something.

I succeeded at #1 but, frankly that didn’t matter in the end.

I also tried very hard to offer a wide variety of content. I write a lot of things. I was very focused on offering things for the disparate parts of my readership. Social justice stuff for the folks who’ve found me through that, fiction etc etc. That also was a failed thing.

Now let’s talk about why it ain’t work.

First problem is me. Yes it is. What I do in general, ain’t it. That’s okay. It sucks but, what am I gonna do? This is not necessarily a quality problem. It is a multi-tentacled problem.

When I’ve had my shots at the lit world mainstream, they have always come with heavy prices. A publisher was interested in some self care stuff but, they wanted it without the emphasis on marginalized people. They wanted, something they could put a smiling instagram ready face on that was not what I do. They wanted shiny not challenging. I passed.

Back in the day, when I was a lil fatty blogger. One small publishing house wanted my body politics book. Except, again they wanted Smiling Gently Leading the way Negress and not the meaty bloody part of my content. I am not said negro so….no.

For the urban fantasy Daiyuverse adult novel I shopped, well yanno I had a nibble of interest from one agent who then said, there wouldn’t be a market because it was too many things. Too queer. Too Black. Not enough white people. No market. They passed. A few others did too.

In terms of my other work. A lot of people find my social justice work highly offensive. I am fully aware that I am not good for folks who are just discovering anti racism or any other social justice thing. I’m just not. That is also okay. It isn’t lucrative but it is okay.

The other part of the me problem is that I already work a full time job. Until we moved, my work days usually topped out with commuting included to about 16 hrs or so and I had to stop pretending to be abled enough to do it. I am not. I was not.

These days, my dayjob days are in fact shorter. However, the way my health works. I cannot put in full time hours on my creative life. I’d love to but I can’t.

So there is a me problem here. The life I was trying to design is not going to work out for me. And that’s okay. It hurts. It sucks. I feel very rejected but I’ll get through it.

There is also an audience problem.

My biggest fans are also poor marginalized people. I love my people. YOU YEAH U I LOVE U.

I also understand that because I haven’t/am unable to catch on with a more privileged audience in any meaningful way, ALL the above hustling ain’t for shit.

Through my failed fundraising for myself or other people, the extensive years of statistics I have on how my work performs, etc I understand that fetch ain’t gonna happen.

My hustle retirement is also me accepting that there is a crucial link and proximity to things like but not limited to:

  • whiteness
  • social capital
  • access etc

that will not happen for me.

I’ve been trying to make it happen for more than a decade and y’all, it ain’t goin to happen. I have accepted this finally in a way that feels solid. My heart is dragging. I recently laid out how my last fundraiser failed and as I keep saying it comes down to this one thing.

For whatever bunch of reasons, folks don’t fuck with me like that and I have to accept it so I can move on.

That’s it for right now.

More later.

Why It Ain’t Working. Part I.

It is me.

Hi folks.

I’ve been doing a lot of long term work on my whole indie author shits. I’ve come to some conclusions. I don’t know how many posts there will be. I am going to talk about my failed hustles. I’m gonna talk about myself, my work and what it all means.

I am not gonna name names. Or divulge ALL the details of some things because y’all don’t need to know.

Yes this is negative. It is. It is also part of me being transparent and showing (representation y’all!) failure and figuring out what to do next. Let’s get started.

First let’s talk successes.

Back in 2017, I had two of my most reshared, read, hated and loved pieces published. Well most hated since I wrote at XO Jane but whatever. I also that year wrote a poetry review that was not what the publisher asked for but I was really proud of. –

Actually you know what. I’ve been done this analysis a lot.

Here is what it comes down to.

After many years of the same patterns repeating themselves this is the conclusion I’ve come to.

There is something about me, my work or something that causes folks to think twice about coming through with help. One of the few rules of self promotion that I’ve adhered to for more than a decade at this point is the call to action. If we wanna be a little more woo about it, I ask my community (in this case my readership) for what I need.

Now. I am a very self aware creator. Having cut my teeth in the porn mines I know that not every word I write is for everyone. That is great. I have beloved ones who do not read porn ever and have not read a lot of my work. I have other friends who don’t understand poetry and don’t read my poems. That is fine.

What I have come to understand is this.

I have a little crew of hard core dedicated ride or die supporters. There are about a dozen of them, most of whom have been reading me from my fatty blogger days, from my porn writing days. I can literally name my top ten buyers who have in the last five years been ALL the same people. They are also marginalized people. They are poor. They are disabled. They are just like me.

The level of love and support from them is amazing and continues to be. I’m not talking about them.

The thing is, when I had one serious uh courtship by an agent for a big house, the thing that stuck with me that they told me is this. I can’t believe I remember this so clearly.

Shannon, you are a hard sell.

I feel like I’ve spent all these years trying to “overcome” that.

At this point I don’t have the energy and honestly I feel really terrible knowing that my support system who have the least resources do the most for me and that is devastating to me. Every time I see it I’m thankful and I’m also mad at myself because I’m the asshole I am and people who HAVE money or resources don’t fuck with me like that.

So look y’all.

I’m closing my author FB page. It takes a lot of my spoons and it has put me into the negative as far as profits from my work go. I’m probably going to make a single page store with links to my kindle shits and other formats for that work but I’m retiring from self promo mostly.

I don’t think I will ever create an image that folks with the means can publicly and materially support. That’s who I am. I am not the one and I’ve known that for a decade.

Also real talk. It hurts my heart so bad every time I do the call to action, every time I say please PLEASE and nothing happens aside from my ride or dies. It hurts. It makes me feel shitty and I hate it. And realest of real talk. The only time there is a swell or upswing of support is when I do the public poor person panic (even then meh) or when I’m metaphorically bleeding out about some racist bullshit and that is too much.

I won’t be returning to regular freelance work. Racism, plagiarism and that last major doxxing really killed that for me. I have maybe 2 editors I trust.

Please don’t take this to mean I am not writing. I am. Like a mother fucker. What am I gonna do with the shit I’m writing? I dunno. Maybe I’ll dive back into the delicious obscurity of short fiction where I was most successful but not noticeably so. Or I’ll continue being ain’t shit and flinging stuff into the world.

What I’m not going to continue doing is putting myself in the hands of a community that don’t want me. And y’all, i’m not fishing so lets be real. The community at large has spoken. I hear it. I am not gonna keep trying to make fetch happen.

So for now I will continue with Patreon because at about 220-265$ per month is is the most successful thing I’ve done. Funny thing is, the work I’m putting up at Patreon is work other agents told me was also a hard sell.

I might start putting some non fiction there too? I dunno. Last time I tried to expand patreon I lost a lot of patrons and I can’t afford that.

So yeah. Dassit y’all. It comes down to after years of being told I have ALL THIS MEGA support and not seeing any fruits of it after a decade and innumerable projects, nah.

Works in Progress and Whatnots.

State of the writer.

I’m drinking a pour over made with Kicking Horse Grizzly Claw coffee. Normally I drink their 454 but this blend is amazing. I added a wee bit of dark brown sugar and it really brought out the chocolatey flavor of this coffee. A fuckin plus.

What else is happening?

Well babes I’m still kind of really struggling trying to figure out how to write at home without a shitload of pain and not having to buy a desk because I don’t have the space. It is super frustrating. My body just cannot take not having some way to sit properly and work. Bummer.

But what’s good tho?

I am doing some new horror that I’m creating from my existing The World mythos. I’ve been wanting to play around and expand it. Also, y’all this is where I’m gonna plug Yeah, Write. I have talked a lot about playing and Yeah, Write is a great way to do that.

What else?

I’m not sure to be honest. My fiction writing is super damn slow for no reason and I’ve been writing essays that hurt my feelings. Like can I fucking not do that?

Also I’ve been poking at the self care book reboot and I feel some type of way about it. I dunno. On one hand, yes a good number of folks have said they want it but I am also too acutely aware of the toll writing it takes on me and given my recent performance in the sales dept, I don’t know if I can afford it.

I have reached the point with my Kindle singles experiment (I also had offered the work outside of amazon) where I’ll leave stuff there but that is also not really a viable method of both getting a little coin for my work and putting it out. Even with advertising designed by someone who is not me, nah.

So I’ve decided that there is not that much of a market for my work. That is fine. I won’t be dedicated myself to trying to make fetch happen. I’m still writing of course. I will submit to places when asked or if I see a juicy call but, yeah. I dunno y’all.

I will continue with Patreon. I average a bit over $200 a month and given that 90% of my audience in general doesn’t see value in purchasing my work, this is a huge deal. In the great big universe of Patreon that is bullshit ass money but, considering my track record with cash and my work it is pretty fuckin amazin.

So yeah. If I get a bug up my butt I might put out new medium content or Kofi or whatever. I might put more stuff on kindle. I’m not pressed about it. None of these things are remotely lucrative enough for me to put in more than a half hour a month at most. 10$ a month at the height (in June) of my side hustles just…nah.

Through this process I’ve been able to cement some things about myself as a writer.

  1. I am not great at on spec work.
  2. Sometimes I do what people who buy books want but, I am not the person they want the thing from.
  3. The writing I can sell, often hurts the most to write and I can’t do it full time.
  4. I’m not super attached to the financials at this point beyond working myself into a deficit of both coins and spoons.

I’m in a fairly peaceful place about this. Yes, I still get kinda really fucking mad when I see concepts I’ve written about extensively get picked up for $$$ when people who aren’t me write them (occasionally close enough to be plagiarism but whatevs) and I still am kinda sad that folks are just not that into me but I’ll live.

Thing is, I’ll be writing whatever bullshit anyway. I know myself. I’ve just really removed the pressure of making it sustainable for myself. Not happening. So yeah.

Stuff will happen. Things will be made to read. Dassit.

Note from Management.

Hello folks.

I just re entered the world after a little staycation. I was struggling after being sick and stressed out for weeks. SO we got a little bidness.

First up. Y’all know I’ve now got a writer biz fb page. And Houston we got a problem. In the last couple of weeks, I’ve gotten an absolute FLOOD of requests for things. Manuscript consult, writing advice, submission advice, promotion requests, requests for me to buy and read stuff.

The problem isn’t that folks ask. It is that all of those requests come from folks who don’t follow or like the page and are similarly demanding in tone. I’ve responded to some but for the most part, I don’t answer and wind up getting more messages from folks. LOOK y’all. I am not a writing stuff vending machine.

I am not really famous so I understand somebody might be taken aback that I have the audacity to charge for services. Consulting on manuscripts regardless of size is work. And it is disrespectful to assume I will do it for free just for shits n giggles. If we don’t know each other and there’s no trade or SOMETHING going on, why would you do this?

Look y’all, I know you are not actually into me or my work if you aren’t aware that I probably don’t have the spoons to edit, sensitivity read and critique a full goddamn novel for free. So look I may close messaging on the page down I dunno.

Next thing that is also kinda struggle related. I’m having trouble working at home. With my back being the way it is, I haven’t found a comfortable way to work and I’m frustrated. Our place is so small I don’t have a desk anymore and working in bed has caused me too much pain. However, we traded for a little (OMG IT IS GOBLIN SIZE FOR ME) recliner and I am going to look into getting a cart to use with it.

What else?

Post sickness and stressbombs got me a little fucked up so my creating things has been weird and not great. I wrote a whole ass story and lost it. As in, I must’ve not saved it anywhere or I hallucinated the whole thing.

So I am kinda struggling right now and spoon juggling to live and shit is hard.

BUT I started a new story featuring twins, demons, noir and this:

She sashayed away and headed for their booth. When Arthur saw her he stood up, a wide smile on his face. He stepped forward and took her hand.

“Hello again Tyree, may I say you look beautiful. Thank you.”

He kissed her hand and she lifted her eyebrows at him.

“Thank you for what?”

He straightened and led her to the booth.

“Just-“

He looked her up and down,

“thank you.”

Tyrell really wanted to punch him but restrained himself. If his sister wanted to flirt with Mr Designer shoes, she would. She sat and Arthur extended his hand to Tyrell.

So I’m workin babes.

Next time, soon we’re gonna talk about some things about genre work (as in outside of the literary fiction world) that have shocked me and made me feel good.

OKAY babes. I love y’alls. Be good.

Craft Talk: When things are not going well.

Hello my darling friends.

Today we’re gonna talk about when creating is hard.

I’ve been struggling with my Patreon story this month. I’m struggling getting from point z to point 7.87 and feeling fairly uninspired about it. I’m at the point where I stare at it, mutter fuck I hate you bro and close the doc. That is not really productive so I want to share with y’all some of the things I do to get going.

First thing, I remember this. If you’re an OG here you know how much I absolutely adore Daniel Jose Older. I have his essay bookmarked because I need to absorb the message often. I came up with the very shitty advice that to be a real writer one MUST write every day at a special desk, at a special time of day, with the right coffee cup blablabla. I spent a lot of time in my 20s punishing myself for being unable to work two jobs, take care of my home AND dedicate writing time. That was not good.

Shit happens. I think a lot of the YOU MUST WRITE every day thing comes from the idea that more of us have the privilege of doing that. I put it into the same category as the idea that everyone can and should just quit their dayjobs and follow the stars. Some of us cannot for a lot of reasons. That is fine. What actually matters is that we find ways to fit the work into our lives.

Second thing. I allow myself to do other things. For many years I’ve had a habit of having a good number of things I can work on. Blog posts, my other blog, Amazon releases, other stuff. The way my brain works, if I have a thing I need to figure out I can’t fight myself. If I let the thing simmer in my backbrain, most of the time I figure it out while I’m doing other stuff.

Third. I read a lot. I’m literally currently reading three books:

Coyote Songs by Gabino Iglesias. Second read before I do a review. Y’all know I fucking stan for his work. Honestly, his book Zero Saints (prev link is my review) STILL has literally the best fucking ending.

Naked: The Rhythm and Groove of It. The Depth and Length to It. By  Nastashia Minto.  Also on my second read ahead of a review. Spoiler alert this is a really beautiful book. Just…gut punched and held and seen and it is so good.

AND my first read of On Being Human: A Memoir of Waking Up, Living Real, and Listening Hard by Jennifer Pastiloff. I really love Jen. Like she is very good human people. Seriously, look here where I featured her. The book so far is I love it. More when I finish.

I also will read any and everything that catches my eye via social media. I read some lit mags. I read.

Fourth. Sometimes I do other writing biz stuff. Update my bios (pro tip, save a doc with a short and a long bio so you don’t scramble to make new ones), take care of any things like invoices, updating my submission spreadsheet.

Last, sometimes I just don’t write. I’m very paranoid about disappointing my patrons so I will sorta force it but sometimes I really just don’t.

Now some tips for jumpstarting your brain:

  • If you are working on something long, copy the last say 500 words you did and open a new document. Paste those words and go from there.
  • Write a flash or other stand alone part of the story. Tired of your main characters? Write a scene or something with a minor character or expand on a small event.
  • Let yourself screw up.

Let’s expand on that last bit. A lot of the time what I could call writers block is actually me being afraid to fuck it up. It is a lot of pressure to want to do the thing and just knock it out of the park. That will happen probably at some point but a lot of the time we’re gonna fuck it up.

Art is not a finite resource. You can’t use yours up. It is okay to fuck up. What matters is what you do after said fuck up. For instance, when I was almost to the end of the Daiyuverse Cycle 2 I literally trashed the whole thing. Now, I’m not under like a publishing house deadline so I don’t know how folks deal with that but, I was terrified that the change would screw my patreon forever.

It didn’t.

Also, I’m a write when I can how I can type. Sometimes that means I write on the memo pad on my phone, in microsoft word. Sometimes in a text doc. Or an email draft. I do what feels right and sometimes just gotta calm the shit down and do the thing.

I also have learned that I have to let myself have feelings about the work I’m doing. I will complain on social media, cry to my bestie about the essay I’m writing giving me bubble guts. Sweat, flail, sometimes I get the anxiety shits because of stuff I’m writing and I’ve come to accept that is just part of my process. I can’t do the work and not let it happen in my body the way it does.

OKAY my darling friends.

That is all about the work today. I’ve got work to do. Stay tuned, I’ll have some exciting writing biz news coming up in the next couple of weeks.

Stay Frosty.

 

Yeah, Write #430

Yeah, Write #430 

-you’ll Laugh

You Know.

by Shannon Barber

You know.

-you’ll laugh.

You want to call them faceless, nameless, formless even- it would be easier wouldn’t it? Everything would be better if you didn’t feel their name songs in your bones when you lay down to sleep, if you didn’t see their faces smile at you from darkened corners, if your skin didn’t remember the heat of their touch. Easy, you crave any ease and moments of illusory peace.

You know.

-you’ll laugh.

You watch everyone else. Their petty struggles and their ignorance of the name songs and weight of the dead that hangs on them make you smile when everything else is- as is. You hold your truth close, truth is your secret. Watch the rest of the fools dance and squirm. You tell yourself while your bones vibrate with name songs and your skin buzzes with ghosts, at least you know. Tonight you’ll laugh.

You know.

-you’ll laugh.

You know. You will take your complexities and one foot on the other side life because-

You know-

-you’ll laugh.

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