A selection of images including the cover to Titanic Terastructures, A Quiet Afternoon 2, Thirty Years of Rain, New Maps, Shoreline of Infinity, K-Zine, Flotation Device and Magical Crime Scene Investigation.
In the centre are two painted images, one of a frazzled ginger haired woman drinking tea and one of a Sikh gentleman holding a bucket and sword and facing pink tentacles

Like flippin’ busses

 Why yes, it is a non-end of year post. How bizarre.

And in this case it is to crow mightily while also banging the drum for persistence.

You know that old line about you wait ages and then three busses turn up at once? Well it appears to hold true for writing of short fiction too. Looking back at my tracker I see that I had three acceptances at the start of 2021 and then absolutely nothing until now, when I’ve suddenly had another three. 

As an average, this is brilliant and better than I could have hoped or deserved. As encouragement to keep going during those dark days of last year it’s of no use what so ever. It felt like I’d seen the best of my stuff out there and that what I had left was the dross. I’d surfed my luck as far as I could. On several occasions I considered the idea of looking for a different hobby and when volunteering for the recent Eastercon I very nearly didn’t put down that I wrote as it felt like a self-aggrandisement. Which would have been a shame as I ended up on a very nice panel about writing groups.

The secret to this feast and famine appears to be persistence. The most obvious of this being the third acceptance which, according to Submission Grinder, I have submitted 34 times (!) before it being picked up.

Further to that, in both 2021 and 2022 I submitted over 80 times each, cycling through 15 stories, which, if nothing else, is an exercise in playing the odds where you eventually find the one editor who is having a moment of weakness.

What does this say about the world of short fiction publishing? That somewhere out in that wide world there absolutely is an editor who will pay you money for your story. But by no means will you find them quickly. All you can do is keep writing, keep submitting and never consider a story dead just because you’ve had a formal rejection from four markets on the bounce. Your story will find a home.

Oh, and, if you can, find yourself a supportive writing group. They can tell you a lot about your writing and the submission process but also a good one will keep you going through those many, many rejections.

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