Thursday, May 06, 2010

Peace Signs

So earlier this week, I got some great news! My story "Peace Signs"--my second-ever science fiction piece!--was accepted for the June issue of Crossed Genres. I'm really excited. I've fallen in love with Crossed Genres over the past few months (their theme-of-the-month style really works for my brain) and even have a subscription, so getting to work with them is a real treat.

Something that's been on my mind today is confidence--confidence in your work, confidence in yourself. It's not easy to find, and as a writer, it's easy to burn a lot of emotional energy looking for validation. The terrible thing about working in such a subjective field is that you can't trust other people's acceptance or rejection of your efforts. You can write a terrific story, but if the editor you submit it to has reached the end of their tolerance for zombie tales, you're not going to get the warm response you're dreaming about. Or maybe you send a mediocre story to an editor who is so desperate to see a zombie story that she snaps up a piece that you know, deep-down, isn't your best work. You feel crappy, no matter what.

The more you rely on others to tell you if you're any good, the more you second-guess your efforts. The only thing you can do, as a writer, is focus on your love of creation and the knowledge that if you are working hard, you will get better every day. Maybe just a tiny, immeasurable bit better, but still, a bit better every day. You can trust in that. And you know, no matter how bad you started out, if you keep improving at that snail's pace, someday you will be good.

I don't know if I'll ever be a great writer. The odds are high that I'm not going to be my generation's Ray Bradbury. But I can work hard to uncover the best word-smith I have buried inside of me.

And who knows? Maybe she's not half bad.


kaolin fire said...

Good words, though, in my opinion, some people are far too into the end of the spectrum where they're sure of their work when they shouldn't be. :/

Wendy Wagner; said...

Le sigh. I know these people, but I try to forget they exist. I forget sometimes that not everybody has that luxury.

The terrible thing about these folks is that they get so hooked on their ego that they don't think they need to do the work to get any better. :/, indeed.

L.J. Sellers said...

Congratulations on your acceptance! Very exciting news. There is a readership out there for every decent writer. Keep telling stories.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure she's good!

Haemony said...

I totally just bookmarked that website. I am SOOOO out of the loop, it's not even funny. Congrats!