Friday, October 19, 2007

A Week of Ups and Downs

I want to start off with "It’s been a busy week" again, but I’ve said or thought it so many times that it’s become redundant. I doubt that I’m really going to have an easy week at any point in the next decade. I used to think that it would be cool if I had more projects demanding my attention than time. And what do you know, I’ve got it.

And I don’t think it’s a case of “be careful what you wish for”: It’s much better to have too much to do than too little. I can always (if I get my priorities straight) drop a project. And at the moment, the ideas for projects are coming faster than I can polish them into stories. I’ve got the outlines of five short stories in various stages between “completely in my head” and “halfway written”. And I’m revising my novel so I can show it to people when I go to World Fantasy Con. I’ve been planning a couple of novels in a couple of franchises that I’d like to take a crack at, in addition to mapping out my second solo effort.

But while I’m not going to fall back on the old standard and say that this week has been busy, I must admit it has been a full of emotional peaks and dips. I finished a very difficult essay and sent it off to the editor, who liked it (yay!). When I proposed the topic for my next essay, I found that it was already taken (boo!). My novel has been read by a professional that I like very much, and she likes my work (HUGE YAY!). I did not get into the Nyarlathotep anthology edited by Peter Worthy (booo!), but I did get into the Cross-Genre Cthulhu anthology (Yay!).

The positives of this week far outweigh the negatives. For example, on Wednesday, I gave blood and walked two miles home. However, I didn’t have to walk the additional mile and a half to pick up the car. And yet, I found myself feeling kind of down and listless as I came home from work today and sitting down to face work on the blogs. And it’s not just because I’m a pint low. I know myself enough to understand that no rejection is ever not going to affect me. It hurts that Peter didn’t think that my story was strong enough to be in the Nyarlathotep anthology. I’m sure that it will be an excellent anthology, and I’m definitely going to buy it when it comes out, but my initial reaction is rather different.

But I’m not going to rant and rave about it. While I’m not going to deny my hurt, neither am I going to wallow in it. I made a lot of progress toward my personal goals this week, and the rejection is just a temporary setback. If the story is as good as I think it is, it’s going to sell somewhere. It’s just a matter of finding the right fit at the right price. I’m aiming for better-paying markets than I was a year ago, so I’m going to have to accept that I’m going to get rejected more often. I just have to accept that there’s an appropriate mourning period when I get over myself, which will likely involve writing all my pain into a blog entry. And tomorrow, I’ll pick myself up and see what other venues are looking for my sort of story.

At the same time, I can’t rush it. I have missed what would have been a good opportunity because I was in too much of a rush to get a story published. I wanted to get it out there and read by someone–anyone–and I let it go to the first person that said yes. And that cost me the opportunity to sell it to a much more interesting venue that doesn’t take reprints.

Call it a learning experience.