Welcome to September, folks! Whether spring, autumn, or any other season where you are, I hope you and your families are well. Over in my corner of the web it seems September is goal month. Every social media account wants to know: what are your plans, now that there are only four months left of 2021?
Yeah… About that.
I’m thinking this fits with September’s Insecure Writer’s Support Group blog post, in which we consider what might define one’s success as a writer.
Before I launch into my thoughts and plans, I’d like to say thanks to our amazing co-hosts for the September IWSG posting: Rebecca Douglass, T. Powell Coltrin @Journaling Woman, Natalie Aguirre, Karen Lynn, and C. Lee McKenzie.
Q: Is “being successful” holding your book in your hand? Having a short story published? Making a certain amount of income from your writing?
A: Yes. All of those. Please, with cherries on top.
Seriously, though, I do feel like I’m starting to succeed in a minor way as a writer. People are reading my stories, for one thing (on here) — and other people are prepared to publish them! My first flash fiction piece was published online in May by AntipodeanSF; it is now forever archived as a webpage snapshot by the National Library of Australia. The giant poster of a poem I wrote still adorns the wall at my local shopping centre. Next month I have two short stories coming out: one online with Flash Fiction Magazine, and the other in print form via Curiouser Magazine. Another is in the waiting lists to be published next year. I’m super excited, and, yes, validated as a writer to have my words published by others.
Curiouser Magazine is even paying me for my story. I danced a jig of joy when I received the acceptance.
What would be the next step? Pro-rate magazines. Also known as qualifying markets for the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America membership, I would love to have a story in any number of these amazing publications. I think I’d really feel like I was making it as a speculative fiction writer to hold that achievement.
Before that, though, I’m aiming to continue submitting more short stories, flash and micro fiction, even poetry, so that I can increase my list of publications and thus, in my mind, credibility. Every time a piece is rejected, I take it as a learning moment — and I know I have come so far in just the last two years. Every time I receive an acceptance, I dance.
What do you do?
Plus, of course and always, I’m still searching for that elusive agent, the person who will love the Archivist series and take my books under their wing.
Holding my own book in my hand? Now that would be the ultimate achievement for me.
How about you? How do you define success as a writer?
So we come back to goals. My September goal is to write every day. No minimum, no maximum. Some days I may manage a hundred words and that’s all life gives me. Some days I might reach 3,000. I’d love to say I’m trying to complete my current draft of On Lascian Seas (Archivist book 2), but I’ve got other short stories I’m still working on, and I don’t like to feel guilty about time spent on various projects. Flexibility is where it’s at.
My first success as a writer was finishing a piece. Polished, scrubbed, and shining, I let it go out into the world, to let someone else read it. Now, actually believing in myself enough to do that… was a true achievement. One that each and every writer has inside them. Even if you haven’t reached that stage yet.
And that’s what the Insecure Writer’s Support Group is for.
Thank you for coming along this IWSG Blog Hop day. Why don’t you check out what our other members have been talking about? Plus if you’d like to add your own thoughts and/or September goals in the comments, I’d love to hear them! Hope you have a great month. 🙂