I thought I might squeeze in more writing time last night, but then I had a phone call from a longwinded, pedantic friend who decided to talk to me about, among many things, his own stab at being a writer some years ago. Since he quit after a mere 16 rejections, clearly he was wise to go into something else.
Certainly, however, he had a valid point. How do you keep at it while you're working another job? Because almost all of us do, and it actually gets worse when you get published, doesn't it?
So, I guess it's stubbornness, desire, and motivation. I was talked down to, however, because in my time, all this must be so much easier and less time consuming than it used to be. Back when he walked up hill. To school. In the snow. Both ways. Carrying a typewriter.
Dude, the tools make it easier, yeah. But the time you put in is still pretty intensive. Especially if you write novels, and not short stories. As in one short story. Ever.
And that's all I'm saying about that. While I was talking to him, I sifted through some more agents. With my SUPERIOR WRITING TOOLS! Bwah ha ha!
Part 2 of the conversation. Do you get published under any circumstances, just to say you have been? If that's the case, thanks to the Iowa Arts Council I am so in! But these days, I want to guard my career carefully and choose wisely. I'm not talking about buying my way into publication. That is verboten
. My friend was impressed that he had been published once and had received complimentary copies as a payment. It was another reason to be pompous.
However, another author, upon giving me advice, suggested that if you get paid less than $500 for a short story, you're doing yourself a disservice. Yet another friend said that if you can get published in a prestigious venue, regardless of payment, you should. I believe too that there are good causes: the aforementioned Iowa Arts Council gig which netted Schaff-Stump a $50 honorarium, but made money for flood relief. Or getting in on the ground floor of something. Or good exposure. All sorts of things. What do you think?
Meanwhile, no new rejections, BUT a seriously interesting and cool offer that I'm THINKING about carefully.
While I'm at it, thanks to ilona_andrews
for helping Schaff-Stump think about the hook in her query. Conflict? I am so a sub-plot girl! Did conflict for the individual book, rather than the whole series, even occur to me?
So, before the next query goes out (and I think I've got time, because I think I'm through all the trigger finger email back agents ;P ) I'll recraft that puppy.
Crumbs. Time to weigh in.