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End of September 2015 – Accepted!

Well I guess when you put it out into the world, you get your answers.

Submissions: 11
Acceptances: 1
Rejections: 24

Yep, I got an acceptance e-mail for one of my stories. I’m excited to see it in print. I’m not going to give any details now, because I think it is better to announce when people have a book or a link to follow. Me announcing it doesn’t have any benefit to you or me. So, stay tuned. As soon as there is something to see, I’ll let you know.

As for my other challenge – I failed. No sugar coating this one. I didn’t get thirty stories. Honestly, I am surprised I got into the double digits. Thirteen was the grand total.

Hey, it’s thirteen more than I had at the beginning of the month.

Since my goal at the beginning of the year was to write two stories a month, for a grand total of twenty-four for the year, I think I have made good progress so far. I have one more quarter of the year to go. To tally up where I am at with my goals from the beginning of the year:
I have 14 stories completed this year (I wrote one earlier in the year.)
I started my novella.
I have 24 out of 100 rejections.
I haven’t designed a cover or tried to self-pub anything.

That last goal is something I’ve been thinking about over the last few weeks. I had forgotten all about it, but now that I have quite a few stories, my thinking wheels are turning. Not going to say too much, because I haven’t thought it all the way through. I’m still putting a plan together.

Over all, I think I’ve done pretty well for the three fourths of the year. I sometimes forget that for the first four and a half months of it, I had thesis class and finished out my degree. So really, I didn’t get things moving until June or so. And in June, I went on vacation and generally took a brain break to recharge.

That means July, August, and September were months that I was really trying. Where I was really focused.

Not too bad.

My plan for this last quarter is very simple. Finish, finish, finish. Submit, submit, submit. Repeat.

As Jack Sparrow said, “Simple. Easy to remember.”

Mid-September Post 2015 – Two Challenges at Once!

Mid month update. No movement on the submissions, except I got one more rejection. But, I mailed that story right back out. The rest are still out in the world.

Here’s the numbers:

Submissions: 12
Acceptances: 0
Rejections: 24

We are ¾ of the way through the year, so I’m sure I’m not going to get a hundred rejections, but maybe I’ll get 30 or 40? Maybe I’ll get at least one acceptance? One can hope.

My other challenge isn’t going so well. I started off strong, but somewhere around September 10, I fell behind. It’s not the writing that is hard, it’s the finishing. So now I have two unfinished stories sitting on my table. I opted to keep working on those rather than start yet another story. I suppose I could write a couple of flash fiction under five hundred words to catch up, but I’d rather finish up these two stories that I really like and am excited about.

What ever happens I’m glad I decided to do this. Like I said in my earlier post, there is something satisfying about finishing. I will have more new stories and I can submit those and add them to my challenge.

I would count the stories, but it’s getting late. I think I have 12(?) right now. Not too bad. Just a few stories behind.

A nice break from the longer story. In October, I will get back to that.

Changes that Add Up

Five days in to this challenge and I’m realizing how good of an idea this is. There is something satisfying about finishing a story and starting fresh. I’ve always liked that feeling. It’s always hard to finish, especially when you have such a long way to go in longer pieces, but the beauty of this challenge is that everyday I get to start fresh. The other story is done and now I have something new to look forward too.

So far I have finished 4 this month. Right now I decided to take a break and write this post before I finish the rest of story #5. It’s a longer short story that I saved especially for the weekend. Weeknights, after a long day at work, I don’t have the patience for a story over 3K. But on the weekends, I can space it out over the day. Some in the morning. Go out and run a few errands. Come home and write more. Do laundry. Write more. Write the blog post. Etc.

I can’t say all these stories will be good. But some will. Some will be fun and interesting. But I will have a lot. I will practice my craft. Create, create, create. I get that now. I understand that my stories will not be produced in a rush of brilliance. They will be mined after millions of words written. They will grow from the millions of stories I write.

I read a couple of interesting articles this week. (I’ll link them below.) One was about what I’ve already talked about with writing and practicing your craft (Rusch). She writes it much better than me, so I won’t summarize. But the other story I read this morning really hit home with me.

A British cyclist team decided to improve everything in their lives by 1%. Not only did they start winning, but they did it, not with radical changes, but small ones that added up over time. For me, it just hammers home the idea that small changes add up over time. Sort of like the old saying, if you write a page a day, you will have a novel by the end of the year.

I may not be able to write a story everyday for the rest of my life. Illness, travel, family issues, or just life in general will come along and throw off my schedule. But that one percent improvement, that will move me forward. That change will add up.

Business Musing Column by Kristine Kathryn Rusch= A great column I discovered a few months ago.
Productivity Article in the Entrepreneur