My First Year

In a few days, on August 29th, it will be a year to the day since I sold my first short story to a professional science fiction market. Since that day I’ve committed to submitting only to the top markets, to the markets I’d be most proud to have my stories in.

Selling a story to a professional magazine was something I reached for casually until April of last year. I really buckled down and tried to submit my stuff to where it would be read the most. I racked up a lot of acceptances last year, a little over thirty-five story sales. But I found I wasn’t overly pleased or excited with the places my work was appearing. So I committed to submitting to the best and just four months later made my first sale.

Since then, over the past year, I’ve managed to sell seven more stories to professional markets. I have three sales to Galaxy’s Edge Magazine, two to Daily Science Fiction, one to Flame Tree, one to Little Blue Marble, and one to a secret venue that I don’t yet have permission to share.

It’s easy for me to feel like I didn’t accomplish enough in my first year as a professional selling writer. There were so many times when I felt like I should be writing and just plain wasn’t. I really wasn’t overly productive over the last year when I look back and see the way I spent my free time, but it’s something I intend to change.

I’ve been reading a lot about how some of my favorite writers like Joe Lansdale, Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Theodore Sturgeon, and others wrote and how they are or were so prolific. The common denominator between my favorite short fiction writers is writing every day and writing even when you don’t feel like it. Going into my second year of writing stories, I really want to push myself to write every day, or as close to every day, as possible. I think eight professional sales is a good number, and by no means do I anticipate to repeat my first year, but I think with more dedication on my part I can really push myself to get more stories out there and improve as a writer.

The biggest change I plan on implementing to push myself is to better utilize this blog space. I want to write in public, posting about how many words I’m accomplishing each day to encourage myself to keep producing the words so as to not look like a fool. So in an effort to not look like a fool, I will write every day and try to post a daily blog post to share how this challenge goes. I published eight stories in pro venues, let’s see if I can get more in year two.

-ESF

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5 thoughts on “My First Year

  1. Hi Eric, I think 8 pro-sales in a year is amazing! Well done!
    It does take a lot of dedication to only write for the top markets. I think a lot of us indie
    writers succumb to the rush of a quick acceptance, even if it’s a small market.
    There are too many ‘fun’ distractions out there!

    I think I’ll follow your lead and commit to quality-over-quantity regarding my own short stories for submission, and, I want to put more time into the anthology series that I run to make it more professional as well.

    Thanks for sharing, and I’ll be following your progress 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s awesome man. I’m in the same boat, having a hard time figuring out how to use my free time for writing. Not to mention being a new dad plus having a full time job that sends me to far flung exotic places where I can’t even bring my laptop.

    I’ve come to a conclusion that I don’t particularly like reading or writing short stories. So I’m moving away from them and into longer work.

    Liked by 1 person

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