Hundred Ideas: Summary
Well, that was 2018, and I did get to 100 story ideas by the end of it. Out of the hundred ideas, I wrote 11, submitted 9, had four accepted, of which three were published within 2018.
Forecast was accepted by Altered Reality magazine, Bright Carver by the Shards anthology, Yet Here We Are by the Wavelengths anthology, and my first clumsy attempt at a ghost story in the form of a radio play, Quicksilver Spirit, has been accepted for the Shadows at the Door podcast and should be out some time this year.
2018 was a good year, for short stories if nothing else.
I've also polished and submitted a couple more since then. We'll see how that goes.
The experiment of submitting a lot of stories, not often really expecting that they are good enough, has given me thoughts and opinions.
Firstly, it's fun, and a great way to get used to gracefully accepting and learning from rejection. But also, against all odds, sometimes they are good enough and that's the kind of validation I crave almost as much as caffeine.
Another thought I have is about markets. If you have a lot of stories and a lot of markets for stories (I use thegrinder.diabolicalplots.com) there is more chance of finding some odd little hole that is the right shape for one of your odd little pegs. But it's not guaranteed. I think the right market for some of my stuff is “self-pub collection of my stories that were hard to place.” This is a different market than “trash folder on my computer,” even if it only has a slightly larger readership. A piece can have some merit, add a little colour and context beside the other stories it grew up with in your head, without doing enough to stand alone.
I'm going to keep on writing, polishing, submitting, taking rejections to the face and walking them off, for another reason. It's a kind of pre-networking for WorldCon. I can never really open conversations with strangers; I'm terrible for this. But if I can start with the equivalent of “hi, you accepted/rejected my story about the goat, this is me in real life, nice to meet you,” then I think I can maybe hold it together for a solid 2 minutes of conversation before I retreat.