First off, I want to give a huge Thank You to Kim Galloway. On extremely short notice, she helped me edit my story, Deep Breath, which is going to be published in Ladies of Steampunk magazine (or at least, unless the Seans find it unbelievably awful... ) Deep Breath needed grammatical and consistency edits, plus characterization checks, and at least 500 words cut. (The story was a bit on the Long side...)
Kim did a wonderful job, even if she was scarily nice to me. Look for a guest post from her later; her services are for sale (no, not those services! the editing services!) and I'd highly recommend her if you're a writer and need someone to proof and story-content edit your work. Her rates seem reasonable, although I confess I've never paid anyone to proof my work as yet. I'm always more of a "swap work for work" or owing people favors sort of girl. Maybe, when my writing gig starts paying more, I can afford professional services.
I was talking about her with my husband - as you all probably know, he doesn't read my published work, but he does provide a useful sounding board - and being a little embarrassed at the gushing she did.
This was a thorough pleasure to read. You are a talented and excellent writer and it is obvious that you love what you do, as you do it so well. :) It is a rare treat for me to work with something that I so thoroughly enjoy. Your piece, as is, is strong and well executed before the editorial comments that I made.
I told him what she said, and he gave me this flat look. "You're a good writer."
I said, "I feel about average, most of the time. Maybe a little sub-par. And decidedly lazy."
"I want you to go on the internet and look up 'free sex stories' okay? Read a few of those and get back to me about you being average."
"I've read internet porn, hon," I said. Of course I have. If nothing else, I occasionally find good ideas for positions and situations. "I don't compare myself to that. I compare myself to the other writers that share the collections I'm in. I feel like mid- to bottom of the heap in that group."
"So, in essence, you're comparing yourself to all the students who got into William & Mary and saying you're upset that you're not a straight A student?"
"That still makes you pretty damn smart, you know that, right?"
Comparisons are a bitchy thing... I have a lot of writer friends on Facebook, Sommer Marsden, Rue Volley, Kathleen Bradean, Shanna Germain, and more. And I often see posts like "Wrote 1200 words today, now I can eat breakfast" and I think about my miserable little 500 words that I manage to crank out a few times a week and I feel... vaguely ashamed. Like a pretender. Like I'm just pissing around, wasting time.
And then I have conversations with another writer friend and we're talking about projects I have out and projects I'm working on, and she's like "man, next to you, I feel so slack." (She's published two novellas, and several shorts... so...)
Here's my accomplishments:
In a little over a year - my first writer's acceptance was May, 2011, for a story that came out in October - I've seen 8 stories accepted and three stories rejected. Of those, I was reassured by one editor that a story was very good, just not a good fit for HER collection; one was rejected because I submitted 2 stories to the same collection and the editor had several stories like the first one, and she wanted the 2nd one instead, one that has been rejected twice with no commentary - all of these stories are back out for consideration with other publications. I hope they'll find a home somewhere.
Really, in a year's time, 8 acceptances is really damn good. I've got five stories currently out for consideration, one that I'm about 1/5th of the way done writing and have finished outlining, (due Oct 1) an idea that won't shut up, so I may try to do that one, although the deadline is pretty tight (Sept 15th... yikes!) and at least 3 more ideas that are percolating.
Yeah, ok. Maybe I'm just awesome.