Posts Tagged ‘short stories’

From the time when we were eagerly awaiting dessert after being forced to eat our vegetables, to the time when we’re anxiously waiting for the results of a test… A phrase has been drilled into us. What is that phrase? Well, you already know, but I’ll repeat it for good measure. “Patience is a virtue.”

It is a virtue that I’m not really known for, to be honest. I am not patient. I’m impatient when waiting for a new episode of Psych or Big Bang Theory, and I’m impatient for my Birthday. So, how do I handle waiting for results when submitting my writing to be judged and rejected/accepted?

Fair warning, I’m not sure if this works for all writers. It may just work for me, but let me talk about the times when I had to wait to find out whether or not I was accepted or rejected. The first time I had to do this with my writing was the Fantasy Faction Anthology. There was a short story contest, and if I had won, I would’ve gotten lots of cash. Of course, I also wanted my story to be showcased alongside some bona fide, professional authors. So, in one day, I wrote two different short stories set in my current fantasy universe.

The first was a change for me. It was more insightful and ‘quiet’, I should say, than any of my other works. The second was a safety net, I guess you could say. I specialize in massive fight scenes. I won’t tell you that I am amazing at them, but I’m comfortable writing them. So, the first was the equivalent of a preachy story set in a desert, and the second was the equivalent of a big, dumb action movie. Except it was even worse.

Which did I pick? I picked the preachy story. Except, I rewrote the heck out of it until it wasn’t very preachy anymore. That short story ended up being called Rakhul. So, once everything was edited, I sent it off to be judged.

It was time to be patient. Like I said, I am not patient. So, when the editors kept pushing the release date – understandably so, considering the massive amount of submissions – I was banging my head against the wall. I tried to write away my problems, but the waiting was killing me. So, at the three month mark, I decided to forget about it. Any time I read about the anthology’s results – I ignored it. I was determined to wait until the official results were in. And guess what… I did forget about it. So much so that I forgot about the short story I wrote for it. Eventually, I found out about the results, and I wasn’t accepted. I wasn’t even on the short list. I was, of course, disappointed. But, I had discovered two things. How to deal with disappointment, and how to deal with waiting.

So, maybe a month after that, I submitted to a literary agency. I was in love with the literary agency, because it was the agency that handled one of my favorite authors – Brent Weeks. So, I bookmarked the site, and I’d read all the rules, and I’d read all the books of their clients. (Yeah, he was REALLY in love with it.) I submitted my story, and maybe three weeks later, I see an email in my Junk folder. I open it, and it’s Donald Maass’s rejection letter.

A few minutes later, after telling the news to my family, I make the joke: “My email’s so thoughtful. It sent the rejection letter directly to Junk because it was trying to protect my feelings.”

Thank you, Gmail, but I’m glad I found out about the news. Because, I knew going into this business that there would be a lot of disappointment. And I managed to hone the “waiting” skill even more. I still wasn’t very patient, but I was a master at forgetting about ever having submitted anything. (Wow, so your horrible memory pays off…)

That brings us to todays waiting game. I submitted my story, Radio Silence, to be serialized about a month and a half ago. And, I still haven’t received word about it.

Image

Originally, I captured the cover in that screenshot as well, but I decided to cut that out. HA! I know, I’m quite devious like that. I promise I’ll unveil it soon, but not just yet. Anyways, as you can see the status is Pending. The word ‘pending’ has never looked quite so ominous to me ’till now.

This was even harder to forget about than my submission to the literary agency. Why? Because the odds aren’t so high against my favor this time. This time, I was confident in my story. The cover is awesome, because my sister took a great picture and slapped my name on it. So, the chances of me being accepted are quite high and in my favor.

The simple fact that they haven’t even rejected or accepted me after a month and a half is excruciating. But, everything that’s happened in my past as a writer has paid off. I’m still not patient, but every now and then.. I completely forget about this serialization. I only remember it right before the day ends so I can check if my status is still pending. Then I forget about it and go to sleep.

So, what am I saying? To forget about it? No, that may not suit your tastes. But don’t dwell on it. The trick to the waiting game is cheating and not waiting at all. How can you wait for something if you’re not even thinking about it most of the time?

You can’t do anything ’till then, so it’s best to simply… move on. Move on like you’ve already been either accepted or rejected or like you didn’t even submit in the first place. My advice? Cheat the waiting game, and win at the end.

Right now, I’m not sure if my status may be ACCEPTED or REJECTED in a month or so. But, this has taught me something. After going through such pains and measures, I will not let my stories go to waste. Even if Radio Silence isn’t accepted, I will still post the cover on my blog, and I will most likely make any and future chapters available to read.

I am doing the same with Rakhul. So, yeah. Make the best out of it, and you’ll basically be pointing and laughing at the Waiting Game… while it cries and sulks in the corner. Yeah.

Thanks!

P.S: Just to note, if you’ve yet to read my previous post, any time I write about writing in general, I will also write an accompanying review of a book/movie/television series. It’s to make up for the fact that I no longer write blogposts as often as I used to. Please remember to Like, Follow, and Comment. Hopefully, all three. And thanks again!

~J.A. Romano

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To write or not to write – that is the…

Dilemma.

What? Did I just butcher a famous Shakespearian quote simply for the purpose of my selfishness? Yes, I did. But, it does serve a purpose other than that. Well, kind of. You see, I discovered recently that you should always write. Why? Because it’ll be harder to start again. There will always be “tomorrow” as they say. Or there will always be another “excuse”, as I say. I mean, you cannot tell me you have not procrastinated once or twice, you imaginary readers that also write.

The longer you put off writing, the chances of your prose becoming less fluid after starting increase. Not to mention you’ll write a considerably low amount in comparison to your “golden” days. In the last week, I’ve written over eight thousand words, and I just spent fifteen minutes writing 1,459 words in a short story.

No rest for the wicked, and even less rest for the writer, as the title thingy says.

The point is this; write. When you don’t feel like it, write. When you do feel like it, write. You should always put time aside in your day to write, otherwise it’ll be harder the next day to “find” the time. Yes, we’re all busy, but if the workload is imaginary or you’re exaggerating your, let’s say, homework just to put off writing since it’s soooo hard; don’t. Write.

And remember!

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