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Be Honest: Why are you Really Not Published Yet?

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by Philip Overby, May 8, 2012.

  1. buyjupiter

    buyjupiter Maester

    Once a week, I complete a flash fiction piece that sometimes gets added to the shelf of things to expand later when I get time. Once every other week I get a proper short story completed. I aim to increase that to one proper short story a week, which I'll revise after finishing then set aside for a week to revise again. Then I revise one more time and submit.

    This week, though? It's been crazy good/productive despite a computer that is on its last legs and not being able to write anything beyond flash fiction since Monday. And now that I'm being forced to sit down and work on ideas with pen and paper, I have twenty-ish new ideas all lined up and ready to go. Which means, I should never gripe about not having anything to do ever again.

    I've also submitted a piece, been rejected, fixed the piece and submitted it to a different market.

    Finishing something is awesome. But the feeling I get when I submit something is even better. It's only then that I feel like a proper writer.
  2. AnomanderRake

    AnomanderRake Dreamer

    I hope to finish a complete novel by the end of 2014.
  3. Androxine Vortex

    Androxine Vortex Archmage

    honestly the real reason im not published yet is because I am a raging perfectionist and also kind of get lazy. yes I admit it.

    But as most of you know, I said that I was putting in the towel when it came to trying to get published, or at least was stepping away from awhile. And honestly I am so very glad I did. I wanted to be an author ever since I was a child and love to write but the constant pressure of being published felt overwhelming to me because I didn't have much time to write and nothing I really wrote I was very proud of. I kind of had a fear of rejection.

    So now I have the mentality of, "I don't care if I get published or not." Might sound very odd but it has really helped me when it comes to writting. I don't feel as pressured to make sure every word and every letter is perfect and presentable (not to be misinterpreted to mean I have become sloppy) I write my myself. I am my own audience and I also share my work and ideas with my girlfriend who loves my stories.

    When I said I was a perfectionist I really meant it. It took me well over 5 months to type 2 pages, only after deleting probably thousands of words (and time spent) and even after that I wasn't satisfied. I was writting with the mentality of trying to impress others. This might also sound kind of gloomy but I know i wont live on this Earth forever, so I felt like i was obsessing over this too much and was devoting way too much of my life to something that just simply wont last forever. Yes it might get published and yes it might be the best selling book in the world, but compare that second to eternity and it loses value. Again, not trying to sound insulting to those that spent lots of hard work on their books and novels, but as me being a Christian, I came to the realization that I was spending ever free second of my life stressing about my books which are just imagination after all. I realized that after I leave this world and move on, what are my stories going to matter? I know that might sound weird but oh well...

    If I do ever publish anything it will probably be self publsihed but it is not a concern of mine to get published and get recognition for it. I just want to write because I enjoy it and have fun imagining things. What I was doing before was not fun and made me despise sitting down and writting. This new approach has brought great calmness to my mind and I feel like I can breathe when writting because I feel that now I am my only critic so I don't have to worry so much.

    So yeah that was my 2:00am rant. Need to get to sleep now............
  4. Damian

    Damian Acolyte

    Im only half way through mine… I'm always halfway through… in a years time ill still be halfway through… the more i progress the more work needs to be done… I am unpublished but I will not try until I feel the book is ready. I feel it is another year away so I may have a different opinion then : )
    Also a thought with writing as a laborious art form: its not like music or painting where you can release things more often… you have to spend a long, long time in studious solitude to get something done so its a lot of labor & in the end it could be fulfilling or go nowhere at all… who knows… ah, a writers life!
  5. solas

    solas Scribe

    I have to agree....I am done but not finished....editing and changing until I feel the story meets my expectations. Now I know I am not writing a Pulitzer Prize work but where the market is saturated, I want it to stand out.
  6. r.stubbs

    r.stubbs Dreamer

    because I am so o.c.d nothing is ever good enough for me and I am always rewriting everything
  7. ValkyrieMist

    ValkyrieMist Acolyte

    1. I will finish something.

    2. I will get it published by 2014.

    3. Even if this isn't realistic, I will still try.

    4. I'm tired of failing.

    5. I will submit it to (pretty much going to ignore the last part of this because I don't know the names of any places to which I would submit something yet...)
  8. Ghost

    Ghost Inkling

    Really? Haha

    ETA: I misinterpreted that like "before" rather than "by the end of." Sorry.

    Oh, welcome to the forum!
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2014
  9. Fyle

    Fyle Inkling

    This sounds good, same here.

    It still has typos and needs technical fixes, punctuation etc.

    Just finished the last chapter today and i have a beta reader 75% through... moving along..

    Good thread by the way.
  10. spectre

    spectre Sage

    I'm struggling with taking scenes I like and making them truly original. That is my big problem, it's slowing down the writing process. Typically I've been writing non-specific scenes to get something to come out, then trying to plan a chapter or two ahead. I'm only at the fourth chapter in planning. It's just a case of good old sloth for me.
  11. stephenspower

    stephenspower Inkling

    @ValkyrieMist, go to the Submission Grinder, which is 10 times better than Duotrope ever was, and 100 times better than the Writers market. If you're just starting out, search for the non-paying venues for the genre you're writing in and start reading those sites to see what you have to beat. I mention the non-paying because they are probably your best bet. One of them, 365Tomorrows, pubd my first SF story, and everyday the site puts up another good story, all flash fiction. Tons of great ideas, and the forums are worth reading and joining. A lot of places are kind enough to offer feedback too. And subscribe where you can so they can keep going.

    As for perfection, screw it, and I say that as a perfectionist. Make a story the best you can and send it out. If it's rejected, use the distance time has created to consider how to revise it, do so, and send it out again. Don't stop. My rule is, after a rejection a story has to go out within 24 hours if it's not being retired or revised or if I'm not waiting for a market to open up. This will force you to plan ahead what markets you'll send a story too (have 3 lined up at a time), which will also force you to examine those markets to see what they publish as well as how your stuff stacks up.

    I would also recommend reading the venues that are SFWA qualifiers so you know what you'll ultimately have to beat. For instance, I read the Daily Science Fiction story every day when I get on the train before I start writing during the rest of the trip.

    We are in the golden age of flash fiction. Anyone can write a 750-1000 word short story in a week. Keep churning them out while you work on longer stuff, whether it's a novel or just a longer story. As Bradbury said, Write a story a week because over the course of a year that'll give you 52 stories, and no one can write 52 bad stories in a row.
    Ruby likes this.
  12. D. Gray Warrior

    D. Gray Warrior Troubadour

    I can't finish anything and I feel like I have all the time in the world.

    I also don't know what kind of fantasy I want to write as all of them appeal to me in some way.
  13. SugoiMe

    SugoiMe Closed Account

    I haven't published yet because I didn't get serious about writing until last year. Then I met someone with the same interests as me and peer pressure led me to NaNo. Now I suppose you could say that I'm not published yet because I'm planning on finishing a trilogy, an epic story that's been gnawing at me for the last seven or so years.

    I also never seemed finished anything...until I finished the first draft of my first book. Then I thought I might as well see this thing to the end since it's such a joy to work on.
  14. cupiscent

    cupiscent Sage

    I'm liking this thread. I like that it's about honesty, but that it's also about bringing us to our own goals - it's important to remember that being trad-published isn't necessarily what we need to be aiming for as writers (though it's what I'm aiming for).

    I'm not published because (taking the feedback from agents here) my first novel isn't "breakout" material (doesn't hit enough high points, doesn't do enough or do it fast and exciting), and it has some thematic concerns (specifically, straying a little close to white-saviour). And I haven't finished a second yet, but I'm nearly there!
  15. 2WayParadox

    2WayParadox Sage

    @gavintonks, do you have any resources for where you can find critters to submit to?

    But the most important thing I would like to say here: READ THE WAR OF ART


    I read it and not only is it well written, it resonated with me. Its message is twofold: you need to work hard and everything that keeps you from doing that is a part of Resistance, which you need to conquer every day.

    I know I'm still at the start of my journey, but this book, I think it's going to be gold for me for many years. I want to use its message to build myself up as a writer, as a professional. Because the book talks about being a professional extensively, about what it means and what it takes. And in the end:

  16. Caged Maiden

    Caged Maiden Staff Article Team

    I'm sure I've posted here before, but I want to do so again. *sigh* I need to grow a pair. That's my problem. I just can't put my work out there because I don't know what direction to go in. Do I strike it alone and forge my own path, thoguh it will be bumpy? Do I send submissions because my friends tell me that's the best way to gain exposure, with an agent by my side? I'm just afraid to do the wrong thing, so I do nothing. I edit and write...and I wait.
  17. Philip Overby

    Philip Overby Staff Article Team

    I'm glad to see this thread revived somehow and I think my perspective on this topic has changed since I created it a while back. For me, I feel at this point in my life, publishing is going to start becoming a reality. One reason is because I feel comfortable enough in my own skin as a writer that I can produce as close to my vision as I care to. I can also see that it's time to let the floodgates open. I don't know if this means I'm doing things "too soon" but you can only really find out if you take the plunge. I know I'm going to get negative reviews, rejections, whatever, so that comes with the territory. I feel it's now or never.

    When I created the Mythic Scribes Blood Pact the idea was to have something published by 2014. Here it is, the end of 2014 and I have the best opportunity I've ever had to get my work in front of a major publisher. To me, that's a huge step from where I was two or three years ago. Am I nervous? Sure. Am I scared? Sure. But the time is now.

    2015. You're going to love me or hate me. :)
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2014
    Rhizanthella likes this.
  18. Caged Maiden

    Caged Maiden Staff Article Team

    glad to see I'm not alone. Phil, you and I are on the brink of this precipice together. I'm still not sure I want to jump, but I'll be lonely if you jump and I stand staring. Shall we do it together and throw our fates out into the world of the unknown? We've talked about it and I wasn't ready, but I can see you are. I'm down if you are. Okay, yes, I'm ready. I think. Maybe.

    Okay, yes, definitely ready. But... I would feel a whole lot better if you took my hand and sort of jumped with me. That way neither of us has to watch the other splat on the edge of the world. What do you say? One...two... Oh gods of writing glory, I can't do it...
  19. LWFlouisa

    LWFlouisa Troubadour

    The best way I can understand it, is that I tend to consider the act of submission a treat in itself. Even if (possibly for good reason) my work ends up rejected.

    There are a lot of short stories I end up trunking, because as a perfectionist I find my work often not matching what I see in my head, compared to what's actually written. Because at that point I'm interpreting it differently, possibly how a reader would be interpreting it.

    So like if I write twenty stories, I might only submit three.
  20. Rhizanthella

    Rhizanthella Sage

    I have been writing for five years straight now (that's freshman year of high school for me), and I've finished the third draft of my series' first book. I'm reading to print it off and start editing. I... really hope that the golden glow of the publishing process (which I only ever read and spoken about) is finally in range. I've been planning to publish this series unknowingly since I finished the first book in 2010. Now... I'm on the final stretch. I see the light, but I'm terrified of the rocks between me and it. I want to make sure everything is perfect.

    That's why I'm not published yet. I know my children aren't ready yet. They just weren't ready for the big world. But now, one of them might be. Almost. This next year... 2015... It is so full of possibilities. I'm terrified of this unknown. But my natural instinct of a writer is curiosity. There is no way I could turn back and return to the Shire now. I'm going to walk into this mist and see what is to become of this journey. It's scary, but also exciting.

    *deep breath* I'm ready.

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