Stumbling across a post by Dean Wesley Smith is what got me on this track so here are my goals.
- To follow Heinlin’s rules
- To follow Dean’s “secret” to success
1) You must write. (Write one short story per week. Or write about 1,250 words per day if I’m working on a book.)
2) You must finish what you write. (This will be hard for me as nothing ever feels finished.)
3) That week mail that short story to the top paying market you can find. (Null if I spent 4 out of 7 days working on the book instead.)
4) Then repeat the following week.
5) You must not rewrite unless to editorial demand. (Actually looking forward to that one.)
6) You must only mail your story to an editor who will pay you money. (No modesty here or “aim high damnit”.)
7) You must keep it in the mail until someone buys it
8) When the story comes back with a rejection, send it to the second best market without looking at the story again. Keep all the stories in the mail. (This is already getting difficult as I’ve already submitted to the top markets but have not heard back from all of them and their submission guidelines state a particular dislike for more than one submission at a time from the same author.)
6) Continue weekly for one year. At the end of the year, chances are you will have a bunch of rejections, but no sales if you are sending your stories up high. But keep working on your craft, your skills, working to make every story better. And keep all the early ones in the mail without looking at them.
7) Start a second year, and by the time the second year is finished, you will be selling short fiction to professional magazines.
Normally I wouldn’t say any of this in public. I’d be too afraid of making declarative statements and then not following through. But I’ve also learned I don’t value myself enough to hold myself to a personal promise – without making public statements and having some sort of accountability.
So I”m hedging my bets and giving you, the internets, a very pointy stick to keep me on my toes.
My final goal: to post here at least once a week with my word totals and how many markets I’m currently submitting to.