“Half a year” isn’t the title of a story, the one that got rejected today was the short piece “By the Banks of the Lethe” from Strange Horizons. Instead I wanted to talk about 6 months of sending out stories.
It can be exhausting, throwing out stories to either nothing or to be told they’re not good enough. Exhausting, disheartening, and unenjoyable. Most people don’t write to be demotivated, so why do this?
The thing is, my rejection target was just that: a target. It’s separate from the outcome I was trying to achieve. The outcome I was shooting for was to write more stories, and I think I have. In what’s been a difficult six months for me, I’ve completed three stories of a combined 18,000 words in length, and I’m happy with them. They’re also (I have to say) noticeably better than the stories I was writing last year.
The target was a way of making me write more, as a way of making me get better. Six months in, I hope it’s working.