Last year is over with, according to the calendar, and a new year begins, with the same sun rising every dawn. Last year brought me minor triumphs and major worries, as my day gig was set to evaporate around the end of December. It will last till January 18th. I’ll miss the work–I am an Adult Literacy Coordinator for the Los Angeles Public Library for a couple more weeks–and I’ll miss the income even more. Those of you who are interested in why I’m leaving can read my post, “The End of Something Else,” on this blog. Those of you who may have some interest in my survival can help by buying my books, or at least talking them up. Anyway, so it was a year of losses, mostly in that much-disdained and necessary realm of cash….
But it was also a year of triumphs: I began to take my own advice, finally, and send out story after story. As a result, four have seen the light of day in magazines, and three more are scheduled to debut by February. I’m keeping up the flow. As I noted in my last post, you’ve just got to pump them out like fish eggs. Unlike fish eggs, though, each story gets plenty of chances. Some were rejected four times, and then sold. So it’s working. Slowly, but it’s working. It will work for you too. Keep writing, keep sending out work. If editors ask for changes, review the story. You may not agree with their specific criticisms, but you’ll likely find something that needs polish. Make your own luck: unless you’re a celebrity, getting published won’t be easy, no matter how well you write. Editors are flooded with stuff, and often face more good work than they can use. Grit your teeth and keep moving. Learn to meditate to save your nerves.
So who knows what comes next…. I’ll be looking for income, and I’ll be submitting stories every week, and I’ll keep writing every day. No one knows what time really is, but as long as we’re stuck in it, it’s a new year every morning. Celebrate it! And trust yourself.