Having a story accepted is as rare to me as being asked out on a date, but it’s pretty much a given that I’m more excited to have my story accepted than to be asked out, usually because the person asking me out isn’t someone that I want to date in the first place (but that’s another post for another day).
Toiling away, such that I do, pretty much in isolation because I’m terrible at networking and I’ve only got a few friends that are writers, selling a story becomes the bottom line for validation. Rejection is the rule of the day and I know I’ll see more of it than anything else. But, to open that email (or letter; I still do some snail mail subs that call for SASE) and read the words that I long to read, especially when I’m expecting rejection, is one of the most victorious moments in my short career. We’re talking fist pumping and saying, “Yes!” over and over like I just hit the walkoff home run to win the World Series. It’s the sign that I’m always looking for, the one that says that this isn’t just a hobby, that I’m good at this and I can make money doing this and most importantly, people want to read what I write. It’s that last one that boosts my ego the most.
The best part is that the feeling of jubilation and absolute victory hasn’t changed. Oh, maybe I’m a little more sophisticated in expressing those feelings (read: I don’t yell as loudly as I used to), but that warm, bubbly, my-day-has-been-made feeling is still the same. And I love it. And I can’t wait to put that feeling to the test with more acceptances to see if the feeling will ever fade or if it will only get better.
I look forward to doing this experiment.
Stories by the Numbers
Accepted: 1! “Sentries” will be published in the Library of Horror anthology Fearology 3: Planting the Seeds of Horror