When I started off a few years ago, it was a brave new world. It was a lot of fun. I wrote all kinds of crazy stories and submitted them everywhere.
The trouble comes when you don’t sell too many—that’s when you start to think. You start to think about the market, rather than your own message, which I would submit is your greatest strength. You become a lot more conservative. You’re trying to write what somebody else wants, you’re trying to out-think some guy somewhere else.
After a while, you’re sort of tired of wondering if some editors somewhere think you’re bat-shit crazy.
Here’s the thing.
What do I care?
I haven’t sold a story in well over a year.
I might never sell a story in a pro market—ever.
And after six years of pretty hard work, I was burned out. I had no enthusiasm. I didn’t care anymore, and in fact I’ve got a story languishing on my desk here due to sheer lack of interest.
It seems to me that I need to do something to make it fun again.
The first thing to do is to forget about the money.
The second thing is to say, “Fuck it.”
I’ve been published in five or six languages. I’ve sort of forgotten about that over the years. And yet all it took was persistence, a bit of a thick skin and a couple of resources.
If you write enough stories, you can afford to sacrifice the odd one for no pay. And who knows, maybe someday, you will have bragging rights in seventeen languages. Whatever. It looks good on your resume.
Make of it what you will.
The same goes for everybody else.
To make a long story short, I’m going to give it another try.
What the hell, eh.
Douglas Smith’s Foreign Market List. Read the guidelines, and enter these markets, mostly unpaid, at your own risk.
Gareth Jones, Science Fiction Writer. Without really good and extensive foreign (paying) market lists, you can always take a look and see where someone else has been published.
Here are my own online works, which includes publication in English, Catalan, Spanish (International variety), Estonian, Dutch, and Croatian. I’ve also been published in Greek and French, (in French by my own translation.)
Warning: I went to the Galaxies site in France and it locked up my computer for a moment, so I had to hit the power switch. It doesn’t seem to have done any real harm, but I will run a virus scan in a minute.
And for one brief moment of time, I actually felt a bit of excitement, ladies and gentlemen…
I would say that’s a good thing.