Wednesday, November 30, 2011

(Not) Published By 2011

Last year I embarked on a campaign to get my work in print somewhere, anywhere, and labeled it Published By 2011. I was targeting small literary journals around the country, sending them what I considered to be some of my best stories. It is now November 30 and still...nothing. Usually I'm all for sticking it out until the end of a deadline but I'm going to call it- it's not going to happen in 2011.

If you're familiar with literary journals, then you know that when you submit the editors will take about three or four months to respond. If one doesn't hear back by then chances are your story didn't make the cut. And anything submitted after September isn't going to be considered for publication until the following year. So there it is.

Could a journal contact me tomorrow and say my piece will appear in their December issue? It is possible, yes. Do I think that will be the case? Only if they're disorganized. Any journal worth their ink would have notified me in October or early November to get my permission, bio, etc, none of which occurred.

I'm upset but not devastated. I could have been more aggressive in my submissions (I didn't send out stories as much as I promised I would) and I could have been more thorough in my search for a perfect home for my literary babies. My bad! But before I can embark on my new & improved Published By 2012 campaign, there have to be repercussions for failing myself this year. Otherwise, I'm just going to slack off every year without a care.

Not to imply that volunteer work is punishment, but this year, because I didn't work hard towards my goal, I've signed up to cook at a soup kitchen for "starving artists" in Brooklyn. Normally I'd use my writing as an excuse for not volunteering my time but CLEARLY I'm not working on furthering my writing career; might as well use that time productively instead. In addition, I will be packing up and donating at least 10 books from my own collection, which, because of my tiny apartment, is already limited. The empty shelf space will remind me that MY BOOKS belong there.

Finally, I figure some defined goals and the steps needed to achieve those goals need to be laid out. No more of this haphazard, submit-when-I-feel-like-it nonsense. A TO DO list must be made. So I made one.

Next year, my friends. Next year we'll celebrate good times for real.

*smooches...still hoping to get something in for December*
failure is never an option