I think I’m going to release one of my unpublished flash fictions later tonight… partly as a gift to anyone out there who’s in need of a gift (and who happens to follow me and notice my newly released story), but realistically, mostly as a gift to myself.
The piece I’m planning to release has had some really positive rejections from some pretty impressive markets, and I think it was held for a while by one too. But it’s been through most of the top markets now…
While there are still some lower level markets I often have luck with & enjoy selling to that this story hasn’t bounced off of yet, it’s not like selling to those places really changes the course of my career. It’s a few dollars and a warm feeling mostly, when I sell to them.
At some level, I’ve been kind of pressing myself for years to move toward publishing my own stories more often. I think it will make me happier if I can transition into having a little more control over my stories that way.
The way the short story market works these days is… kind of broken? I mean, a lot of things are broken, ’cause they’re functioning under the weight of cancerous capitalism. But I personally know the short story market; I’ve been engaging with it for nearly twenty years…
The level of competition for the few slots in the top magazines, and the stress of dealing with high stakes contracts… not to mention the constant, ever-flowing rejections…
It’s all a lot. And it drains you. It makes you not want to write.
But I love writing.
I love writing, and I want to share what I write.
It’s hard to get things that are given away for free taken seriously… But the amount I’m paid for my stories doesn’t actually determine how good or valuable they are. And I don’t want to sink into the trap of believing it does.
So, giving myself permission to give a story away for free — just because I want to; just because I can — seems like a perfectly reasonable and good thing to do. Healthy even.
Besides, I have the skills to run a professional magazine, as shown by Zooscape.
I actually originally developed, honed, and practiced the skills I use for running Zooscape on Deep Sky Anchor. If you think about it, Deep Sky Anchor has the exact same editor as Zooscape, even if it only publishes the one author.
Anyway, what all of this adds up to is that you can expect a new story from me later tonight.