Welcome to your Friday Morning FYI (something-like-a-year-since-the-last-one-of-these edition) – my chance to share observations/rants in short, easy-to-consume form.
I recently had a short story published (*shameless self back pat* – won 1st place) in a new annual anthology competition called The Bould Awards. It’s a small thing in the grand scheme and came after years of submissions, but it let me create an Amazon author page, which is kind of cool.
That got me thinking about all the paths to publishing available to writers today. It used to be that you’d type out your work (good god, how did people write anything without BACKSPACE, Cut > Paste, etc.?), somehow get the name of a publishing agent, stick your work in a yellow envelope, hand it to a smiling neighborhood postman, and pray. Now we’ve got blogs and online profiles, email, content-formatting submission forms, Twitter contests, live-pitching at conferences, small press open calls, Wattpad, hybrid publishing, a hundred forms of self-publishing, etc. This is good and bad, of course. With availability comes opportunity, but also mountains of content for decision makers to weed through and for your work to be compared against. Still, what a world!
That brings us to this week’s FYI:
The only thing worse for your art than comparing your work/struggles/achievements to someone else’s is assuming there’s only one path to whatever you define as success. Everyone’s golden ring is different. If you have one book in you, there’s options. If you have ten books in you or a bunch of short stories or fifty pieces of flash fiction or a poetry collection, same answer. Don’t get hung up on someone else getting picked over you for a contest, writer friends around you landing agents or selling short stories, or whatever. Focus on you and your art, craft it as best you can, and learn from every new sentence/paragraph/page/chapter/story. In the end the most important thing is to persist along your path, not trace anyone else’s.
Thanks for reading,