So. I read recently, in C. Hope Clark’s newsletter, that she tries to keep thirteen pieces in circulation, either in contests or submissions, at all times.
At all times.
I don’t even think I have thirteen publication ready manuscripts at the moment. I don’t even have ten, unless you count my poetry. I tend to forget about the poetry for some reason. No idea why. Obviously I have some catching up to do.
So. About two weeks ago I started entering contests. Some have entry fees, but some don’t, and the ones that do tend to be pretty reasonable. My next step is to begin querying literary magazines. Right now I have six things in circulation and my goal is ten. (Well, there are twelve of my pieces out there if you count the poems individually. I’m not sure how to count multiple entries for a single contest. Ooo, if I count the poems individually I’ll have made my goal. I wonder if that’s cheating.) The latest entry, a flash fiction piece inspired by a photo prompt, is here: ‘Mazing And I’ve learned a few things.
First, writing to a photo prompt can produce some really interesting work. Second, writing within guidelines helps improve your skills. Third, entering contests, or submitting work to magazines is exciting! (Actually, I already knew that one, but I had forgotten.) Fourth, putting your work out there gives you incentive to write, especially if you set a goal. (Remember? 10. At all times. I’m slightly less energetic than C. Hope Clark.) Fifth, it sure beats leaving your stuff in a drawer or password protected on your hard drive and complaining about how little time you have to pursue your dreams. (But that last one is probably just me.)
So. What are you doing with your work?