Welcome to the blog of science fiction author Eileen Rhoadarmer--where science fiction and Mommyhood collide!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Aaaahh, I'm Falling Behind!

I don't like it when markets send rejections within a week of submitting to them.  Some people might like such a fast response time--after all, if they're just going to reject it anyway, why not get it over with sooner so you can get the story back out to someone else?  Perhaps the next one will be *the one.*

But I still don't like it, and it all boils down to time.

As I mentioned in my June stat check, I had several stories bounce back to me during the crunch before the Time of Trouble deadline, and I didn't resubmit them right away, like I usually try to do.  I took a few days off after the deadline, and then got back to writing.  I've had three (well, two) rejections since that time, one of which only had my story for four days.  Four.

It takes time to figure out a good market for a story, so between writing and life, I usually can only submit one per day.  A lot of times, it takes me two days to find the next market:  the first to browse, and the second to actually submit (remember that I'm working exclusively during naptime and after my son goes to bed, here.)  It's especially hard for my non-genre stories (three of my current seven) because they're harder to match to a market.

My usual reaction whenever a market keeps my story for less than two weeks is "Don't these people understand that I have other things to do?  Can't they keep the ball in their court for a little longer??"  Perhaps it's silly, but that's how I feel.  The feeling is multiplied if I already have a backlog of stories to resubmit (like now.)

I also recently realized that one of my stories didn't win a contest... two months after I should have noticed.  I was looking at my submission tracker on Duotrope and realized that one of my stories had been out for a long time.  I looked back at the submission information and saw that contest winners had been announced on May 5.  I can't fathom why I didn't write that date on my calendar; that's what I usually do for markets that have contest dates and don't send rejection letters.  I could have sent it to another market or three in that time.  This is why it's really important to pay attention!

We can also add the fact that I need to do three Critters critiques in the next week (it's a three-week batch, and I put it all off to the end) so my next story can go out on time, and the fact that I'm in the middle of potty training my son, so it would be safe to say that I'm feeling frazzled, and like I'm always running from behind.  I'm hoping to catch up soon, or at least take a breather before the next race.


Ben Godby said...

I find there are a lot of markets that can hit you with a rejection quickly, so to avoid that sticky trouble I just make a big list of magazines--in order of priority (i.e. how much they pay, followed by prestige)--and then just keep firing them out as they come back. This is also helpful because some markets have reading periods and close at certain times, so having a fallback market is helpful, too. And, in the end, this allows me to concentrate on writing new material, rather than submitting old stuff--which simply becomes a calculation.


Anonymous said...

What Ben said. Although I managed to juggle nine pieces out for about two months, I've dropped the eight balls that didn't sell of late.

I have two stories to rework to 1,000 words or more (you know why) before I send them to the pro pays that remain and an Aug 31 contest at Flash Me magazine for SFF.

Also: Note The First Line Literary Magazine has a story deadline ending Aug 1 that's a born sci-fi story. Something about 3,000 habitable planets. I finally got an idea for that about a month ago and realized there are only 12 days remaining to send it. You've been warned.