On Saturday, I posted about my new job. Today I want to tell you about something else new I’m doing.
When I first began to take my writing seriously, about a year ago, I had a vision in my head of what it would be like to be an author. I pictured luxurious hours sipping coffee and listening to Sinatra, while gleefully thumping out stories on my lap top. I believed there was no way a short story would take me over an hour – two at most. In my imagination, I never needed to edit anything – ever. I would rip the first draft out of my typewriter and hurl it over my shoulder to the frenzied mob of publishers pushing and shoving one another, fighting to see who could get their fingers on my brilliant ideas first. After savoring the page they would demand more, but I wouldn’t give it. In my dream I would respond in a 1930’s-Cagney-New-York accent, “Now listen here, see. This is just a hobby for me, see. I’ll give you more pages when I have time, see. You need to wait, see.” Then they would weep and cry in despair as I strutted away, offering only reply a confident, maniacal laugh in reply.
My dream was not reality.
A good short story takes me a week. I edit everything at least four or five times. Even after all those rewrites, I’m still not satisfied. Rather, I’m exhausted and can’t stand to look at it any more. Any music with lyrics is a complete distraction. I do drink a lot of coffee and often laugh manically, but not because there is a crowd clamoring for my next story.
I’ve been fortunate with this last one, with the crowd part. Before I started writing seriously, I had been blogging for five years. (And yes, there is a huge difference between writing and blogging.) When I finished my first story and prepared to share it, I had already had supportive community (that’s you) around me to give me feed back and encouragement.
Most authors I’ve met over the past year do not have this. They slave away on a story and then have to fight to find a place to share it. Many try to launch blogs with their writing, which is painfully difficult. The web is noisy and increasingly designed to be skimmed. Building a strong readership from scratch is a little like prospecting for gold – you get a nugget here and there, but it drives you to grow a long beard, wear overalls, and scream at strangers through a fog of grumpy-insanity. It is a sad thing to watch: An enthusiastic, young writer slaves over a story. Finally pleased with it she ascends her newly erected digital platform hoping to share her labor of love with the world, but as she begins to speak she realizes there is no one listening.
I want to help. I want to give writers a place to post their stories while they build their own platform. So I’m launching a new blog. It’s called ShortFictionBreak.com. I’ll be accepting submissions from anyone with a story. If you are a budding fiction writer who needs a place to hone your craft, I’ve got space for regular contributors. I’ll give you your own “author page” and when you finally finish your book, I’ll post a link to it as well so readers can find you. I’m doing all of this for free. There is no catch. I honestly just want to help.
Here is how you, faithful “You See Kids…” Readers, can help.
Go over to ShortFictionBreak.com and subscribe so that when authors post their work there is someone there listening. On the right hand side of the page there is a button that says “Follow.” Click that and subscribe.
This week I’m posting a new short story there every day. Today’s is called The Cold Kiss. It’s my first shot at the romance genera. Go check it out…then hit the “Follow” button and subscribe.
My non-fiction muscles are going to focus on the fight against Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking. I’ll be blogging weekly over at Araminta’s website.
With my fiction writing transferring to ShortFictionBreak.com and my non-fiction writing going to Araminta, this space is going away. I’m going to give it another week (and I’ll give you a few more warnings), but by next week “You See Kids…” will be no more.
So if you want to continue to follow my writing, you should go to ShortFictionBreak.com and click the “Follow” button.
Are you getting that I really want you to go and click the “Follow” button and subscribe?
I hope so, ’cause I’m laying it on kind of thick here.
More this week. Thank you for reading my words and entering into my world.