Monday, January 25, 2010

Life is like a box of low-fat yogurt.

I've been on a diet since the first of the year and I'm doing really well. I'm proud of myself: no chocolate, no ice cream, no great big helpings of anything. Even my reward for finishing the Bell-Men rewrites this weekend was modest: half a dozen animal crackers. Whee!

But it's still so early in my diet that I don't see much change in my appearance and the way my clothes fit. All the cute little skirts in the back of my closet seem so tiny it's hard to believe I was wearing them just a few summers ago. I know that if I stick to it I'll start seeing a big difference soon, but it's easy to get discouraged and give up at this point.

It's the same with selling stories--maybe even worse, since so much of the process is out of my control. For months I've been shopping a story I really like. I think it's one of my best, so naturally enough I started at the top, subbing it to Strange Horizons and Fantasy Magazine. They said no, so now I'm working on the prestigious but lower paying markets. And still I keep getting no, no, no.

It's discouraging. It's enough to make me want to give up. Getting a sale to a good market--or any market at all, lately--seems just as remote as me stuffing myself into one of those little skirts. But if I give up, I'll definitely never get the sale. And at least if I keep dieting, I can wear cute clothes while I'm getting rejections.

18 comments:

Jeremy Kelly said...

It's a win/win situation.

You've come way too far to stop subbing stories. Keep at it.

(I quit smoking and smell much better this year than I did last.)

Natalie L. Sin said...

I can't diet, many of my stories rely on large amount of dairy ; )

Lertulo said...

No giving up! Only losers quit.

Which reminds me, I haven't studied my Korean yet today. Grrr....

Alan W. Davidson said...

Hey, I like that metaphor (or was it an analogy...) of dieting compared to selling stories. Great post.

K.C. Shaw said...

Jeremy--I'm glad I never started smoking. Giving up chocolate and ice cream is hard enough, and they're not even really addictive. Good for you for quitting.

Natalie--Yikes, I hope that's not the real problem behind my lackluster wordcounts lately!

Lertulo--Oh, are you learning Korean? How cool! Is Mikey teaching you? :)

Alan--Thanks! I suspect it's a bit of a stretch to compare the two, but the emotional impact is pretty similar.

Aaron Polson said...

Dieting and writing are all about delayed gratification. We all must have super-human patience at times.

Win/win, like Jeremy wrote.

Jamie Eyberg said...

I am sure there is a fantastic market that is just waiting for a story like yours- Even if it isn't around just yet. p.s. I like animal crackers and have just discovered I have none in the house.

Cate Gardner said...

Diet... I knew there was something I was supposed to be doing in January. My little skirts have disintegrated they've waited so long for me to give up chocolate. :(

K.C. Shaw said...

Aaron--Delayed gratification, my bane.

Jamie--I actually like animal crackers too. The only problem is I always end up singing that awful Shirley Temple song "Animal crackers in my soup," and I only know two lines of the song anyway, and it's really annoying.

Cate--I actually have lost, thrown out, given away, or otherwise ceased to own a lot of my really cute clothes. That just means I get to buy new clothes when I get skinny again!

Lertulo said...

Trying to learn it more or less for Mikey's sake: at some point he's going to want to know more about where he came from, and I'd like to help with that. Besides it's kind of fun.

Totally psyched that you've rounded off Bell-Men! Now where are all the good agents when you need them?

K.C. Shaw said...

It certainly can't hurt with the TKD either, I'm sure.

Bell-Men still needs some work before I even think about agents. And then I have to *shudder* write a synopsis.

Danielle Ferries said...

I'm right there with you. I've started a "healthy eating plan" - so far so good.

BT said...

Just don't loose all the curves - a real woman has shape and substance a real man can put his arms around.

And the story will sell - eventually...

K.C. Shaw said...

Danielle--I raise a carton of yogurt to you as a toast! (No butter on that toast, please.)

BT--Oh, don't worry, I couldn't possibly lose the curves if I tried. I'd just like to have a waist again. :)

Lertulo said...

It kills me that you can cheerfully grind your way through a long work like this, then get the shivers thinking about writing a one-paragraph summary.

Actually, on reflection, that sounds pretty healthy: you still care about what you're writing, more than that you're writing. So good for you. :)

K.C. Shaw said...

Oh, if you only knew the misery involved in writing a synopsis and query! It's far easier to write the book itself.

LMEighmy said...

I know how you feel. I've got a closet full of cute clothes I haven't been able to wear in a handful of years. Someday soon, I'm hoping to change all that. I'm eating healthier and I'm shopping around for a good exercise program that will keep me interested.

I understand about the synopsis, too. I've never written one, but I'm terrified of trying when I eventually get one of my stories ready to publish.

K.C. Shaw said...

As soon as the weather warms up here, I plan to do a lot of walking and hiking to get in shape. If we had a gym or something nearby I'd probably look into that, but unfortunately we're gym-less. I prefer hiking anyway, though.

You might end up being one of those rare lucky people who love doing synopses! In which case, can I hire you? :)