Saturday, August 18, 2007

On Selling, and Why We Do What We Do

This has been a good week for me, writing-wise. I broke a long writing-drought, had a piece accepted by Six Sentences, a very cool website you should totally check out, and, just this very morning, sold a flash fiction piece to flashquake, another very cool website you should check out which specializes in high-quality literary flash fiction. Not only that, but my story will be an Editor's Pick for the Fall Issue! As I have commented previously on this development, w00t.

The flashquake sale is officially my second paying sale (the first being to Shimmer Magazine, published last Autumn). I am now officially a two-hit wonder, and it feels good. But as exciting as these small victories are to me, my wonderous, glorious, beautiful uber-talented girlfriend is way ahead of the game: read all about it on her blog. The long and short of it is that she's written a truly phenomenal novel, has just barely barely started finished it and started submitting it to agents (seriously-- she sent the first wave out yesterday) and has already received two very positive responses. She's going to be beating off the offers with a stick, I just know it (just like I know that sounds dirty). And lord knows, she deserves it... the book is fantastic, creative, and well-written. I can't wait to see it on shelves. Oh, and a little shout out to her mysterious helper... above and beyond the call of duty. Above and beyond. Muchos gracias, senorita, from all of us here in the Carrie fan-club!

So anyways, in this brief time of feast, this a temporary respite from famine, it seems appropriate to reflect on why we do this thing. No, not The Story Game; we do that because we're narcissists. Writing. In general. Alot of people think it's easy. For some people, it probably is. But for me at least, and I think JED is the same way, it isn't. It's actually quite difficult. Pulling-teeth-with-fingernail-clippers difficult. It ain't about the bling, neither. If you're waiting to get rich off the short story market, particularly the give-it-away-for-free-on-the-internet short story market, you might as well be waiting to get rich off of your growing collection of belly-button lint (mine is coming along nicely, thanks). Ain't happenin.

So why do we write? I can't speak for JED, but for me, like many writers, I write because I can't stop. And because I love it. And because it's such an integral part of my identity that aside from video games, law factoids, and crabbiness, I don't know what would be left of me without it. I am dreams. Some of my dreams are silly. Some of them are stupid. Some of them are heinously embarassing. And I like to think that some of them are good. All of them are weird. But whatever they are, they're what's going on inside my head, basically all the time, and I love them so much I want to share them with everyone. Even the dumb ones, unfortunately for you.

Now I would be a complete liar if I told you I didn't want to make some money off my writing and that I didn't like seeing my name in print. I love both of those things (especially the latter. See narcissism, supra). And I would be lying if I told you that writing isn't the absolute most painful thing in the world, or that I don't come to hate every last thing I write at some point in its existence (fortunately, I usually come back to loving it again... usually). But the flat out reality is that for me, the world is grey if it doesn't have spaceships and goblins in it, talking cats and moral conundrums that present themselves in physical form. I like my world with those colors, and I want to paint them for you, too. I hope you'll give me the chance.

So that's what motivates me. And that's why I want to sell. And why I love The Story Game. Successes like this week's show us that we aren't alone, that other people care about our dreams, too, and that just makes me want to dream even harder.

Now what motivates you?

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