I’ve been writing a lot.
I polished off another story and sent it off to a market yesterday. I guess it will be December before I hear yea or nay about it, or any of the other pieces I’ve submitted to markets over the past two weeks.
Which is why I need to produce new pieces. I’ve one completed story that I could give a spit and a polish before I send it on its way, but after that I will have to finish incomplete pieces, or write new material.
I’m pleased at my output, especially when I consider the level of work I have to produce for College at the moment. Yet, I feel a strong internal pressure that prevents complacency, and emphasises the need to up my level of creativity.
Part of my internal urgency comes from my last fiction sale. I don’t want years to pass before I sell another story. The only way to prevent that nightmare scenario is to keep writing, and submitting work. Part of that process will involve rejections. Lots of them, in all likelihood. I’m willing to take my knocks, as long as I think that my work is getting better. Eventually, someone else has to concede that I’ve written something worth a couple of dollars/euros/pounds. Right?
I’m not employing a scatter-gun technique of submitting every piece of crap I’ve scribbled down on the back of a receipt to a market. That’s no way to build a reputation. I do work hard on my stories, and I try not to send them out before they are ready.
But, the only way I’ll establish, and hopefully maintain, some level of momentum on sales is to keep writing.
I watched the film, Pollock, last night, which is about the life of American artist Jackson Pollock. It’s made me think a lot about how art evolves. About the years of hard work, dedication, and blind faith it takes to produce the necessary breakthrough an artist needs in his/her work. But it doesn’t stop there. Your work should continue to change and evolve. Of course you can continue to repeat what you’ve done before, and you could become rich from it if you have established an audience. It doesn’t mean that the work is worthless, but deep down the artist becomes unsatisfied or unfulfilled.
I think the true artist always strives to achieve new directions in his/her work.
This search can bring doubt, despair, and fear, but if you keep making those breakthroughs then the hellish periods, in retrospect, will seem like the finest points in your career.