I’ve been a little frustrated recently with this whole writing thing. Too many rejections. Weird feedback. Not feeling that I’ve grown enough or have been as “successful” as I think I should be. My own unrealistic expectations often make it easy for Imposter Syndrome to raise its ugly head. So, I decided to take a look back at the year and see exactly what I did, by the numbers.
In 2022, I made
108 109 submissions (I squeezed another one in there!) and published 13 new stories. That’s about a 12% acceptance ratio, which is lower than I have had the past couple of years, but I suppose I should be happy with double digits. These stories represent a range of fantasy, science fiction, and horror, as well as two pieces that could be contemporary fiction or speculative fiction, depending on how you read them.
Stories released in 2022:
“A Price Already Paid” The Lorelei Signal
“As Long As There’s One” Musings of the Muses a Brigids Gate Press anthology
“A Taste of Online Dating” MetaStellar
“Resistance” Prismatic Dreams an All World’s Wayfarer anthology
“A Mathematical Betrayal” Wyldblood
“To Teach Myself to Fly” Mosaic a TL;DR Press anthology
“Darla and the Clown” The Fourth Corona Book of Horror Stories
“Sanctuary” and “To Call an Ancient Echo” 72 Hours of Insanity v11 a Writers Workout Writers Games anthology
“Knock, Knock” and “when the ice moon rises, and the night is strangely bright” Intrepidus Ink
“A Spell to Say Goodbye” The Quarter(ly) vol IV: ENDS
If you know me, you know that I’m a contest junkie. I tend to use them as a way to get new stories written, as I am definitely deadline motivated. Over the course of the year, I participated in 15 writing contests (I may be missing one or two), many of which had multiple rounds, resulting in 28 distinct stories ranging from 250-word micros to short stories up to 5,000 words in length. Of those, 15 of them placed, and a couple of the contests are still “results pending.”
Writing Battle Flash Fiction – February 2022
First Place: “Antique Photos” (story and interview)
The Third Writers’ Playground Challenge – March 2022
Third Place: “Waiting in the Everafter”
YeahWrite SuperChallenge #26 – December 2022
First Place: “The Things I’ll Do for Bacon”
I was very pleased to be nominated for 2 awards this year.
One of my favorite monster stories – “It Tastes of Salt and Terror” – was nominated for The Dark Sire magazine’s annual Creatives Award. You can read a little about it here, but the story itself is currently unpublished.
Probably the highlight of 2022 was my nomination for a Pushcart Prize for “when the ice moon rises, and the night is strangely bright.” This little eight-paragraph, run-on sentence, break the rules piece is close to my heart, and am humbled by the amount of love it has received.
No, I’m not going to tell you how much money I made from writing in 2022. I’m not in it to make a living, as my dog has grown accustomed to a certain type of lifestyle that my career in robotics affords him.
However, I will say, that I made enough money to fund a nice beach vacation, and that’s pretty good. I do feel pretty strongly that it is important to pay creatives for their work so I rarely pursue non-paying venues. I also realize that the fiscal and time resources to run a magazine are daunting, but even a token payment to authors is appreciated. It’s been a tough year for the world of publishing at large, and it’s been heartbreaking to see some really amazing pro-rate genre publications like Daily Science Fiction and The Arcanist closing their doors.
OVERALL & LOOKING FORWARD
Overall, it wasn’t a bad year. It wasn’t my best, but combining it with a big move and a million other things, it shaped up better than I originally thought.
For 2023, I’m going to try and be a little more thoughtful about how I spend my writing time. I have some bigger projects that keep getting sidelined during the flurry of contest-mania. Keeping a writing-specific calendar will hopefully help me manage my free time more deliberately. I love contests, the thrill of squeezing something out by a deadline, but in 2022 there were a number of weekends with multiple contests going on. It became a cycle of crazed productivity in a short period, followed by a long crash of nothingness, trying to recover and balance the rest of my life in between the chaos. For 2023, I’d like to avoid those severe swings and see how that serves me.
Fingers crossed that 2023 is filled with light and hope and creativity!
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