who the heck knows anything, anyway

Friday, April 15, 2011

Investing in My Future

You wouldn't know it by looking at my Word Docs, but I'm working like a crazy person today. Instead of following my usual routine of Wake Up, Breakfast, SAD lamp, Write, Write, Fret, Loaf About, Write, and Loaf More, I am doing the sort of research that I had been neglecting because I am a notorious 'fraidy cat.

Wait--what sort of research could possibly scare me, the Queen of Trivial Knowledge?

Well, the not-trivial kind. The kind that you have to do when you want to remain self-employed. Ugh.

Business terrifies me. It does not help my case one little smidge that I am an introverted borderline-hermit. Meeting new people makes my palms sweaty; "networking" is not a term that fills me with joy. Self-promotion makes me feel like an intellectual prostitute--a very desperate prostitute. Blegh.

But there's really no avoiding it. Writing stories is as much about taking chances as...bungee-jumping. Or something equally risky with (potentially) great pay-off. After getting some sage advice from one of my amazing PSU mentors, I have realized that it's time to kick things into high gear. Submit, submit, submit! as the saying goes. Fortunately, this does not involve much schmoozing*. Unfortunately, it requires a lot of research and money (oh, right, and craploads of new writing, too). Funny, eh? I don't have a paying job right now, but I will be paying $15-$25 per contest** I enter. So that's the first necessary investment. I have also shelled out a chunk of change on Writer's Chronicle and GRANTA this afternoon. The first is wonderfully practical, and also fairly cheap. The second is kind of stupidly expensive, but I love the publication, and I can rest assured that they'll keep me abreast of new, amazing writing. Plus, I need to read more short stories. That's generally what people submit to these sorts of magazines, and I am not (yet) a pro at writing short. (Working on it, though.)

So that's been my day. I've spent a nice chunk of change on some practical matters, and will no doubt be spending more in the coming months. But I can't let $45 here and $20 there hinder me. It was hard to shell out the figurative cash*** to buy GRANTA, but it probably shouldn't have been; I know it will be useful. I just need to suck it up and go for it with things like this. I'm investing in my future! As an added bonus (and points for keeping it positive!), every time I don't win a contest, I'm investing a little bit in another aspiring writer's future. And that's pretty awesome. ...Especially considering that it requires no schmoozing.

End Note:
If anyone wants to buy me this book, that would be pretty cool.

*Unfortunately, trying to find a community of other novelists/writers with whom I am compatible requires a lot of trial and error in addition to a hella lot of schmoozing. Barf.
**Which means I'll be paying $15-$25 for a piece of paper that says HAHA, REJECTED on it. WOO! Looking forward to accumulating those. (Actually, I kind of am excited. Proof that I tried, yo.)
***definitely bought it online with e-monies