My problem throughout the past decade, before I was willing to swallow my pride and go back to school, was that I was in a big damn hurry to be published. Over the past two weeks, I've been editing short stories and, OH MY GOD, were they awful. Not the stories, mind you, but the self-editing, or shall I say, lack thereof. A lot of rookie mistakes that testify just how much of a hurry I really must have been in. It was quite embarrassing, to tell you the truth.
I'm 32 now, in my last semester before I get that Associate in Arts, and I self-published a novel via smashwords. And it's still not good enough. That's why I've been submitting a little bit of everything to magazines and presses; another novel, more short stories, flash-fiction, poetry, even the Twitter brand of microfiction. It's gotten me noticed in some avenues. And I'm even getting better at writing blogs, if I do say so myself. Today on my Facebook author page I wrote a bit about Ray Bradbury, which I may paste on this blog later.
My point is this: now that I'm more confident in my self-editing skills, I don't mind submitting work to editors as much as I did back in early August, when I self-published The Odic Touch. If I'd known how good it feels now submitting to editors, I probably would've saved that novel for a contract.
In the meantime, I'm less worried about rejections than I once was. I've even stopped counting the days between submissions and responses. If it's a rejection notice, no big deal. I've done the best I could with that story and just because one publisher can't use it doesn't mean that another won't. And I've found that some editors are willing to work with a writer to find a spot for his/her work. Sometimes it works out, others not, but I'm not stressing over it.
Learning to self-edit is not the hard part, nor is becoming comfortable with editorial feedback; it's maturing enough to do both that's a pain in the ass, but the writing improves as a result. Even if you don't hear positive feedback to tell you so, you KNOW when it's getting better just by reading it. And once you can distinguish good writing from bad, , rejection letters are a piece of cake. Just keep submitting. That's the important part. Submit, submit, submit...