Sunday, April 28, 2013

Focus--focus--focus

A writing workshop leader once told me that in order to succeed as a writer you had to have "singleness of purpose." Over the 30 plus years since then I have come to see how true that is. I learned the hard way because I had no focus, but things are becoming less blurry lately.

Yesterday I heard that my short story "Rose" has been accepted for publication this year by persimmontree. I am proud of this accomplishment and happy to say this makes my fifth short story to get published. I know I've written here about my genre jumping but yesterday's good news helps me see where I need to concentrate my writing. It's a sign! It shows that through my concentration in the past when I took online flash fiction classes I was able to produce a number of solid stories over the weeks of those classes. And now the payoff is coming in more publications. I also received a "not quite for us" rejection this week but with a request to send more work in the future. That kind of rejection for a writer is a stamp of approval.

So I am setting out to write short stories and flash nonfiction. I hope to have 2 chapbooks completed by November to enter in the Rose Metal Press chapbook contest. I also am making a commitment to submit more of my flash fiction and poetry to journals and online venues.

I feel validated finally and cannot risk spreading my writing too thin. That only slows down production and inhibits the possibility of publishing. With enough short stories published I can now legitimately submit queries for a short story collection. I am proud of myself and I don't mind bragging! It just feels so good.