Like any well brought-up management consultant, I have targets that are specific, measurable, achievable, recorded (if only in my head), and time-bound.
My specific writing target is to sell three stories a year. Preferably to SWFA-accredited markets, but no matter. Bottom line is three. Well, this year I've sold five.
As well as My Avatar Has An Avatar at Daily Science Fiction, and The Lodeon Situation at Fiction Vortex, three acceptances have come in at once, like proverbial hover-buses:
- My flash story Divorced from Reality has been selected for Christina Escamilla Publishing's Welcome to the Future Anthology (and I've been paid already, which is nice)
- Shooting the Messenger (think Homeland meets sci-fi) has been taken by Geminid Press for their Take Me To Your Leader anthology. It's intended to be the first chapter in a novel called Toefoot, but as I've only managed two and a quarter chapters in about five years, there's no danger of it trying to sneak out before Geminid's book. I haven't been paid yet, but that's probably because the contract is still in the scanner. And,
- Domain SF have taken my water-warning story Farndale's Revelation - at least, I think they have; not exactly sure, contractually, what their expression of interest means.
Still, my spreadsheet (like any well brought-up management consultant I love spreadsheets) shows a sea of red at the intersections of story title and publisher - Mister Clarke continues to bat my work back like we're playing Pong - but a few splashes of green on the page give me some heart in carrying on writing.
But would it make that much difference? Like most corporations, missing targets rarely seems to change the strategy. I think I'd still be tapping away, bloody-minded, ploughing my own furrow, whatever.