So the craziest thing happened this week.
One of my stories, “My Seventy-eighth Today,” went live over at AnotheRealm. It’s a story I worked very hard on, and I’m quite proud of it. I keep track of all the places I submit to and where my various stories are. This particular story went to seven publishers before it found its home at AnotheRealm. In other words, I not only worked hard in writing the story, but I also worked hard in selling it.
Now, working hard at both those aspects of being a writer isn’t uncommon at all. Often enough it’s simply a matter of not just writing well, but finding an editor that it clicks with.
Here’s the weird part: I forgot.
Like, I sold this story a few months ago, and I was thrilled it found a home! (And looking at other stories on AnotheRealm, I’m quite pleased to be accepted there!) I was told the expected publication date: April 1. No April Fools; that’s just the day it would be published online.
And then… I forgot about it.
Like, I remembered Friday that it was coming out. I went, “Oh yeah! My story’s supposed to be out!” And I zipped over to the website, and there it was in all its glory!
This is so weird.
Like, for a lot of my stories, I’d be hopping up and down to see them come out. Maybe checking a few times a day on the publication date to see if it was out yet. I mean, a story, published, and there it is!
So… what’s happened?
I’m sure part of it is simply how crazy everything is going with the lockdown. My brain is mush a lot of days as I try to stumble through everything I’m supposed to be doing.
But part of it also is, simply, my growth as a writer. I still love getting those acceptance letters. I enjoy seeing my stuff in print, both digital and physical. My ego shelf is growing, little by little. But I’ve now been published enough that waiting for the actual publication date is no longer the be-all and end-all of my life.
This is good. It frees up emotional real estate to focus on writing and submitting rather than just waiting. It frees up energy to flow toward plotting and characterization and word crafting.
I thought I would feel some sort of loss. Like publication isn’t as special or something. But… it isn’t working that way. Publication is still special; otherwise I don’t think I’d be writing toward publication anymore. Instead, it really is a maturation.
Yay! I’m mature!
That means I get a party, right?
Oh. Wait. Never mind.