Blog Post #29: Facing Burnout while Writing Submissions and Entering Short Stories for Cash in between Writing/Editing Novels

When I began this blog my goal was always to “soft publish” my short stories here and then submit them for publication before compiling them into a short story compilation. Finding where to submit, how to submit, and when not to submit has become a whirlwind of quick learning. Keeping my muse from burning out has also become quite burdensome.

Submissions is a new realm. When I was in community college there were student journals and papers that were published where students could submit work. My best friend got a work of hers published in it while she was pursuing her AA in English. At the time I was working full time and burning myself out, causing myself to lose financial aid and nix my ability to continue college at that school. Bummer. Due to that burn out I never got the chance to attempt to write anything, let alone submit it.

Currently (but not in the future), my short story titled Dejavu is on this blog in five parts. I will be taking these down soon to polish it up and submit it for publication to Silver Blade Magazine. Fingers crossed, I will get chosen and receive a small cash prize. In the works I just plotted a new short story I will be posting, in parts, on this blog titled Nightshade’s Fate, a retelling of the story of Persephone, the Goddess of the Underworld and the night Hades takes her away. I will be submitting this to Quill & Crow Publishing for their The Damned and the Divine submission call. I’m extremely excited to write this short story.

However, I also feel the siren call of burn out on the horizon. I just finished the first draft of Silver Blood in September, then I finished Dejavu, a short story I started two years ago (and something that had been on my mind for two freaking years!). Now I’m jumping into a new short story. Short stories are, admittedly and obviously, easier than full novels. Short stories can move faster where a full book requires more pacing. Short stories are where clever prose matters most, where every word counts in a tale.

Short stories, like novels, are still work, nonetheless.

My next steps with Silver Blood are to add a B plot to thicken the word count and add more to the world. I’ve wanted to step away from the manuscript for a few weeks to a month (or two, even), so I can come back with fresh eyes and fresh ideas. The short stories I’ve been writing are entirely different than the storyline of Silver Blood, so I’m hoping not to succumb to burnout for too long.

Even if I do burn out, I’ll still be here to tell you about it. Not every part of writing is easy, and now that I’ve been pursuing writing stories as a part-time job to full-time hobby, I recognize that burnouts are cyclical, not a reflection of my inability to become a great writer who has an awesome following. My burnout does not reflect my inability to write well, or to craft stories. My burnout is just a result of pushing myself hard, and when I let my mind rest I allow myself the space to let my muse ponder and give me some ideas.

See you all next week! I will be starting Nightshade’s Fate Wednesday morning!

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