I’m thrilled to have author HM Jones here back for Week 5 of the Freefallers Blog Swap . She’s enormously talented as both a writer and a poet, and just a tremendous contributor to the awesomeness that was Gravity.
You wrote a book, now the money will come piling in, the movie deals, the notoriety…or not. It’s going to take a while to get you there, my friend. And that’s okay. So what should you do in the meantime? Should you take up jazz piano? Should you learn martial arts? Sure, that all sounds lovely. But, really, if you want to be a writer, you have to keep going.
Write every day? Well, mostly, yes. That’s pretty much how it is with other jobs, right? You work in a garden at least 5 days a week and get paid for it, you’re a gardener. You have vacations for sanity and weekends, but you mostly work at it consistently. That’s how I treat my writing career, as well—like it’s a job. That doesn’t mean I beat myself over the head until that book is done. I sometimes take a break from my novel writing, but that doesn’t mean I’m not writing. My motto, and it’s working alright for me, is:
Just Keep Submitting!
What does that mean, exactly? That means I always have a project I’m working on, and I’m always sending projects off to be accepted to various books, anthologies, magazines, websites, blogs, etc. I’m getting my name and my writing out there at all times. If you want to make a name, it’s a good idea to submit your work to the communities who are going to appreciate your writing. What does that look like for you? That depends.
The topics I’m passionate about and write about in both my poetry, sci-fi, fantasy and fiction are: mental health, parenting, gender equality, violence against women, geek culture, world building, flash fiction, short stories, and sci-fi/fantasy themed stories. So, I search various writer’s submission websites and I search for magazines, anthologies, publishers and blogs who care about those topics and have a good readership and a reputable name.
Wow, you must be all over the place, then, H.M., if you’re a submitting fool. Wrong. Most of the time I get back rejections. Sad but true. I allow myself to be bummed, then I submit that piece elsewhere, sometimes tweaking it. I’m not George R.R. Martin, Tamora Pierce or Rowling, so my work has to stand on its own merit and on the tastes of the sites/publications I submit to. And I’m a solid writer, but so are a lot of people. So I get rejected. That’s going to happen. My name is not at that point where it will vouch for me.
But here’s the thing that makes it worth it: I also get accepted. And that’s why I do it. Sometimes my work speaks to a publication, a reader, an editor. And that feeling, that community, that opportunity, makes the rejections worth it. The last seven things I’ve had published through other channels came through my ability to just keep submitting.
Below is a short list of sites you can search when you’re considering getting your work out there. I hope they help. And I hope you keep submitting, writers.
NewPages: various types of anthologies/publishers looking for submissions
Brave New Worlds: lists a few sci-fi/fantasy publishers looking for submissions
Poets & Writers: lists of publishers looking for poetry and literary fiction
H.M. Jones is the B.R.A.G. Medallion honoree, LA Book Festival Honorable Mention and NIEA finalist for her dark fantasy, Monochrome. She is a featured poet in My Cruel Invention, and is a contributing author to Masters of Time: A Sci-Fi and Fantasy Time Travel Anthology and the forthcoming short story anthology, Untethered. Jones also teaches English courses at Northwest Indian College. She is a featured poet on Feminine Collective, moderator of the online poetry mag, Brazen Bitch, is the tired mother of two preschoolers, and in her “spare” time weaves, pulls with the Port Gamble S’Klallam Canoe Family, and attempts to deserve her handsome husband. You can find H.M. Jones on Facebook, Twitter (@HMJonesWrites), and her website and blog http://www.hmjones.net