I’m a couple days late posting this, but I just had a short story published in Factor Four Magazine! If you’re a subscriber, you can read “Thought Adjuster” here. Although I’ve been published before, this is my first professional sale. It’s a sci-fi flash fiction piece about a future in which we all have computers in our head giving us advice.
In January of 2017, I made a secret New Year’s Resolution to make a professional sale as a fiction writer before I turned 40. I made it with a month and a half to spare. I started by writing several flash fiction pieces as well as a few short stories and submitting them out.
For my fellow writers out there, I heartily recommend using The Submission Grinder to keep track of submissions. It will not only keep track of which stories you submit where, but it also gathers data on all the various markets. You can see at a glance how long a particular magazine usually takes to respond to submissions, how much they pay, which genres they publish, and lots more. And it’s free.
When you start submitting stories to professional markets, you’re going to get a lot of rejections, but you can’t let them get you down. As soon as one of my stories was rejected, I just submitted it out to another market and I kept writing new stories in the meantime. Eventually (103 rejections later) I finally got a sale. I didn’t beat Jack London’s record (he got 600 rejections before his first sale), but according to litrejections.com, I’m still in good company.
One of the keys to becoming a successful writer is persistence. Don’t take a rejection personally. Everyone has their own personal likes and dislikes and it’s impossible to please everybody. Just keep writing new stories and keep submitting them and eventually, you’ll succeed.
I’ve already got another story due to be published that I’ll tell you more about when the publication date nears. Stay tuned.