Since I gave up the English major ghost and switched my major to Graphic Design, I have barely written anything at all, or even thought about writing anything other than blog posts and carefully-composed-for-maximum-effect tweets/emails/text messages/notes to my scheduling manager about what shifts I can and can’t work. I haven’t gotten the urge to write, and I haven’t had any ideas. All of my creativity lately seems to be channeled into tactile or visual crafts rather than literary, and I don’t feel like words come as fluidly to me anymore as they once almost, sort of, kind of seemed to. Lately I think more in colors, shapes, textures, positive/negative spaces, facial expressions and body language rather than grammar, punctuation, tone, point of view, dialogue, context, and sentence structure. Even writing this post has taken me far longer than it should have, consisting thus far of a mere 100-some words.
That having been said, there is one short story that I’ve sat on and sat on and sat on, for months and months beyond months. I showed it to a few people: my mom, my writerly best friend, another writerly friend, a professional cartoonist/writer, my artsy and creative landlord. The response was pretty across-the-board that it was not completely terrible and some mentioned that I should submit it somewhere. Every so often I pull it up and read it again, and am frankly kind of amazed that I pounded it out in a few hours with little to no editing or proofreading. The problem is that I don’t know where to go with it, or what to do with it, or whether it should just be my dirty little secret, as at the time of its writing I was already firmly entrenched in the idea of being a Graphic Designer™ and everyone knows Graphic Designers™ don’t write stories, for gosh’s sake.
So, this story.
It’s not doing me any good sitting on my hard drive, collecting e-dust, growing a flowing white e-beard, just waiting for said hard drive to completely fail (again). However, having never been a very good English major in the first place, I don’t know how to go about submitting anything anywhere, or where to start. My mind reels when I google “short story submission” or “literary magazine submission,” and roughly one trillion results come up: I go into a catatonic state, completely shutting down with the information oversaturation.
Oh, and did I mention my crippling fear of rejection, which is apparently nowhere near as big an issue when I’m flirting with unavailable men? This is probably the biggest roadblock to anywhere for me. It’s the same reason my etsy store looks like a ghost town. Instead of realizing that no one can buy anything if there’s nothing in the store, my mind says “no one can NOT buy anything if there’s nothing in the store,” and yes, I even made my own brain bleed with the negatives in that sentence. Point being: it’s easier to deal with my own self-rejection than with the rejection of others.
At some point in the next three-six months, the sooner the better, actually, I’d like to have this story cleaned up and submitted. Any suggestions as to where and how to go about submitting a slightly macabre story about life and death in a weird, smallish town? I don’t want to get wrapped up in anything involving an agent: this is a one-off thing and likely won’t happen again for a long time, if ever again.
Suggestions and offers to read/give editing advice would be greatly, unbelievably appreciated! Also, if anyone has any success stories about submitting anything, or even horror stories, I will gladly read those.