A Small Dose of Legitimacy


Today's post will actually kill two birds with one short story (don't worry - no animals were harmed during the writing of this post).

First off, it's time for our monthly Insecure Writer's Support Group post created by Alex J. Cavanaugh.  On the first Wednesday (in this case Tuesday) of every month we...in Alex's words...try share and encourage each other, express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

This month I'm going to talk about something that will stave off (they NEVER go away) those insecure feelings, a dose of legitimacy.  Some say (and I agree with the philosophy) that an aspiring writers pursuit of publication is their way to validate the merit of their work.  Positive feedback from critique partners or beta readers, no matter how glowing, can only sustain you so long.  But when an agent, editor, publisher, or anyone else who lives and breathes in the publishing world, selects your work to be singled out in some way, it gives us a sense of belonging.  It silences the whispers in the back of our minds telling us we've been fooling ourselves.  And that dose of legitimacy doesn't have to be much.  It is some pretty powerful stuff, and it can come in many different forms.  Even a rejection letter where the agent praises your writing, but just didn't feel the story was right for them, can provide a feeling of legitimacy.

I recently got my dose! 

Earlier this year Donna Hole posted about how the publisher of short story collections, Open Heart Publishing, was accepting submissions for their fall 2012 anthology.  Donna already had one of her short stories published in a previous collection, as did another blogger I followed, Stephanie Loree, so I decided to send one of my favorites off and see what happened.  The submission guidelines warned that it would be several months before decisions would be made, so I did my best to put it out of my mind and move on with other projects.  I was really successful at that because a couple months later when I received an email informing me that my story was a finalist for selection, it took me a moment to remember what they were talking about.  Unfortunately it would still be a while before I would know if it had been chosen, but we aspiring writers relish in any victory, big or small, so being named a finalist was momentous, and a tiny bit of legitimacy!  This time it was a little harder not to let the anxiety of waiting get to me, but when notification day came and went without a word, I reverted to the other aspiring writer survival behavior...repression.  Oh well, time to move on to something else, I told myself.  That is until a month later when I received an email that started off with...We have finished our submission reviews for An Honest Lie, Volume 4: Petulant Parables. (Are you excited yet? I hope so!)

Yep...my short story is going to be published!  An Honest Lie, Petulant Parables will hit the presses this fall.  I had to sign a contract and everything!  I'll be sharing this honor with 15 other talented writers (Donna included) and can't wait.  Of course this means I'll be pestering you sometime in the future to add another book to your TBR list, albeit a short-story collection, but I'll be proud of it just the same.
 
Needless to say, my insecurities have been abated for the time being.   Last week I posted about cross-pollination, about finding ways to establish meaningful connections out here in the blogosphere.  I was talking mainly about community support, but sometimes these connections provide opportunities to discover our own sense of legitimacy.  Donna pointed me towards Open Heart Publishing and I'll do the same for somebody else when they open for submissions again.  

What I suggest to you is find a short story publisher, or a short story contest, there not hard to find, and submit.  It may seem like a small step and not really where you want to end up, but it can prove to be a move in the right direction and could do wonders for your confidence.  

A small dose goes a very long way!

 



57 comments

  1. Outstanding--congratulations to you, sir!

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  2. Congratulations! That's exciting and... very motivating for me to write a short story :)

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  3. Soooo happy for you. An exciting accomplishment. How did you celebrate? You did celebrate, yes?

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  4. Congrats! That's awesome and I'm very excited for you.

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  5. Congratulations, DL!!!! Aren't you glad you never gave up?

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  6. Great news, DL! I'm happy for you. And now you can put an actual publishing credit on your queries! Awesome!!

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  7. Woot! I agree that it's nice to have that confirmation that you can write somethings that others will want to read. Publishing is the ultimate nod of approval. Actually, it can even be a comment on a blog hop where you've written a story.

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  8. Woohoo!!!! That's awesome news - congratulations! :)

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  9. Well done. Congratulations, what a great achievement.

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  10. Woo Hoo! Dl. that's totally awesome.
    Karen

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  11. AGH!!!! I was too excited to finish reading your post so I'm on my way back up to finish :D

    Congrats!!!

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  12. Congratulations, D.L.! That certainly is validation -- Woot! Woot!

    Last week I got invited to participate in a charity anthology, and that felt like validation, too -- just being invited. This will be my first time writing a short story on demand, to fit a certain subject matter, and with a deadline. Excited and nervous about it.

    High five!

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  13. way to go! short story submissions are sooo worth it! i will be pubbed online by a suggestion from donna too! she's awesome!

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  14. I said it before and I'll say it again: Congrats! :)

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  15. Terrific news! Congrats! :D

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  16. Wooot woooooot!!! I'll bet it was validation! :D

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  17. Way to go DL. Congratulations! There's nothing like getting a little ego boost, a little confirmation of your heart's choice.

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  18. I saw Donna's post announcing that both of you had been chosen. Congrats! Yes, a bit of acceptance can do wonders. And it all makes it all seem that little bit more real.

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  19. Ohhhhh... yaaaay! HUGE CONGRATS, Don!!!!! :D

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  20. I always thought you were a legit writer but I do want to congratulate you.

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  21. Great Post. I only hope some day to have something to offer to a publisher or agent. In the meantime I can look to Posts like yours for inspiration and hope. Thanks for sharing.

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  22. Congrats!!!! SO PROUD!!! *throws confetti* *throws cupcakes* *throws other sugary treats you might like*

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  23. Congratulations! That small dose of affirmation is a really wonderful feeling.

    Allison (Geek Banter)

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  24. Congrats! I love to hear about successes!!

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  25. That's wonderful, DL! Congratulations!! (And what a fun thing to put in your query letter, too!:))

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  26. I'm pleased in two ways Don: that you found this publisher through one of my blog posts, and doubly so that you have been accepted.

    Well done.

    And I'm totally with you on the legitimacy. It is validating to have an industry professional say they love your writing, and to pick you out of how many hundreds or thousands of submissions?

    Thanks for the shout out Dude; and yes, I know for sure one of your posts will cross pollinate another blogger/author to either this publication, or some other along the way.

    Sharing is the purpose of the blogs, right?

    Have a great 4th of July holiday.

    ......dhole

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  27. Woo hoo Super congrats, Mr. Published Author!!

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  28. That's great! Congratulations :)

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  29. That is awesome news!!! Congrats :)

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  30. Congratulations! Acceptance always helps one feel a bit more secure.


    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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  31. Congrats again, DL! Can't wait to buy my copy!

    Remind me again, will you?!? I don't want to miss out!

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  32. CONGRATULATIONS! You're absolutely right about how we tend to seek (and crave) validation. Last year, a magazine bought one of my short stories for a pretty penny, and that was the big boost I needed to keep me plugging away on my novel. Again, congrats. Let us know when the book is available.

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  33. Super news. Keep us posted. I'd be honored to help you spread the news on your blog when the anthology is available. Doin' the wave for validation.

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  34. Happy 4th of July!
    Congratulations! That is absolutely awesome! Bet you cannot wait until it's out!
    Wow!

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  35. Oh, WOW!!! That is awesome! Congratulations, and I can't wait to read some of your work!

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  36. Congrats, DL! That is absolutely wonderful.

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  37. YEAH! Go you! And don't you ever doubt that you belong for one second.

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  38. Wow, congratulations! Small doses can always lead to bigger ones :-)

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  39. Here's to more publications to follow An Honest Lie. Congratulations!

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  40. Yay! Congratulations!! That's fantastic news.

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  41. AWESOME! Just a little really does go a long way.

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  42. Congrats DL! I'm so happy for you. That's awesome.

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  43. Congrats! Affirmation is a wonderful thing!

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  44. Congratulations! That's great news. So happy for you. :)

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  45. hey DL! Thats great!! Congrats!! Feel proud! Times like these is what makes the path smoother for us. :D
    Cheers to you!

    btw do you know why some comments allow for replies and others dont? I know it has to do with settings by the blogger, but my blog doesnt allow for replies on any of the comments. What's the trick??

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  46. Congratulations! That's awesome! I second the suggestion to try out magazines/ezines, anthologies, and contests. Short stories are a great way for writers to practice their craft too. I want to write novels, but I do short stories too for those reasons. :)

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  47. Huge congrats for having your short story accepted for publication! That's the way I started, too. First I got my writing up to the level where I could get pubbed in zines and anthologies -- then I moved on to novels. (Still waiting for the legitimacy there...) Having your short story publishe IS legitimacy and will make you more confident and a better writer. Good luck in everything you do. :-)

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  48. I am thrilled to hear this news from you! Well deserved! Best of luck and congratulations! Heather

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  49. This is such a great post, DL! You're so right about those voices and that feeling of legitimacy! SUPER CONGRATS on your upcoming publication! It is well earned and well deserved. Here's wishing it's the start of many more publications to come~ :o) <3

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  50. Sorry I am a little behind in commenting to this, but want to say Congrats on the publishing.

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