My novella, Of All Possible Worlds will be inhabiting some future edition of Asimov’s, all 20,000 words of it.
So I’m happy about this. I’m also kicking myself.
I wish I’d not opted out for two decades on the fiction writing, but that’s water over the bridge. Or under it. Or is it water over the dam? Or the Damn? Or something. It’s water, and it’s in some way no longer accessible.
Here’s hoping I get plenty more water to, ah, write with. Not piss away.
I lacked confidence in myself, confidence in the work; I didn’t think I could get much better, than I was writing in the 90s, and I wasn’t getting the kind of reception I wanted with the short stories; which was absurd. I had sales and editors I was working with who were wonderful people. Also, I’d only been at it for six or seven years, why the hell couldn’t I keep getting better at it? Why did I have to assume I’d hit a plateau?
The real problem was in me, not the world; with my expectations, with my bipolar nature.
I couldn’t believe in anything hard enough, long enough, to write at longer lengths. Finishing short stories required acts of will almost beyond me. Suspending disbelief in my own inadequacy. Mostly I wrote for my workshop, in the hope of inspiring them to write more; even the worst story I wrote I felt was somehow an inspiration.
See? I made myself write this. Sure, it’s not very good, but hey, it’s there. It’s good in places.
So, you’d think, now, finally with validation, that this would be behind me. That I’d know, that it’s OK, to pour myself into these things, because they do pay off, eventually.
You think that? Heh. Well. You’re a regular bundle of sunshine, aren’t you?
Success or failure is a greek chorus, as Nancy Kress once told me. You want to write? Write.
That’s all there is to it. It always pays off. Except when it doesn’t, and you have to throw it away, because, you know, you still make sucky things. I do still make sucky things. Alas.
But seriously, what the hell else am I going to do?