About half an hour ago I finally submitted my story to Misha’s 21st Century Anthology. Writing it was quite the experience. Most of it not really positive but overall quite eye opening.
It took me two whole months to write and submit this story. Realistically much less than that because what I submitted was the final product of numerous false starts and abandoned projects. But that’s beside the point, taking two months to submit a pulp story falls squarely in the Fail camp.
I reflected on what caused me to spiral into such a negative mood, where I just didn’t feel like writing at all and identified two issues. First, I don’t like writing in the present world. I don’t like urban fantasy very much and as soon as you add the fantastic to a modern day story it leans towards the UF subgenre. I prefer writing in fantasy or fantasy-tinged historical settings, filled with mysticism and wonder. Writing in the 21st century made it very hard for me to grasp that feeling.
The second issue is that I suck at writing to spec. I told myself I would write for this submission becoming over-focused to the point where I felt guilty when not working on this story. I write the best when I scatter around between stories, following whatever mood and idea I’m currently into then matching my story to submission guidelines instead of writing for the guideline.
I think from now on I’m going to write. If one of my stories matches what a submission wants I will send it. But writing with a magazine or anthology in mind does not suit me.
But now that I actually finished the piece and sent it I feel relieved. I can’t wait to read the final anthology, with or without my story in it.