Weeks of Writing: 9/14/20 to 10/11/20

I’m a month behind, so this’ll be four weeks of writing. 🙂

Words to Write By

Here’s one from author Richard Bach.

“A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.”

—Richard Bach

I really like this quote for the bit about not quitting. The rest of it isn’t incorrect or anything, but folks tend to have different definitions of words like “amateur” and “professional.” But however you define those words, the second part of the quote remains undeniably true. You can’t quit. You have to keep going, and pushing, and writing, and submitting, and failing, and sometimes succeeding to achieve your goals. It’s an exhausting, soul-crunching process, but I think that’s what makes it worthwhile. It’s cliche, sure, but if it was easy everyone would do it. The truth is it’s not easy. It’s work. Fulfilling work, yes, maybe even necessary work, but work all the same.

The Novel

Hell to Play is still in revisions and likely to stay there for the foreseeable future. We just bought a house, and all the packing and moving shenanigans have taken center stage. Should be moved in with my office set up by the end of the month, and then revisions will begin again in earnest. I have started the process, which primarily involves adding scenes to fill in plot holes or pieces missing from a character’s central motivations. The new material should take my word count north of 90,000 but probably not more than 95,000. Still feeling pretty good about it, and I think the additions will make for a better book.

Short Story Submissions

A solid four weeks of submissions.

  • Submissions Sent: 11
  • Rejections: 4
  • Acceptances: 2
  • Publications: 0
  • Shortlist: 1
  • Pending: 14

Eleven submissions over four weeks is good work. This bumps me up to a total of 72 submissions for the year and gives me a reasonable shot of hitting 100 for 2020. The two acceptances kept my streak of at least one acceptance per month in 2020 alive for September and October. The shortlist was a surprise, and a welcome one, from a top-tier market that’s been on my bucket list since I started submitting work seriously almost eight years ago. I have 14 submissions pending, which is more than I’ve had in a long time. That means a bunch of rejections (and hopefully an acceptance or two) are in my future.


The two acceptances over this four-week period came on September 17th and October 1st. The first acceptance is from Ellipsis Zine for a flash piece called “Stall Number Two”. The second acceptance is from my old pals at The Arcanist and is for another flash fiction story called “Childish Things,” which also took third place in their recent Halloween flash contest. Both stories will be published and available to read online in the next week.

This gives me a baker’s dozen worth of acceptances for the year, with two months and change to go. I managed 14 acceptances last year, so I definitely have a shot at beating 2019’s total. I’d love to break my record of 19 acceptances in a year, but seven yeses in ten weeks feels like a tall order.


No stated goals for this week (and probably the next couple) while we pack and move house. I am looking forward to a new writing space in my new office at the end of the month. I think that’ll be more conducive to goal-oriented activities. 🙂

And those were my weeks. How were yours?

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