And Mrs Fringe Obsesses, doesn’t get much spookier!

smoke

smoke (Photo credit: DaleKav)

Yup, that’s me thinking.

Not that I’m thinking clearly or productively–overslept again this morning,–but still.  I had a solid, productive day on the WIP yesterday, so I’m good.

You’ve all read my rambles about why I write, what I hope for, what I dream of.  Bottom line for those who skip my angsty posts; I write to be read, to tell a story that will resonate with readers, in hopes of earning a dollar.

Over time, as my income and standards have dropped and my age has increased, I have fewer expectations, a more fractious relationship with hope.  But whatever principles I’ve got left are still strong.  Most of my writing related plans have remained the same.  Write, edit, write, edit, edit, query.  I added the blog–which has been fabulous–queries have changed from snail mail to email–also fabulous.   I don’t get quite as excited as I used to with every query, have a much better understanding of how to not read too much into every little comment I receive.

Money cash

Money cash (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

One principle that hasn’t changed for me–if anything, gotten firmer–is that writing is work, and therefore I want to be paid for anything published.  Not that anything’s been published, but this means I’m a) still searching for an agent (publishing houses that accept unagented manuscripts tend to also not pay advances) and b) I don’t submit short stories to mags that don’t pay at least a nominal fee on acceptance.  I’ve heard odds of having a piece accepted by one of the “big,” known literary mags are smaller than the odds of winning the lottery.  I think I’m a good writer, but let’s face it, Mrs Fringe doesn’t have quite the draw of oh, say, Margaret Atwood or Salman Rushdie.

First publication rights are what most literary magazines want on acceptance, means the piece hasn’t been published anywhere else.  Without those rights, they don’t want the piece.  Why am I rambling about this crap again today?  Well, I was thinking…what if I said fine, I’m willing to burn first publication rights on a story.  Or two.  Or three.  Posting a story here on the blog counts as published when it comes to rights.  So…what?  If I post a story here, it won’t earn me a dollar.  But it would get a story read by at least two of my five readers.  I think.  Maybe that story would resonate with one of the two.  Maybe that would give me some affirmation.  Maybe both would say wow Mrs Fringe really is full of suckage, I’m never going to buy anything of hers if she’s ever published.  Maybe two of the three that didn’t read the story will say screw that pretentious Fringe, I’m going to unfollow her.

What do you think, Fringelings?  I’m seriously asking your opinions and would love to hear your thoughts on this subject–whether you’re a writer, reader, or fellow wannabe.

I just don’t know.  Seems like I don’t really have a lot to lose, and I could gain something.  Maybe.

Happy Halloween Fringelings!

30 comments

  1. I think you’re a very good writer, and really enjoyed what I’ve read of your work. I am NOT a writer, so I don’t understand all the ins and outs of when/why/how/whether to have an agent/self-publish/go straight to digital sales on one’s own.

    Have you written short stories, or other smaller works that you might want to share on your blog, reserving the larger works for potential publishing elsewhere? Might be one way of exposing folks to your style without given away all the goods. 🙂

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      1. Oh did I not tell you? It must be that other pesky friend. It’s a writerly magazine for women that has been going about 6 years and comes out 6 times a year. It has great articles, competitions and advice – poems, prose all sorts.
        Its not pricy and I’m sure you can get an online edition. I always like the paper in my hand tho.
        I started blogging to start writing again and in the beginning it worked, sent something off to them and got it accepted. The pay is tiny but that’s not the point is it?
        It’s really well respected.
        Have a look. there are fun quick things to send in as well – like 200 wd monologues etc.
        Enough already but I think you’d like it.

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        1. So cool, congratulations! Except, yanno, I’m supposed to be your peskiest of your pesky blogging friends, so I should have gotten first notice 😉

          I will check this out, thank you!

          *though I’m still hoping you’ll weigh in on my idea here. :p

          Like

  2. As a fellow wannabe (but one who hopes to get published without putting pen to paper) I honestly don’t know….. It could be good but there might be more value in having separate writing compartments – a bit like life. There’s one blogger who I follow writes interesting posts then plunges us into THE NOVEL – and that I don’t read.

    I guess I like reading about life when life doesn’t like us so much in the blogs and that is of course what I write too. How to get a novel outa’ that?

    So I DONT KNOW.

    youve got me all indecisive and that’s the last thing I usually am. Think I better high tail it to the kitchen and make some chilli con carne.

    Bet this hasn’t helped a jot.

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    1. You raise a very valid point. I wouldn’t post excerpts of a novel, this would be limited to (a) shorts.

      I was thinking if I do this (and yanno I have to obsess for days/weeks/months before I decide), I would put it on a separate, static page, not as a blog post. Not every blog reader wants to read fiction, and of those who would be interested, not every one would be interested in the type of fiction I write.

      One last thought before you eat–it’s HALLOWEEN, silly. Today is for candy, not chili. 😉

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      1. just tweeted that i’m hiding with the lights off cos I have no ‘candy’. we call them sweets. It’s not such a big thing here and now my girls have grown……. anyway head happy voices outside so darkened the home to save embarrassment.

        You’r not writing a 50 Shades are you?

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        1. LOL, erotica is not my thing. Come to think of it, neither is fanfic, which I think 50 Shades began as.

          Halloween is quite “big” here, and I enjoy it, so my lights will be ON this evening. 😀 I’ll give an extra sweet to the trick or treaters and tell them it’s from Mrs C. 😉

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          1. please do. We had a wonderful one in Connecticut many yrs ago with friends and the girls got the whole sensurround experience and flew home with buckets of candy each.

            I did do it here when they were younger and buy stuff and put lights outside and people came but too tempting for Mr c to eat the left overs 🙂

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  3. I checked out Myslexia. . . interesting. mrs fringe, I think it’s a nifty idea with caveats (see below). If you decide to do it, I’d suggest you go with a lesser work, meaning, one you can part with without suffering the sharp pang of (financial?) regret. Serve it up, see what folks have to say.

    But before you do, be sure you know why you’re doing it and what you hope to gain from doing so. You resonate with a lot of people here, just with this blog. So, do you want that amplified? Posting something may give you a boost in confidence, but what if somebody responds negatively? Think about that, mrs fringe. Not that I think it would happen because heck, you write so damn well. But it could and you have to be cognizant of that, ready for that.

    Maybe think about it a little more.

    Btw, I was thinking about posting part of my first novel in excerpts on my blog and posed the question to the AW crowd, I think in the networking/blogger forum. I decided not to do it. . .

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    1. It’s true, a fine line/tricky decision and all that jazz. If I did this, I would want to showcase something that I believe is of quality, but I also don’t want to burn a piece I think *could* have that lottery long shot. Sigh.

      I *think* I’m fine with someone(s) saying Mrs Fringe, your writing sucks, you want to get published AND paid? HAHAHAHA. But if everyone said that, or those were the only responses, it’d be a real test of just how thick my skin is. Hmmm.

      I wouldn’t (and don’t recommend) post a full length manuscript, that’s a whole lot of time and work to burn a bridge with.

      Thank you kk, for your thoughts, feedback, compliments and always, your support.

      xoxo

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      1. You could always write something fresh, just for this purpose. . .

        Sorry I must of cross-posted, I didn’t you were thinking of a static, stand-alone kind of thingie. Not sure how you do that, is it technically challenging or easy or . . .

        Yeah, not a whole ms, not unless it sucks and then, why would you? When I was kicking it around I was thinking of a part of Novel One, a novella within the novel. But it’s not good enough, bottom line. I don’t think so, anyway. And I thought about my reasons for wanting to do it. Maybe to get some solid, good strokes. I was struggling with my novel at the time, I think that’s what got me considering posting on my blog.

        Anyway, this ain’t about me. It’s about you, mrs fringe. And ultimately, the decision rests with you. Which is scary but freeing, too. You call the shots relative to your work. You decide how to write it and what, if anything, you are willing to share. Folks will have their opinions but you decide how much weight to give those opinions. You decide if your skin’s too thin.

        Or your plot.

        🙂

        You’re welcome, btw.

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        1. Not hard to add a static page, I did it when I added the “favorites” page to the top. Not that I remember how I did it, but…;)

          Yup, I’m thinking, and whatever decision I make will be mine, but I value the feedback of others.

          I was thinking more about the thin/thick skin. I’m pretty sure I’m fine with that part of this. I do submit stories and queries, if something was accepted I’d hope to be reviewed–and bad reviews are part and parcel of putting yourself out there.

          🙂

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  4. Why not try a combination and post shorter pieces as well as your regular stuff? I only began blogging a few months ago but I’ve been tracking the interest and my short stories get by far the most views. ‘Course that may say something about the boring nature of my other stuff 🙂

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    1. Interesting. 🙂

      More views for your stories (besides saying a lot about follower’s opinion of your stories) could have to do with the nature and expectations of your blog.

      I’m old, old school, and this is nerve wracking–eek!

      Thanks for weighing in, Linnea! 🙂

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  5. I occasionally post short stories on my blog but only the ones I write for ME and for FUN. Like today, I posted a special Halloween short story. (Genre: “vampire porn.”) As a writer, it’s difficult submitting to literary journals and getting a million rejections. It makes you want to give up, so sometimes, it’s nice to just post a story on your blog, intended for people who like you already (you really like me!). It’s nice to get immediate positive input; keeps me stronger. Keeps me believing in my work when it’s so easy to get disgruntled.

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  6. Hello. I’m hopping over from the Absolute Write Forums. I feel your pain. Writing is often a thankless (penniless) job. Posting shorts is one way to get your work out there.

    I did wonder, though, why you ruled out no-pay journals. If you’re going to post some shorts to your blog, thus sacrificing first publishing rights, why not submit one or two to a no-pay journal as well. You’re basically doing the same thing, using your first publishing rights and not getting paid for it, but by publishing in a few journals, you can grow your following and have a few publishing credits to your name. Just an idea.

    Happy Writing!

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    1. Hi Connie,

      I’ve thought about the no-pay journals. I did submit a piece to a new small journal for their debut issue last spring–and they’ve apparently folded before they began. Aargh. Ultimately, if I’m not going to have a shot at a paycheck, and it’s a very small, limited circulation, I’d rather retain the rights.

      Over the years I’ve heard conflicting info about credits in the small journals re whether or not they’re actually helpful. This of course is assuming I could get published in one, which we all know isn’t a safe assumption.

      Thanks for coming by and commenting, and welcome to Mrs Fringe! 🙂

      Like

  7. You know, I never consider the repercussions of posting a portion of a book or story. Oh well, too late now. It seems like a system designed to keep new talent out – hmmmmmm. I have taken a similar course with my photography – the opportunities to get “exposure” with no paycheck are unending – it has to be a really valid opportunity for exposure, not a chance to design someone’s kids music CD J-card 🙂

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