This is one of those times.
Last month I began recording and posting some of my short stories to my author website. Likewise, I have also been reading them on the podcast. Since October is both my birth month and the month of Halloween, it seemed only fitting that I should share these as a present to myself, and that they should be suspenseful/spooky.
Having said that, I have had a few questions from people asking why I am giving my work away for free. The short answer is because it makes me happy.
To catch everyone up, these short stories are all prior submissions that were not accepted after a few attempts.
I could sell them if I continued to submit them to magazines and websites, but I have decided to impose some new rules on myself.
As any writer knows, the freelance game is a long and arduous one. After you craft the perfect story (in your mind anyway) the submission process begins. If you're lucky you'll find a market for each and every piece that you create and be paid huge sums of money for all of your hard work...
If you're like all of us other writers out there, you'll send in a story and wait...and wait...and wait...
It isn't that this is unusual, it's just time consuming.
To be fair, the good folks reading all of these submissions want to find good content. They really do. It's simply a matter of the submission to editor ratio.
You and I are not the only ones who think that we have created the next epic story that is sure to take its place in all readers' hearts, right next to Poe and Twain. Every author has this delusion.
Unfortunately, this is only one of the aspects that muddies the waters.
Someone has to actually read your work and determine whether it is good enough to publish or not (sometimes within just a few paragraphs) so that they can get on to their next gigantic slush pile.
Rejection. This is usually the point where people give up. The problem is that this is exactly the opposite of what you should be doing. When you get that "this isn't right for us" letter, and you will, that is the time where you should send it right back out to the next possible purchaser.
Now, in the instance that you get feedback, try to listen to what you're being told. Take a minute, put your pride aside, and read the feedback from the point of view of the editor that wants your story to be good. They want to buy your writing!
If you do this and simply can't bring yourself to change your great creation then just remember that someone out there cared enough to give you their thoughts.
Feedback, by the way, is received rarely enough in freelance writing that I typically take note when someone gives it to me. I find it way more constructive than the standard form letter.
Anyway, without giving away my new requirements, after I send out so many subs for a particular story and they get rejected I am going to post them on my author website and eventually I will record them so that everyone can listen to them through my site.
This brings me back to whole "free" thing. Writing can get you money, but first and foremost it is about the craft of writing and creating and the joy that it brings to me and my readers. Money is the farthest thing from my mind when I sit down at the keyboard and start punching out a new story.
I do this because it makes me happy. I do this because it makes other people happy.
Now, I am not naive enough to think that money doesn't matter. It absolutely does. My hope is that through sharing my stories that people will read them and/or listen to them and get more interested in my work. By getting more interested in my writings perhaps more people will buy my works.
This would be a gamble if I was totally relying on people to read my stuff, but I'm not. The stories that I write are meant to be read and enjoyed by people, plain and simple. They will be released either through large publications or on my personal site, it makes little difference to me.
As long as someone reads them or listens to them and enjoys them, that's good enough for me.
Write on, and read what I write.