Today, so-called "writers" don't have to submit anything. They can self-publish their crap and claim to be "famous writers". The days of running the editorial gauntlet and refining one's craft seems to be a dead issue.
One thing that I have never gotten from selling my work is a sense of joy. Yes, I want to sell my work. I want to make money. I want people to read the material that I spent so much time and effort creating.
But I've never gotten much of a sense of pleasure from seeing it in print. I'm not one of those people who freaks out and jumps up and down with excitement and a false sense of inflated ego when the books arrive. I leave that for other people. If that's what floats yer boat--yer welcome to it.
I did not freak out when I sold my first short story. That was to a major publisher (Tor Books) for a
So I figured maybe it would feel different when I sold some comic scripts. I finally did that, too, selling hundreds of pages of scripts to all sorts of comic book publishers, including Marvel Comics. Eh. It was okay, and I enjoyed cashing the checks...but I didn't run around rending my clothes and screaming about how great I was or how good it felt.
Then I figured, maybe I would get excited when I sold my first novel. That was something that had eluded me for long years. Despite having at one time a very high powered agent I just couldn't sell that first novel. So I kept writing novels and I kept submitting them (sometimes with an agent and sometimes without). I just knew that when I finally sold my first novel I would be filled with joy. When I sold THE FLOCK, I was pleased, but hardly filled with ecstasy. It was just part of a difficult process that had begun when I was in my mid-20s, and when it finally happened I couldn't generate any sense of euphoria over getting a paycheck for something that was, essentially, hard work--years of it.
I've now sold many, many short stories--I long ago lost count, but it's over 70, I think. I stopped counting when it became a rather pedestrian occurrence for me.
There have been just a few exceptions to the rule. I did get a big kick out of conceiving and selling an anthology to Arkham House Books. And I got a thrill from having a short story in THE BLEEDING EDGE and being allowed to do a signing event with the other authors, who included one of my idols, Ray Bradbury. Plus, my sale to Weird Tales completed a childhood dream, so that one actually pleased me no end. However, those were, as I say, exceptions to the rule.
I've now sold eight novels, two to a major publisher (Tor Books--the same folk who, ironically, published my first short story), and for me it's not a big deal. It's just something that happens after I've completed a work. It's cool...but those who are filled with a false sense of greatness...I just don't get it. All I want to say to them is "get a fucking grip and take the ego back about ten notches". I get my joy from writing by writing. And I get a sense of accomplishment when I sell the words I wrote. But I don't understand these jackasses who strut around bragging about their books--especially when their books and stories are self-published and generally don't deserve to be seen (the folk one of my pals calls the "self-pubbers").