On calling myself a writer

Whilst I’ve successfully written erotica, under the pen name of Anna Sky, since 2013, I never wrote outside of the genre with any commitment until last year. It was intimidating–I know the markets and authors for romance and erotic writing and had no clue for speculative fiction–and something that I realised I needed to just fucking do.

I found some great groups on Facebook, both for supporting writing and for finding calls for submission. I attended several cons (Eastercon, Edge-Lit, Bristolcon and Novacon amongst others), met some favourite authors and got great advice and encouragement.

So, I wrote. I wrote fantasy, sci-fi and horror, ranging from 100-word drabbles to 1500-word short stories, and flash-fiction inbetween.

I use The Grinder to track my submissions, as well as a spreadsheet. Not all markets list on The Grinder, and there’s no space to add much in the way of easily accessible notes (e.g. how long to wait before querying, or if accepted, how long the publisher retains exclusive rights), so the spreadsheet is invaluable. Plus, I do love conditional colour coding and tinkering with formulae to pull out weird stats.

According to The Grinder (Excel in brackets), my summary for my last year is:

  • 28 pieces
  • 31 submissions (32)
  • 13 acceptances (15)
  • 10 rejections (13)
  • (Pending: 4)

Shorter fiction is great to write–with my health, I don’t have the focus to commit to longer pieces and I’m concise by nature, so it’s a more natural thing for me to work in the micro- and flash-fiction lengths. I finish more, too, which is a great sense of achievement.

I found something I love doing, and I’m proud of myself for what I’ve achieved in my writing in 2019, so onwards and upwards in 2020!

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