A couple of months ago, I submitted a story to an anthology. I was shocked to see, according to my Duotrope submission tracker, that it had been almost a year since I had submitted anything. Then I remembered receiving a rather harsher rejection on my last submission than I had received before. What was worse was that I sort of agreed with the points it made, and I felt embarrassed for submitting that story. However, I remember thinking, that I would just do better next time.
Looking back now, I see that I was not as thick-skinned as I thought I was. I let that stop me. I felt none of my stories were ready, or good enough. I have several short stories in finished first draft form that I have never bothered to go back and polish up for submission. It is well past time to get over that and submit again.
On a more uplifting note, I got a note that the story I sent in has been short-listed for the anthology. Not an acceptance, but enough to help me feel braver with continuing to send my work out.
For a long time now I've heard, or read about Holly Lisle's writing classes, and found myself at last looking around her site. The How To Write Flash Fiction The Doesn't Suck class is free, and even though I feel fairly comfortable with flash fiction, I decided it was a good way to see if I liked her classes before spending money.
I am not finished with all the lessons yet, but so far the class is just plain FUN! I'm writing stories that I know I would not have come up with in my usual method of sitting around thinking up ideas. Some are very silly, some maybe a little too heavy for the length I'm trying to work with. One turned out to have no Sci-Fi or fantasy elements in it at all. I have no idea if they will turn out any good, but writing is a lot more fun than is had been for me lately. I think I will definitely be looking at some of her other classes to help me through some problems I'm having getting my novel moving.