So this guy, Dan, comes by Dean Wesley Smith's blog. Dean's written a really good article called "Dare to be bad", and the comment thread is as usual as worth reading as the blog itself. But Dan invites the denizens of Dean's blog to come join this little contest he and a few friends (14 writers in total) started last June. The objective was to get them all submitting stuff - over and over, to keep it cycling, to keep it Out There where it could be bought. The jist of the contest is this: you get 3pts for a fiction submission, 4 for a novel query, 8 for a fiction publication/purchase, 1 for a non-fiction query, 3 for a non-fiction publication. Only paying venues count. No pay per click, no royalties-only, so self-pub. The contest started back in June, and ends May 27th, so it's almost exactly halfway through. Dan was leading with 97 points (100 as of this writing). Losers all pay the winner $10.
So I do a little math.
There's 25 weeks left. If I write "just" one short story per week, and submit them an average of twice each (let's bet on the safe side and say I get no sales), that by itself is 150 points. At his current rate, Dan will end with maybe 200 points. That's not including novel submissions or anything like that.
Sure. I can do that.
So I sign up. Here's the way I see this: it's a win-win.
I wanted to work on my short story writing a bit in the new year, anyway. So this is a great excuse to crank some out. It's also a great push to just send them out, as often as needed to keep them in circulation until they sell. Now, the SF&F short story market is pretty weak. Actually, that's a bit like saying Krakatoa was a little loud, but you get the idea. But that's OK, because the Kindle market for shorts is not so bad. So most of these stories (any that I think are worth it) will probably get packaged up this spring for Kindle release. Some will get posted here, too. If I don't win, I'm out ten bucks, but up a bunch of new stories and a lot of practice writing, with a lot of submissions out, and with any luck maybe a couple of sales. And if Amazon kicks off their Kindle Singles, I'll have a big backlist of short stories ready to roll.
Sounds like a good idea right now. Ask me again in a few months... ;) The bottom line though is that I like being challenged. I like facing something that seems unconquerable, and doing it anyway. Saw that in myself this NaNoWrimo - waiting til the last day to write the final twenty five thousand words of your novel is not for the faint of heart. Doing it two years in a row is probably for the clinically adrenaline-addicted.
So here I am, another deadline in hand - this one six months away, but with the leader having a 100 point head start.
Time to get writing!