I'm only writing an entry because I need to write something. I need to keep my skills up. Otherwise, they'll atrophy and die away, and if I want to keep writing in my life, I need to work hard at it. But I'm so tired lately (it's the baby). All I have motivation for is to sleep. And since I've gotten critiques back for my Devil Image story, I'm getting those negative thoughts again: "You're not good enough", "You'll never be a published writer", "You never write anything publishable", "You have no good ideas", "You'll never be at the level of the big boys".
I'm worried that fatigue in my body will mean fatigue in my writing. Of course, if I think like that, I'll never get any writing done. But it seems like such a long row to hoe. One of the things I've learned about the Black Matrix fiasco is that not all publishing credit is created equal. There are some credits that can hurt your chances of being accepted. Of course, no one's going to tell you what those are. And it's not as if it's 98% of all stories aren't good enough to be published. So just having a few stories in that 2% means nothing.
I used to think that getting a few credits in the small magazines, I can move onto the larger. But it doesn't work that way. Unless your material is at the Clarkesworld level, no one's going to read you and no one's going to notice you. So you better learn how to write at the Clarkesworld level. No, it's not enough to be able to write well, and find your own voice. You've got to study these stories, emulate them, because that's the only way you're getting in. They really make this writing thing hard, don't they?
Everyone has their own rules. Everyone has their own interests, their own policies. You can't just write a good story--you have to write a literary masterpiece. Every time. It's always got to be some pretentious, description-filled, overly-built-world mess. Something that's essentially a throw-away bit of entertainment shouldn't be so deep that you have to read it twice. It's a depressing industry. But anything in the arts is. I just want to make entertaining stories that have a little bit of a lesson in there. Does that mean I have to wrap everything in some art house schmutz?