In the immortal words of my first writing mentor, Lewis Buzbee, “getting published is great, but it won’t change your life!”
It has changed my life in that with each story that gets published (six now, unbelievable!), I get more confident that people want to read what I want to write.
Getting published, even in a small literary journal such as SNReview, is tremendously difficult for us mere mortals.
I remember I volunteered for a few weeks at Zyzzyva in San Francisco. One task was to proofread the gallies of a book to be published. Awesome. The other was to open submissions and automatically insert rejection slips into their SASE’s. Not so awesome.
Each night, the editor would read a box of submission with the rejection slips already in there. If he liked a story, or even got past the first page, he would take out the slip, and set that story in a separate pile for looking at later, and keep going.
Talk about humbling. Knowing that stories were rejected before even being read is quite the un-motivator but it did set me to working harder on my openings. And that has proven very useful.
So now I have six stories published in a world where I never thought one of mine would see the light of day. So getting published is great, but I need to keep going.