Monday, March 12, 2007

Should I continue?

Part of the reason I started this blog was out of frustration--both with the writing process and my writing in particular--as well as with the editorial worlds of science fiction, speculative fiction and fantasy, of which I know little. I wanted to chronicle my experiences as a writer trying to break into the sci-fi genre in a way I haven't seen before.

This isn't to say it hasn't been done--there are hundreds of thousands of blogs out there I haven't read--but I haven't come across a blog of this kind, especially done by an African American writer. When I told my wife I was starting six blocks east of mars, she voiced some of the internal concerns I had. Do I really want to make my thoughts (some very personal and intimate) public? Will this blog come back to bite me in the future? Will I upset an editor or a magazine with what I write about them here?

I mean, I plan to honestly and accurately depict my dealings with editors and magazines, but will the editors and magazines agree with my honesty and accuracy? Of course, this is assuming there are others out there reading this blog. The writing ego within me hopes so, but also cringes at the possibility.

Making this blog public opens me up to criticism as well as discontent. And, for the most part, I'm fine with that. But what if I somehow jeopardize my writing career with this?

I've taken steps to make sure this doesn't happen, including using a pseudonym, not using the names of editors, not posting or linking my short stories here, and not linking this blog in highly trafficked areas.

If I find six blocks east of mars to be anything but detrimental to my writing career and the publishing careers of the magazines discussed here, those things may change. For now, I will be very careful with the content on this blog.

Ultimately, I do wish the public to read this blog, but I don't want be the cause or reason for any negative fallout regarding my writing career and the magazines and editors discussed. And, again with a stroke of the writing ego, I hope this blog can help other young writers looking to break into the genre or get some information about a magazine Ralan or Spicy Green Iguana might not offer.

It can't hurt to put out there some of the things that worked or didn't work to get a story published at a particular market. The problem I have with chronicling my thoughts, especially when it comes to writing, is I have a tendency not to be as honest as I should be. Lies of omission rather than lies of commission. Usually there are things too painful, too embarrassing, or too awkward for me to write, even if I know I'm the only one reading those words.

This is the reason why so many of my personal and private journals start strong and eventually peter out. And it's not surprising to me at all that this post is nearly a week after my last one.

So, here's to continuing on. Hopefully, six blocks east of mars will allow me to work through my frustration and my bad writing, and eventually lead to consistent publication in both online and print science fiction magazines.

And if I can offer good information and sound advice to others, that's fine, too. Which means I need chronicle my experiences with my most recent short story submissions, posts I've put off far too long.

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