Well, it seems I was a bit too ambitious with my publishing goals for 2011. The editing and review process is going much slower than I would like, and unfortunately, it is necessary before attempting to submit something. Submissions cost time, money, and resources on both my part, and the part of anyone at the reviewing magazine or organization. I don't want to waste anyone's time. Besides, your work is a reflection of yourself. You want it to be the best it can possibly be, right?
When is it acceptable to submit something? I hear of authors pumping out books and going through the editing process in less than a year. I know from personal experience that writing a thing can take very little time. Editing a thing is a whole other story. If you are lucky, you can find someone whose job is solely that of an editor. Or even more likely, you might find someone who is a voracious reader. Then it goes quickly. Unfortunately for me, I have limits to what I can do as well as ask others to do. So I come to a bump in my road to publication. Damn them. Damn them all ("They" are the things outside of my control that I cannot change which make this an uphill battle).
So it has come down to this - I need to do more research. I need to select some edited chapters from the books I have written, and I need to submit them to journals who are likely to be interested. It looks like simultaneous submissions are generally a bad idea. So instead, I will refrain and pull an Eddie Izzard by creating more potential content rather than consolidating. It sounds crazy. It feels crazy. I've had difficulty getting myself around short stories in the past. There are some that seem to tumble their way out of my fingers on to the hard drive space of my computer in minutes, while others suffer a sort of inspirational constipation. By the way, this is just as painful as it sounds.
And then of course, there is the big whammy - Phoenix Rising. This book is killing me. I like rewriting a lot more than I like writing it, which of course, I have to do. I can't continue to rewrite without it being complete. Grrr. I need to finish it so when a chapter is published in some lit mag, and someone loves it, I can hand that person a full manuscript if necessary. That's how it works. First time novelists need to have the whole shebang up front. There isn't much leeway when you haven't already proven yourself. The process is enough to make me wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat.
It's time to take a minute and prioritize. Keeping things in a cerebral level without taking action because of hurdles outside of my control isn't going to get me any closer to actualizing my goals. So, what's a freaked aspiring author supposed to do? Get over it. I'm going to buy a book that will make research easier as far as submission goes. I'm going to pick my chapters. I'm going to edit them again. I'm going to write whatever cover letters are necessary and we're going for broke. It's now or never, and I can't handle never, which leaves me with one choice. Now.