A crazy thing happened last week. Out of nowhere I received an email from a complete stranger saying they had stumbled across my blog. Not this one, but a previous incarnation of it that was still floating around the internet. She had apparently enjoyed some of my writing and asked if I would like to submit anything for a project her publishing house was working on. Naturally I was skeptical. When you have your contact information on the internet, it is inevitable scams will come knocking. Not to mention the fact I haven’t really been thinking about my creative writing, let alone submissions, in months.
To my surprise, a quick google search for Z Publishing and few back and forth’s with the lady who contacted me proved that it was actually legit.
So, who are you again?
Z Publishing is a new publishing house trying to help emerging writers meet interested readers. New writers have a lot to overcome finding their audience. First and foremost is getting exposure. The easiest way to find that audience is to get published. The trick is, it’s a whole lot easier to get published if you’ve already been published. (Obviously being a good writer helps too.)
That’s where Z Publishing comes in. Their main focus is producing anthologies full of emerging writers and poets in order to give them some space in the literary world while breaking down some of the walls that accompany the publishing world. The anthologies they produce are full of multiple writers and serve as a single source for readers to find more of what they like. Z Publishing’s ultimate goal is to create a community of emerging writers and interested audiences.
That all sounds good and well, but I haven’t written creatively in nearly a year. Somewhere between getting married, digging deeper into work, and deciding to work towards getting an MBA my creative writing slipped down the list of priorities. The writing bug has yet to completely disappear. I still find myself writing here occasionally. At least once a couple times a week I jot down would-be plot points or world-building ideas to pursue “later.” But other things always pop up before “later” arrives and eventually I more or less moved on from identifying as a writer.
And then I find out someone’s still reading my stuff.
Back in the saddle!
After getting the email and realizing people were still reading some of the stuff I have out there I made a snap decision. What the hell? I can go dig through some of my old things and see if there was anything worth blowing the dust off of. So when the weekend rolled around I walked my way up to the pub and did just that.
I found a short piece called The Woodcutter that I was particularly fond of. It seemed very PNW (these submissions were for a regional anthology). Then, after a second beer, I decided I could whip up a quick teaser for a sci-fi series I’ve named Data Runners. It was the first piece of new writing I’d started in well over a year.
It took most of the afternoon an another beer (or two) but I eventually managed to pull together something respectable. Well, it became respectable after I spent twice as much time editing it and trying to remember what proper comma usage looked like. I’m not going to lie. It was painful. It really wasn’t even that fun. But at the end I had the beginnings of a story that I’d been crafting in the back of my mind for months and that felt good.
That’s the trick about going back to writing after being a way for a while. At the end of the first
day couple of days the process has given you more pain than pleasure. If you make the time to actually schedule writing into your day however, you get to a point where you settle back into it. Writing is a lot like exercising that way. And, just like exercising, falling “out of shape” happens about 8,000x faster than it takes to get back into shape.
So what’s next?
I fired off the submission and now we play the game every writer hates the most: waiting. Everyone will tell you that you get about 99 rejections of every acceptance. (My experience certainly backs this up.) Stephen King famously has a framing nail stuck into a board where he stabbed all his rejection letters. If either of my submissions get accepted I’ll post about it here. If not, so it goes.
Reina and I’s summers are already pretty much booked. We checked and our next completely free weekend looks like it’s going to be sometime in October. She’s studying for the LSAT. I’m studying for the GMAT. I probably won’t be writing creatively on a regular basis anytime soon. I do plan on dropping by here every now and then. I’ll continue to jot ideas and plot points into notebooks and bar napkins. Someday I’ll have the time or make the time to get to them.
Until then, you can check out The Woodcutter for yourself here. I might publish the Data Runners excerpt if I don’t hear back from Z Publishing in the next few weeks.