Writerly rhythms

Today I submitted my first article to a journal in my field. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy, because I finished something and have started the process of Trying To Get Published In My Field.

I do not plan on writing many updates of this nature. If I ever do any sort of writing-in-public thing, that will be a different animal. I’ve always found detailed submission updates sort of odd, at best something to be ignored at the individual level and only mild utility in the aggregate. But this is the first article I’ve submitted, so I made an exception.

Once upon a time, I wrote fiction. (I may do so again, if bandwidth and inclination align, but I have a tough time switching writerly gears and for the moment I am sticking to academic and professional topics.) For a few years there, I had things popping up in various small press and semi-pro venues, and that meant I also had multiple stories circulating at any given time. I’d have my list of what story was submitted where, and then a list of the next place it would go if it was rejected. It was a very nice rhythm, where I cared about the result (acceptance was obviously preferable to rejection) but not too much (because there was always another market: this was the late nineties and early aughts, when knowing HTML was a barrier to starting a webzine, but one a lot of editors enthusiastically vaulted over).

I have never been in a publish-or-perish situation, and it’s unlikely I ever will be, which is a good thing. But now I a) have a field* and b) am trying to write and publish work connected to that field. I need to get into some sort of rhythm. The best thing about the short story period was the fact that I actually finished the stories. I need to reliably do that with articles, too. And I need to feel as comfortable with my grasp of the potential journals as I did with the semi-pro short fiction markets from a decade ago. Those are two things I can work on, both well within my control.

* Fields? Subfields? Disciplines? Profession? Whatever.