Apparently, December is dilemma time. I’m currently embroiled in the classic: “Do I write or revel?” Writing is hard and it’s easy to let it get inched out by shopping, entertaining, party going, card writing, and decorating. If normal Christmas madness isn’t enough, I’ll be hosting three parties between now and Christmas Eve. Everywhere I turn, I seem to trip over a dilemma. Do I serve cocktail wienies or meatballs in chili sauce for the cookie party? Should I serve heavy hors d’oeuvres for Christmas Eve or a traditional ham dinner? And what the heck do we give Grandpa?!?!
It’s not even mid-month and I’m decision-ed out.
The writing front hasn’t given me a holiday break, either. There’s always the ongoing decisions to make while revising Folly. What’s the best way to ease into the next chapter? What exactly does Nate reveal during that first meeting with Nick? But my most pressing dilemmas seem to revolve around marketing. They’re the choices I need to make now, but I feel the least confident about.
The anthology: The EDF Best of 2008 anthology is out and it’s time to order my copies. So here I am with a wonderful opportunity, wrapped in a thorny dilemma: how do I best use this opportunity to promote my work? Andy and I have been hammering out possibilities: donating a copy to our local library and asking my buddies there to catalogue it for the collection; donating a copy to our cats’ vet for his waiting area; buying extra copies and hawking them to interested acquaintances; donating a copy to my alma mater. The possibilities are endless, but we need to use our promotion dollars wisely. There’s no use giving away books that will gather dust. I still haven’t come to any solid decisions.
And then there’s “The Market.” Some of you may remember this story—a piece from my ongoing Mark/Leslie/David series. I sent this out to Publication A several months ago, where it’s been waiting and moldering while they published a special themed issue. I usually have a slim to none chance with A; it’s a high profile, prestige publication whose normal acceptance rate is just over 1%. With a backlog of submissions due to the themed issue, I figure my chances are nonexistent. So, a few months later, I sent Market off to Publication B, which has an aversion to simultaneous submissions. In my thinking, A would never take the story. B is a long shot, but I thought I’d give it a try. I expect a rejection from B in February.
In the meantime, I’ve tripped across a lucrative contest that I believe would be a perfect fit for Market. The deadline, January 31. So now the dilemma: do I enter Market even though it could possibly burn bridges with B? Karma makes this tiny world go round, and I hate to foster bad ju-ju. But my job is to find the best home for my fictional babies and to make the most of possible opportunities to advance my work. Sometimes that means taking a gamble.
Have you ever faced dilemmas like this in your writing? What did you do? I’d love to hear from you.
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