About six months ago, the brother of a the guy who argued with me about the differences between Tolstoy and Dostoevsky, told me a story about Roberto Bolaño. Bolaño is probably his favorite author and he had read somewhere that the Chilean, when he was struggling to get published, started sending his stories everywhere.
The conversation immediately harkened back the memory of what my old newspaper publisher once told me: "The only people who have an excess of bylines are the people who grant them."
I'm no economics professor, but the demand for bylines is always in excess of the supply. My friend was simply reminding me of this fact. I started submitting to loads of journals. Needless to say there are hundreds and though many of them might not have the pedigree or following (read: financial assistance) as the more well-known journals, they hold the key to bylines. And, at the end of the day, isn't that what we're searching for here?
I'm thrilled and humbled to be included in the winter issue of the Damazine Literary Journal (and you should "Like" their Facebook page here). The story has special meaning to me, since it is based on a personal experience. I'm proud of this and it has strengthened my resolve. As Charles Bukowski once said (paraphrased), too much success can ruin a writer, as can too little.
Perhaps I've been allotted the perfect amount. I am starting my second novel on the heels of about six quality short stories I've written in the last six months. I'm nearly finished with another edit and rewrite of my first novel. It doesn't matter what anyone thinks or whether the story above is the only one I ever publish. It never has. This is about perseverance and though that sounds like a bunch of rah-rah malarkey, those are the facts.
If you read the story and think it's garbage, I leave you with my favorite quote of all-time from Edward Abbey: "Your criticism is greatly appreciated, but fuck you all the same."