The Bradbury-Heinlein Method
So, to recap: Ray Bradbury said you should write a story per week, for one year, because nobody can write 52 stinkers in a row. On the other hand, Bob Heinlein said you should finish what you start writing, and send it off to a publisher, and keep posting it until you sell it, no matter how many times it bounces back.
In the last months I’ve been applying what I am now calling the Bradbury-Heinlein Method: I wrote, finished and submitted 14 stories between October and December 2018: two were sold and four bounced back, one of them twice – and it was submitted a third time.
And in 2019, that is in the last thirteen days, I sold another, and another bounced back – I got the pink slip today, and I am currently looking for another market. But in the meantime I have submitted four more stories – two of them today. And as soon as I post this, I will start working on my first non-fiction on-spec submission.
I’m on a roll, and let’s hope it lasts. I think it will, barring disasters.
I like writing. I always liked writing. And this carousel of new stories written, submissions, rejections and sales, is working for me, and actually brought back part of the fun I might have missed in the past few months. There’s a gaming element to it, a sort of addictive thing. Like a pinball in which I must actually create my own balls before I shoot them on the table.
Doing the math, should I keep up the current rhythm – 4 stories in 12 days means 120 stories in one year. A lot more than Ray Bradbury suggested. But really, I will have to slow down – I’ve other projects lined up, other jobs, translations and stuff. And yet… 52 is not a bad number, and I’m getting there – statistics and time are on my side.
What a strange business, this writing business is!