In my experience, much of the writing and selling of short stories has been a “hurry up and wait” situation. You meet the deadlines (in my case sometimes), you wait for the response, and if the response is good, you subsequently wait for the publication date and the pay.
This can leave “dead” time of anywhere from months to a year or more, depending on the editor, the publisher and the market as a whole. Though this year has been my biggest in submissions (15), and sales (8), I’ve only received one, maybe two payments and one set of contributor’s copies.
And no one is to blame. It’s how it all works. It just leaves it looking, and me feeling like this year I’ve really done nothing, however, I already know that with all the releases due in 2012, it will look like I’ve been banging them out.
I guess my contribution to balancing it all would be to be constantly (or at least consistently) writing, reasearching markets, and making submissions. But like I said, considering my circumstances, 15 submissions in a year is damn good. No, we won’t go in to the full-time job, special needs twins, a moody husband and fiesty dog situation. But, you know what I mean.
I suppose what I’m saying is this…while it feels so good to write, finish something, send it, have it accepted and have someone actually willing to pay me for it is great, but holding those books in hand and seeing those payments drop and my Google hits multiply do so much to encourage me.
One day, there won’t be all these roadblocks (okay, some will never go away), but one day doing what I love will be a daily for me, and not just a luxury I steal and run and hide with and that is the pot of gold toward which I run…always.