I find myself in a conundrum. It is not a new one, and if I have mumbled about it on here before, and you have read it more recently than I have, my apologies. I have written a few short stories recently. I know I don’t really do short stories but then I don’t write poetry, certainly not to see the light of day and yet there are a couple of (execrable joke) examples on here, and I have three poems published. So maybe short stories are a thing I do.

Whether I do or not I was wondering whether to send them off to people. I entered one in a couple of competitions but don’t think I made the waste bin never mind the long lists. I have sent it off for consideration for publication along with another sort of SF short which suddenly materialised out of nowhere. No news (positive news that is – one rejection on the non-SF piece).

My conundrum is: do I put some of this stuff on here, which is my inclination, or do I reserve some of it for publication elsewhere? The thing is, that blogs are now usually regarded as prior publication by competitions, and most magazines. A few explicitly say they will take pre-blogged material (and if you are AL Kennedy or someone they will make a whole book out of your blogs- very good too by the way, no complaints regarding her pre-blogged material) but most only want unpublished (including blogged) material.

So do I hold material back never to see the light of day on the off chance someone somewhere will take it? Do I put it on here and be damned (for that seems the likely outcome if I do), or do I wait a certain term and if I can’t flog it/peddle it elsewhere put it on here? The last seems like the worst and most offensive case to be fair. It feels like saying – you lot are only good enough for the dross that won’t sell for cash. Thinking about it, if that were a fair assessment it would be selling myself pretty short too I guess; I’d be putting second class goods in what should probably be my shop window.

So the answer to the conundrum?

Probably stick to some sort of rigid policy of deciding before I write something where the material is going. If it is for the blog, and it turns out to be good enough to be read by anyone (ha! there’s always that caveat with everything of course), it goes on the blog even if I think I could sell it for millions (as if!) and if I write something for hawking around for cash only then that’s where it goes. If it doesn’t make it then maybe it shouldn’t go on the blog either? If it ain’t good enough for a mag/publisher/prize maybe it isn’t fit to see the light of day anywhere?

We’ll see.

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