Statistics in the Known Universe

It’s been an excellent week in the writing department. I’ve sold two short stories: one to Daily Science Fiction and the second to The Colored Lens. The dual sale has provided yet more evidence that being a writer requires a certain sense of irony. I’m reasonably decent at math in general and statistics in particular. That said, my writing career obviously operates under different rules than the rest of the known universe.

In spite of submitting stories at fairly regular intervals (I average around four a month) to widely varying markets, I never seem to sell one at a time. I have been writing for a little over two years and have sold six short stories and a novella. All together, they have gone to six different markets. The first year, I sold two stories within two week of each other. I didn’t sell anything else until more than a year later…at which point I sold three within a month.

It’s possible that there is an underlying pattern that I’ve missed here. So far I have ruled out time of year, pay rates, story genre, story length, number of times a piece has been submitted, and theme of the story or magazine. The good news is that there is nothing (mathematically speaking) to stop me from continuing to write what I want and submit it where I want.

The bad news is that I am no closer to finding the magical formula for success in writing. Nothing for it, I suppose, but to continue writing as much as I can and submitting it as often as possible. 🙂


2 thoughts on “Statistics in the Known Universe

  1. It has to do with what you write and what they plan to publish. That said, I don’t think you can possibly figure the math of it all without actually working for the publications…in which case they probably wouldn’t publish you because it’s a conflict of interest. 🙂 Looking forward to following you blog Kate!

  2. Just read Heart of Joy which arrived in my inbox this morning from Cracking piece of writing. Short stories are an art form in themselves and I came away with a clear sense of the type of people Feon and Luscinia were.
    The problem with statistics relating to human behavior is that they are reliant on predicting the unpredictable. I often think Publishers look like they know what’s going on, but the sheer volume of them means that its just a game of playing the odds – due to their number one of them is likely to be in the right place at the right time.
    You hit the nail on the head by just continuing to write . It’s the number one secret of successful writers – they write!
    Great blog. Look forward to seeing more.

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