Thursday, 9 July 2009

Elementary mathematics

There's a hec of a row going on over at womag's blog about one thing and another and one of the things is that "names" get published more than the rest of us.
That started me thinking.
The full time writers that I know say that being a "name" doesn't guarantee doesn't guarantee that every story they submit will be accepted. I believe them. I mean after all even the books that they write aren't right all the time. However I'm sure that their strike rate is better than mine. God help them if it's not because if they only get the % of work submitted/accepted (currently about 5% of submissions accepted) that I do they must write a million words a year.
I commented on womag's blog that maybe the reason that they appear more regularly in mags than the rest of us mortals is not only that they write/submit more but also because they have more experience their stories are better.
I think that the lesson to us all is that if we want to be published more, we submit more. If we are to submit more we must write more.
It's a simple equation
writing = submissions = possible publication. Even if you don't get to publication straight away at least it will be experience.

3 comments:

Jarmara Falconer said...

I agree with you there, Gonnabe. More= more in print... I just wish I had more time to write and read- hey ho-maybe tomorrow.

I'm off to bed, normally I'm in bed early because I'm up early to work on my novel.

Have a great weekend and don't forget write more to get more in print :-)

Captain Black said...

The overall probability of success, p(o) is related to the probability of a single submission being accepted, p(s); and the number of items submitted, N.

p(o) = p(s) x N

Of course, p(s), the probability of a single story acceptance, is related to several factors, including how good a writer you are. The other factors are usually outside of your control.

Therefore there are two things you need to do to increase p(o):

Submit more, i.e. increase N.
Become better at writing, i.e. increase p(s).

If you do one but not the other, then you'll either become a brilliant writer that nobody's heard of; or you'll be a mediocre writer who'll gain very limited (or no) success by the scatter-gun approach.

You have to do both!

Gonna be a writer said...

I always feel guilty about reading during the day Jarmara. It's like shouldn't I be doing something else like the ironing. Bit I agree with you about wishing for more time to read and write.
Captain, maths was never and never will be my strong point but after going through it a couple of times I get the p(o)=p(s)=N thing and of course you are right.