‘The Haunted Story’ started out as a ghost story I wrote for an anthology called ‘A Haunting of Words’. After what felt like months of waiting, the story was rejected, which disappointed me because I had thoroughly enjoyed writing it. The experience was one of the major catalysts for building the Creative Writers community. I thought that if I immersed myself in writers I could figure out where I had gone wrong.
I’ve revisited the story a few times. Tried to revise it and expand on it. Considered scrapping it entirely to write the story as a criminal investigation. However, I like the story as it is, and so have many that have read it. Yet the thought of sending it out to other writing contests and magazines bothers me. I feel like it’s not the smart way to go.
Trawling the internet for writing opportunities to find one that inspires you, is accepting submissions, and actually has a decent payout is hard enough. To then have to pour your heart into a story for them only to have it rejected anyway made it clear that I was either a) not good enough to get published yet, or b) sending my stories to the wrong people.
So Creative Writers and the Monolith project seemed like a good solution. Talking to the community could help me improve my writing, and the hand-picked team of admins would be far more likely to accept my new and improved short stories for our in-house anthology. However, I’m still not immune from rejection.
However, I’m still not immune from rejection. The team I’ve put together takes my mission seriously. To create an anthology of outstanding stories so that we can build a brand associated with great writing, and also secure a good reputation for the participating authors in the process.
A very noble goal, but while I’m working on encouraging the community to write and help each other grow, I’m not writing. I’ve recently recruited some great new admins that have helped ease the workload and allowed me to get back into the writing aspect, but the story I’ve written for Monolith wasn’t quite up to their standards.
That’s fair enough. I want them to be picky. However, I now have yet another story undergoing rewrites instead of securing future income. The goal of becoming a full-time writer is no nearer. I have a whole list of story ideas just waiting to be written, or partly written and abandoned, and the only way to get them out is by grovelling for hand-outs from others and hoping they’ll be merciful. There has to be a better way.
Then, just recently, I had a conversation with a writer who makes a six-figure income by writing self-published fiction. While I may not agree entirely with her ‘writing to the market’ method of choosing subject to write about, it certainly beats trying to find time to write while also holding down a ‘regular’ job and curating a Facebook group.
I’m not going to quit Creative Writers, but I am going to put some of my rejected stories and stories that aren’t good enough to be published by Creative Writers Press up on Amazon to see if I can at least gain a trickle of income from them. Starting with the Haunted Story.
People who have already read the story before I took it down may notice that I added a subtitle. That way I can add more short stories following the investigation that will show how the haunted story will affect every character that reads the letter. One by one.
The first part of the story, and the link to the Kindle e-book version, can be found here.