[process] A few semirandom thoughts concerning inventory

Chatting with on teh IMs this morning, I realized that for the first time in nine years, my unsold short fiction inventory has essentially reached zero. Not literally so, but as close as it has been to zero since 2000. I have four solo pieces and two collaborative pieces out to market, and a very dark contemporary fantasy novella in inventory which I cannot find a market for. (I think it may need to be a single title publication if I can ever find the right venue.)

In the past two years, I’ve only written one new piece of short fiction which I didn’t put into submission. Everything else I’ve written has has sold (not always on first submittal, however), though this also counts the two dozen or so pieces of original short fiction, mostly flash, which I’ve published on my blog in those same two years. My remaining inventory consists of a few older pieces which I think still represent good work to my current level, though in those cases I’ve gone back to revision.

At this point, other than the flash, I think I’ve written three short pieces on spec in the past two years — everything else has been by invitation, though not all of them have sold to the inviting market.

Given how much I’ve defined myself by my short fiction during the beginning of my career, this continues to be a strange feeling for me. Some of this is the effect of the New Model Process. Some of it is the effect of working so aggressively on novels. Some of it is normal career progression. Still, for a guy who used to keep 40 stories in the mail and write a new one every week, it’s a challenging progression.