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[Comments] (4) : Is short fiction devalued by being available for free? Hey, here's the elephant in the room that keeps being pointed out and yet remains elephant-shaped: there's way more short fiction than there is market for it. In my writing group we critique 2-3 stories a month. Half of 'em are a rewrite away from publication quality. They're also likely years away from publication, because the market is so small and response times so long.

Why do the markets pay so poorly? That's the natural result of massive oversupply. Why is there so much bad free stuff online? My portfolio shows the problem in miniature. My old crappy stories are online because I didn't know any better. My dynamite new stuff circulates endlessly through snail and electronic mail. Sure, I'm bitter, but it seems pointless to complain about this because the solution is obvious.

Seriously, what am I doing? I don't care about money--there's not enough to care about. If I wanted an audience I'd split my stories into RSS-feed cliffhangers and put them in syndication once they passed writing group muster. All that's left is the feeling that there are dues I ought to be paying. I've got a bad case of professionalism.

Who needs it? Life is too short. I know what position I'm sliding towards and I keep resisting it. Maybe I'll start writing novels instead; those take a lot longer to crank out, at least.

Crankiness Antidote: So the only thing I post today isn't me bring cranky, check out this excellent summary of the Launch Pad Astronomy Workshop, where writers go to learn about the universe. Yes, this universe.

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