I’ve submitted to science fiction and fantasy magazines year ten years now, but I only recently started submitting to literary journals as well. Anyway, the main difference between literary journals and SF magazines is that the former accept simultaneous submissions: you can send one piece to as many journals as you want. This meant that my submissions volume immediately went way up: for awhile, in February, I had more than 100 submissions out.
However, most of those submissions were of just five or so stories: the ones that I went the best about. The rest were mostly science fiction stories that had mostly gone through the best markets. I liked them, and I still felt good about them (or I wouldn’t have been submitting them), but I was no longer particularly excited by them. A good number of them were written during the last year before I started my MFA program (before I really started writing novels, when I was a very productive writer).
Anyway, for the past few months, my submissions fervor has fallen. And I feel as though part of the problem was just those old stories. I’d look at them and they weren’t doing anything for me. They got in the way of me sending out submissions, and they made me depressed about the prospect of revising and sending out new work. I’ve gone a long time without an exciting short story sale, which has, to a certain extent, killed my interest in writing and submitting short stories.
But no more! I finally went through my spreadsheet and culled all the stories I’m less happy with. Now I’m down to ten stories that I’m still actively submitting and another ten that still need revising. And that all feels much more manageable to me.