2. Publish Your Shite.
Publishing a story anywhere is goddamned hard. You have to somehow find the one place of the millions out there who likes your craptastic story. Once you find this place that no one knows nor cares about, you better tout that journal and go around bragging the hellz about it because here’s the deal:
No one flippin’ cares anyway.
Not your writer friends. Not your mom. Not your priest. Shit. Even if you get a notable publication in a place high up on Perpetual Folly’s Pushcart nomination list, I behoove you (am I using that word correctly?) to really find someone who gives a shit. Half your writer friends are working on something that has nothing to do with short fiction anyway–they’re always goddamn novelists or some shit who have agents, and they look down upon any published short story; the other half has actually never read any of your work or the journal it has appeared in anyway. And the third half of your writer friends are poets, playwrights, CNFers working on shit that equally doesn’t matter to you. Mathematicians, that’s 150% of your friends. Which is a lot.
You know who does care. The damn editor who accepted your piece in the first place. Listen to him or her, strangle-hug him or her, and bragz the flying F out of their zine because the chances of you convincing another schmuck to like your crap is a million to one. Literally. There are a million lit journals and you happened to find the one journal that liked your stupid story. And you’d turn your nose up at that? Come on dudes and dudettes. Who the hell are you?
Unless you’re one of five writers in America (and I suppose Canada and maybe a few other quasi-American speaking countries) who can expect a call from the New Yorker, you should just assume your story is shit and it won’t be read by anyone.
So, writers-who-turn-their-noses-up-at-the-only-lit-ragz-they’ll-ever-get-published-in, I bid thee thus: Play with the first damn dog who sniffs your butt. Then yip your nutz off.
100% of the world doesn’t care where or how you were published and the statistically insignificant amount of people who do care know how flippin’ hard it is to get someone to, first, read your work and , B., get this person to actually like it.
Be one of the 60,000 Pushcart nominations. Print out your Glimmertrain finalist certificate and paste it to the back window of your car. Goddamnit. Make a bumper sticker that says “I’m a published Hint Fiction author.” And tell all your cousins that you placed a poem at poetry.com and you have the 1996 anthology to prove it.
You’re writers. Everyone hates you and nobody cares.