Friday, September 18, 2009

22 and why I love Christmas

I received my 22nd acceptance of the year in today's mail, this time for a Christmas romance I submitted September 9. Unless I've miscounted, this is the fourth Christmas story I've sold this year and the fifth story scheduled for publication in December.

If it isn't obvious, I like Christmas. I write Christmas stories every year. Several Christmas stories. In several genres. And I sell them. (Well, most of them. There are three still floating around out there.)

Why is Christmas so good for my writing career? Because it comes around every year, because most magazines publish end-of-year Christmas or Holiday issues, and because every editor who publishes fiction keeps at least one eye open for a good Christmas or Holiday story.

I had sold a few Christmas stories throughout the first few dozen years of my writing career, but I didn't intentionally start writing Christmas stories until I saw something SF writer James Van Pelt posted in a discussion group several years ago. He mentioned--and I'm relying on memory here, so don't take this as a literal recreation of what he said--that he was writing a Christmas story every year and that he'd been having good luck selling them.

Just one? Do you know how many magazines there are?

I stuck a note in my mental writer's calendar (that's the one that tells you it's Christmas in July and Independence Day in December) and started writing Christmas stories during the blistering days of summer. Every summer.

And started selling them.

Then I realized Christmas isn't the only holiday we celebrate every year, so I started writing and selling Valentine's Day stories and, though not with the regularity and consistency of Christmas stories, New Year's Eve, Easter, April Fool's Day, Halloween, and Thanksgiving stories. I've even written a few Mother's Day, Father's Day, and National Diabetes Month stories.

There's a holiday damn near every month. Sometimes two, or three, or a dozen.

So I write stories tied to holidays and significant annual events.

And sell them.

If you're a writer, go forth and do likewise.

But stay away from Christmas.

That's MY holiday.


Jim Van Pelt said...

Ha! I figured I only had one Christmas story in me a season. I didn't think about fishing in that pond twice or more a season. LOL

Michael Bracken said...

I suspect you're catching bigger fish than I am, Jim, but I'm catching more of them!