Yesterday I sent out "Getting to Know Lou Jones" for the first time. After getting feed back from five different people, editing it at least a half-dozen times and obsessing over sentence structure since the beginning of April "Lou" now has been submitted to 10 different journals (all of which allow simultaneous submissions, of course).
Submitting is a difficult process, for me anyway. To send something that you've worked so hard on, and for so long, with the high likely-hood of rejection can be a blow to the ego.
If you write poems or short stories and are having a difficult time finding a publication that your piece might fit into check out Duotrope's Digest. This made my life so much easier, and hopefully once I'm making a little money I'll be able to donate to the site (it's entirely free). Duotrope's is massive index of journals, magazines and e-zines, is searchable by all sorts of criteria, and if you register it can help you keep track of all your submissions. Brilliant.
Using this, I searched and read about countless publications until I found 10 that I thought would fit my story. All of them had to allow simultaneous submissions, publish works over 6,000 words (about the length of "Lou") and have at least some possibility of being published in print (some are e-zines that publish a yearly anthology). Not all of them pay, some do, some just in contributor's copies.
So, as I hear back from them all, waits vary from 1 month to 6 months, I will report the responses and their dates, at Duotrope's and that will add to the publication's overall stats on the site.
My plan is this: once I have received five rejections, I will search out five more publications to send "Lou" to until someone sees its potential and buys it. Relentless.
On top of all this, I am writing a new story tentatively titled "Domestic Rat" and am job searching, applying, making follow-up calls, praying, hoping, listening to music (now playing: The Dillinger Escape Plan, "Miss Machine") and reading. Right now I'm reading PrairyErth by William Least Heat-Moon. It's a travel book of epic proportions and verbage, so it's taking some time. I'm loving it though. As soon as I finish you can find a review here.