This is how it started.
Once upon a time, a few of us were whining on Twitter. “I don’t have any submissions out. I used to sub much more than I am now, but I’m tired/worn out/don’t have anything new/too busy reading Stilettos and Shirley Temples to sub.” (Yeah, so maybe I made that last excuse up. So what? It could happen!) 😉
There were six of us, and we were all in the same boat. It’s not a good feeling.
So I said, “Hey, are you guys up for a challenge?” And they were like, “Yeeeeeeeees…” All paranoid-like, you know. And I said, “How about if we get ten submissions out by the end of the month?” And they were like, “Ooooookaaaaaay…” And somebody came up with brilliant hashtag, and #10bythen was born. And I’ll tell you what: it’s motivating.
It works like this: At the beginning of each month, you decide whether or not you’ll be on board for #10bythen. I’m taking November off, for example, since NaNoWriMo will eat all of my time. But once you choose to participate, you have the entire month to submit ten submissions. These can be ten different pieces, or if a piece is rejected immediately and you choose to send it out again, that’s cool. They don’t need to be specially written that month. They don’t have to be a specific genre, and they certainly don’t have to go out to specific markets. Ten submissions. That’s all. This is a friendly competition (“Nyah nyah, I subbed my ten out faster than you did!”) but mainly it’s a support group. We’re all in it together and we’re cheering each other on. This was designed to help, not create stress, although I’m seeing the tendency is to freak out. Don’t do that. There are enough real stresses to worry about; this is just a friendly kick in the pants.
If you do not make your #10bythen quota, then you write a groveling letter on your blog say how wonderful we are and how you’ll do better next time. This is just for fun, so no crying jags, please. This isn’t the time to publicly flog yourself, because that certainly isn’t constructive. Every competition must have a consequence, otherwise it’s all too easy to sit back or drop out completely. This satisfies that need.
I have one more submission to complete this month’s #10bythen, and I’m doing it today. That makes 20 subs for me in the last two months that I most likely wouldn’t have done otherwise, including “Stormlight”. Without the extra push and support from the #10bythen crew, I wouldn’t have entered the contest. So thanks, you guys! 😀
Please join us! You’re so invited. We’d love to have you.
Does anybody have any #10bythen stories to share?