written by David Steffen

One of the most important traits to lasting as a writer is persistence even in the face of long odds. I’m nothing if not persistent–I’ve sent more than 1500 submissions since I started submitting 6 and a half years ago.

Thinking back on my childhood, there may have been some early signs that I was (perhaps unreasonably) persistent. One particular story happened in 1991 with the release of Super NES game The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. I’d grown up playing the first two Zelda games on my brother’s NES. I had my own SNES and I was very eager to try out the game. But when the game was released, I didn’t have $50 on account of being an unemployed child. I had my eye on the game at the Lewis Drug down the street, and I was scrounging for pocket change in the couch, doing odd jobs for family, and so on. While I was saving up, I was worried the game would go out of stock and never come back in, so every single night 10-year old me would call Lewis Drug and ask them if they still had the game on their shelves. Somehow I was genuinely surprised when, after the first night or two, they didn’t actually go check before they told me they have it. It never occurred to me that I was most certainly the only one calling every day to ask about an item I didnt’ buy. Eventually I did come up with the cash to buy the game. And I’m pretty sure that when I came into the store the clerk asked me if I was the kid who called every day… before I counted out $50 of pocket change onto the counter.

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David Steffen

David Steffen is an editor, publisher, and writer. If you like what he does you can visit the Support page or buy him a coffee! He is probably best known for being co-founder and administrator of The Submission Grinder, a donation-supported tool to help writers track their submissions and find publishers for their work . David is also the editor-in-chief here at Diabolical Plots. He is also the editor and publisher of The Long List Anthology: More Stories From the Hugo Award Nomination List series. David also (sometimes) writes fiction, and you can follow on BlueSky for updates on cross-stitch projects and occasionally other things.

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