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Five Things Make a Post

1) We made it to the gym this morning. The orthotics performed admirably. However, I have a lot of joint pain in the Dread Arthritic Ankle. We are going to work on the arthritis next. Glucosamine or whatever. Building up muscle. Whatever it is you do.

2) I've been keeping closer track of my writing time. I am not pleased by the truth--I seem to average about 10 hours a week. Even weeks where I push harder against resistance still seem to hover around the average (last week, I managed 12 hours). Now, this IS counting ONLY writing time, and not throat-clearing time. So I wonder if that has something to do with it. Hm. I also started tracking the barriers to writing--not only the barrier, but what it represents, what other need it most likely fulfills, or what bad trait it caters to. I lost a huge chunk of time to Duotrope annoyance last week. Another chunk to watching American Idol with Kayla. So, annoyance, family time, distraction... I lose a reasonable amount of time to LJ posts I don't end up making. That's therapeutic time.


3) Speaking of Duotrope, the answer was courteous but not helpful. I'm going to quote most of it, rather than report it. So, after the nice greeting and beginning, it gets to the meat:
Our system of following submission patterns really has nothing to do with the assumption of honestly or dishonesty.

It truly is about following patterns and determining norms.

We realize that our system currently will discount highly successfully authors, but let's be frank, a high level of success in this industry is not average by any means. Congratulations on your success!

We have considered the verficiation of sales model in the past, but discounted it due to (1) not having the time or resources to fact-check every acceptance reported and (2) because it wouldn't prevent people from failing to report rejections, which is the biggest problem we face.

Followed by pleasant closing.

I still really don't get how discounting above average people means you even have any idea what true averages are, and it was as I suspected, it's all because some people don't report rejections, or are believed not to report them, though seriously, if you don't report rejections, wouldn't you be more of a 100% success rate kind of person, and not 30%? Who under-reports just to get to 30%? What kind of marker of success is that, that you'd manipulate your own data to be able to say, "I broke 30% on Duotrope?"

Doesn't make sense.

Anyway, I guess I won't be overly trusting of their data, and I'll for sure be ignoring whatever nonsense it spouts to me in the control panel. Of course, the control panel now says: "Congratulations! Your overall acceptance ratio is higher than the average for users who have submitted to the same markets." So--they are still not counting my data and they're just not openly admitting it? Or they changed the way they do things (raised the rate to 40%?) without telling me in the email?

This is so beyond even a First World Problem. I go quiet now.

4) Today, Ben-at-work said that he was going "gymly," meaning going to the gym. But then we posited that Gymly is actually Gimli's brother who works out really a lot.

Yeah, that was the walk to my car. Time well spent.

5) I'm frustrated by things beyond my ability to influence. Life as usual. Carry on.


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 16th, 2010 02:38 am (UTC)
I told my husband about the problem you had had with Duotrope (without mentioning you by name, of course! Protect anonymity and all that...) and he just laughed and shook his head because indeed, how can anyone know what's average if they toss out certain data?

But you made me giggle with line about this being beyond a First World Problem :-D
Feb. 16th, 2010 03:04 am (UTC)
10 hours a week is actually more time than I spend writing. But I assuage the guilt by the fact that I'm a fast typist. :)
Feb. 16th, 2010 03:07 am (UTC)
Odd how easily writing time slips away, not that it is bad to lose some to spending time with your family and everything. Maybe the brain can only take so much writing in a week and then must focus on other things (like marketing!).

As for Duotrope, I dislike in some ways how I have to actually sign in to the submissions tracker in order to report my times. I enjoyed being out of the system and anonymous but still solidly reporting my times whenever I received a response. Now that I have no choice but to use the full system, I feel almost exposed. Uncomfortable. And it is way too easy to remember to put the market in my Excel spreadsheet and forget to record it into Duotrope until much later.

Feb. 16th, 2010 04:12 am (UTC)
I suppose it could be based on percentiles--if 30% is high enough to put you in the top 5 percent, or 1 percent, or whatever, of people on the site, then they might be classing you as an outlier automatically. Throwing out outliers is actually pretty standard practice in statistical calculation, isn't it? I guess it might get unbalanced if they are not at the same time tossing out an equal proportion of 0-percenters from the lowest percentiles, but there are probably way more of those anyway.
Feb. 16th, 2010 03:47 pm (UTC)
Maybe yes, maybe no, but they say they're doing it to weed out people who don't report rejections, so why don't they just weed out the people who don't report rejections? See birdhousefrog's comment, below.
Feb. 16th, 2010 06:24 pm (UTC)
Probably because there's no not-ridiculously-labor-and-drama-intensive way to accurately and thoroughlyl identify who's not reporting their rejections, so instead they just lop off the people at the very top of the curve.

You don't want to break the curve for everybody else in the class, right? *g*

(This would also explain why you're suddenly not being ruled out anymore with no mention or explanation--if you're right on the edge of being in the top x percentile who get dismissed as outliers, somebody could have passed you and bumped you back down into non-outlier territory.)
Feb. 16th, 2010 04:57 am (UTC)
What's throat-clearing?

Gymly. Sounds like an adverb. "It was icy out today, so I went running gymly."
Feb. 16th, 2010 11:26 am (UTC)
Ha, to Duotrope! I would screw up their statistics too, but it's not because I'm "highly successful." It's because I don't just send stories out to send them out. I send them out rarely and selectively. Geez. And so do a lot of successful authors. So where would they count professionals that only write and submit solicited stories? By their definition, that would be out of the norm, too, and they'd toss out the numbers. They're screwing up their own averages and nyah to them.

Feb. 16th, 2010 04:38 pm (UTC)
"But then we posited that Gymly is actually Gimli's brother who works out really a lot."

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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