Guest Post: Ken MacGregor

Ken head shot

What Kind of Fish Am I?

Ken MacGregor 2015


I started writing with the hope of selling it a little more than three years ago. I had no idea what I was getting into.

I’ve done pretty well, I guess. Based on what I hear other aspiring authors (I usually call myself a “writer”, but couldn’t resist the alliteration) say, I’ve been somewhat successful. I’ve had over 60 stories picked up and been paid for most of them. I have a novel on the way that I wrote by accident with the ever-entertaining Kerry G.S. Lipp. We set out to write a short story and got carried away. Kerry’s great, by the way. If you like the sick stuff, especially, he’s your guy.

So, yeah. I can now hold my own in a conversation about writing with other writers and not sound like a buffoon. I am hip to the lingo (I use this outdated phrase ironically – writers do shit like that). But, I still feel like I have so much to learn.

Other writers I admire (like Jonathan Maberry or Joe R. Lansdale or Graham Masterson – all of whom I’ve been fortunate enough to share pages with) have it so together. They rock the writer thing with confidence and aplomb. They sell a hell of a lot of books, too.

So, here I am, somewhat confident that I know what I’m doing, scrambling always to get better at the craft (I know that sounds pretentious, but I really mean it) of writing. I’ve sold some things at professional rates, though not enough to qualify for me for Active HWA status (yet).

I just got accepted into The Horror Zine for their fall issue. Just hit the stands today in fact. I’m extremely proud of this, because it’s a great magazine and because my story is first on the table of contents (ToC in the vernacular – see?).

I’m somewhere in the middle of my learning curve. I get asked to write for stuff sometimes. I have a very small but loyal fan base (not all of whom knew me before I started writing). I’ve been nominated for a couple of awards, though have yet to bring home a trophy. Yet, I am really still a nobody to most readers.

In the pond of writers just starting out, I am kind of big fish, and I frequently try to help the little fish by sending them links to markets, reading their work and suggesting ways to improve.

In the pond of professional (technically, I’m a professional, because I get paid to write, but I mean Professionals – the ones who can make a living at it) writers, I’m a tiny fish swimming along, trying not to get eaten before I can get big enough to stand on my own.

So, what kind of fish am I?

I’m a working fish. I’m a striving fish. I’m a fish that doesn’t know when to quit. I’m a struggling, anxious, terrified, excited fish who just wants people to read his words.

For now, I’ll keep swimming, keep writing, keep editing and submitting. I don’t know which pond I’m in right now. I know which one I want to be in though: the big one. I’ll be a little fish there for sure, but I’ll tell you one thing: I’ll grow. Maybe only a little. Maybe I’ll never be a big fish. But, I’ll swim with them.

So, if you’re a writer and you’re not sure how well you’re doing or if you’re ever going to succeed, relax. I’m pretty sure we all feel that way. Even the big fish.

One Response to “Guest Post: Ken MacGregor”

  1. Thank you so very much for having me.


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