A side effect is that for those allow their names to be public, you see who your successful competition is. The first time I did a quick search on a successful competitor I found out a college student outbid me. Today, I noticed that the anthology that I submitted for had already accepted the manuscript of at least one other Duotrope user.
Here is the part that was the wake up call. This brand new market, a place that I assumed, given its token payment, would primarily receive queries from small potatoes writers like me, is open to the entire writing world. The person who received a nod for the anthology was a veteran editor, and the kind of person who has probably had lunch with Brad Pitt. They definitely know Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato.
Let me pause for a moment here to say GULP!
Now, I realize that connections are not everything and even Stephen King and JK Rowling do not get automatic passes but it is sobering to know that the market is small and the applicants are many. We are always playing with the big boys even in the low-paying and non-paying markets.
Now that I have encouraged and inspired you, go get ‘em writers! ;)