Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Insecure Writer's Support Group & Links

It's the first Wednesday of the month, which means it's time for Alex J. Cavanaugh's...

My insecurity this month is about buckling down and writing consistently. I'm a sprint writer. When I finally buckle down and take my seat, I can throw together words left and right, a regular word slinger. But more often than not, I'm going to bed regretting my lack of progress, and beating myself up for spending too much time doing something else, whatever it was that day. It's not that I don't have the time, I've decided. It's that I don't seize that time whenever it presents itself. I have this erroneous way of thinking that causes me to look at the clock and be running through my head what I have to do throughout the day. If I have to be somewhere in 30 minutes, 40, whatever, I instantly think I don't have the time to write. I know I do this, I know it's wrong, and yet I continue to do so. It's a horrible habit I've established, and I don't understand it one bit.

Time to STOP!

What about you? What are your insecurities? Do you find that when you look back on your day you maybe had 20 minutes here or there you could have carved out for writing?

Now for some links.

Accepting Submissions:

Permuted Press is putting together Fat Zombie, "an anthology of unexpected survival stories from the apocalypse." November 30 deadline. Payment not listed.

War Stories is an anthology seeking military science fiction short stories. Pays 5 cents per word. Deadline November 30.

Contrary Magazine is seeking original commentary, fiction, and poetry. Pays $20 per author per issue. This issue's deadline is December 1.

Cohesion Press is putting together an anthology of military horror, entitled SNAFU. Short fiction and novellas. Deadline December 1. Pays AU 3 cents per word, plus e-book, hard cover and paperback contributor copies.

The Summer Review is in their open submission period through December 1 for fiction and non-fiction, and poetry through February 1. Pays $25 per printed page, plus contributor copies.

Cleis Press has put out a call for their anthology Take This Man, focusing on romantic erotica focused on committed male couples. Deadline December 1. Pays $60 per story, plus a copy of the book. They are also taking submissions for Me and My Boi: Queer Erotic Stories. Same deadline, but pays $50 per story.


Loose Change Magazine is holding a contest sponsored by Power2Give and the City of Atlanta. The poetry deadline is already closed, and the prose deadline is November 15. $125 first prize, with additional cash prizes for 2nd and 3rd, plus publication to their "Best of" anthology.

Dappled Things is holding their J.F. Powers Prize for Short Fiction. The theme of your short fiction story must be someone straddling two worlds. Deadline November 29. $500 cash prize, plus publication for the winner and 9 honorable mentions.

Quantum Shorts is holding a flash fiction contest. Deadline December 1. Must be linked to some aspect of the quantum world. Cash prizes and a 1-year subscription to Scientific American for first through third place.

Blog Stuff:

The lovely Mina Lobo, of Some Dark Romantic, is hosting her second Resurrection Blogfest. This Thursday, November 7, post a link to a post you did between November 8, 2012 and November 6, 2013, so it can get the bloggy love it deserves, and maybe didn't have the first time around.

Interested in any of these? Any good news to report? Have you submitted anything recently?

May you find your Muse.


  1. I'm a sprint writer (a slow one) because I work best under pressure. But I need to start taking advantage of those small blocks of time.

  2. I do that all the time, if there's only a little time I don't see the point in trying to write anything. Lately I've been starting to see that any amount of time, no matter how small, is enough to write something.

  3. Oh gosh, I do this all the time. If I have to be somewhere in an hour I'll think, well, I can't start now, there's no point. But then I just waste the hour doing nothing. I really need to break this habit, I'm a terrible time waster.

  4. Sometimes I hate snagging the ten minutes here and there-- so hard to settling into a focus and then have to quit. But you're right-- there's a lot of writing to be done in those moments.

  5. Hi Shannon! I think about it everyday! Lol....however, I signed up for a Halloween hop and decided based on a picture I saw over on FB instantly...what my story would be and how it was going to be. I had so much fun putting it together, and actually looked forward to finding the time to work on it. It encouraged me to want to write another story. Sandy of

  6. Establishing a time to write is my problem. It works better if I sit at a table with tablet and pen to visualize my scenes.

  7. My day flies by me and before I know it, I'm putting the grandbaby down and wondering where the heck my day went. I could easily have 30 minutes every night but I procrastinate too much. I need to get my tush in gear.

  8. I've always written best if I have a big chunk of time. I'm glad I don't have to worry about it anymore.

  9. I make sure I'm working on something so that I have larger chunks of time to write. Does that make sense? heh

  10. Hi
    The time is the villain most of the time, that create an insecurity too in most of the writers,
    Your brought out a good point
    OMG! Yet another great list to roam around at this busy day LOL

  11. I'm a sprint writer too. I love it when I sit down and just write and write. Then an interruption happens, and poof, there goes the moment.


  12. Alex, that's exactly it. I work better under pressure, but I find myself slacking when I'm not under pressure.

    Laura, that's exactly true. Now to just be able to embrace that thought process.

    Julie F., me, too! There has to be a way to defeat that thought process. If I ever figure it out, I'll make millions. ;)

    Julie L., that's just what I fear, getting started and just getting into it and finding it's time to stop. Frustrating.

    Sandy, that's fantastic! Keep that momentum going!

    CD, interesting! I do think if I found a workable schedule that didn't change every day I would do better.

    Donna, I'm a terrible procrastinator, too.

    Susan, big chunks of time work best for me, too. Time to immerse myself back into it.

    Andrew, I think so?

    Phil, time is most definitely the villain in a lot of things.

    Donna, oh yes, just that. I love when I've got ages to write uninhibited.

  13. I spend way too much time on social media, but in the end I don't regret the amount of work I eventually get done. Better a little than none. But I understand what you mean about those missed pockets of time.

  14. I always start off on a sprint and then end up in a marathon.

    Hugs and chocolate!

  15. I feel like I need a solid couple of hours to get much done, also. For me, the trick would be to get those couple of hours in and really get back into the story, then I could probably do 30 min bursts, etc.

  16. Yes, I wish that I could also find a way to "seize that (writing) time." I find myself living like the character from If You Give A Mouse A Cookie. I'm always off on one tangent or another, and the day is lost.


  17. Nana, that's the way I need to teach myself to see it. Getting SOMEthing done is better than getting nothing done.

    Shelly, me, too! When I make myself sit down, I get a ton done.

    E.J., that's how I feel, too. If I've got a stretch of time, I can get so much done.

    Julie, haha, yes! I didn't think of it that way, but that is so me, too. "If you put the dishes away, you must also clean the kitchen counters; if you clean the kitchen counters, you will inevitably find an item that must be put away in your bedroom; if you go to your bedroom to put the item away, you will remember that you wanted to organize the closet; if you start organizing the closet...yadda yadda yadda.