Wednesday, June 1, 2016

IWSG - Fickle Beast

It's June, and time for the Insecure Writer's Support Group, created by Alex J. Cavanaugh!


The co-hosts for this month are Murees Dupe, Alexia Chamberlynn, Chemist Ken, and Heather Gardner! Be sure to stop by and thank them for hosting.

IWSG is the first Wednesday of each month, and encourages us to share our fears, insecurities, and inspirations. Anyone is welcome to join. Simply go here to add your name to the list.

Had I posted this two weeks ago, I would have been in a more negative head space. It hit me that I gave up too much in terms of my personal aspirations in writing in order to fulfill two volunteer positions for a writer's group I'm part of. I stopped writing for several months because of it. While I was still submitting, though at a slower rate than usual, during that time, it has finally caught up to me that I didn't do what I should have been doing. Things are a bit slow right now, and I had a period of panic where I thought I had perhaps shot myself in the foot.

I do believe that I shot myself in the foot, and that I will now be playing catch up for awhile. Because I paused my forward progression, I am in a gap of time where I haven't placed stories at the rate I previously was. Who knows how long it will take me to get back to where I had worked so hard to get before.

However, I'm writing again. I've finished two short stories and gotten partway through two others in the last two weeks. I'm about to jump back into novel edits (finally). And I'm making notes on a new novel. This progress has helped me get past my dip into panic. Mostly, anyway. I still regret that I put myself in this position, but knowing that I'm taking it back is helping. Publishing is a slow process anyway, I didn't permanently harm anything, so it comes down to patience and determination to get it back.

If you've come around before, you know I post submission rates for the previous month with my IWSG post to keep myself accountable. I also usually post publication links on Wednesdays, but have decided to post only once per week over summer, except in special circumstances, such as IWSG. You can find the publication links I typically post on my Monday post from this week.

My stats:

In May, I submitted 7 stories, had 0 acceptances, got 3 rejections (1 personal, with valuable feedback), rewrote the endings on 2 stories that I've resubmitted, had 2 pieces published, and finished 2 new short stories, as mentioned above. I currently have 10 pieces on submission. The longest has been out for 205 days. Yeesh.

This is an improvement just over last month, so I'm feeling good about it. I'd like to get up to 20 stories in action at any given time, so that's my next goal. I'd also like to write in a different genre than usual. I've got several ideas floating around in my head, so we'll see which one takes the lead.

What are you feeling insecure about? Has anything helped to settle any of your insecurities lately? Any regrets you're facing in the writing world? Have you submitted or queried this month? How is your writing going?

May you find your Muse.

70 comments:

  1. It's tough when we realize we've killed our momentum. Fortunately, we can start anew and pick it back up. Glad you've got the ball rolling again. Will you be as involved in those conferences again next year?

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    1. I will be involved, but less so. Well, so I intend. I have issues saying no. :x

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  2. At least your time was interrupted for something good - you helped out other people! You're doing fine, Shannon! Don't beat yourself up. It sounds like you're already back in the groove.

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    1. I'm gaining momentum, so that's good! Still not back where I was, but you're right. No beating myself up.

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  3. As Madeline wrote: you helped others while slowing your forward momentum. In the end, it will be our relationships with others we will remember most fondly. Best of success in placing your stories! :-)

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    1. That's a good point, and I did forge even more great relationships through this process.

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  4. Congratulations on returning to your writing. Those periods of suspended animation are no fun. Looks like you are making up for lost time.

    For me, I'm actually circling and marking up a novel I'm reading. I've been urged to do this for nearly a year, but couldn't give myself permission to deface the book.

    I'm hooked on this way of studying writing. I feel sorry for the next reader that gets a hold of this book. It's a mess, but I've learned so much!

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    1. I haven't done that with fiction, but I did this with my college texts, and it worked well for me. Good luck!

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  5. I don't think you've shot yourself in the foot until you've actually shot yourself in the foot.

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  6. You must have a magic method for accomplishing all you do! It's impressive :-) It's also quite inspiring to try to become as consistently focused as you are, hope you don't mind if I tag along ;-)
    I think that your volunteering was just another part of your journey and you mustn't worry too much about it since I'm sure you were inspiring others along the way.

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    1. Please do tag along! I like what you said about it being part of my journey. It certainly has been, and it has brought me along farther than I think I'd be otherwise, just in different ways.

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  7. Oh geez, I'm sure a lot of us can relate to over-extending our kindness to others while short-changing ourselves. But I really believe nothing is wasted. I'm sure, in some way, you are better for it. It's also okay to give ourselves permission to care for our needs too. :)

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    1. True, we can take time to do other things. And it's definitely not wasted!

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  8. I'm glad to hear you're getting back on track. Sometimes the little things we do do add up time-wise and I've learned to be more choosy about what I volunteer for.

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    1. I'm working on learning that. It was worthwhile, but I need to not be so thinly spread.

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  9. I forgot what day it was. That's my onswcuroty.

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  10. I wrote about volunteering for my writing groups. I've backed off to just three of them, IWSG being one. It can interfere with writing.

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    1. Yes, the volunteering can be valuable, but if it interferes too much with writing, it diminishes the value.

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  11. It's an interesting phenomenon that volunteering for things end up sucking up more time that they are suppose to and more than our jobs too. Congrats on getting back into writing.

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    1. It's probably because we usually only volunteer for things we're passionate about in some way, so it's easier to get sucked in?

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  12. Glad your momentum came back and great stats. I had one rejection and one short-listed for May. I need to get more submitted out there! Have a great week. :)

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    1. I hope the short-list netted a sale in the end!

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  13. I don't think your time with the writing group has been wasted. Even if you didn't actively write as much as you wanted, you were learning something valuable. Later on, when the experience settles, you'll use it in your writing, one way or another. I found that any experience, positive or negative, is a learning opportunity for a writer, even if you can't actually formulate at the moment what it was that you've learned.

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    1. That's a great point. We take all our experiences and turn them back around in some way.

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  14. Yay for getting back into writing and for personal feedback in a rejection letter. Thanks for sharing your stats - I keep intending to do a better job of that, too. It's inspiring to see your writing and submission tallies.
    Volunteering is never a waste for the volunteer - I've learned huge amounts about myself, other people, and organizations by volunteering. It's always a growth opportunity, even if it doesn't work out - sometimes, especially when it doesn't work out.

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    1. True, it provides growth in all kinds of ways. I'm further removed from the overworked portion of it, though I'm still involved, and I can see it with more positivity than before.

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  15. I'm so glad you have a better frame of mind and that you're writing again, and so close to editing a project, too. Good luck with that! I hope this continues for you. :)

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  16. Completed two stories? Then you're doing great! Congratulations on pushing through a negative space to get to here.

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    1. It turned out to be two stories, two months in a row, so I'll take it. Here's hoping it continues!

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  17. Sounds as if you're doing really well. I think it's great that you're involved in your writing community. I'm giving you an A.

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  18. Hi Shannon - it sounds as though you know what to do and to keep your mojo out there ... and things will settle down again - good for with so much going on ... all the best - Hilary

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  19. Like you, I sometimes over-commit and then get no writing done. I hate that!. But just because you aren't putting words on the screen doesn't mean you aren't thinking about it. I often come up with new, better story ideas for my WIP if I'm forced to not write for a while. Good luck with your revising, writing, and subs!

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    1. That's true. I did a ton of thinking. And then it flowed into notes once I was finally able to sit down and work on things. It's probably why I got so much writing done the last few months; it had been percolating.

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  20. Shannon,
    You are such a big encouragement for me and you are also a great example. In fact, I started my statistics after reading your blog posts in posted in the IWSG.
    I have no doubt that you will take back the territory that you think you have lost. I believe you woke up in plenty of time to catch it and get back on track.
    Hang in there, Kiddo.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat Garcia


    http://www.patgarciaandeverythingmustchange.com/2016/06/iwsg-june-2016-recovery-is-not-matter.html

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    1. Thank you, Pat. I always love hearing from you! You're so positive, and I know you'll get places.

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  21. Overcommitting in any venue can cause headaches. I'm happy that you're getting back on track, writing again, and submitting. Good Luck with your edits.

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  22. Our best intentions can sometimes derail our momentum. I'm guilty of over-committing myself.

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  23. Good for you for getting back on track. I admire people like yourself who submit on a regular basis. I haven't over-committed myself in a long time and have not excuse except that I'm lazy! :D

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    1. I'd say that's less lazy and more smart!

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  24. Good for you for getting back on track. I admire people like yourself who submit on a regular basis. I haven't over-committed myself in a long time and have not excuse except that I'm lazy! :D

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  25. I think you are amazing. Continuing to submit is brilliant. I don't have the guts. You are continuing with your writing, which is always exciting. Go Shannon!

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  26. I'm feeling insecure reading how prolific you are and how often you submit your writing. I am very very impressed and so happy for you.

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    1. Thank you, though I don't want it to make anyone feel insecure!

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  27. I do that spread myself too thin and lose my own momentum. Sounds like you are doing good despite that. You go. Glad you are finding your momentum again.
    Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

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    1. It feels good! I'm not quite back there again, but I'm getting somewhere.

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  28. I do that spread myself too thin and lose my own momentum. Sounds like you are doing good despite that. You go. Glad you are finding your momentum again.
    Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

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  29. I've, also, cut down on the number of posts this summer. Summer is too short to spend a lot of time indoors. I'm inside today because it's raining.
    Tweeted.

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    1. I hope you enjoy lots of outside time! I need more.

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  30. When I'd been writing for a few years and volunteering a LOT with my writers' chapter, Hubs asked me: are you a writer or a volunteer? That stopped me for a moment. Make a choice, I said to myself. Easing out of volunteer positions is hard. But I did it. I have to force myself not to volunteer because it cuts into my writing time. Thus says the woman who has been treasurer (again) for the writing chapter.

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    1. Smart question from your husband. I'm working on easing out now. One position removed, and I've announced officially that we need to fill one of my other positions by the end of my term. And I'm treasurer, too! We're suckers. ;)

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  31. Glad you got back to some writing! It's so hard to juggle it all. Good luck on sub.

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  32. Identifying the problem is part of working toward the solution, right? Glad you've shown improvement, and I hope you make it to the 20!

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  33. Hi Shannon,

    Quite remarkable, really. You have a hectic life and even though the writing momentum stalled a bit, you most certainly got that positive writing momentum going again. Way to go with your resilience, Shannon.

    Gary

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  34. The important thing is that you're still working towards your goals. You're getting work out there! And, as I keep telling myself, if it's not out there, it can't be published! My biggest insecurity is that I avoid writing. There's no other way to put it and I honestly can't figure out why...except for fear...but the stories keep pestering me! Ahh, this writing life!

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    1. I think I avoid editing, especially in terms of my novels. I can write, but then I make excuses not to edit. I think it's fear on my part, too. We need to move past that!

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  35. When I'm involved with a writers group I find myself doing more critiquing of other's stories than writing on my own. I'm a slow writer, and there is always one more story to finish for quicker writers. I feel insecure about never taking up the writing challenge again. Its been perhaps more than a year since I worked on any of my projects, let alone create something new.

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    1. Oh no! I hope you can get back into it, and soon. For critiques, I dedicate one day each month to it. The rest needs to be for me.

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  36. Your post made me realize that I should get back to writing and submitting more short pieces, instead of obsessing over a longer story that I can always return to in between the short ones.

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    1. True! Good luck with submitting those. I enjoy seeing your publication announcements.

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