Wednesday, September 7, 2016

IWSG - Self-Doubt, Stats, & Links

It's the first Wednesday of September, which makes it time for the Insecure Writer's Support Group, created by the one and only Alex J. Cavanaugh.


The purpose of the IWSG is for writers to share their doubts and fears, while offering support to their fellow writers. We post the first Wednesday of each month. Anyone is welcome to join by going HERE.

This month's co-hosts are C. Lee McKenzie, Rachel Pattison, Elizabeth Seckman,Stephanie Faris, Lori L MacLaughlin, and Elsie Amata! Stop by and visit them, and be sure to thank them for hosting.

Let's see...insecurities. I realized the other day that I was avoiding working on my novels. At this point, I've become somewhat comfortable in the short story world. I have my process down. I enjoy writing short stories. But I've got all these ideas for novels, too, plus one needing to be finished, one needing to be edited, and another needing some major rewrites. I haven't worked on them much over the last few months. It took me this long to see it was nerves for various reasons. Part of it is that I feel like if I sell a novel I won't have time for the short stories anymore. And then I'll be sucked into the constant marketing, working on the next novel, etc. The thing is, that's where I aim to be, but I fear I won't like it, and I hate to lose the short stories, because I have too much fun with them. I wonder if I can balance the two once I get past the writing stage.

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Before I jump into links, it's time for my August stats. 

Note: These are all short story submissions.

8 submissions
6 rejections
2 short listed
10 currently on submission

No acceptances or new publications this month. 

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Link time! Bear in mind that I'm not endorsing these links, merely passing them along. Always do your own due diligence before submitting. Note: I got behind on these, so some close pretty soon. I'll try to get caught back up this month so that they're a month out.

Accepting Submissions:

Apt is open for essays, poetry, comics, and longer short works of between 10,000 and 15,000 words. Pays $50 and contributor's copy. Reading window closes September 15.

Meerkat Press has an open call out for short fiction for their anthology Behind the Mask. Superhero themed. 3000 to 6000 words. Pays $.02-.08/word. Deadline September 15. 

Farolight Publishing is taking submissions for Horror Library. 2000 to 6000 words. Pays $.03/word. Deadline September 15. 

Splickety Publishing Group is accepting submissions for Splickety Prime with the theme Christmas in Crisis. 300 to 1000 words. Pays $.02/word. Deadline September 23.

The Letters Page is accepting essays, fiction, travelogues, poems, and tons more. It needs to be in the form of a letter. Must be mailed, not electronically submitted. Pays £100. Deadline September 25. 

Pentimento is open for submissions for their winter issue. Essays and fiction concerning disability. Up to 6000 words. Pays $25-250. Deadline September 30.

The Nashville Review is open for fiction, poetry, and nonfiction. Up to 8000 words. Pays $25-100. Deadline September 30.

Recompose is open for short prose and poetry that combines speculative fiction with literary fiction. Up to 1000 words. Pays $.06/word. Deadline September 30.

Enchanted Conversation is accepting fairy tale inspired prose and poems. 700 to 3000 words. Pays $10-30. Deadline September 30.

Contests:

Brilliant Flash Fiction has a flash contest with the prompt "It came in the mail." There's also an image prompt. 500 word limit. 50 euro first prize. Deadline September 15.  

Concis is holding Pith of Prose & Poem Contest. Up to 200 words. Cash prizes, plus postcards with your work on them. No entry fee. Deadline September 15. 

What are your insecurities? Have you found a good way to balance novels with shorter works? Have you submitted anything this month? How did it go? Any publishing news? Any of these links of interest to you? Anything to share?

May you find your Muse.

73 comments:

  1. Hi Shannon,
    You know, I think you can master both. You have your goals, and I don't believe you will stop writing short stories just to write books. You'll definitely find a way. However, the only way to find out how to do it, is to start working on your novel manuscript and completing it. So jump out there, Lady, and do it.
    All the best.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat Garcia

    ReplyDelete
  2. The marketing...yeah. That can totally such the creativity out of writing, but it can be balanced. I hear you though. There is never enough time/energy in the day.

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    1. A lot of writing is juggling time. It's a constant adjustment when things are changing.

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  3. Your goals and accomplishments are impressive! I believe there is never enough time to do what we love and what we gotta do. To sorta managing both is an amazing balancing act. You're doing great!

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    1. Thanks! True, there's never going to be enough time for people to do everything they want. You grab what you can!

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  4. The marketing does take a lot of time, but in between it gives you time for short stories. I think you can balance it all.

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    1. I think so, too. The trick is figuring it out and getting into that comfortable place.

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  5. I read recently that you have to decide what success looks like to you - maybe it's writing and publishing tons of stories and not so much novels. As long as you're loving what you're working on, it will come across in your writing. :)

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    Replies
    1. That's a great way of looking at it, and I've been looking at that for myself.

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  6. Ray Bradbury was a short story master, but he also wrote novels. You can too.

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    Replies
    1. True! And he's someone to look up to, for sure.

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  7. I admire people who can write short stories. I'm better at full length novels. It's a talent to write short. Good luck.

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    1. Thank you! I enjoy doing both, but inadvertently lean toward the short.

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  8. I think you can balance them. Lots of writers have been novelists and short story writers.

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    Replies
    1. True! I just have to get to the right place/routine.

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  9. I've found a way to balance writing novels and short stories: I don't do either. Shame on me. I think you're doing a fine job with keeping up with your writing.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

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    Replies
    1. Ha! That's definitely one way to balance them.

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  10. Thanks for the links! Good luck finding the balance between novels and short stories :)

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  11. Maybe do a short story collection?

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    1. I definitely intend to do that. I've got 7 stories ready. Need to look at total word count to see how many more I want to do.

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  12. I think you should just go for it - you never know until you try!! If you really want it, you'll find a way to balance them both. Best of luck with your writing, let us know how it goes!

    Rachel x
    September IWSG co-host

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  13. Thanks for the links. Go with your gut, beside if you don't try you will never know. Rejection, defeat or failure are all temporary conditions and only become permanent if don't keep trying. You do a lot already. You will do whatever you set your mind to doing, I know it. Wishing you the best and huge successes.

    Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! That's true, they're temporary conditions. I like that way of looking at it.

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  14. Thanks for the links. Go with your gut, beside if you don't try you will never know. Rejection, defeat or failure are all temporary conditions and only become permanent if don't keep trying. You do a lot already. You will do whatever you set your mind to doing, I know it. Wishing you the best and huge successes.

    Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

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  15. I'll be honest, I did hate the constant marketing with my trilogy. I've been on a nice break from all that, but still writing. Good luck with everything!

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    1. It seems like people have to shut down everything else to market for awhile before being able to get back to writing.

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  16. Oh...I don't know what to tell you about your dilemma. Do what you're comfortable with? Thanks for the links.

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  17. I've been doing some avoiding myself. Thanks for the links.

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  18. Marketing is daunting at first, but it's not something you constantly have to do, like some kind of door-to-door salesman. So there's that. Also, what Andrew said - we're big fans of short story collections. It's something to consider.

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    1. Already in play! I have seven stories ready, so far. Working on it, gathering info on how to do the specifics, etc.

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  19. I totally get your quandary. Since my short story period started - about two years ago - I haven't touched my novels, but I have written a slew of short stories. Both forms need some kind of readjustment in the brain, at least they do for me. I can't hop back and forth. Maybe you're the same. Maybe you need a conscious decision to quit short stories for a while and concentrate on novels.

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    1. It does take a different process and state of mind. So it's a matter of taking time to be in each place when I need to be.

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  20. I can understand your trepidation re: the marketing. I have never been able to figure it out and I think that's part of why I'm having so much trouble finishing anything lately. But I bet you will be able to find a balance once you get past the writing stage. Good luck!

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  21. Hi Shannon. Marketing! Urk! I want to go back to the old days when publishers actually marketed your work...dee dum...Not going to happen. But short stories are less complicated, but we all want to publish that novel, don't we? Go for it...:-)

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    1. That would be nice, but you're right. It's not going to happen except for those who probably don't need the marketing. Funny.

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  22. I didn't market my book because, well, I'm petrified of overexposure. Crazy, right? I wrote a book but fear too much publicity. I love reading that you have lots of ideas for other stories...that's fantastic!

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    1. I can understand that. It's terrifying to have everyone's attention on you. I pulled back from Facebook recently for awhile, because I was nervous every time I put something out there. Trying to get back to it now.

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  23. Blah to marketing. But it doesn't last forever, or you can, if you choose, just skip it altogether haha

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    Replies
    1. That's true! There's nothing we HAVE to do, but it depends upon what we want to achieve.

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  24. I don't blame you for being intimidated with marketing. I think it's the hardest part of writing. I would say enjoy what you love and don't worry too much about exploring other things until you're comfortable with them.

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  25. Thanks for all the links. Lot of work goes into that. We appreciate it.
    Can you pop back and forth between shorts and a novel. When you're tired of one, work on the other?

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    1. I think that's what I'll need to do. I have a far easier time writing them than trying to edit a novel and write/edit short stories.

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  26. Hi back to you Shannon. Thanks for visiting my place

    :O)

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  27. Shannon, you could have been describing me! I adore writing short stories; flash fiction, etc., and marketing is not my strongest point - unless it's for someone else. That being said, I'm currently working on a scheme to trick myself into some brilliant marketing tactics by changing the (pen) names of who (me!) I'm marketing for :-) What do you think? You have a good idea to keep yourself accountable by chronicling your progress. I wish it worked for me, it's as if I need a hug or a rotten tomato thrown at me in order to feel acknowledged. Silly, huh? Have a terrific Friday!

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    1. Interesting idea! I'd love to know how that works. I'm always more willing to share someone else's good news over mine.

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  28. I hate the marketing part of novel writing too but it has to be done. You really have a lot going on with your short stories though. It's not like you're slacking.

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    1. No, I'm not slacking. We keep on slogging on!

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  29. Power to ya on those submissions! It's no easy thing for us authors to keep putting ourselves out there. Fingers crossed, and sending lots of good vibes your way:)

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  30. I've found that publishing my first novel took a lot more out of me than I thought it would, but that's just me, because I don't manage my stress well. However, you can juggle novels and short stories, as there are writers that do that. Definitely don't give up writing your shorter pieces. Maybe alternating between the two? Good-luck.

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    1. I think it will have to be alternating. Thanks!

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  31. Just alternate between the two or work on short stories when you take a break or get stuck.

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    1. I think alternating will be the way to go. I just need to figure out the dynamic.

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  32. I love seeing your schedule and how you're doing. I've subbed a novel to my agent, but no word back. This is all about moss growing on your north side while to wait to hear something. :-)

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    1. I hope you've heard back by now, and that it's good news!

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  33. At least you know the drawbacks and know what you like and don't about writing and marketing. If you feel comfortable writing short stories, you should probably keep it up. They are less of a commitment than novels. Or you could try something in between -- a novella. It's not such a time commitment, but you can flesh it out more. Good luck with all your subs and whatever you work on!

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    1. I have a new novel in the works that started as a short story, morphed into a novella, and finally grew into a novel. I'm 3/4 of the way through at this point, and the first 25,000 words were written in a week. I guess the point of that is that this would have been my first novella, but...it's not.

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  34. I love your stats and your links each time I come by. I'm always filled with a bit of kick-in-the-pants inspiration. Thank you.
    I'm with you on the short story writing - short stories are fun, finishable, and doable. Novels take time. I'm trying to give myself enough space to continue my short story writing while I start a new WIP. (Another new WIP after the last start took a long drop off a steep cliff.)

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    1. Good luck with the new WIP and with your short story writing. I'm glad to offer a kick in the pants! It's a kick for me, too.

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  35. If you're interested in doing both things, you can do it. There are many authors who write both novels and short stories and they do both things very well- Stephen King, Joyce Carol Oates, and Margaret Atwood, to name just a few people.

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  36. I like the way you track and post your submission stats. What a great way to keep yourself accountable.

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  37. Writing short fiction is self gratifying to me too. I get to complete a story, which is satisfying since I'm great at starting a story, no so good at getting back to it and finishing. I have several novels in need of attention too.

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