Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Cutting Out Time & Links

Editing is not my friend.

I can write pretty much anywhere, with or without distractions. I can write to music or watching television. I've written at Chuck E. Cheese, surrounded by insane munchkins hyped up on pizza and sugar.

But editing? I need silence or instrumental music when I'm editing. I need fewer distractions.

What I've discovered is that I edit better out of the house. Somewhere else, where I won't freak out about the house being messy or worry about what I need to make for dinner. Where the kids can't ask me questions. So I've started treating myself to happy hour at a quiet local restaurant each week to make time for editing. They say write drunk, edit sober, but I prefer to write sober and edit with a glass of wine (not drunk). And maybe a salad or appetizer. Or pie!

The point of this is to find a way around the issues or blocks you run into. Find a way to take the less pleasurable parts and make them fun. Or at least a nice change. For some of you, it's the editing that's an issue. For some it's the writing. For others it might be design or marketing. Make it fun, make it routine, make it relaxing. I'm grateful I have a place to go where they don't mind me being there taking up a table (I would leave if it was busy enough for the table to be needed, and I do leave once it gets busy), and where I can be comfortable, treat myself, and get some work done.

If you don't have a restaurant or coffee house to go, maybe there's somewhere outdoors, like a park. Perhaps there's a local hotel with a lobby bar where they won't mind you taking up space at a table or comfy sofa in the lobby to write/edit.

Now for some links.

Accepting Submissions:

Carte Blanche is accepting fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and photo essays. Pays a modest honorarium. Deadline May 1.

The First Line is accepting fiction and essays for their summer line. Up to 5000 lines. Must start with the line "The plan suddenly made sense." Pays up to $50. Deadline May 1.

Afrocentric Books is accepting diverse fiction for their steampunk anthology Afrosteam. Must have a main character of indigenous African descent. 1000 to 7500 words. Pays $.01/word. Deadline May 5.

The Dark City is accepting short crime and mystery fiction. 1000 to 7500 words. Pays $25.

Litbreak is accepting short stories, novel excerpts, essays, reviews, and poetry. Up to 12,000 words. Pays between $25 and $100 depending upon type of submission.

Confingo is accepting short stories, poems, or art. Up to 5000 words. Pays £20.

Where have you found to get some quiet time away from home for work? Do you write or edit there (or something else)? Any of these links of interest? Anything to share?

May you find your Muse.

*Image Glass of Wine 2, OCAL,


  1. I can't concentrate anywhere but my office. I'm too easily distracted.
    Impressed you can write at Chuck E. Cheese's without killing someone.

  2. Hi Shannon - I need my space, definitely not out of the flat, but then I don't have kids ... so quiet without even music ... good luck with the editing etc ... cheers Hilary

  3. I've written a few things after a couple glasses of wine. Always fun to read the next day.

    The difference for me isn't so much between first draft and editing as fiction and non-fiction. I can write fiction in ten minute spurts but for non-fiction, I need at least 1-2 hours of concentrated effort.

  4. There's nothing wrong with writing AND editing with a glass of wine :D. Like you, I can write pretty much anywhere but I've noticed that I get more done when I leave the house. As for editing, I also need that focus that cannot be distracted by dirty dishes and ranging kittens (or toddlers...I hear they're pretty much the same thing!)

    Great post and, as always, thanks for the links!


  5. I do better outside the house too. It's really a distraction with chores calling my name all the time. I need quiet to edit, too. Wine helps.

  6. I like the way you think, and I'm much the same. Hell, I can't even write in my home office most of the time even if it's completely silent because I'm surrounded by too many distractions. When I'm out, though, I have no Internet access, no gadgets, no TVs... just me and a Word doc. I'm forced to write. I need to do that more often.