Wednesday, January 8, 2020

IWSG - Year of Yes...And No?

It's 2020 and time for another posting of the Insecure Writer's Support Group!


Created by Alex J. Cavanaugh, the IWSG is here for writers to air their insecurities and support other writers with theirs. Anyone can participate. Simply click on Alex's name and add your blog to the list on the IWSG tab.

The co-hosts this month are:
T. Powell Coltrin, Victoria Marie Lees, Stephen Tremp, J.H. Moncrieff! Try to stop by and say hey in thanks for them taking this on.

I read a book by Shonda Rhimes a year or two ago entitled Year of Yes: How to Dance it Out, Stand in the Sun and Be Your Own Person. Saying yes to things that make me uncomfortable was already something I practiced before reading this, but it helped put it all in perspective and see how much my saying yes has helped me with my writing career.

This year, I'll continue saying yes to opportunities, BUT I'm also going to be more careful of my time and taking care of myself, which means I'll be saying no more often, too. I tend to jump into too many things, because I think, "Of course I can do this." Then I'm stuck with them on top of everything else going on.

This year needs to be about my continuing my return to writing and submitting more after what was a hard year. That means saying no to more things that aren't writing related.

But I'll still be actively practicing saying yes to things that make me nervous, because stretching myself and taking on new things is generally good for me. It's good for everyone! As long as you stick to what you need for yourself, whether that's giving less time to other people or avoiding certain time sucks.

I'm also looking at what I want to do with my blog going forward. I think I want to make it more personal, talking about things I enjoy, such as books I've read or movies I've watched. It will still be an author's journey, but I won't limit my posts to just writing-related stuff as I have mostly done. There will probably be a bit more about horror, mythology, etc. I'll probably go more into this next week.

I should also be returning to posting about short story submissions by February, if not by next week. I believe I've figured out what stories to include in my next collection, so once I've finalized that, I'll be getting some of the stories back out there!

Now for some links. Bear in mind I'm merely passing these along, not endorsing them. Always do your own due diligence when submitting.

Accepting Submissions:

Pixie Forest Publishing is seeking stories about phobias for an anthology. 1500 to 4000 words. Pays $10. Deadline January 15.

Freeze Frame Fiction is seeking flash fiction. 1000 words or less. Pays $10. Deadline January 31.

Flash Bang Mysteries is seeking crime, mystery, and suspense flash fiction. 500 to 750 words. Pays $20. Deadline January 31.

Dragon Soul Press is seeking stories about women ruling the world for Reign of Queens. No limit on genre. 5000 to 15,000 words. Pays royalties. Deadline January 31.

Twelfth Planet Press is seeking stories about disabled characters putting things back together after the apocalypse for their follow up anthology Rebuilding Tomorrow. 2000 to 6000 words. Pays $.08/word. Deadline January 31.

Have you been rethinking any elements of your life for the upcoming year? What are you feeling insecure about right now? Any of these links of interest? Anything to share?

May you find your Muse.

52 comments:

  1. If we really look, we can find a lot of non-writing things that we don't need to waste our time doing.
    Look forward to the new direction with your blog.

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  2. Happy New Year! I love your decision to say, 'yes' to opportunities and to things that make you nervous. I'm in, and have decided to do just that. I had such a difficult time last year with electronic funks, I was afraid to touch my laptop for months for fear it would have a meltdown. I am back this year with determination.

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    1. Good luck to you with opportunities and your laptop this year. Let's do this!

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  3. Hi Shannon - there's always things we don't need to be doing - freeing up more time. Still some of those are fun - and can be creative ...

    Good luck with sorting life out, moving back into writing more often and being around with us bloggers - all the best for 2020 - cheers Hilary

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    1. I'm going through to figure out those things now. I've had a good few days after cutting down on social media visits.

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  4. Your ideas for this year sound wonderful, Shannon. It's about living life, enjoying life, contributing to life. You're an inspiration.

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    1. I like the way you put that. Sometimes I feel like I'm not doing any of those things, and it's time for that to change.

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  5. I've gotten too distracted over the last few years so it's time to get back on a good writing - and life - track. :)

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    1. The same has happened to me. Good luck going forward!

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  6. I read Shonda's book last year, I think, and made last year my Year of Yes. It worked. I am proud of the things I said yes to. But this year, I'm thinking it'll be my Year of No. No to a lot of BS. ;)

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    1. I think saying no to a lot of BS is a good plan. I definitely want to do more of that, too!

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  7. Wise choice. I'm starting to say no to things that are just taking me away from writing and DLP. The latter - I can't have time taking away from that!

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    1. We all need to be better about this. There are so many things that eat up our valuable time.

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  8. It's a fine balance when it comes to yes and no. You are right, it's good to say yes to things that make you nervous.

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    1. It's definitely a tricky balance. I think it comes down to figuring out what can benefit you (not just financially or career-wise) and what will just be a draw on your time and energy.

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  9. Good advice about the yes and no. I recently said yes to a big responsibility and hope I didn't take on too much.

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    1. I hope that responsibility was one that was both worth it and that you enjoy.

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  10. Definitely looking forward to the new stuff you're planning, especially book reviews. I love to hear what other people are reading.

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    1. Even better, I've been putting the phone aside and reading more, and it feels amazing, so I'm hoping I at least have one book a week, if not more, to discuss! Woo! That was quite a run-on sentence.

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  11. I've definitely had to learn the importance of saying no. It got a bit ridiculous last year, with people I barely knew demanding I helped them write their first novel, to students who did something wrong contacting me on Christmas Eve to demand special treatment.

    If you don't set boundaries, some will take full advantage and run you ragged.

    I hope 2020 is a much better year for you!

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    1. I'm sorry you had to deal with all of that. Hopefully, knowing some of the boundaries you need to set, these improve as you go forward.

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  12. It's hard not to be distracted from our writing. That's why I do my best to plant seat in chair first thing every morning, before the real world takes over.

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    1. That seems to work well for a lot of people. It frustrates me that I can work from home and always attend to day job things, but that I somehow can't put writing in the same mental place as day jobs.

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  13. I've been meaning to read that book and always forget until I see it mentioned somewhere again. I am going to follow through this time. Sounds like you have lots of good plans for your short stories and the blog.

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    1. I had a hard time putting the book down. She's a dynamic woman, to be sure. I actually hadn't heard of it until someone posted the e-book was discounted, so I snapped it up. So glad I did!

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  14. Promotions are such a pain. I wish I could invest that time into writing more.

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    1. Hopefully you can ease back from promotion and get back to the joy of creation!

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  15. I did this last year. It was hard to start saying 'no' when I truly wanted to help someone else or work on something new. But in the end, self care is much more important. It gives you control and the validity to back up those nos. And I love your yes explanation!

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    1. Good to hear it was successful! Yes, self care and that control over your own life is so important.

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  16. I'm going to try to do some of that stretching this year too. Scares the pants off me but I'm going to try! Good luck with your plans for 2020 :)

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    1. The fact that it scares you means it will be so incredibly worth it!

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  17. The balance between the yes and the risk-taking and the "no" to the time-sucking is always tricky.

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    1. It is, but here's hoping that delicate line can be walked!

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  18. I'm trying to re-work my blog, too.
    It's not exactly doing what I want it to right now.

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  19. Figuring out what does not need doing is a struggle for me sometimes. I hate spinning my wheels. I'm a little late making the rounds. Happy IWSG!

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  20. Man am I with you, Shannon. I, unfortunately, think I can do more than I really can, too. But you are right. Saying yes to opportunities that might make you nervous is a great way to grow. All best to you in 2020.

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  21. I loved the Year of Yes, and Grey’s Anatomy. I love Shonda. And I’m down with saying yes to no! *WonderTwinFistBump* form of a writer, shape of self care!

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    1. Ha, I love it! Form of a writer, shape of self care. It's such a good book, isn't it?

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  22. Taking care of yourself is definitely important! I need to be doing more of that. I haven't even had time to set this year's goals because of everything going on. Life can get crazy. Good luck to you in the new year!

    My Writing Journey: https://reneescattergood.com/iwsg-my-writing-journey-origin-story-amwriting/

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    1. I hope you get a bit more wiggle room to take care of yourself some!

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  23. A balance is always good. A balance between Yes and No in your life. A balance between writing-related and personal stuff in your blog. I look forward to your more personal posts here.

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    1. Balance is exactly it. Something we should all be striving for.

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  24. That's one thing I have to do is return to submitting my stories again. I took a bit of a hiatus to market my published books and to revise my first novella which I'm still doing. But I'm going to have to return to submitting to publications within the next month. I think our chances of making our work known are greater when we try several routes to publishing.

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    1. I agree. Multiple routes and consistency are key. Good luck with your submissions!

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  25. Good luck with your plans for the year, Shannon! I need to be more careful with my time, too. And take better care of myself. When I started blogging, I wrote about whatever I wanted, and it definitely included a lot of personal things and hundreds of my photos. I think I would have given up blogging, if I had focused on one topic. Definitely go for branching out!

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    1. You know, I was posting more diversely before, but somehow I pigeonholed myself. I used to have photo days, etc. It's definitely time to figure this out and make some changes!

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  26. It's hard to figure out when to say yes or no but if you get the right balance you are doing great. Have a great writing year!!๐Ÿ’๐Ÿ’
    Sonia from A Hundred Quills
    Https://soniadogra.com

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