Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Insecure Writer's Support Group & Links
It's that time again, folks! The first Wednesday of the month means Insecure Writer's gather together to discuss their insecurities. Anyone is welcome to join this support group, created by Alex J. Cavanaugh. You can sign up here.
Do you constantly think about what you want to write, only to sit down and struggle with what to write (as in, which one?) or how to get started? Do your stories and characters run through your head all the time, yet elude you when you try to get them onto paper? Am I sounding a bit like an infomercial right now?
I attended a great workshop led by author Angel Smits this past month, and I wanted to share a bit about it for my fellow insecure writers. It's the second time I attended one similar to this that she's presented, and I always leave feeling inspired. Plus, I always leave with words on the page.
Angel gives us the tools to shut off our internal editor, our voice of self-doubt and criticism, by using improv writing. She gives ideas on multiple ways to get started writing, while evading your internal editor. First off, give your editor a name. Mine is Smurgle. Next, set a timer for a certain amount of time and start writing. Doesn't matter what you're writing. You can write "I don't know what to say." You can write "I don't feel like doing this." You can write your grocery list. You can write whatever you want, as long as your pen stays on the paper (or your fingers keep moving across the keyboard). This activity disengages your editor and gets you in the writing mindset.
After that, you can use a variety of prompts. Pictures from a magazine, quotes or snippets of writing chosen at random (not necessarily the beginning of a sentence), random words, postcards, anything that may trigger a writing topic for you. Set a timer each time and start writing. Don't edit it as you go (though I will often cross out something I just wrote down and then continue immediately, I'm breakin' the rules). Just write. Write, write, write, until that timer ends.
Would you believe that she has written her novels over a series of Thursdays through the years with her improv group? In the two hours they meet, she takes each prompt as a jumpstart to the next section of her book and keeps it going. Pretty amazing.
I'd like to start doing a bit of this timed free writing when I sit down to write. Maybe it will become part of my writing routine, maybe it won't. But I can't know until I try. I've also joined up with some friends to start an improv writing night we had previously been doing, so I'm looking forward to that.
I accomplished a lot with my writing Monday, but Tuesday I sat there undecided on what to start on. Today I need to get some writing done again.
Yours, in Insecurity!
Now for some links.
Please bear in mind that I am not personally vetting any of these publications. I haven't researched the validity of these offers. Please do your own due diligence before submitting to any publication.
The Capilano Review publishes "venturesome experimental writing and art" and is looking for submissions. Submission deadline is February 28 for the spring issue. Pays $50 per printed page. The theme is languages.
Workers Write is seeking poetry and prose from the cubicle dwellers point-of-view. 500-5000 words. December 31 deadline. Pays $5 to $50.
Angelic Knight Press is taking submissions for their anthology Demon Rum and Other Evil Spirits. Deadline December 31. I didn't find any indication of payment for this particular anthology, but their overall submission guidelines state quarterly royalties and a copy of the book. More information on this specific publication here.
Infinite Acacia is seeking short stories for a collection, Infinite Science Fiction. Deadline December 31. 2000-6000 words, Science Fiction. Pays $.01/word. They also have a short story collection entitled Mother Knows Best, same deadline. Pays 10 Euros, plus a contributor copy.
Firbolg Publishing is seeking environmental horror short stories for the fourth entry in their Enter At Your Own Risk series. Pays a flat $40 fee. Deadline is December 31.
Crossed Genres is taking submissions of Science Fiction and/or Fantasy short stories with the theme of "Runaway" for their April issue. Pays $.05/word. Deadline December 31.
Suspense Magazine is holding the Terri Ann Armstrong Short Story Contest. Deadline is December 31. Must be in the suspense/mystery/thriller genre. No cash prize is mentioned. May be published online or in their print publication.
21 Peaceful Genders is an anthology on Transgender healthcare being run as a contest. December 31 deadline. First prize is $500. This appears to be run by two individuals, rather than a publishing house, so please do your research before entering.
The Kindle Book Review, along with their partners, is giving away a $500 Amazon shopping spree (HOLY COW!) from now through December 15. This is a Rafflecopter giveaway, with the standard types of tasks in order to earn entries (like x on Twitter, share on Facebook, etc.)
Mark Koopmans is hosting the 50 States of Pray Event on Christmas Eve (December 24). The intention is for everyone to post a prayer, a thought, a hope, a regret, a memory, or a wish in about 100 words. It's a simple hop with a lot of heart.
What's your insecurity? What's your inner editor's name? Do you do constant battle with them? Any of these links of interest to you? Anything you'd like to share? Any publication news?
May you find your Muse.