It's that time again. That time where all us insecure folks get together to discuss our insecurities in the Insecure Writer's Support Group, created by Alex J. Cavanaugh. Sit down, grab a cup of bitter coffee and a stale doughnut, and let's share a little about what ails us. Anyone can participate--just go to the link above and sign up!
The way I'm feeling right now, the better question would be: What am I feeling secure about? The answer is: Not much. But here's what I do know. I love writing. I'm happy when I'm writing. No matter what my publishing status, I will continue to write, even if it's just for me.
Isn't it ourselves we should be writing for in the first place? Publication is the bonus, sure, but the words we write are for ourselves. That's where the joy is. Everyone needs that pat on the back, in whatever way they desire it, but the real joy is taking those ideas that seed in our minds, planting them on the paper, and watching them bloom before us. I say hold onto that joy. Don't let it go, whether you're struggling to be published or already published and trying to market it. Don't let the business of writing keep you from the pleasure of writing.
[Mostly] Wordless Wednesday is a peek at a little peeping tom I had on the back porch last night, along with his little buddy.
These little guys moved furniture around on my porch, causing me to shut the lights out and check out the windows to see who was out there (it was around 1:30 in the morning). There was a squeak at the back door, and not seeing anything outside, I opened the shades (I have french doors) and bent down to look. Staring back at me were two curious raccoons. My poor puffed up cat and I sat there for a moment studying them while they did the same. Finally, I grabbed my camera and opened the door and they scurried over to the stairs, but one continued to watch me. That's his face there. He was also the one who kept standing up down in the lawn to look at me when I stood on my porch photographing them. The pictures suck because it was pitch black, but it was a kick to watch them frolicking in my backyard for at least thirty minutes. I can't believe I've lived here for so long and never run into raccoons before!
Now for some links.
The David Tyson Report is putting together an anthology on ghosts. Horror, but it can be mixed with other genres. 2000-5000 words. Pays $10 and a contributor copy. Deadline September 28.
Blue Skirt Press is putting together an anthology about the loss of parents. Poetry, stories, art, photography. Deadline September 30. Payment is a contributor copy.
Chicken Soup for the Soul is seeking stories along the lines of "Thanks to My Mom." Prose and poetry. 1200 words or less. Pays $200. Deadline September 30.
The third issue of Phobos Magazine is looking for entries with the theme "Troublemake." Short and flash weird fiction or poetry. Must have elements of the macabre. Deadline September 30. Limit 1000 for flash, 2500 for prose and poetry. Paying market.
Firbolg Publishing would like your stories for Enter At Your Own Risk: Dreamscapes Into Darkness. 3000-5000 words. Deadline September 30. Pays $50 and a contributor copy.
Crossed Genres current theme is "Indoctrinate." Deadline September 30. Must possess elements of sci-fi and/or fantasy. 1000-6000 words. Pays $.06/word.
Book Trust and the Sunday Times are holding The Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award. Maximum of 6000 words. Must have been published in UK and Ireland. Deadline September 26. Cash prizes.
The Freeman Family and Drake University Department of English are holding the Payton James Freeman Essay Prize. Write an essay with the theme "After the Unhappy Ending." Up to 3500 words. Prize is $500, publication, and being brought out as a speaker. Deadline September 30.
The L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Award is open through September 30. First prize is $1000. Prose up to 17,000 words. For new writers of short fiction or novelettes in sci-fi or fantasy.
The University of Iowa Press is holding the Iowa Short Fiction Award and John Simmons Short Fiction Award. Must be a collection of short stories, at least 150 pages. Deadline September 30.
On a final note, A-to-Z co-hosts, past and present, have written a tribute to Tina Downey at the A-to-Z blog.
What are your insecurities? Do you still feel the joy of writing? Had any run-ins with raccoons? Any of these links of interest to you? Anything to share? Publishing news?
May you find your Muse.