It's the first Wednesday of December, which means it's time for the Insecure Writer's Support Group, created by the ever supportive Alex J. Cavanaugh
Anyone can participate. Simply click HERE
and sign up! Feel free to share your insecurities, fears, and inspirations having to do with the writing world. Then hop around to visit and support fellow insecure writers.
Also, be sure to hop around and visit our wonderful co-hosts: Sandra
Morgan, and Melodie
I was wallowing in self doubt when I realized it was IWSG time. I [thought I had] finished revisions on a story that's been floated through two different critique groups, so I started submitting it. I got a rejection for it today. It was a "good" rejection, in that it was a personal rejection with great feedback on why it was not accepted. It also included an invitation to submit something else, but as I've mentioned before, somehow that always makes me freeze up. I analyze the feedback I got and look for the flaws mentioned in every other story I have available that might fit that publication. If there's a character issue, I start ripping apart my characters, and looking at all the ways they're lacking. If it started too slow or got slow at a certain part, I start freaking out about the other stories, tearing up the pacing in my head. Whatever issue is brought up, I project it onto the other stories.
The timing could have been better, as I was already over-analyzing my writing because of a story I experimented with this month. It's unfinished, despite being 8700 words, so far, which has me wondering if it's right for trying out my first novelette/novella. Or have I just royally screwed it up, and I need to shorten it into a short story? Should I have taken the left at Albuquerque?
Then I started doubting characterization. Do I get deep enough into my characters in short stories, or am I too plot driven? I keep my emotions close to the vest in real life...am I doing that in my stories? Keeping those emotions strapped down and not setting my characters loose to examine them?
Maybe this doubt is inevitable after a two month hiatus from writing. Last month was the first I wrote anything new in months. The last two stories I put through critique group were old stories I pulled out and revised.
When you take a break from writing, purposeful or accidental, do you go through a period of self doubt and questioning your writing? I was flying high when I was getting the writing done. Now I've set it aside for several days, afraid to look at it again, because I think it will take a lot of work to get it to where I want it. It does show promise. Hopefully getting it there won't be as tricky as I fear.
I should say, though, I don't regret trying this experiment. And I will see it to the end. It's just a matter of convincing myself to jump back in and shut that inner editor up.
Time for my stats for the month of November. I do this each IWSG day to keep myself accountable.
Pieces Submitted in November:
Pieces Accepted in November:
Pieces Rejected in November:
Total Pieces Currently on Submission:
1 publication shut down while I had a submission there; 2 decided to stop accepting submissions, and posted that we should submit elsewhere in the meantime; 1 publication says it will get back to everyone, though it has closed down submissions, but it has been since August since anything was updated on their website, blog, Facebook, Twitter, etc., and Duotrope is showing no action since that same time as far as rejections and acceptances, so I am assuming they're actually shut down entirely for now.
Before we get to links today, I want to welcome T.B. Markinson here for her blog tour promoting A Clueless Woman
Graduate student Lizzie Petrie feels more comfortable around
books than people. Although an expert in the Hitler Youth, she’s a novice in
love. Her former lesbian lover is blackmailing her, and not even those closest
to Lizzie know the full story of their abusive relationship.
When visiting high school English teacher Sarah crosses
Lizzie’s path at the campus, their attraction is instant, but not without
complications. As they start to spend more time together, suspicions arise from
both women in this sexy piece of LGBT fiction.
Plenty of good-natured teasing takes place between lovers as
well as between PhD students in this lesbian contemporary romance. No
relationship path ever runs smoothly, and oftentimes, those who can’t keep
their mouth shut hasten necessary confrontation.
Lizzie finds herself buried in a mess of lies in this
romantic comedy. The harder she tries to keep Sarah and the rest of her friends
from finding out the truth about her first girlfriend, the more endearingly
clueless she becomes.
T. B. Markinson is an American writer, living in England.
When she isn’t writing, she’s traveling the world, watching sports on the
telly, visiting pubs, or taking the dog for a walk. Not necessarily in that
Get the first book in the series, A Woman Lost
, for FREE by
signing up to TB’s Readers’ Group here
“Well, well, well. What do we have here?” If Meg hadn’t been
standing right in front of me, I would have recognized her snide tone, even
despite the fact that she’d dyed her once-blonde hair a rich, fiery red.
“Getting drunk on a school night. Shame on you, Lizzie. What would Dr. Marcel
say?” Meg’s companion helped her slip into a coat. Hopefully, that meant they
were leaving and pronto.
150,000 people lived in Fort Collins, and the one person I didn’t want to bump
into ever, let alone with Sarah, was peering down at us.
was all I could force out.
gaze wandered over Sarah’s face and upper body before settling on me. “What
happened to only drinking at home?” She crossed her arms.
afraid I’m a bad influence.” Sarah came to my defense.
An older man tugged on Meg’s arm. She wore a tight dress—not her usual jeans
and J. Crew sweater. And she was with a man—very unusual. “Have a good night,
ie.” She turned each Z in my name
into a weapon. “Oh, I’ll be calling you to discuss that financial situation you
brought up last time.” She gave Sarah a final glare and rolled her eyes.
Red-hot anger raged through my mind and body as I clamped my lips together to
keep everything bottled inside. How dare she treat Sarah so flippantly?
counted to ten before I said, “I’m so sorry.”
eyes darted across the room to where Meg and her companion were exiting into
the darkness. “Is she a friend?”
snorted. “Former ...” I’d been about to say girlfriend, but instead added,
another word for her.”
out a rush of air. “Really? What would that be?”
Now for links! Please bear in mind that I am not endorsing any of these, merely passing them along. Always do your own due diligence before submitting to a publication or contest.
is accepting submissions of essays with the topic of "How I Got My Book Published." Up to 1500 words. Pays $.10/word, up to $65. Deadline December 14.
is accepting submissions of essays for their anthology "Not That Bad" about rape culture. This is not just a publication for women. 2500-7500 words. Pay is not specified, but it is a paid publication. Deadline December 15.
Book Smugglers Publishing
is accepting short stories with the theme of Superheroes. Open to all genres (even romance and horror) and age ranges from middle grade up. 1500-17,500 words. Pays $.06/word up to $500. Deadline December 31.
is accepting short stories for Respectable Horror. 4000-8000 words. Pays £10
, plus contributor copies. Deadline December 31.
is accepting submissions of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and photo essays. Up to 3500 words. Pays an honorarium, though exact amount is not mentioned. Deadline December 31.
Ember: A Journal of Luminous Things
is seeking one story with the theme "The Carrot is Mightier Than the Sword" to match the cover of their spring issue. Doesn't specifically mention payment, but I'm in this issue, and it is a paying market. Deadline December 31.
is accepting submissions for their Upside Down: Inverted Tropes in Storytelling anthology. Turn speculative fiction on its head. Up to 5000 words. Pays $.06/word. Deadline December 31.
Columbia Journalism School
is offering the J. Anthony Lukas Work-in-Progress Award. $30,000 will be awarded to someone who is already contracted on with an editor for a non-fiction book with a topic of social or political concern. Must show financial need. Deadline December 11.
Shoreline of Infinity
is holding the Story Writing Competition for Readers. Write a science fiction story inspired by artwork they have posted. Up to 4000 words. Prize is publication, an author interview, a print of the artist's artwork, a digital subscription, and £80
. Deadline December 21.
Blue Mountain Arts
is holding their Twenty-Seventh Biannual Poetry Card Contest. Cash prizes. Deadline December 31.
What are your insecurities? Do you get insecure when you've been away from writing for awhile? What are your biggest writing doubts? How do you like T.B.'s cover? Have you purchased your copy yet? Any of these links of interest? Anything to share? How do you keep yourself accountable?