Created by Alex J. Cavanaugh, the IWSG exists to lend support to fellow writers dealing with their insecurity. And, of course, to air your own insecurities. Anyone can sign up by clicking on Alex's name and adding your name to the list then posting the first Wednesday of each month. Be sure to visit your fellow IWSG'ers, especially the co-hosts:
Erika Beebe, Natalie Aguirre, Jennifer Lane, MJ Fifield, Lisa Buie-Collard, and Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor!
At the end of May, my dad succumbed to the ALS he'd fought for 6 1/2 years. The average lifespan is 2 years from diagnosis. We were lucky dad made it as long as he did, though he should have had another year, based upon how he was progressing.
What does this have to do with IWSG? I'd set goals, things I wanted to accomplish before he died, because I wanted him to see those achievements. My writing career has been a ticking clock for 6 1/2 years. The biggest goal I had was to traditionally publish a novel before he died. I was also working on a novel where the main character had ALS, with the intention of having him do a sensitivity/accuracy read. I wanted him to see someone with ALS get to be a hero, despite the disease. (Although we found out just how much of a hero he was once he was gone, thanks to over 100 people who reached out to us after his death to let us know how he'd impacted those in the ALS community. People he'd helped.)
I failed to accomplish a lot of things I wanted to do before he died. The problem with making a goal like I did is that when the driving factor behind the timing of your goals is removed, it leaves you flapping in the wind. Now what? Sure, I'll still pursue my goals, but they feel somehow emptier now. There's no deadline anymore. As much as I'm sure I'll still want to achieve them, there will be a certain hollowness to the victories, because I didn't make it in time.
I'm working on two things right now: overcoming the numbness I currently feel toward my goals and trying to get the creativity flowing again. I'm trying to be kind to myself about my lack of writing this month. I never miss deadlines, but I had to ask for a week extension for one deadline. There were a couple anthologies I wanted to write for that had a deadline at the end of June/beginning of July, and I had to let those stories go.
Catch up time is here. I have to meet that deadline, get some short stories edited, get back to writing. I'm intellectually aware that I need to give it time and not beat myself up, but that's easier said than done. I can't not keep moving forward. My dad was a driven man, and he would want me to keep going, keep progressing, and achieve my goals.
I will get there.
Since I didn't post last month, I'm going to do my short story submission stats for both May and June. They're pretty piddly, considering my being sick, having surgery, and everything else during that time. BUT I didn't allow my writing career to fall completely by the wayside.
Submitted - 6
Accepted - 1 (this was from an invite)
Rejected - 2
Released - 1
Submitted - 3
Accepted - 1 (this was from an invite)
Rejected - 1
Currently on submission: 9
How about some links?
Bear in mind I'm not endorsing these, merely passing them along. Always do your own due diligence before submitting.
Pole to Pole Publishing is seeking short stories for Not Far From Roswell. Alien themed. Dark fiction. 3000 to 5000 words. Pays $.02/word. Deadline July 30.
VQR is seeking poetry, short fiction, and creative nonfiction. 2000 to 8000 words for short fiction. Pays up to $1000. Deadline July 31.
Freeze Frame Fiction is seeking flash fiction. 1000 words or less. Pays $10. Deadline July 31.
Flash Bang Mysteries is seeking mystery/thriller themed flash fiction. 500 to 750 words. Pays $20. Deadline July 31.
Less Than Three Press is seeking LGBTQIA novellas for Creature Feature. Monster themed. 20,000 to 60,000. Pays in royalties. Deadline July 31.
Necro Publications is seeking short fiction for Blasphemous Rumors. Religious horror. Up to 5000 words. Pays $.03/word. Deadline July 31.
Dragon Soul Press is seeking short stories featuring both a vampire and a dragon for Coffins & Dragons. 5000 to 15,000 words. Pays royalties. Deadline July 31.
What are your insecurities? How do you get started writing again after a massive derailment? Have you been submitting? Any news? Are any of these links of interest? Anything to share?
May you find your Muse.