Wednesday, March 2, 2022

IWSG - What's Next? Release Hangover

It's the first Wednesday of March, which makes it time for another edition of the Insecure Writer's Support Group.


Created by Alex J. Cavanaugh, the IWSG exists so writers can share their insecurities with each other and seek or give reassurance and advice. Anyone can join. Simply click on Alex's name and put your blog on the linky list. Then hop around and visit some of your fellow insecure writers. Plus, be sure to visit this month's co-hosts.

The co-hosts this month are Janet Alcorn, Pat Garcia, Natalie Aguirre, and Shannon Lawrence! Hey, that's me!

The optional question for this month is: Have you ever been conflicted about writing a story or adding a scene to a story? How did you decide to write it or not?

I'm sure I've faced a few of these, considering the subject matter I've written in horror, but the example that comes to mind is from my fantasy novel that's in the works. I put a super steamy sex scene near the beginning of the book, but it's a mistake for the main character. There were reasons I put it there, but I consulted my critique group. While they were mixed on whether it should stay, I ultimately went with the naysayers and scrapped it, because I wasn't sure it was what the character needed right then. I did save the scene in a separate document, though, because it got great reactions. Someday it will likely be recycled.

My insecurity this month has to do with having finished the major push for my last book release. It was all I was doing for over a month, so once I finished with the bulk of it (of course, marketing goes on), I hit the release hangover. I'm struggling to pick up a new project with any relish. Part of that is that I'd planned to release a second book, a horror collection, this month, but I decided it was too soon and I'd burn myself out if I did it. Instead, that collection will wait until next March, though I'll likely put out a differently themed one before then, as well. 

So here I am, fussing around with a couple short stories, but having trouble deciding on my next big project so I can throw myself into it like I did my last release. It felt good to be in the flow with the writing, then the editing, then the release, then the marketing push. Now everything feels a bit inconsequential and scattered. It's always a weird place to be. Next time I need to have a concrete plan that doesn't involve releasing another book practically back-to-back unless they're both completely ready and the launches for both are pre-planned adequately.

And, of course, I'm waiting for those reviews to roll in, but I have my first two, which is awesome! Craft books and nonfiction take me longer to read, so I expect that of my own NF title, as well, and have just been reminding myself of that when I checked and had no reviews yet. 



I was a guest at Damyanti Biswas' blog today, posting about Writing Short Stories; Benefits for Novelists.

I was also a guest on Myth & Magic, a fantasy podcast, which can be found at the following links:




Okay, it's time for my submission roundup for February. In February, my stats were:

9 submissions

4 rejections

0 acceptances

1 withdrawal (it was a simultaneous submission, and I'd sold the story elsewhere at the end of January)

22 stories currently out on submission


I did a thank you to some of the wonderful folks who helped me get the word out about my new book for last week's post. If you're looking for some great new reads, please check out that post! Huge Thank You, Writer's Fun Zone, Read with Fey, & Free Horror Reading

There's always The Business of Short Stories if you're at all interested in writing and submitting short stories or in doing your own collections. You can click the link or go to my Publications tab for more availability options, including my Square storefront, where you can buy signed copies of any of my solo titles.

The Business of Short Stories
Now available online and in select bookstores

What are your insecurities? What project are you currently working on? Do you get a bit scattered and "hungover" after a book release? Have you ever debated a scene in your book or story? Are you submitting? What did your submissions look like for February? 

May you find your Muse.

*Blue swoosh, by OCAL, clker.com

48 comments:

Liza said...

It's always hard to transition to something new. I find if I take a little break, before I know it I start yearning to work on something new, and then I do.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Take a break and recharge yourself. You worked hard during that release.
Thanks for co-hosting today!

Kalpana said...

I'm not surprised you're suffering from release hangover - that sounds like a lot. I think Alex is right - take a break and recharge. Wait for those reviews to roll in. Thanks for co-hosting this month.

A Hundred Quills said...

The Business of Short Stories has been on my mind since the last time I visited you. I think I'm going to get it now. Thank you for co-hosting.
-Sonia

Jemi Fraser said...

Give yourself some time to recover!! You had a great release.
I think diving into new projects is my favourite thing!

Cathrina Constantine said...

The dreaded marketing plague is never ending. I agree that you should relax and breath deeply before throwing yourself into another new release. But that's just me. Those releases really smack a punch.
Good Luck with all your submissions and thank you for co-hosting!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Shannon - writing is not easy is it - so many challenges along the way ... good luck with your Short Story book ... cheers Hilary

Tonja Drecker said...

It takes a bit to recuperate from that fast & furious. I'd say take a tiny break/fun days and hit it refreshed again. Good luck!

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

I can relate to release-overload, Shannon. I hope you let yourself rest and rejuvenate. My recommendation--eat lots of green vegetables.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Thanks for co-hosting with me. I agree with other people's advice to take a little break and recharge. You'll probably get excited for a new project soon. And of course, you can work on marketing the book you recently released.

Melissa said...

Nothing wrong with taking a breather after all that work. Thanks for co-hosting.

Dihiwi said...

Until 17 years ago, I lived in Denver, Colorado and thought I'd never move. I was born there. Now I live in Indiana and every once in awhile, I feel withdrawal from the Rocky Mountains. Thank you for co-hosting for the IWSG. I really appreciate it. There is nothing wrong in taking a break. Perhaps you will come back with many new and exciting ideas? If not, you'll at least be rested. Take care! https://dianeweidenbenner.com/iwsg-how-to-get-past-writers-block/

Nancy Gideon said...

Thanks for co-hosting this month, Shannon! Loved reading about your process and insecurities. Sounds like a book I'd love to read. Hmmmmm. Think of your time off from writing as a well earned vacation - enjoy - then get back to work.

Chemist Ken said...

That scene you scrapped and saved would probably make a great short story. Especially one that could be used as a reader magnet.

Thanks for co-hosting IWSG this month!

cleemckenzie said...

I loved your term "release hangover." Perfect. Thanks for co-hosting today and for all of your updates.

Sadira Stone said...

I'm sure most authors can relate to your post-release hangover--I sure can. On the other hand, since I've been charging toward a deadline all winter, it'll feel marvelous to start my next project at a more relaxed pace. Sometimes I have to remind myself I write because I love writing. Even as I strive to build my writing career, I don't want to sacrifice that joy. Thanks for co-hosting this month!

Mary Aalgaard said...

It's good to get feedback from a critique group. I'm sure that scene will resurface at the proper time. Your short story book might be what I need as I'm exploring short fiction and enjoying writing it!

Pat Garcia said...

hi,
It sounds as if you need to do some relaxing, like going to a wellness center for four or five days and just let the stress ooze out of your body.

Thank you for co-hosting.

Shalom aleichem,
Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

talklady said...

Thanks for sharing your insecurities to create affinity, to help the rest of us not feel so 'less than'.
Peace be with you as you unwind

Janet Alcorn said...

Thanks for co-hosting with me!

I'm going to join the pile-on and say it sounds like you need some time to rest and recharge. Congrats on your new release!

Adrienne Reiter said...

That awkward phase between needing to unwind and wanting fresh wind in your sails. The new moon starts today!

Thank you for co-hosting, and Happy IWSG Day!

Jacqui Murray said...

Great, busy post. I have a fat 'cut' file also!

Sherry Ellis said...

Looks like you've been busy. That's great that you've had that many submissions already!

M.J. Fifield said...

It's been a long, long time since I've done a book release, but I definitely remember feeling hungover at the end of it. I hope it went well & that it brings you much success!

Jemima Pett said...

Yes... I'm in that 'what now?' phase too. The difference is I have nothing up my sleeve, with all the short story anthologies pushed out last year. I need to write more ... but I'm stuck in a sort of grieving journey on paper at present. I shall give myself a break, I think.
Thanks for co-hosting today - and for all your help.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I do grow exhausted but I've no time to stop as there is always another book or 2 or 3 in the DLP lineup.

Olga Godim said...

It feels like you need some time off, a well-deserved rest from the writing business. Take a few days (or weeks) to recharge, and your next project will materialize before you know it.

diedre Knight said...

Pick one of your other favorite pastimes and relax for a while. The best thing about goals is that they don't run off while you take a well-deserved break, they'll wait for you.
Thanks for co-hosting!

kjmckendry said...

Thank you for co-hosting! I definitely have been in a "post-release hangover" lately, but I didn't know how to describe it, but that fits the feeling perfectly! I have finally started to work my way out of it and am working on a fantasy novel now!

emaginette said...

Avoid burn out at all costs. It's not something that can be walked off and could put you out of commission for months.

Take care

Anna from elements of emaginette

Arlee Bird said...

Thanks for co-hosting! That kind of hangover like you've described doesn't sound like too bad of a thing to me. I love your motivation and the results thereof.

Arlee Bird
Tossing It Out

Diane Burton said...

You sure are busy. WTG. Thanks for cohosting this month.

J Lenni Dorner said...

Thank you for co-hosting! Publishing, formatting, uploading, marketing... yeah, it gets exhausting. Exciting and fulfilling, but very exhausting.

Hope you're having a great day! My latest post has my theme for the April #AtoZChallenge (I'm writing speculative fiction and looking for prompts).
At Operation Awesome we have the #PassOrPages query contest going on (friends or enemies to lovers Romance).
Looks like I'll be very busy the next few weeks!
March quote: "Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do." - Mark Twain

Samantha Bryant said...

Thanks for co-hosting. Book releases are exhausting for certain. Be kind to yourself and take some recoup time! @samanthabwriter from
Balancing Act

kimlajevardi.com said...

Thanks for co-hosting! Fingers crossed for the 22 stories out there.

Rebecca M. Douglass said...

That transition from one project to the next is a tough time for me, too. I'm usually not ready to leap from novel to novel, so short stories are where it (should be) at. I'm in awe of how many of those you write and submit.

Fundy Blue said...

Wow, Shannon! You are on a roll! I'm in awe of you. Good luck, and thanks for so-hosting today! I hope that you had fun!

Annalisa Crawford said...

The release hangover is very real! I've only just found my next project, after weeks of wondering whether I had any good ideas left - it's been 6 months since my book release, and 3 months since I finished the edits-for-submission of another.

Don't force the next project, let it simmer in the background until it boils over, and then you'll be raring to go.

lostinimaginaryworlds.blogspot.com said...

Think I'm going to risk it, Shannon. Good luck with your submissions. Carole.

Steven Arellano Rose Jr. said...

Sometimes you need that break between books. I know I do and will after I finally release my next book of short stories I've been working on for over a year.

Nicole Pyles said...

Sounds like you have made a lot of progress this month! That transition time between books must be weird.

Damyanti Biswas said...

Thanks for co-hosting, Shannon, and the guest post on my blog. Book releases are exhausting for sure. Be kind to yourself and take some time off!

Yvonne Ventresca said...

Congrats on the release! "Release hangover" is a great expression. :)

Mary Kirkland said...

I'm sure that writing, editing and then the release of a new book is stressful.

Denise Covey said...

Hi Shannon. Looking back, I'm not always sure critique partners or writing groups give us good advice. I'm learning this and am doing a full rewrite to get one of my books the way I wanted in the first place. I've learned to trust myself more. But great that you might use your great sex scene in the future.

Elizabeth Mueller said...

Congratulations on your release, Shannon! There's nothing wrong with playing hard after working hard--we all need to detox. Enjoy the space between projects--give yourself permission!

I'd love to hear your marketing plan--do you have a post on that?

Toi Thomas said...

Thanks for co-hosting this month.
I think it's good to get feedback from others.
I really enjoyed The Business of Short Stories.

Gina Gao said...

It's always good to give yourself time to recover after working.

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