It's the first Wednesday of May, and I nearly forgot to post today! (~whispers: I also almost forgot to edit this week's podcast episode~) In other words, I forgot it was Tuesday. BUT it was Tuesday, which means today is Wednesday, and that means it's time for the Insecure Writer's Support Group!
Created by Alex J. Cavanaugh, the IWSG exists to create a community for writers in which we can share our insecurities and offer support to our fellow writers. Anyone can join. Simply click on Alex's name and sign up on the IWSG tab. Then post the first Wednesday of each month and hop around to visit your fellow insecure writers.
The co-hosts this week are Kim Elliott, Melissa Maygrove, Chemist Ken, Lee Lowery, and Nancy Gideon! Be sure to stop by their blogs and thank them for helping out today.
The optional question this month is: It's the best of times; it's the worst of times. What are your writer highs (the good times)? And what are your writer lows (the bad times)?
I had some of the writer highs this past weekend at the Pikes Peak Writers Conference. I presented five hour-long workshops and hosted a table at each meal except breakfast. That's a lot of "on" time for me, an intense introvert. However, it was incredibly rewarding. I'm not sure I've ever had so many people find me after workshops to let me know how impactful they were. And people were finding me in the halls to have me sign my books! It was an amazing experience, and I left exhausted, yet on such a high. I even had several peers find me after the workshops to let me know they were good workshops. (When I saw one of them sitting in the room upon walking in, I asked if he wanted to teach the class with me, lol).
It turns out that the more successful workshops you teach, the more books you sell. I sold more books this year at conference than I ever have before. I'm certain my numbers would pale in comparison to many others, but it was a new high for me and made all the time I spent preparing five workshops worth it.
And of course there's every acceptance and every book release. Those are my favorite highs.
The lows? All the rejections. Or when a book doesn't sell as well as I hope. Or when a local writing community leaves me out. There are plenty of lows, but the highs tend to buffer them. The highs are much higher than the lows are low, if that makes any sense. It's a roller coaster I thrive on, though the lows do get me down sometimes.
Speaking of highs (okay, it's a delayed transition), I've got a new release! My story "The Killing Tree" about a single woman setting off across the continent to find a new life in the west, only to find that there are much scarier things on the plains than she'd previously thought is in Particular Passages 2: East Wing, available wide.
15 Stories 15 Authors
Down another forgotten hallway lie more unexplored rooms.
Each room contains another world waiting to be discovered.
Some are wonderful and beautiful, others are dark and terrible.
You won't know which until you step inside.
So take a deep breath, and open the door...
Particular Passages 2: East Wing
Featuring stories by:
Edward Ahern - John T. Biggs - Dave D'Alessio - CJ Erick - J.T. Evans - Eric Fritz - Katie Kent - Shannon Lawrence - Matt J. McGee - Peter E. Sartucci - Martin L. Shoemaker - Emily Martha Sorensen - Andrea L. Staum - Mike Wyant, Jr. - Jason A. Wyckoff
Here are universal book links to help you find the ebook:
Here is a link to one of our favorite booksellers:
and, if you want, here is one of our affiliate links:
Now for my monthly submission check-in. My April numbers:
1 acceptance (there will eventually be news of a Kickstarter)
2 withdrawn stories due to long response times
I currently have 16 submissions out and am gearing up to turn around rejections I haven't done in the past month or so.
What are your insecurities? What about your highs and lows? Have you been submitting? Any good news to share? Are you familiar with any of the authors in Particular Passages 2?
May you find your Muse.
So glad you had success at the conference. I get pretty unnerved attending them. Best wishes with your new release.
So happy that your presentations went well and you sold more books at the conference. Congrats on your new release!
Congrats on the workshops and the conference! That sounds exhilarating and exhausting at the same time. Give yourself time to recharge!!
That is fantastic you had such a great conference! Congrats on your newest story. I've been doing a better job with short story submissions this year, and I'm feeling a nice high from that. My low will always be marketing.
Hi, I have your book, The Business of Short Stories, and I planned to read it this month. I can very much imagine that what you have to say is important to writers like myself who are trying to earn their living by writing.
Pat G @ EverythingMustChange
That's wonderful your workshops went so well. I also sell a lot of books when I teach a class or two at conferences.
Congrats on the new release! Yep, those are the highs and lows -- but totally worth it.
Ronel visiting for IWSG day Culling the To-Do List and the TBR
Congrats on the new release--and even more on the successful workshops. I guess I need to find a way to start teaching! Maybe I need to start attending conferences, first :D
Congrats on your new release and all of those awesome insights from the writer's conference! It sounds like you had a great experience.
Wow, that's impressive that you've done so well at conferences. I've never been to a conference, let alone presented a workshop. I'm an introvert too, so that's inspiring to me!
Five workshops at one conference is quite a load. Congratulations!
Congrats on so much success. There is hope for the rest of us. :-)
Congrats on the release! And congrats on the great conference. May you have many more!
I chuckled at your mention of the high of the Pike's Peak Writers Conference as I pictured in my weird imagination the lot of you on the top of Pike's Peak having a conference--now that would have been a real high!
Rejections have to be high on the low list. I avoid it by not submitting anything anywhere. Yeah, that's kind of a low in itself.
Tossing It Out
Congratulations on conducting five workshops in one conference! Must have been quite a feat :)
"when a local writing community leaves me out." That can be a low alright. I was kicked out of one several years ago when the coordinators changed. I don't think the new coordinator liked Hispanics or geeks which I'm both, yet it was a sci fi fantasy writers group! Lol still, I don't know about Hispanics but he did show resentment for geek culture.
Congratulations on the release of your story through that anthology! Both your story and the anthology's theme sound interesting.
Congratulations, Shannon. I feel your excitement. Way to go!!!
I definitely started out wearing headphones between workshops and such to hide from people. It really helped that I volunteered at conferences and got comfortable in that setting, but going to a NEW conference is still incredibly hard for me, so I get it!
It is definitely both! I've got another con in a week, and then I don't have anything again until June and will be trying to keep it that way!
Congratulations on getting your submissions up! I think very few of us enjoy marketing, no matter how much we learn about it.
I hope you find it helpful, Pat!
It definitely gives a bump to the sales, especially if the classes are earlier in the conference!
Attending probably helps, ha! A good way to start is to check out the web pages of any conferences and see if they accept proposals for workshops.
It was a great experience, which was a relief!
If you have anything local, it's a great way to start! I put my toe in the water by attending a writing event at my local library, then kind of expanded into conventions and conferences from there.
It was! I pulled it off, but would prefer not to do it again.
Oh, if I can do it, anyone can!
Funnily enough, the conference itself was held at over 6000 feet elevation (my house sits around 6300), so you're not too far off!
It was! The prep leading up to it meant little writing time, so I'm working on getting back into a writing groove again now that it's finished.
I'm so sorry you had to deal with that! That's all unacceptable, but how odd to be anti-geek culture in a speculative fiction group.
Hi Shannon - well done on the conference presentations ... such a great way to help others, while helping yourself ... as too your story entry. Take care and all the best - Hilary
What a wonderful experience you had at the conference. Yay! Congrats on the new release. You've had a lot of highs lately. Super!
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