Wednesday, January 4, 2012
Oh, this is the first Wednesday of the month and time for the Insecure Writers Support Group? Hmmm. Have you ever been a day behind?
Yeah, I mentioned this over the weekend; but it was a long weekend.
I didn't put my trash out yesterday cuz I forgot it was Tuesday; first work day of the week is Monday, right? And is it really 2012? Are you sure? The last date I wrote at the day job was 2011.
So what does all that have to do with supporting writers? Probably nothing. Except, we all get a bit fuddled about where/when we are when we spend an extended time in our own worlds. You do, don't you?
I've just enjoyed two four day weekends from the day job, and prior to that, I had 11 days off over Thanksgiving. Usually I'm antsy with too much time off my "real" life, but not this time. I pretty much pushed away from the internet, opened some languishing short stories, and immersed myself. Coming up for a reality check was not an option.
The Bug went to his dad's. The one older kid left in the house has income so I ignored his stomach. I was in a zone, and loving it. I polished up three short stories over the last two weeks, got critiques back on two, and SUBMITTED them to three separate publications: Short Story America, Variations on a Theme (Literary Lab) and An Honest Lie Vol 4, Petulant Parables. I'm not sure AHL4 was ready to submit as I'm still waiting on some feedback; but ya know how it is when you're on a roll. Or, ego trip.
My goal for this year, 2012, is to have four (4) short story publications. Wouldn't it be wonderful if all three of these were accepted? Then I'd only have to write/edit/revise/polish one story over the next few months for publication. Hey, nothing wrong with recycling some old story concepts, right? Milo and his Write1Sub1 crowd would approve I'm sure.
My encouragement for insecure writers this month is "just do it." Take a risk; either with a flash fiction, short story, novella, or novel; pull the thing out of moth balls, and send it to the place that is making you the most nervous. Is it to critiquer's for some feedback? Or an agent/publisher you've been cultivating?
Now, I realize my optimism right now is the product of a contact high. I've had two successful short story publications in two years; and I've just sent three more out into the bad old world of traditional publishing after receiving some critical and encouraging feedback.
Notice I use Critical and Encouraging in the same sentence. Feedback makes me a better writer. I doubt I would have my two publications without the help of my ftf writers group, and the various online crit partners that have taken the risk and given honest feedback.
And I also use the dreaded "traditional" publishing. You know; query an agent/editor/publisher and hope they publish your current favorite work. Yeah, I'm that kind of egoist that needs the establishment seal of approval. And I'm pretty sure two of the three submissions I've just sent out will be rejected; the other is iffy b/c I didn't meet word count, and may have missed a point in the overall theme.
But, I took the risk, and I'm optimistic. I know; not a usual attitude for me. I'm more of a "the glass is half empty" type. (Especially if it's wine, as I'm sure I drank the top half when no one was looking.) Its a new year, perhaps the Last year; so maybe its time to let all those old fears slough off. Embrace the new adventure that is 2012; whatever that means to you and your writing.
PS to all my inde-pubbed friends: Not knocking the concept. I know a lot of highly successful authors that have skipped the traditional methods and it was totally the best decision they could have made. They took the risk, and it paid off. Proving that "it can happen" (Angels In The Outfield)
I'm just excited that I got motivated enough to pull something out of mothballs (and in one instance create something totally new) and decide to attempt a dream come true. What about you; what are you taking a risk on this year?
Below is a video of the song "I Ain't Happy" better know as Clint Eastwood. You may not think this fits my optimism theme for ISW, but it really does. The song is about acceptance; about being satisfied with where you're at in life. So what if I get rejected; its so much better than sitting with my thumb up my bum out of fear. And what better band to depict the dream concept than a "virtual" band that doesn't exist and has never appeared in person anywhere. Read about the Gorillaz here if you're interested in how nothing can become something.
And read other ISW group contributors by clicking on the links here. Thanks Alex for hosting the site.
Wednesday, January 4, 2012