Before I jump into IWSG, I was interviewed again, this time by Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers. I'll be speaking at their writer's conference this coming fall. Mark Stevens was great fun to talk to, and we discussed Deconstructing Horror, my post and the workshop I'd recently done for RMFW. You can find the episode 86 podcast for Rocky Mountain Writer HERE.
Now onto the Insecure Writer's Support Group, which takes place the first Wednesday of each month. Created by Alex J. Cavanaugh, this is your chance to air some insecurities and offer support to your fellow writers.
This month's co-hosts are JH Moncrieff, Madeline Mora-Summonte, Jen Chandler, Megan Morgan, and Heather Gardner!
Anyone is welcome to join. Just sign up at the website linked above.
My insecurities frequently lead me to add the word "just" to things I say. "I just write short stories." "I just write horror." "I've just been published in short stories." "I've just been published x number of times." "I'm just a writer."
"Just" is a completely unnecessary modifier, and definitely an unnecessary self-judgment. What I've learned in the last year or so is that no one else is using that word when they speak about what I've done, so why am I?
I know I'm not the only one who does this, as I've frequently caught other writers doing so. So to all of you who do the same in an attempt to lower yourself before someone else can (which would hurt far more, yes?) stop using "just" to describe yourself. You're not "just" a writer, poet, etc. You ARE a writer, a poet, a screenwriter.
It matters. We shouldn't be diminishing ourselves. Instead, set lofty goals. Then meet them. And own them.
The optional question of the month is whether I've ever said "I quit," and what brought me back to writing if I did. At this point, no, though there have been times I've considered it. At the same time, over a decade ago I tried to submit a couple short stories. They were rejected, which back then meant my manuscript returned in the SASE I'd sent with it, and a several page listing of submission guidelines and possible reasons for rejection. I submitted two stories, each to one place, then gave up once the rejections came back. It wasn't conscious; I simply didn't bother to submit anymore. Plus, I was working full time and attending college, all while going through some serious medical treatments, which included surgeries, so even if they'd been accepted I wouldn't have written and submitted more until years later, when I did so anyway. I did still fiddle around with writing when I had the down-time. There just wasn't much of it, and since I hadn't decided to make a career of it, I didn't make it something I MADE time for.
Each month I post my stats for the previous month to keep myself accountable.
Submitted 6 stories (1 to a publication I was requested to submit a story to)
Got 7 rejections.
Not much going on this month!
Now for some links.
The Literary Hatchet is accepting dark short stories, poetry, art, and essays for their next issue. 1000 to 6000 words. Pays up to $10. Deadline July 1.
Red Room Magazine is accepting dark extreme horror and crime fiction short stories. Up to 4000 words. Pays $.03/word. Deadline July 1.
Spring Song Press is accepting fantasy short stories, preferably noblebright ones. Must address the theme "Still Waters." 2500 to 10,000 words. Pays $.01/word. Deadline July 1.
The Lascaux Review is accepting literary stories, poems, and essays. Pays $100.
Ember: A Journal of Luminous Things is accepting flash fiction, short stories, poetry, and creative non-fiction. Must be appropriate for ages 10 to 18. They also take submissions from kids 10 and up. Up to 12,000 words. Pays $.02/word.
Black Ice Magazine is accepting Cyberpunk speculative fiction. 1000 to 6000 words. Near future. 1000 to 6000 words. Pays $5 to $10.
Strange Fictions is accepting short speculative fiction, poetry, reviews, and essays. 1000 to 10,000 words. Pays $5 to $10.
Do you find yourself qualifying your successes? What are your insecurities? Any of these links of interest? Anything to share?
May you find your Muse.