Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Insecure Writers's Support Group: Refresh Yourself

I love the Insecure Writers Support Group. You might want to join and take part. It is the brainchild of  Alex J. Cavanaugh, and I can honestly say, I wish I'd created it! What a wonderful brainchild!  The purpose of IWSG is to share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of feeling foolish or weak.

Nothing encourages me more than writing (creating) something short, a piece I can begin and finish in a day or two—or a new market to submit to. Sometimes we need a break from our routine, from our long, on-going projects, don’t we? Often creating something different refreshes us.  When I want to do something different, I look at the Chicken Soup for the Soul site first. They always have call-outs.

If you’re feeling in a slump, discouraged, just down and out, try something new. Create a greeting card just for fun. What would you say to someone getting a divorce, a new college graduate, a new dad? Usually, what we would really say, we can’t find in a greeting card, right? (There’s probably good reason for that!)

I love writing short. I usually over-write, then start cutting to the specified word count. Cutting for me is so much easier than embellishing. I take a hard look at each sentence, each paragraph, then remove words that don't work, add nothing. Cutting always cheers me a little. It's like carefully peeling an apple, or carving a fish out of soap. It's so wonderfully methodical. It forces me to think.
There are so many ways to encourage ourselves, refresh our dreams—our point of view. Keeping submissions circulating is only one way, and writing shorts allows us to keep our work out there on a continuous basis. Poems, flash fiction, book reviews, recipes, greeting cards, personal essays -- There's absolutely no reason to ever give up our writing when there are so many avenues for us to take to publish.

A friend sent me a wonderful quote yesterday, one I need to post over my desk so I can look up and read it when I’m NOT feeling like a writer:
No man is born into the world whose work is not born with him. James Russell Lowell

Think about it, then get busy creating something short to get  “in the mail.”  Start with Chicken Soup. Remember, you have to go to their website to submit.
How do you refresh yourself when you're down and out, feeling blah? Share!

Devotional Stories for Wives
One of the biggest roles that a woman can take on in her lifetime is to become a wife. It takes commitment and dedication to remain loving as the years go by, especially when children and the busyness of daily life can sometimes be overwhelming. If you have a brief true story (up to 500 words) that shows how your faith in God has shaped your journey as a wife, please share it along with an applicable Bible verse and a 2-3 sentence prayer. You will receive $100 for each published devotion ($100 due to the shorter word count than our regular books). The deadline date for submissions is February 28, 2013.

Holiday Stories
We are collecting stories for our newest holiday book. Everyone has special memories and stories to tell about Christmas, Chanukah and Kwanzaa - from inspirational and joyous, to heartwarming and humorous. We want to hear about your holiday memories and traditions. NOTE: Please make sure that the stories you are submitting to this book are NEW holiday stories that our editors have not read before. If you have submitted stories to our Christmas books in the past, we have your stories in our database. Also, please make sure your stories are "Santa safe" as we want to keep the magic alive for the young ones. The deadline date for story submissions is February 28, 2013.

Lemons to Lemonade
"When life hands you lemons... make lemonade!" And don't only make lemonade but squeeze every last drop of juice from that sour lemon to make the sweetest lemonade possible. We are looking for stories that show how you made the best of a difficult situation and how you turned what seemed like a negative into something positive. Did a change in your attitude help? Did a friend give you the boost you needed to get you past what seemed like a dead end? Tell us your success story and how you made it happen. The deadline date for story and poem submissions is February 28, 2013.

Messages from Heaven
We have heard many terrific stories about your own after-death communication experiences since our first Messages from Heaven book came out. It was a national bestseller so we have decided to make another edition, with the theme "Love Never Dies." If you have a story about receiving a sign or communicating with a loved one after his or her death, we would love to consider it. The deadline date for story and poem submissions is March 31, 2013.

Multitasking Mom's Survival Guide
Moms are the busiest people in the world! They juggle kids, husbands, jobs, housework, paid work, volunteer work, parents, pets, etc. How do they do it? Sometimes they are successful and get everything done. Sometimes... disasters happen! Busy moms - here is your chance to pass along your words of wisdom, your lessons learned, your funny or embarrassing moments. Pretend you're talking to a friend and share your wonderful stories with other busy moms. The deadline for story and poem submissions is June 30, 2013.

The Dating Game!
We're publishing a book on dating! First dates, blind dates, group dates... we want to hear about all of them. Meeting the family, embarrassing moments, break-ups and make-ups... we want all of your war stories. Did you meet your perfect match online? Did you have an office romance or start a relationship with someone who was just a friend? How about first dates after divorce, reconnecting with a person from your past, or even simply finding your happily-ever-after where you least expected it? Tell us everything from love at first sight to dating disasters. For this book, we prefer contemporary stories. They will be favored over stories about events that happened decades ago. We are accepting stories from men and women 18 years and older. The deadline date for story and poem submissions is July 15, 2013


Charles Gramlich said...

I like the "cutting" too. Would spend my time doing mostly revisions if I could.

Jan Newman said...

Always overwrite. You're so right about it being easier to cut than add. When I get to the end of my writing rope, I fantasize and give myself permission to create the worst sentences I can think of.

LD Masterson said...

Whoa. I've got a Christmas piece I wrote for our local writing group's Christmas reading. I've never thought about submitting to Chicken Soup but it's first person, mostly true, <1,200 words, and a 'sad giving way to happy' story. Now, if I can just work up some courage...

Georgina Morales said...

Thanks for sharing those submissions, I actually think I have something that might fit! I love writing short stories, they are easy to plot and write. Such a pick me up! ;)