IWSG: Writing Surprises

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!
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The awesome co-hosts for the August 7 posting of the IWSG are Renee Scattergood, Sadira Stone, Jacqui Murray, Tamara Narayan, and LG Keltner!

I’ve been chipping away at the megalith that is my writing bullet journal this month. Dissecting the one I have now to improve on the next one. It’s a system that–overall–has been working for me.

One of my goals for the 2019 Summer of Fiction Writing is to write short stories, and to submit them to journals. (Or, y’a know… pulpy science fiction magazines.) So, it’s the end of month number two, and I have some short stories to submit… And that’s starting to feel more like a head-first plunge than I expected. Maybe I’m in bad habits, because of all the time I’ve spent writing long-format work, but… I’d like to hold onto them a little longer. They still feel like babies.

I don’t know where to send them, and I have cold feet. Do I really want to say that? Do I want to get in the middle of the big, unpleasant thing? Are you sure I can’t just stay here in the privacy of my own blog, and publish things for my little circle of friends?

I have less than a month left to polish the things and get them in the mail. If you feel like putting a boot up my–**ahem**–motivation, send a link to my story page to as many random strangers as you can. Might as well blast the hell out of any lingering delusions of privacy I happen to have.

It’s for my own good.

So, the question of the month is: Has your writing ever taken you by surprise? For example, a positive and belated response to a submission you’d forgotten about or an ending you never saw coming?

Once upon a time, I got a request for a full manuscript about a year after I sent the initial query. I’d taken it as a no-response-means-no, so it was a useful object lesson in how long publishing can take. (My record for fastest rejection still stands at eight minutes, though. I have the email timestamps to prove it.) I was, however, a little more surprised when I was cleaning out my hard drive, and I found… the rough draft of a novel that I’d forgotten writing. Sometimes, it seems like the mile-markers that have the most impact are the ones you didn’t know existed.

So, how has your fabulous fiction-writing (or non-fiction writing) summer been going? Are you getting the words, and smashing the revisions? Let me know!


  1. Angela Wooldridge


    Get those stories out there right now! I know it’s scary, but even pressing that button and submitting is a learning curve. If you’re not sure where to send them, http://www.thereviewreview.net/ is a good resource.
    Good luck! 🙂

    • Reply

      Maybe you do! I was utterly shocked to find it. It was after a quantity over quality year, though, so I’m not sure I can do anything with it.

  2. ravenofiernan


    Good luck with the stories! I know what you mean about the hesitation, though. Can be scary! And I agree about the surprises: how great!

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