WMBTSD Giveaway Day 26: September 26, 2007

I had the distinct pleasure of meeting the author of this book, Lauren Mosko, when I was in New York for the Writer’s Digest/BEA Writer’s Conference. I bet the book is just as much fun.

September 26th: Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market 2008 by Lauren Mosko (Writer’s Digest Books 2007). Here’s the description:

For 27 years, Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market has been the only resource of its kind exclusively for fiction writers. Anyone who is writing novels and/or stories–whether romance or literary, horror or graphic novel–needs this resource to help them prepare their submissions and sell their work. Readers will find listings for over 1,300 book publishers, magazines, literary agents, writing contests and conferences, each containing current contact information, editorial needs, schedules and guidelines that save writers time and take the guesswork out of the submission process. NSSWM includes more than 100 pages of listings for literary journals alone and another 100 pages of book publishers (easily four times as many markets for fiction writers as Writer’s Market offers). The book also features over a 100 pages of original content: interviews with working editors and writers, how-tos on the craft of fiction, and articles on the business of getting published.

The question to answer in 50-300 words is:

Have you ever had a short story published? How about a novel? Please describe how it feels for you when you write fiction. If you wanted to write more (or any) how would you create enough time and  mental space in your already busy life to finish a polished manuscript?


41 Responses to “WMBTSD Giveaway Day 26: September 26, 2007”

  1. 1 Susan Flemming September 26, 2007 at 1:26 am

    I’ve had short stories published but not a novel yet. I’m still working on the novel.

    When I write fiction, it feels like I enter a completely different world in which I know what every character is seeing, feeling, experiencing. It is a rush. I am the creator. I control the world in which my stories take place.

    But it can also sometimes feels, especially with my novel, as if the book will take over my life, if I let it. And I do know that if I did let it take over, I could finish it much more quickly. But I fear that in doing so, the rest of my life might crumble around me.

    I’m fortunate enough to have plenty of time to write, so that part isn’t a challenge for me. My challenge is overcoming fear.

  2. 2 Elizabeth September 26, 2007 at 4:24 am

    I have not yet had a short story published, and I haven’t written a novel (although I do have an outline for one, if that counts for anything). How does it feel? Ohhhhh…sometimes the words come out in a rush, sometimes there’s the flash of joy when a word or phrase is just right, sometimes it’s absolutely maddening.

    I think the one thing I could do to create enough time and mental space in my life for writing and polishing my fiction would be to take it seriously, to say, Yes, this is worth doing, worth perfecting. This is a craft worth mastering and I’m worth the time it would take out of my life to devote to it. That’s hard for me to say to myself.

  3. 3 Wendy September 26, 2007 at 4:29 am

    Writing fiction is new territory for me. It pushes me out of my comfort zone and makes me take risks. I participated in National Novel Writing Month last year with a group of homeschooled teens and it was an amazing experience. I used their fearlessness and enthusiasm to motivate and inspire my writing. Having a support group is key for me to take more risks with my writing. The push to write 50,000 words in a month required a daily discipline to get the word count and helped me push through the fear. When it was over I didn’t have a novel worthy of publication, but I sold an article about the process to a homeschooling publication. I’m still fighting fiction!

  4. 4 Andrea McMann September 26, 2007 at 4:50 am

    I’m pretty new at the whole writing for publication game, so I haven’t had any of my fiction published yet, though I still have some pieces out there awaiting rejection or approval (hopefully the latter!) so I will just have to wait and see. For me, fiction is like a release. Every so often, my creative energy builds up and I need to let off a little steam. That’s when I write my fiction. I’m having one of those releases lately. Just two days ago, I wrote 2,200 words in a day! I guess the fact that I wrote so much tells me that I am somehow able to find the time and energy to get it done. When I write that much, it’s because I feel a strong need to do so. So, I guess if I was polishing a completed manuscript, I would have to make myself feel the NEED to get it done, and I would be more likely to accomplish my task.

  5. 5 Renee Roberson September 26, 2007 at 4:59 am

    I’ve never had the pleasure of having fiction published. I started a novel a few years ago, but abandoned it when the two main characters became too much like my mother and sister-in-law. I didn’t think it was appropriate at the time to use their lives for the basis of a fiction book, especially because they are actually big supporters of me!
    I have an idea for another novel right now. It’s a beautiful story based on a combination of things that happened in the town I went to high school in and a public tragedy. This story haunts me. It needs to be written. My husband keeps telling me to write it. One of these days I’ll sit down and work on it. I’m honestly afraid if I start it I’ll be consumed with it for at least a year and my family will be neglected like they always do when I get involved in a big project. Excuses, excuses. I’ll get it done. And when I do I’ll need this book to help me sell it!

  6. 6 Kris September 26, 2007 at 5:25 am

    I am so tempted to change my name to Shawn on this one …

    I have never had a short story or novel finished. When writing fiction, I feel like I’m playing a child’s game and a mind game. I get totally absorbed in a way that I often don’t when writing nonfiction. If I begin serious fiction writing, I would begin getting up very early so I’d have an hour to write in the morning and then spend an hour in the evening reading and editing. I’ve been working on eating well, exercising daily and decluttering my house too. So hopefully those efforts will pay off in the form of more time and mental space for writing!

  7. 7 Meryl September 26, 2007 at 5:31 am

    I haven’t done fiction on a professional basis and in years. So I’ll have to refer to a true story I wrote about my dad published in Stories of Strength. Jenna Glatzer spearheaded the wonderful project in which writers contributed to stories relating to strength and all proceeds went to a non-profit. This is our way of helping the Katrina survivors.

    I don’t think I could come up with an original fiction story without a lot of heavy research, brainstorming and mindmapping. I know novelists do hard work — but I would have to work harder as fiction isn’t my forte.

  8. 8 Gayle Trent September 26, 2007 at 5:41 am

    Good morning!

    I have been fortunate enough to have a novel published. For me, when I’m writing fiction, it feels as if I’m watching a movie unfold and transcribing what I see. At least, that’s how I feel when I’m in the flow of writing. When I get stuck, I suppose that’s when the announcer comes on and says, “In a world where Gayle doesn’t know what will happen next, how will she get the heroine out of…or into…another mess?” 🙂 With my latest novel, I got it written in four months. I’d spoken with an agent about my idea; she said it was an excellent idea and that she thought she could sell it; and I worked like mad to get a proposal ready. After that, I wanted to write the book as quickly as possible so that if an editor asked for it, I’d be able to hand in a completed manuscript. That hasn’t happened yet, but if/WHEN it does, I’ll be ready!

    Thank you for sponsoring the giveaways. What a wonderful idea.

    Take care,

  9. 9 Pattie September 26, 2007 at 5:45 am

    No, I have never had any of my fiction published. In fact, I’ve been going through a crisis of belief, if you will, that I’m even meant to write fiction. I was a part of a writer’s group of mostly older folks a couple of years ago, and the one compliment I consistently had in my fiction was that I had a good grasp of dialogue.

    I’d love to write more, and I’m hoping that I can learn how to carve writing time out of my busy days, and have mental space to create the stories that are running around in my head.

  10. 10 Heather Haapoja September 26, 2007 at 6:50 am

    I’ve had a couple of adult short stories published after placing in contests, but other than children’s stories, have never really submitted anything to a publisher. For some reason, I don’t have confidence in my fiction writing for adults. My proudest fiction moment was placing 6th in the 2001 Writer’s Digest Writing Competition in the Children’s Fiction category with a young adult short story. Somehow it’s less intimidating for me to enter contests than to submit to publishers. Go figure.

    I really enjoy writing fiction. I love when the story idea strikes and I can just sit down and pound out the first draft without a care in the world. Later, when it comes to revisions, that lack of confidence kicks in and I feel like I revise things to death. If I were to really dive into fiction, I’d have to give up some of my other writing endeavors so I could focus and lose myself in my fictional world and characters. I’d probably also have to find a good writer’s group so I could get honest feedback on my work. That might ease up the fear I have for submitting to publishers. It’s definitely fun to think about…

  11. 11 Audra September 26, 2007 at 7:56 am

    I’ve never had a short story or novel published, but I did place in a contest for a flash fiction piece. I love writing fiction. It’s an exciting process as the story is plays out and the characters speak to you about their lives. I had no idea my male lead character had a sister until he was telling my protagonist. I was shocked for a minute and then rolled with it.

    I have six kids and I homeschool them. Time and mental space are tricky to find. I’ve been reading “Pen On Fire” which is a great book so far. I’m learning to leave my WIP file open and snatch little moments here and there to work on my stories. If I think about my story throughout the day, I’m in the right frame of mind to work on it when I have a spare moment.

    Last night my older daughter gave the two youngest kids a bath. I took full advantage of the time and worked on my WIP. I managed 375 words which gets me that much closer to my goal. I’m reading for the moments of opportunity I can find today, too.

  12. 12 Tricia Grissom September 26, 2007 at 8:12 am

    I’m mostly a non-fiction chick right now. I publish articles and essays. I do have a novel manuscript that I’m polishing about a zombie family. I finally squeezed my eyes shut and hit the publish button, posting the first chapter on my website last week.

    Writing it was a total ego trip. I get me, even if no one else does and regardless of whether it’s published, I laughed myself sick writing it. Does this mean people will have fun reading it? Who knows. But I finished an entire book! I’m still basking in that stage.

  13. 13 Mary Jo C. September 26, 2007 at 8:13 am

    Not published…yet! But I know that is due to not consistently submitting. The how’s the where’s – it’s overwhelming! I NEED THIS BOOK!!

    Fiction writing is my true passion, it fills me up, makes me whole. The stories, the characters, their language, their neighborhoods are all weaved into my being. How cool to let them wander around in my brain and come out to explore on the page.

    I have become more serious about finding the time to write. Time is not found; it is there for the taking! And I’ve learned to take it! I am committed to my twice-monthly writers group meetings, contributing in this blog and telling everyone I know I am writing a novel. Talk about many people to hold me accountable!

    I have also learned two very helpful tips to keep the pen moving: one was the article by Hope Clark in the recent Writers on the Rise e-zine to SCHEDULE it in my calendar every day and just drop what I am doing to show up at the page. Sometimes I write drivel, or complain that I’m missing the ending of “Rescue Me,” but some days I create an entire childhood for the main character and write for hours, when I’ve only scheduled 15 min.

    The second thing I’ve learned is from a link, from a link from this blog! The site for Jackie Moyer Fischer (“An Egg on Three Sticks”) kept an on-line journal of her ups and downs in writing her first novel. I so connected that I had to email her! I am excited now to sit at my little folding table in my bedroom, thick spiral notebook, dictionary, thesaurus and pens ready for the next scene to come alive!

  14. 14 marnini September 26, 2007 at 8:52 am

    I haven’t had a short story or a novel published YET.
    I love to write fiction. There is something about creating an imaginary place with imaginary people that makes my heart sing. By the end, the people in my story become real, in the sense I could picture them and because I write for them I know how they are feeling. I think it’s a way to channel all of the emotions that lie deep within us. Some of them we bring to the surface and others we keep hidden. When writing fiction you can explore the personalities that you normally wouldn’t even admit to having.
    I always try to put myself in other peoples scenarios and ask am I capable of doing something like that. It forces me to get in touch with the human experience and accept it is different for all of us.

  15. 15 Tammy September 26, 2007 at 9:05 am

    The first short story I ever submitted to a contest won second place.
    http://www.writersjournal.com/ContestWinners.htm#Write%20to%20Win! (The fire burned…)

    Since then, I’ve submitted two other stories – neither of which won anything. I like them though, so I’d like to revise them and try again in another contest.

    I’ve written two novellas in NaNoWriMo. The first one stank, stank, stank! The second one has potential, but needs some major work. I’m doing NaNo again this year, and if the trend continues, this one will be better than the other two.

    I like writing fiction. But I don’t have a lot of time for it. Mostly because I don’t have time to get into the “zone”. I need the zone to write fiction. I can’t be multitasking.

    I like short stories for that reason – it doesn’t demand so much time to be in the zone to finish one. Although they take almost as much work as a book-length story. Because in a short story, literally every word has to count. Usually, I end up editing a short story a dozen times before I hit the cherry spot.

    I’ve been collecting short story markets in my bookmarks. Mostly online markets. One day, I might get more serious about it – once my nonfiction book is published, and my kids are a little older and a little more autonomous.

  16. 16 Kelli September 26, 2007 at 9:35 am

    For me, writing at night works the best in creating work. The daytime works for editing it. I have never published one of my short stories and this is probably because I’ve never submitted one. I’ve become so comfortable with poetry, essays, and articles, I’ve neglected this part of my writerly self.

    I think the mental space can be achieved by writing someplace else, like a bookstore or a library or a coffeeshop. It takes you away from the details of your life and the undone chores so you can focus.


  17. 17 Cheryl M September 26, 2007 at 9:53 am

    I have not had a short story or novel(!) published. I have submitted one short fiction piece to an anthology. I found it interesting and a little bit liberating because it was science fiction and I could just make up anything. I kind of doubt it will be accepted as I had a hard time figuring out how to go back and edit it. I find rewriting to be very difficult. I love reading fiction and am interested to see if I can write some.

    I have also been trying to add my posts to this contest all month long and was finally successful. My work computer got completely updated with Office 2007 and all of a sudden a post made it a couple days ago. Hooray!

  18. 18 Heather M. September 26, 2007 at 9:53 am

    I haven’t had the pleasure of having a novel published. I am have been working on a novel for a while and I can find the physical time to write after I put the boys to bed or while they are doing homework. The challenge I have is finding the mental time to work on my book, short stories, or poems. I always feel so much better when I do take the time to allow the ideas to flow, yet I rarely allow myself the time to create.

  19. 19 Cyndi Pratt September 26, 2007 at 9:54 am

    I’ve submitted a short story/essay to a contest and it won. I say short story because it was an essay told in story form and though it was fiction, it was based on a personal experience.

    I am working on a fiction novel-a historical/romance/inspirational/thriller. I haven’t decided on the exact genre to categorize it yet. I have a good imagination and I can come up with lots of beginnings to novels. It’s the finishing that I have problems with. Once I start a writing session, though, I can keep at it for awhile because I want to know what happens next as much as I hope my readers will one day.

  20. 20 Besu September 26, 2007 at 9:59 am

    I have written several short stories, but nothing has been published beyond a few piddly college zines. I don’t think short stories can really capture the depth that I want.

    I’ve participated in NaNoWriMo since 2002 and completed it every year except 2005. I spent the past three NaNos working on my novel manuscript, which after lots of editing and deletions ended up at 135,000 words. How did it feel to write it? Like I was doing what I needed to do. My plot was handed to me in a dream as a novel that I had written. Writing it was meant to be. That doesn’t mean it was easy, just that it was RIGHT.

    I have a story idea to begin this November. I need to spend the next month on research and continuing to edit my other manuscript, for which I just sent out my first queries to agents. My toddler does not make anything easy, so I just pray he keeps napping every afternoon.

  21. 21 Richelle September 26, 2007 at 10:28 am

    I have a short story coming out next month, and I’m hard at work finalizing my first novel.

    A few years ago, I realized that writing fiction is crucial to my mental and emotional well-being. I enjoy my copywriting work, but writing fiction gives me a sense of satisfaction that is unparalleled. Carving out time — aaah, that’s the rub! With three kids, I have to really juggle my time. But I’m committed to making it happen, whether in 15 minute bursts or a couple of hours at a time.

  22. 22 Rose September 26, 2007 at 10:33 am

    No fiction titles under my belt. The bit of writing that I squeeze into the crevices of my days is usually nonfiction. When I do write fiction it’s often an exercise to get the creative juices flowing. I do like the unexpected nature of it – taking you where you didn’t know you would go. Creating time/mental space would involve getting a baby-sitter, ordering more takeout or escaping to a remote location sans cell phone.

  23. 23 Sue Lick September 26, 2007 at 11:55 am

    I have had a few, very few, short stories published, and I self-published a novel. I’m nowhere near where I want to be on the fiction front, although my fiction has been well-received. Somehow fiction calls for a chunk of time without distraction. When I am writing fiction, I feel free, almost as if I’m playing rather than working. I fantacize about holing up in a cabin or a motel room for a week writing, breaking only to eat, sleep and take walks during which I mull over the knots in my stories. As a more realistic alternative, I think it requires pushing everything aside and going for it. November’s na-no-wri-mo is a good motivator. Maybe I’ll try it.

  24. 24 Tammy E September 26, 2007 at 12:17 pm

    Gosh – I haven’t had anything published in anything with a wider distribution than the Oregon Co-op preschool newsletter and it was not fiction…….

    Sadly, I haven’t published any fiction or much of anything else, but hope springs eternal. I have a lot of ideas for short stories and longer works, some even in the early stages and it is exhilarating to create a fictional world and fictional characters, but I need to carve out time for writing, reading and planning to flesh them out more completely. That hasn’t happened on a regular basis yet.

    I’m not certain actually where I want to focus the majority of my writing time – poetry, short stories, essays, non-fiction articles for magazines or papers. I’m still a bit fuzzy on which direction I need to turn.

    It’s time I make a decision and focus – if I knew some markets for short stories, that would be a start! In any event, I think I need to re-read your book Christina and go back to the assignments, and really take them on this time, and then read Pen on Fire again and see if I can’t come up with a way to carve out that time for my writing before my head pops off!

  25. 25 Christy September 26, 2007 at 12:57 pm

    I write primarily fiction for children, and have sold one story to Highlights (it hasn’t been published yet, but I’m patiently waiting). It amazed my how quickly the excitement of the sale wore off, replaced by anxiety over new submissions, and rejections, and the business of life in general.

    I get different things from different types of fiction – my short stories are my escape – fun little adventures that take me away from my own life. My novels are my therapy – my place to explore myself through the experiences of someone else – through my characters.

    As for carving out time – with a 4 and 2 year old, and one on the way (lord help me) the 10 or 5 – or even 2 – minutes I take here and there to jot down a note or a scene are priceless. I work full time outside of the home, so I’ve been trying to stay in the habit of getting up at 5 and writing for 45 minutes, getting myself ready for work, then getting the girls up by 6:15 so we can all be fed, clothed, and out of the house by 7 – of course it doesn’t always work this way, but that’s the daily plan 🙂

  26. 26 Stephanie Dethlefs September 26, 2007 at 1:51 pm

    I haven’t written a lick of fiction since my creative writing classes in college, focusing instead on nonfiction and professional writing. Wait…I take that back. I have written fiction with 5th graders watching over my shoulder to model the brainstorming and revision processes. At least, I hope they were watching! One never knows for sure.

    Anyway, fiction used to be my escape…I could dive into a world different from mine (although many of the characters resembled people I knew, something I could never break away from.)

    I’ve never had any fiction published, but have recently begun to be pulled towards writing it again. This is the first giveaway I’ve been organized enough to enter, so maybe it’s a sign…

  27. 27 Cath September 26, 2007 at 2:00 pm

    I’ve had a few short stories published. Just finished my full-length manuscript and am sending it on its journey to publication (fingers crossed).

    It’s funny that when I started writing seriously (again) it was because I thought I had a mystery book in me. But I’d sit down to write it and a short story would come out. Maybe after I’ve released the hounds of short stories I’ll be able to write that book. Or maybe not.

    And now that I think of the non-fiction I write, it’s mostly of the creative bent, told like a story, but with real people.

    I guess I’m just a storyteller at heart.

  28. 28 Kathleen E September 26, 2007 at 3:19 pm

    A novel I wrote years ago resides somewhere among the dust bunnies in the back of my closet. I managed to write the thing because my hubby was a peach and kept the kids out of mischief by feeding them a steady diet of documentary TV while he provided editorial comments.

    Well, my kids are grown and hubby is no longer alive…and while I miss him dearly, I would not marry again just to have someone to run interference while I work. So I guess I’ll just have to carve out the time by semi-retiring, take early Social Security and put in a few hours a week in an office somewhere so I can finance my habit.

  29. 29 LaShawn September 26, 2007 at 3:36 pm

    I’ve published a couple of short stories, and I just finished writing my very first novel.

    I love writing fiction. It’s like viewing a movie inside me–even I don’t know how it will end sometimes, but I love the journey of finding out. I tell the story to myself over and over until I have to put it down on paper, then get it out so that other people will read it as well.

    I’m a stay-at-home mom, so writing right now is easy. Someday, though I’ll have to go back to work. That scared me when I first started writing, because I thought that I would get too burned out to write. But now I’ve enough experience under me that, even if I go back full-time, I’ll find a way to get those stories out of me, whether it’s getting up early, staying up late…or spending most of my Saturday mornings at Panera…

    Hey…I do that anyway…:-)

  30. 30 Mar Junge September 26, 2007 at 3:43 pm

    Just call me “Tammy” (see earlier post today) because the first story I ever published won second place in Writer’s Digest Writer Mama contest (appearing online on the WD website next month. My draft novel did well in review at the Pacific Coast Children’s Writers Workshop, but it’s much too far from finished to send out for publication. Unfortunately, my PR agency has had an avalanche of new business and I haven’t touched the novel in a month. But once I get these new clients under control, I’ll get back to it. Really. Hopefully before the holidays. It’s difficult to write for pleasure when I spend my day writing for profit. Not that I didn’t enjoy writing the corporate overview I just sent to a client (yawn). But it didn’t take me away to that special place where everything around me disappears except the character and I can’t type fast enough to keep up with what they want to say next. One way I force myself to MAKE time to write is to take a class where I’m required to turn in chapters.

  31. 31 Beth K. Vogt September 26, 2007 at 4:10 pm

    Here’s my thought on fiction writing:
    The person wearing the “I hear voices” t-shirt is probably a fiction writer.

    I attended a fiction writers conference once. Sat with a bunch of writers saying, “And then he said . . .” and “Then she said . . .”

    Took me a few hours to realize they were talking about the characters in their novels!!!!

    I don’t hear voices.
    I don’t write fiction.

    I like to tell people that I cover non-fiction and my son covers fiction. (And, yes, he’s had some short stories published!)

    That said, I have a few plots rambling around in my head that won’t go away. No voices, just plot lines that I like alot–and I wonder if I could do something with them.

    So–if I were going to do something about writing a novel, the next time I went to a writers conference, I would ignore all the non-fiction workshops and pretend I was a fiction writer. I’d learn all I could about dialogue and conflict and characters. And I’d pretend the voices were saying very, very important things to me that I just had to write down!

  32. 32 Chris September 26, 2007 at 5:14 pm

    I’ve never had a short story or novel published, but I’ve won creative awards for my short stories in the past. Short stories are fun to write, as they are so free-flowing and stream-of-consciousness to some extent.

    Writing a novel is another story…would be a wonderful goal to achieve one day.

  33. 33 Mrs. Jones September 26, 2007 at 5:47 pm

    Although I want to pursue writing for children and teens, I have an idea for a tragic love triangle. I know, I know… so original, right? This idea came to me when I was reading the obits one day. Two of the people that died had gone to the same high school with my husband around the same time. They were so young and had their lives cut short so tragically. I was intrigued by what would have been left behind or how they could have been linked. I spent a few days dreaming about their secret relationship. I felt like a detective uncovering a mystery. It really lit a fire in me.

    I know this story is something that I want to pour my heart into, and being the silly romantic that I am, I pictured myself renting a cottage for a summer in order to get out of my comfort zone and get to work. I already have the place picked out. I walked by it one day visiting a friend. My heart stopped when I saw it. Hey… maybe I’ll write about a writer taking a summer off to rent a cottage that she fell in love with to write a romance novel in and then (wait for the cliche’) she falls in love with a local handyman! Wow!

    Now… what was the question? Polishing! Ahh yes…

  34. 34 Anonymom September 26, 2007 at 6:31 pm

    I just had my first short story published, but it’s super-short flash fiction. Still, it was a rush to get that acceptance note in e-mail!

    Writing immerses me in another world; the most exciting part of the process is finding out what I am going to write next. It’s almost like my own writing is a soap opera, never knowing what twists and turns it might take.

    My college degree is in creative writing, but I never actually pursued it as a career until now, when I probably have the least amount of time in my life as a SAHM of two young children. I carve out time when I can, with the knowledge that the unexpected happens and I have to accept that some days I won’t get to write at all. I keep dreaming of the days when both children are in school all day and I can actually have uninterrupted hours to myself. As long as my laundry and the food in the refrigerator don’t start calling my name.

  35. 35 Karrie September 26, 2007 at 7:02 pm

    Honestly, I’d love to publish fiction but find myself stuck whenever I try to write it. It just never lives up to the great fiction that I love to read. To make time to improve and complete a novel, I would set aside some part of my day and break the task down into increments. It’s not rocket science, I know, but that’s what I’d do.

  36. 36 Lisa September 26, 2007 at 8:04 pm

    I’ve never wrote a novel, so no luck getting that published, and my short stories of late, have been few and far between. I’ve had articles published for specific work journals, but I guess I haven’t been writing long enough to have anything serious come out of my endeavors. I’m such a good thinker of ideas, but putting my thoughts down on paper is where I lack disicipline and I guess you can say, I’m not very successful in that department either.

    I think this book would help, and I would love to read it. It’s late, so I’ll stop rambling for now. My name is Lisa, but Shawn is also a nickname of mine…just kidding.

  37. 37 Jenny Royer September 26, 2007 at 8:46 pm

    I am in the process of writing my very first short story. My interests tend toward non-fiction but the opportunity came up to take a short story fiction class so here I am. It feels strange writing fiction, like I am lying or something. Also, my main character is basically me, only a younger version. I hope that she becomes separate from me through the process of writing the story. We shall see. As far as carving out more time to write, the only solution may be to cut out some sleep. Probably not going to happen!

  38. 38 SueMarie September 26, 2007 at 8:52 pm

    I’ve written many short stories, and started a couple of novels, but I haven’t attempted to have anything published yet. I’ve distributed copies to friends, family and fellow members of my writers group. The reason I’ve never gone one step farther is that I struggle to find the time (and mental space) to polish each manuscript to the point that I feel it is ready to be published. Or, perhaps I just set my standards too high. In any event, I do set aside time in the morning to work on writing… and after work… and after getting the kids to bed. I find it difficult to immerse myself in my fiction, and write productively, in such irregular bits of time. However, when I do get into the “flow” — it is a wonderful feeling. It is as if the stories already exist in their entirety in some alternate universe, and I’m just the conduit for finding the right words, and writing them down.

  39. 39 Laura September 26, 2007 at 8:58 pm

    The only work I have had published is a non-fiction article. I am in the process of learning to write fiction. Perhaps I should say that the writing is teaching me. As I sat in the cafe at Barnes & Noble, I found the characters in my story seemed to be telling me their story, instead of the other way around. Writing felt almost like reading. I seemed to be watching as the events unfolded, seemingly unaided. This was a very exciting experience. As soon as I let go, and just let the story flow where it wanted to, the words came.

    How to carve out more time for actual fiction writing? Well, inspired by Eliza’s words yesterday, I am working on “shut up and get up”. I am trying to get up earlier, in order to create some writing time in the mornings. And from advice I learned from the Writer Mama (really) and Flylady, I am writing whenever I find 15 minutes. Or at least trying to….

  40. 40 Darren Lipman September 26, 2007 at 10:15 pm

    I have had short stories published, and, yes, I do mean to say it in the plural. I’ve written numerous pieces for the Neopian Times, a weekly periodical set in the world of Neopets.com. Though it’s not a paying market, and I’m not entirely certain if these publications count as genuine publishing credits or not, writing for the ‘Times has been an incredible learning experience and has allowed me to meet many talented authors, many of whom I’ve been reviewed by and have had the pleasure of reviewing.

    When I write, it is like nothing else I have ever experienced. When my mind is aflame with inspiration and the words bleed from the tips of my fingers without warning or waiting, it is truly bliss, a feeling beyond all words. It is akin to meditation to me: It renews me, invigorates me.

    To see that I’ve had a short story held over by the ‘Times is to be lifted as high as possibly could be. To see my stories in pixilated print, to see my name (I’m known as Micrody there) beneath the title, it is a rush of bliss like no other. And yet, to experience the same with a novel, such is still beyond my grasp, how great it could be.

    I’ve written some novels already in fact, and numerous short stories unrelated to Neopets. In time, after I have carved them into masterpieces, they shall find their way into print. Until then, I shall carry this dream as a beacon to keep me going ever onwards.

  41. 41 Mary Jo September 26, 2007 at 11:33 pm

    I have too much on my mind during hustle and bustle of the day to be able to even think about my writing, much less actually write. So I have to write later at night, when everything is quiet… Then the ideas flow…like water…

    About eight years ago, when I was inspired to write my first children’s book (which is fiction), I discovered that the shower was the best place for me to work on my writing–at least the thinking part, which is often more than half of writing. I like to shower at night, when my children are asleep. There is my quiet, uninterrupted island of solitude, where I can mull over characters and scenes and dialogue. There I can work out rhymes and meters, and run through mental lists of words and phrases till I find one that fits. As soon as I dry off, I reach for a tablet and pen and record my latest inspirations.

    I find writing to be exhilarating, and very satisfying. Finding the perfect way to express an idea or describe a character is one of my favorite creative outlets. Maybe I haven’t done enough of it yet (I haven’t written a novel–don’t think I’ll go there until the children are all on their own!!!), but it never seems like work to write–it’s pure pleasure! I’m still waiting to get a short story published, but in the meantime, I’ll keep showering and working on it!

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