Taking Chances

This post is part of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group blog hop. The first Wednesday of every month is Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. The awesome co-hosts for the January 3 posting of the IWSG are Tyrean Martinson, Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor, Megan Morgan, Jennifer Lane, and Rachna Chhabria!

Hello, everybody! I’m co-hosting the IWSG today. I’ve done this enough times I think I’m an old hat at it by now, and I really enjoy it. So let’s get to it!

This month, I’m not sure if I’m insecure or just anxious. I just did something I didn’t expect myself to do. I’ve been working on a piece of writing that–while it’s similar to other stuff I write, it’s a bit of a departure. I didn’t plan this, the story just decided that’s what it wanted to be. Still, I had a “vision” for it. When I finished, I knew where I’d submit it and how I’d try to market it. But then, an opportunity I wasn’t expecting suddenly appeared. It seemed this opportunity was tailor-made for the story I’m writing. And so…I’m going to give this opportunity a shot, and see if it works out. I won’t go into too many details, because I’m weirdly superstitious about giving too much away ahead of time, but stumbling upon this seems like serendipity. I’ll keep you posted on how it works out.

So, I think I’m just wringing my hands this month. Maybe a wee bit insecure…I always am!

January 3 question – What steps have you taken or plan to take to put a schedule in place for your writing and publishing?

I’m not a very good planner. Well, I can plan, and I do, but I never seem to follow through. I could make myself a writing schedule for the entire year, down to how many words I’ll write per day, and I’d be off course within a week. My writing life tends to be pretty organic, and I can’t reign it in.

However, I very much plan to write more this year, and submit more, and hopefully publish more. I plan to make it a productive year. Last year was pretty dry and fallow, so I’m hoping for rain and growth this year. I want to start advancing my career. That’s the plan.


In other news, we have anthology contest winners to announce today!

Today is the exciting announcement of the 2017 IWSG Anthology Contest winners!

Thank you to the awesome IWSG Admins for reading through all of the entries: Alex J. CavanaughLynda YoungMichelle WallaceL. Diane WolfeNick Wilford; JL CampbellHeather M. GardnerPat HattChristine Rains!
 

A HUGE thanks to this year’s official judges:


Elizabeth S. Craig writes cozy mystery series for Penguin Random House, Midnight Ink, and independently. She curates links on Twitter as @elizabethscraig that are later shared in the free search engine Writers Knowledge Base.

Anne Hawkins is a partner in John Hawkins & Associates, Inc., New York. Founded in 1893 by Paul R. Reynolds, it is the oldest literary agency in the country. She works with mainstream literary and commercial fiction, including mystery, suspense, and thrillers and a wide variety of serious non-fiction, particularly history, politics, biography, science, and natural history. A number of her books have gained distinction through award nominations, book-to-film contracts, significant foreign rights sales, major book club selections, or placement on the New York Times bestseller list. Anne Hawkins is a member of the Association of Authors’ Representatives. 

Candace Havens is the Editorial Director of Covet has written multiple novels for Berkley, Entangled and Harlequin. Her books have received nominations for the RITA’s, Holt Medallion and Write Touch Reader Awards. She is one of the nation’s leading entertainment journalists, runs a free online writing workshop, and teaches comprehensive writing class. 

Ion Newcombe is the editor and publisher of AntipodeanSF, Australia’s longest running online speculative fiction magazine, regularly issued since January 1998. His qualifications and employment range from horticulture through electronics into literature and communications. 

Patricia (Pat) Stoltey is the author of four crime fiction novels published by Five Star/Cengage including a historical mystery called Wishing Caswell Dead (https://www.amazon.com/Wishing-Caswell-Dead-Patricia-Stoltey/dp/1432834401/) (December 2017). She lives in Northern Colorado with her husband Bill, Sassy Dog, and Katie Cat. To learn more about Patricia and her books, visit her website/blog, Facebook, and Twitter.

Mason Canyon had a love of books since childhood encouraged by a mother who loved to read. A 30+year career in journalism fueled her desire to know what a story is all about. Blogging at Thoughts in Progress since 2009 and operating MC Book Tours for over a year. Loves to read and share great stories with others. MC Book Tours


The winners of the 2017 IWSG Anthology Contest: TICK TOCK

Until Release  – Jemi Fraiser

The Tide Waits – Rebecca M. Douglass

Center Lane – Christine Clemetson

One More Minute – Mary Aalgaard

Reset – Tara Tyler

Three O’Clock Execution – S.R. Betler

The Little Girl in the Bayou – J.R. Ferguson

Cypress, Like the Tree – Yolanda Renée

Gussy Saint and the Case of the Missing Coed – C.D. Gallant-King

Special Mention:

Heartless – C. Lee McKenzie

And the grand prize winner: 

A Stitch in Crime – Gwen Gardner  

Congratulations to the winners and to all who entered!

Look for the anthology, Tick Tock: A Stitch in Crime, late spring, 2018.


Note: Our Special Mention story is for IWSG Admin, C. Lee McKenzie, who did not participate in the reading or judging of any of the entries. Her story made the top ten from the judges and we are honored to include it in the anthology.

106 thoughts on “Taking Chances

  1. This new opportunity sounds very exciting. I hope it works out. I know what you mean about overly detailed goals, we have to be prepared for complications and upsets, but I hope this year is very productive for you!

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    1. Thank you! I have my fingers crossed!

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  2. Write more. Submit more. Publish more. Sounds like a plan that’s to the point. 🙂
    Thanks for co-hosting the IWSG this month, Megan.
    Happy 2018!

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  3. I’m not a fan of documenting specific goals either. I move forward, I just don’t map it. Thank you for hosting and best wishes for luck and success in the new year.

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  4. I love this post! I gave up long lists of goals a few years ago and now just have a word of the Year. It’s easier to succeed that way.
    Happy New Year to you and thank you for hosting.

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    1. Thank you! And Happy New Year to you too!

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  5. Thanks for co-hosting. And good luck with your new project where you’re trying something new. Maybe it will take you in new directions. I’m hoping to write more too this year! Happy New Year!

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    1. Here’s hoping! Thank you and Happy New Year!

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  6. Thanks for hosting 🙂 and I hope 2018 brings you loads of writing success!

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  7. Best of luck with your serendipitous opportunity. Those do tend to be the best! Thank you for co-hosting this month!

    Happy New Year,
    Jen

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  8. Good luck with the unexpected opportunity — those are always the best kind 😉 I hope you have a productive 2018 🙂

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    1. Fingers crossed! Thank you and Happy New Year!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I hope you get plenty MORE productivity this year!

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  10. I’m excited for you and your mysterious opportunity. Congrats to the winners of the contest.

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    1. Thank you! And yes, congratulations to all of them!

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  11. Best wishes for your productive year. Let’s all write that little bit more this year.

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  12. More of all those things sounds like a great idea! Good luck on your new venture!

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  13. I like your idea of MORE. I am also focusing on the vague concept because, like you, if I give myself strict guidelines, I’d be off the wagon in a week. Giving myself creative freedom while pushing the MORE button seems to work a lot better. Best of luck to you!

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    1. I hear you! I’m just gonna shoot for that vague “more” and hope I land somewhere near it. Thank you!

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  14. I hope to publish later in the year (besides in the IWSG Anthology, I mean!). Not a huge goal since my first draft is almost done, but it’s something! Good luck on your new project and thanks for co-hosting, Megan!

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    1. Thank you! And good luck on your work too. Congratulations again on getting into the anthology!

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  15. Thanks for co-hosting, Megan. Wishing you success with your new project. I had to laugh at your comment about not setting word count goals. When I track my word count, I do so much better than if I didn’t pay attention. But that just demonstrates that we’re all different and no one way is the right way to write. 🙂

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    1. Absolutely! Planning and setting up a schedule works for some people, but I just go off track and end up frustrated with myself. I guess structure just doesn’t work for me.

      Thank you and Happy New Year!

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  16. Good luck with the new story and thanks for co-hosting!

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  17. mlouisebarbourfundyblue January 3, 2018 — 6:31 PM

    Good luck with your submission, Megan! I’m wishing you well with your writing plans for 2018. Thanks, for co-hosting! It’s always fun to do.

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    1. Thank you so much! Happy New Year!

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  18. Good luck with your new story submission.
    I like your plan: write more and publish more. That’s what I want too.

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    1. You can do it! Let’s make it a nice productive new year. Thank you!

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  19. Good luck with your new thing. Thanks for co-hosting. Wishing you much success and joy in 2018.
    Juneta @ Writer’s Gambit

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  20. Giving away too much can let the cat out of the bag many a time.

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    1. For sure! Thanks for stopping by.

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  21. Rebecca Douglass January 3, 2018 — 2:39 PM

    Good luck with the submission, and the departure from the norm!

    I’m super excited about the anthology 🙂 Can you throw another “S” on my name in the post above? Thanks!

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  22. Thanks for co-hosting again this month. I hope that new opportunity really works out for you!

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  23. I know how you feel about not letting out too many details. When a story is fresh, it’s new and needs nurturing in a safe place before we start shouting about it. 🙂
    Hope you have a great growth year in 2018!

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    1. Indeed! I’m very superstitious about it. Hopefully I’ll have some good news to report soon.

      Thank you!

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  24. Thanks for co-hosting this month. Sounds like you are planning on doing MORE in your writing in 2018!! Hmm…makes me think of doing some more too. Ooh…S’mores are yummy treats. Okay. I’ve been reading too many IWSG blog posts today. LOL. Happy New Year!
    JQ Rose

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    1. Hahaha! Don’t get distracted, now! 😉 Thank you so much!

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  25. Here’s to hoping you have lots of rain this year 🙂 Serendipity can be a powerful force. Don’t fight it. Good luck with that story.
    Thanks for co-hosting this month.

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    1. Thank you! I definitely need some rain around these parts.

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  26. Good luck with your secret opportunity. I’ll cross my fingers for you.

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  27. Yes on serendipity! Fingers crossed it all works out the way you want! 🙂

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  28. I hope this new avenue opens up and becomes another road to go down with new opportunities.
    Thank you so much for co-hosting and all the best in 2018.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G

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  29. Happy New Year, cohost Megan!
    You have me intrigued about your opportunity. There’s a lot of wisdom in serendipity–way to seize the day.
    Best of luck with writing.

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    1. Their certainly is. I put a lot of stock in serendipity. Thank you!

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  30. Your creative brain knew ahead of time that opportunity would come.

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    1. That’s a good way of thinking about it. It’s good that once in a while my brain actually makes things work for me. 😀

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  31. I love your plan! I may adapt it for my very own 🙂
    Good luck with your submission – I’ll be crossing my fingers for the serendipity to pay off!

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    1. Go for it! And thank you very much!

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  32. I’m just like that too. I can plan in great detail and then within a week, I’m off track and then I forget about it altogether. This needs to stop!
    Best wishes for 2018.

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    1. Ha! I just finally realized that’s how I am, it’s not gonna change, so I’ll just live with it. Thank you! Happy New Year!

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  33. Victoria Marie Lees January 3, 2018 — 11:57 AM

    Writing and submitting is the only way to make publishing a reality. All the luck with your new project, Megan. Happy New Year! Thanks for co-hosting this month.

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    1. Yes, gotta do the work, I guess! Thank you and Happy New Year!

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  34. I like your more general approach to your goals. Those I could manage. Good luck and here’s to a beautiful new year. You’ve already started off with a bang by doing a great job at co-hosting this first Wed. of 2018!

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    1. Awww, thank you so much! I really do love this group! Happy New Year!

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  35. I know what you mean about getting off track within a week!
    I like your ‘write more, submit more, publish more’ plan!

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    1. Now let’s see if I can stick to it! 😉 Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  36. Love those unexpected moments of creativity. Gotta step out of the box sometimes to stay fresh. Thanks for cohosting this month.

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    1. I totally agree! Thank you and Happy New Year!

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  37. I find that it’s often the opportunities that we don’t plan for, or that come up unexpectedly, that work out the best. Good luck with your secret project. 🙂

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  38. Taking a chance leads to success or at least I think it does. Good luck with your secret project. If nothing else, it will be breaking free from the comfort zone. There is always a lesson in doing that. 🙂

    Anna from elements of emaginette

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    1. That is very true. Thank you and Happy New Year!

      Liked by 1 person

  39. It’s the ‘more’ approach to planning, probably the most successful one out there.

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  40. Good luck with your serendipitous work. Had a similar thing happen too but the opposite. After reading a collection on my Kindle app I was hit by my muse and inspired to write a mystical/paranormal short/novella. It started out as one story idea then I gave her friends who also had special gifts and soon it became four. I’d filed away the notes, images and even made a secret Pinterest board for it. Then a few months later I stumbled onto a new ongoing submission call that would be perfect to send them to. Now here I am writing those same story ideas so that I can submit them later this year.
    Thanks for co-hosting today and Happy New Year!

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    1. That’s wonderful! I always love when writing stuff like that happens. Good luck with your submission! Thank you and Happy New Year!

      Liked by 1 person

  41. That’s awesome about your opportunity. I hope it really works out for you! Thanks for co-hosting!

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  42. Good luck with your opportunity! I hope it all works out and gets your 2018 off to a great start. I’m not much of a planner either. I set very basic goals and will see where those take me. I hope to accomplish at least one or two things on my list for the year.

    Happy New Year and best wishes!

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    1. Thank you! I’m going to try to do a bit more branching out this year.

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  43. I don’t like to share too much either, so good luck with your project!

    Thanks for supporting the IWSG and commenting on all the posts! Awesome work!

    Happy 2018!

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  44. I also had a fallow writing year in 2017. Here’s to doing better this time around! 😉

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    1. Absolutely! To all the best in 2018!

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  45. I’m exactly like you. I never seem to be able to stick to a specific schedule, but I want to do more of everything this year. Just have to stay away from those things that distract me. Good luck and have a great new year! 🙂 Thanks for co-hosting today!

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    1. Exactly! I try and try, but then my writing muse just does whatever it pleases. Thank you!

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  46. Good luck with your new opportunity! It sounds deliciously mysterious. Given the number of projects you’ve completed, I’d say you’ve found a way to plan that suits your organic style. Thanks for co-hosting today!

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    1. Thank you so much! I have my fingers crossed!

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  47. Way to start the New Year boldly, Megan! Grab that opportunity and go for it. And “more” is always good! Thanks for co-hosting IWSG today!

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    1. Thank you! It’s exciting, but kind of nerve-wracking!

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  48. Sounds like exciting things are about to happen, Megan. Best of success for you. Thanks for co-hosting. Happy New Year.

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  49. I hope the opportunity works out for you!
    Thanks for co-hosting today.

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  50. It’s been a while. Congrats on taking a leap into something new. Best of luck with it.

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  51. Congratulations on entering a new genre in writing. Thanks for co-hosting this month. I’m honored and thrilled to be included in the next IWSG anthology. Have a great 2018!
    Mary at Play off the Page

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    1. It’s an exciting change of pace…we’ll see how it works out. Thank you and Happy New Year!

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  52. All the best for your mystery opportunity 🙂 I’m hoping that 2018 is a productive year for me as well. All the best for the New Year!

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  53. Hi Megan, like you I too plan to write more, submit more and hopefully get published more this year. Fingers crossed for both of us. Thanks for co-hosting IWSG .

    Rachna Chhabria
    Co-host IWSG
    Rachna’s Scriptorium

    Like

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