It's beyond awesome to have L.G. Keltner on my blog today. No doubt you'll be seeing a lot of her as she guests around the blogosphere. I've asked her to talk on this subject, knowing many of us are keen writers but tardy with submissions...
Take it away, my friend!
Overcoming Insecurity and Submitting Your Work
Hello everyone! Today, I'm going to do two things on Denise's blog. First, I’m going to give you some encouragement regarding the 2016 IWSG Anthology Contest (submissions close early November). Then I’m going to promote my latest novella Self-Help 101 or: How to Select a Costume to Help You Deal With People. And believe it or not, those two subjects are not entirely unrelated.
Entering a writing contest can be a nerve-wracking experience. A piece of writing is a deeply personal thing, and no one wants to hear that the story they poured so much time and effort into didn’t make the cut. Every writer has to face the pain of rejection at some point, though. That’s part of being a writer, after all. If you never risk rejection, you never give your work an opportunity to shine.
When I entered the IWSG Anthology Contest last year, I was nervous. From the beginning, I knew I needed to take part in it. It was simply too great an opportunity to ignore. At the same time, I was shaking when I emailed my entry. I second-guessed myself for days afterwards. This seems a natural reaction given what I’ve heard from other writers. As much as we love our work, we feel insecure about it. We want it to be well-received, but we fear that may not be the case. Sometimes we’ll try to edit it to death, striving for some vague notion of perfection we can never attain. Fortunately, a looming deadline helped me avoid this particular pitfall.
As I waited for a response, I vacillated between thinking I’d turned in a good story and thinking that I’d wasted an important opportunity by submitting something that other people may not like. When I got the email telling me that I’d not only made it into the anthology, but that my story “Felix Was Here” also won the contest, I was stunned. I’d spent so much time worrying about an entry that ended up winning, and that seemed crazy to me in retrospect. I suppose it’s inevitable to worry. Writers can’t seem to help it. As long as we don’t let those fears prevent us from submitting, we’ll be okay.
Dani, the main character in the Self-Help 101 series, is also a writer. She deals with her own insecurities. She has to contend with critics and her own inner voice of self-doubt. That’s a major theme in Self-Help 101 or: How to Select a Costume to Help You Deal With People. It’s fortunate that Dani has a lot of supportive friends, and it doesn’t hurt that she’s extremely stubborn.
That’s the best advice I can give any writer who wants to put themselves out there. Find a support group, and be stubborn.
His eyes darkened. “That nasty comment I saw yesterday? It was horrible, yes, but it didn’t seem to bother you earlier.”
“No, not that one. I got a new one today, and it wasn’t from the same person, either. This person actually knows how to spell correctly.” I leaned back, resting my head against the wall. “That other one didn’t bother me, because it didn’t offer any legitimate criticism. It just encouraged me to do something anatomically inadvisable, and half the words were misspelled anyway. That’s easy to blow off, because that’s classic troll behavior. This new person essentially said that I’m an entitled brat who’d never had any real problems, so I shouldn’t waste anyone’s time with what I have to say. And with class today and Rhonda saying the things she did, it left me wondering why I even bother.”
Seth kissed my cheek. “You do it because you love it. What other reason is there?”
I shook my head. “I also do it hoping to make money, but that hasn’t been working.”
“Sure, you’d like to make money, but that isn’t what keeps you going, and you know it.”
Fine. He had a point. I may be cynical about many things, but I do write for the love of it. That doesn’t make it suck any less when people insist I shouldn’t bother in the first place. If anything, it makes it worse, and my natural cynicism wasn’t sufficient to shield me.
“I know. I just . . . I can’t help but wonder if I’m good enough to do this as a career. It’s what I want more than anything, but wanting it isn’t enough.” I’d tried keeping these insecurities bottled up tight, but now they were pouring right out of me, and I was powerless to stop it. At least Seth was the only one there to see me like this.
Title: Self-Help 101 or: How to Select a Costume to Help You Deal With People
Author: L.G. Keltner
Length: 29,000 words
Cover Art: L.G. Keltner and Jamon Walker
Release Date: September 27, 2016
Book 3 in the Self-Help 101 series.
Dani Finklemeier is adjusting to life in college and the realities of living away from home for the first time. She’s also learning to deal with the criticism that stems from sharing her writing with the world. Some of the online criticism is even spelled correctly, which somehow makes it worse.
Fortunately, she has a Halloween party, a group of friends, and a supportive boyfriend to distract her from the things that are bothering her. Of course, a holiday celebration wouldn’t be complete without something going wrong. Between an unpleasant confrontation with an infuriating classmate, some shocking costume choices, and a bizarre fraternity stunt, the evening will be anything but dull.
Dani’s detractors may not like it, but she’ll definitely have enough material for another book.
Her non-writing hobbies include astronomy and playing Trivial Pursuit.
Add it on Goodreads.
Thank you for appearing on my blog today, L.G.
Now, do you have some comments/questions for L.G. about submitting your work? Or about her latest book, Self-Help 101 or: How to Select a Costume to Help You Deal With People?
And I can't let a chance go by. I'm asking you to submit to Write...Edit...Publish this month. Many of our regulars can't join us because of hurricanes and other life emergencies. I hope you might consider writing for us or simply posting a photo or an image that fits the prompts. Post between October 19 - 21. Any further questions, go to WEP or send Yolanda Renee or myself an email. You can sign up here in my sidebar. LOVE TO HAVE YOU!!