While querying my paranormal mystery manuscript, I found myself with time to over-analyze everything that could be wrong in my book. After I sent off my query letter and the requested pages, my brain battled between typos and pacing and character motivation. I wasn’t winning and end up dragging myself down into the pit of self-doubt in the worst way.
However, I wouldn’t allow myself to be alone, so I reached out to some writer friends, who’ve also been querying or on sub with their agents. They were dealing with similar emotions. We mulled together and vowed to keep writing. Unfortunately, I wasn’t ready to tackle another novel project. My brain wasn’t ready to wrap around a new investment until the other did or didn’t have any traction in the querying process. This was my mind playing tricks on me.
So, while some friends worked on a new manuscript, others took breaks, and another started to look up opportunities for short story submissions in anthologies and magazines. For these submissions, we found goals and prompts to write something fresh and different. I had no idea that’s exactly what I needed.
Yes, usually, you hear that you should be writing your next thing, but the mountain was too big for me in that moment. I needed hills to conquer.
To me, a short story is a nice, satisfying challenge and the prompts available through submission opportunities serve me inspiration. As with any piece of writing, send it to a CP and beta readers for feedback before submission.
Yes, I agree you must keep writing, beta reading, and CPing to stay fresh and learn about the craft. There’s always room for improvement.
Keep on writing, my friends!
A few options on where to submit short stories:
- YOUR local newspapers and magazines
- Poets & Writers
- The Write Life, 23 magazines and websites
- LampLight Magazine
- Barren Magazine
- The Dark Magazine
- PseudoPod horror stories
If you know of places to submit short stories and flash fiction, please comment below!