Maybe This Will Be The Year #IWSG

They announced the winners of the IWSG anthology this morning. I wasn’t among them, but my analytical side kicked in and I’m pretty sure why my story didn’t make the cut.


It’s a fantasy anthology, and my story had little-to-no hint of the great fantastic. If anything, I’d classify it as supernatural, but there’s not a lot of indication of that either. I had questioned it before I submitted, but decided, eh, what the heck. Why not? I still believe in the story itself, and I think it may have another home, one it is better suited for. *crosses fingers*

Even though I had turned out two short stories (one just released last month) in a relatively quick amount of time late last year, I don’t think I’ll be doing many more unless inspiration hits. For one, I’m well behind on what I want to be done with – Murder Most Fowl and Isto. For another, I seem to not be able to write full-fledged fantasy in a short story. I prefer the subtle tones that either leave the person scratching their head or saying ‘ah-ha!’. I guess if it’s not related to Derek or Cera, I just can’t do fantasy.

So, maybe this will be the year. That is my insecurity, really–whether or not I’ll get anything done. I’ve got over 150K written toward Isto and only about 10K to go for MMF. I thought I had plenty of time last year to finish at least one of them, but it just didn’t happen. I worry this year will be the same.

I don’t have an answer to the question of the month, which is What writing rule do you wish youโ€™d never heard? Mostly because I don’t care about rules. I write what I want to, how I want to. Oh, I get ticked off when it comes to opinions about the lengths of stories, that if a fantasy novel is over 120K, then it’s poorly written. But I just think it’s absurd, not that I wished I’d never heard it. Otherwise, I take what makes me better and toss out the rest.

Do you ever feel like your progress is not enough? Are you looking forward to the release of the new IWSG anthology? (I saw many names I recognized that made me super excited.)

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Loni Townsend

About Loni Townsend

Wife. Mother. Writer. Ninja. Squirrel.

31 thoughts on “Maybe This Will Be The Year #IWSG

  1. I’m not so great at writing fantasy either, but the genre doesn’t really interest me so it’s hard for me to pursue it. I see what you’re saying about writing fantasy in the short story framework as to be most effective fantasy requires a lot of world building which I think is difficult to do in short stories.

    My writing progress is much better than in the years when I was working a full-time job, but my progress is never enough–woefully short in fact. I’ve got too much distracting me from dedicated writing.

    Good luck with 2017!

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

  2. I wish you success in your goals! My progress last year was frighteningly sad. I have to do better this year or rethink everything.

  3. Hi Loni. I hope this year is your year too. I am keeping my fingers and toes crossed for you ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. There were so many great entries this year, and way more than last year. I hope you do submit it elsewhere.
    Happy 2017!

  5. I think this will be your year. I can feel it. You are so talented and I feel sure those books will be out in the world before we know it. But I can understand how you feel. I feel like I wasted last year, and didn’t do much better the year before it, so I’m counting on being able to get back in gear now.

  6. I pretty much always feel like I’m not making enough progress. But then I have to stop and clarify/define what “enough” means to me.

    Good luck sending that story out!

  7. Sorry about the anthology, I feel your pain. ๐Ÿ˜‰ But I also feel like this year could be your big break to push through and get those projects moving!

    Oh, and I missed your last post about the other anthology you got into. Congratulations! That’s awesome news and I can’t wait to read it!

  8. “I guess if itโ€™s not related to Derek or Cera, I just canโ€™t do fantasy.” <— I so agree with this. Should I ever finish my fantasy series, (Ha!) I think I will be done writing fantasy. (And all my fantasy stories are over 120k. Don't know if that proves or disproves that theory, though.)

    I, too, am worried about whether I'll actually get anything done this year. May we both surprise ourselves and find that this year will most certainly be our year!

  9. “I take what makes me better and toss out the rest.:” That’s the best writing rule I’ve ever heard! I’m sorry your story wasn’t chosen for the anthology, but your plans for your novels sound good! Wishing you luck!

  10. I am looking forward to the new anthology. Rules? There are rules? LOL, J/K
    I love fantasy and sci-fi but really I love fiction. I don’t care about genre if it is a story that enthralls me and draws me in and keeps in there. I like romance and mystery too. Paranormal and all its many off-shift is probably my fave and it is what I write most.

    Yeah, always feel my progress is not enough. Hope you had happy holidays.
    Juneta @ Writer’s Gambit

  11. Happy New Year my dear rebel Loni. Winning doesn’t always happen but I’m glad you are looking forward to finding another home for your story. Rules are important but never should they restrain you from learning and growing. Just keep moving forward with what you can get done versus what you think needs to be done. Sometimes it is best to prioritize than just try to get a bunch of stuff done and ending up with a big mess. Best of luck!

    2017 IWSG January Co-Host

  12. I wish I knew what your entry was. We read them blind. There were SO many good ones, and ones I wanted to fight for tooth and nail that didn’t make it. It was tough selecting the top entries. So not making it doesn’t mean a story wasn’t good. It just means they were all too good. ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. I’m hoping this is my year to finish my own book. Let’s make it happen.

  14. You can make it happen! I’m doing my darnedest to do so too. I often feel like my progress isn’t enough, but it just makes me keep pushing harder. Of course, sometimes I should be gentler with myself on that front, and so should you.

  15. I always worry I won’t achieve my goals. And for good reason, since there are always one or two hanging around like last night’s leftovers. Perhaps the key is always cooking what you like so you don’t mind finishing it ๐Ÿ˜‰
    My story (also not chosen) was of a supernatural nature as well. I really hadn’t held out much hope, but went ahead and submitted since six months had passed since I’d sent anything anywhere. I like your way of thinking there is indeed another place for your story. I’ll try to believe that too ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Happy New Year!

  16. Sorry about the anthology. I’ve read some of your short pieces and I think they are smashing! Rules? I’m with you on that. “Mostly because I donโ€™t care about rules.” Loved that line. I write what I want. A lot of writing “rules” are absurd. Toss ’em out, I say. Also, looking forward to MMF. ๐Ÿ™‚ And will check out that anthology!

  17. I’m always feeling like I haven’t made enough progress, so that’s nothing new. Just remind yourself that it’s the start of a new year and you’ve got the chance to make some real progress. But please, no more jumping out of planes!!!!!!!!!!!

    BTW, your anthology story was great. Hold onto it for future opportunities.

  18. I had an experience similar to yours with the previous IWSG anthology: I submitted a story, but it didn’t fit the genre, so it didn’t make the cut. This time, my story did comply with the genre – fantasy is my forte – so it got included in the anthology.
    When you find a publication that fits your genre and your style, your chances of acceptance skyrocket. Good luck in the new year. Your stories will find homes, I’m sure.

  19. I can’t say my writing has progressed much at all over the past year…two years…maybe more. But determination is key this year, so I heading in full steam. I’m sure your stories will find their places soon. Sometimes it just takes a little longer, but that doesn’t mean it’s a worse road. I just see it as a needed learning/maturing period. Good luck this year!

  20. I do that too – send stuff out that I suspect may not quite be right, but then you just don’t know until you try. So well done for trying. Now you can figure out where it does fit, or put it away for a bit because it might turn into something else later on. Good luck, whatever you decide.

  21. I’m really sorry you didn’t make it into the anthology this year. I can imagine how gutted you must feel. ๐Ÿ™

    It sound like you’re making huge progress on your writing and I’m sure this will be your year.

  22. I feel your pain with the anthology. I put a lot of extra effort into this year’s story (vs. last year’s) and I also hope I can find another home for mine or maybe even extend it a little bit. Besides writing that, my 2016 was mostly unproductive with writing.

    I don’t think I commented on your last post, so congrats on your other story! Let’s hope both of us can make better progress this year!

  23. Rule I wish I’d never heard? I think the wordcount one, for me. I read recently that 125k for epic fantasy is pretty accurate, even low end wordcount-wise. This was a huge relief and blew everything I’d heard previously out of the water. Obviously there’s going to be some bloat to trim, but that’s what other sets of eyes are for, right?

  24. Oh yeah I definitely worry about my progress not being enough. Book 3 in my fantasy series is almost a year late, now. >_<

    Best of luck with your writing! I hope 2017 will be a great one for you.

  25. My progress is slow.
    I feel that, as a late bloomer in the writing department, it’s a race against time.
    Silly…I know…but there you have it.

    There were so many good IWSG anthology entries. The standard was really high.
    Keeping my fingers crossed that your piece will find a home elsewhere.

    Happy New Year!

  26. I always feel like my progress is not enough. No matter what I’m doing, it never feels like I’m doing enough. I think a lot of the problem is that I’m really goal-oriented – I could write three books in a year and consider it a waste if none of them got sold. >_<

    But I hear you on "maybe this will be the year". I tell myself that every year. Hopefully soon one or both of us will be right.

    And the idea that a book's word count is indicative of its quality is complete and utter crap. Ugh!

  27. It sounds like you wrote a lot last year. I finished two books but missed my target of four. I’m resetting for this year and hope to do better.

  28. It didn’t jumpout to me as a propleIt’s okay (the font color), but I wouldn’t object to it being a touch darker. My eyes are starting to change. Ho humโ€ฆ My doc said she’s noticed an increase in people needed glasses, etc, a lot earlier due to computer usage–or what she attributed to computer/screen use.

    I noticed companies are starting to compensate for that with special fonts, colors, ability to change the size themselves, etc. and that’s great!

  29. Fingers crossed for it being your year, Loni. And for your story’s quick acceptance elsewhere. I understand about feeling like you’re not writing enough. I always feel that way because I write so slowly. I’ve tried to write faster, but so far it hasn’t happened. Sigh. Happy 2017!

  30. I often feel like I’m making zero progress. It’s not until I go back and look at my goals that I realize I didn’t do half bad.
    And don’t feel bad about not making it. A lot of my stories barely fit into the genres I promote them in. It’s really kind of annoying because it makes it hard to promote.

  31. Nas

    Wishing you all the best in your goals!

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