Write like nobody’s reading

I recently put together a submission as a part of an application for a writing job. The process was a fairly straightforward one; write about something that inspires you and influences your practice. I opted to write about my current favourite magazine, Boat, as the theme and quality of writing always buoys me up 😉

However, a couple of weeks after I sent it off, I received a reply telling me it wasn’t quite what they were looking for.

Apart from the specifics of what was missing (insight and personal reflection should have been on the agenda) I realised I had once again fallen into a familiar mindset. It seems that lately, whenever I write, I become bent on just finishing the thing and getting it out there. I’m constantly rushing, whether it’s a short story or otherwise and find I often cut short the writing process just so I can say I’ve got something done.

Inevitably, the result is a finished piece, but hardly my best so it’s no surprise I’m not getting the answer I would like. In truth, I’m struggling a little with my identity as a writer. As time goes by, thoughts of ‘making it’ seem more fantastical than ever. Couple that with my mid-thirties fast approaching and the uncomfortable question keeps niggling away – is it make or break time? (Or just broke?) It seems as though the more I reach for it and the tighter my grasp, the further away a reality of accomplishment and satisfaction becomes.

So, for nobody but myself I rewrote the piece as if nobody is going to read it. Nothing to gain, just the truth according to myself. Hence, I’ve discovered a motto that I’m going to take forward this year and hopefully a different way of working; Write like nobody’s reading. Fitzgerald said something similar, but I can’t recall the quote. If anyone knows it, please tell me!

Fortnightly Round-Up Sept (I)

Heck of a lot of stuff going on at ShortStops for fiction writers (and readers). Definitely worth a look if you’ve got anything submission ready.
I haven’t. 😦

ShortStops

Hello lovers of well-crafted and brief particles of prose,
Welcome to autumn! Here’s what’s been happening on our blog over the past fortnight. As ever, if you’d like to contribute, drop me a line and I’ll explain how it works: shortstopsuk@gmail.com

Lit Mags

Jotters United publishes issue 6 and is calling for submissions for its women-only issue. Check out the summer issue of Long Story, Short and issue 6 of Alt Hist. Firewords Quarterly has launched its second issue (review coming soon).  And there’s also  one of the 100 stories that accompanied the release of Mark Watson’s new novel, Hotel Alpha, Issue 38 of Neon Magazine – and Battery Pack, Don’t Do It’s Issue 5, the Electricity issue, and Bunbury’s fifth issue is the Mythology special.

On the submissions front: Short Fiction journal wants your short stories. Holdfast is fundraising for its first ever print anthology and also…

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