Lately I have been struck by just how many opportunities there are for writers out there, and I'm thrilled. Just within fiction and poetry, there are way too many calls and contests and submission opportunities to even keep track of, let alone submit to. But its fun to try :)
I have recently discovered a way that working on multiple projects has been great for me. I'm not sure I could ever do more than one novel at a time, but working on my novel and then also working on short stories and other pieces for submissions has been an absolute blast.
One of my favorite resources is the Calls for Submissions page on the NewPages website. I like to go through it and several other pages and then curate it into my own list of options that look interesting. (Check the "Paying Gigs for Writers" tab up above for other great resources). A couple of my favorite are are First Line Magazine's upcoming deadline on Aug. 1, and a Mars Colonization anthology due in November. When I am stuck or worked through on my novel for the day, I work on shorter projects like this.
It adds variety, and a feeling of satisfaction that I'm getting more done.
People often talk about how they like absolutely no restrictions in order to feel creative, but I've actually found the opposite to be the case. Rather than staring at a blank screen wondering what to work on, these contests and submission calls provide enough of a prompt to get me going. It's not at all about working on something I don't find interesting; its about searching for opportunities and prompts that spark something. Then when you're done, you know exactly where you're sending it first.
Sometimes random brainstorming works great too, and I think that's a valuable strategy to have. I just wanted to share a strategy that has been working well for me lately. Working well in terms of getting me writing. Publication success on these projects is, of course, TBD. But even if the pieces aren't accepted by the original prompter, I will have more pieces to submit other places.
Do you think this is a useful strategy? What other strategies do you use for getting ideas and/or finding writing opportunities?