Challenge Yourself to Pull the Trigger on Your Short Fiction

31-Day Ninja Writing Challenge 2019: Day Twenty

“Close-up of pieces of wooden type” by Raphael Schaller on Unsplash

In our Facebook Group, I hear Ninja Writers talking often about being afraid of sending their work to readers — whether that’s a friend, a beta reader, or a publisher. Writing a story can feel like suddenly shoving your sweet infant out into the world, unprotected, straight into the arms of people who feel like it’s their purpose to be judgmental.

But it’s not like that.

It’s more like launching your 23-year-old out into the world, so that you can turn his room into your writing studio. He only feels like your baby. In reality, he’s grown up (maybe a little too grown up) and ready to fly.

I want you to pull the trigger, when it’s time. That might be now, if you have a short story or two on your hard-drive. Even if you don’t, though, today’s the day to start preparing yourself for the day you thrust your little story out into the cruel world.

Think, today, about the places where you might be able to place a short piece of fiction.

Whether or not you have something to send out into the world, you should be familiar with the market. Whether you write , poetry, or creative non-fiction, there are publications that are eager to see new work. In fact, they spend all their time seeking it out.

Spend a little time exploring the market. Just get your feet wet. If you have a short story or poem or essay that you feel is publishable, consider sending it out. But, even if you don’t, this is a good step toward that day.

The NW Pub

The NW Pub is the Ninja Writer’s publication here on Medium. We’d love to see your work!

Medium

Medium is a low-risk place to place your work. You don’t need to go through a publisher. Just copy and paste your story, tag it, and push publish. This is a legit choice. Going indie for a single short story. If you put it behind Medium’s paywall, it might even earn you a little money.

Duotrope

Duotrope is a website that lists more than 6000 markets for fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. It also features a submission tracker, which will help you keep track of where you’ve sent your work. It costs $5 a month after a week long free trial, but even if you don’t feel ready to pay for a subscription yet, check it out for a week.

Click around. Visit some publication websites. Read some submission guidelines. Start to familiarize yourself with what’s required if you want to be published in short form. Choose one you’d like to submit to.

EXERCISE TWENTY:

Go to Duotrope and get signed up for a free 7-day trial. Look around and see what’s out there.

Come on over to Facebook today and share a publication that looks good to you. Let’s talk about pulling the trigger.

Don’t forget to write and read ten minutes each today.

I’m hosting a free workshop tonight (May 20, 2019) at 8 p.m. EST. Sign up!


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Shaunta Grimes is a writer and teacher. She is an out-of-place Nevadan living in Northwestern PA with her husband, three superstar kids, two dementia patients, a good friend, Alfred the cat, and a yellow rescue dog named Maybelline Scout. She’s on Twitter @shauntagrimes and is the original Ninja Writer.