I’m pleased to be a Co-Host of this months Insecure Writer’s Support Group Posting Day! It’s actually a really good month for me to be doing this, because if I weren’t co-hosting I would have been seriously tempted not to post at all.
Well, Confession time.
I set out in January with a goal to write 15 minutes of fiction everyday. Free-writing, it could be anything – just writing fiction in hopes of “getting back to basics.”
Who can guess how successful I was at that?
Yeah… January had ups and downs, bits and pieces of projects old and new got completed. A lot of organizing happened, but… very minimal fiction writing.
The longer I allow myself to stay away from fiction the more frightening the idea of going back. When your writing is already something you’re unsure about it doesn’t take much to tip it over the edge.
I think the trick is to have clear goals and accountability. Yes, there is a level of forgiveness to myself for not always meeting goals, but it can reach the point of excuses.
I spent a number of years not writing — always half working on a project, but never putting in real energy. It was easy to let go of that drive I once had, to allow it to fade to the background and bury myself in other projects. If it was so easy, I ask myself, then does it mean I’m not actually driven to write the same way that those people who say they must write are?
No… it just means I write differently. We all move at our own pace, and I need to allow myself to keep to the pace that is reasonable for me. It’s okay to give myself a break from writing if I am not feeling particularly motivated to write (particularly if I am feeling motivated to do things like read, or otherwise fill my creativity-coffers).
But I have spent a few months now letting myself refill those coffers (and binge-watch a few TV series as well). I’ve stumbled a few times, made a few false starts on new fiction projects, and keep falling back to not-writing. It’s reached the point where it’s painfully clear to me that I’m really just trying to procrastinate. I’m holding myself back from making progress on the novel project I had been working on all summer and spring.
See, I hit this point in revisions where I realized there were some serious changes that I needed to make. Revisions and rewrites (again.. more…). It was important to take a break, but now I really do need to focus back in, put the real energy and effort into it that it deserves. It’s frightening to do so – what if I can’t get it right? What if it’s a terrible story? What if it’s just ALL wrong?
What if? Well, yes, it might be terrible, it might be all wrong and I might fail at it… but I certainly will fail if I don’t put in the effort to do the rewrite, now won’t I?
This is my monthly post as part of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, a great group of supportive writers, helping one another through our writing ups-and-downs.
There is also a great Facebook Community for more daily connection! More posts from the group are tagged on Twitter at #IWSG.