Insecure Writer’s Support Group: Fresh Starts Aren’t Just for January

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.

Why?

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?

 


 

Insecure Writers Support Group BadgeThis 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.

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42 thoughts on “Insecure Writer’s Support Group: Fresh Starts Aren’t Just for January”

  1. I like your post. It makes me feel good to know others face the same questions. I think your question of what ifs and failures are what keep most people unhappy and stagnant. Yay for your forward movement. If your story means something to you it will mean something to someone else too. Erika

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Isn’t it nice when you realize you aren’t the only one? That’s one of the things I love about IWSG!
      And thank you for the reminder that, if the story means something to me it will mean something to someone else — That’s a point where a lot of insecurity comes in – and it’s a very good reminder that there will be other people who will want to read it.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I fully understand your insecurity. I have endured those times. Last year I didn’t write for 6 months because I was annoyed at things going on in life. It took a while to overcome and lots of brow beating! But one day, I just decided to sit down and write a story about how I was feeling. Naturally it was a load of rubbish but it got me writing. The day after I wrote several openings of stories which is a great way of stimulating the imagination. Just the opening paragraph. Then when you read it back, your mind naturally starts to wonder what’s going on and what possibilities could occur. That worked for me and I haven’t had a slump since. I think sometimes, when the going gets tough, we have to remind ourselves that we write ultimately because we enjoy the process AND we deserve to enjoy our lives 🙂 Wishing you an enjoyable February.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for hosting! It is scary facing the thought of redoing everything. I’ve done it several times myself. But, jumping in will help you get past it sooner. Best of luck finding your drive again!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The thing about writing is, I don’t think any of us knows if it’s going to be any good. The thing about writing is doing it simply because you enjoy doing it. Remember to breathe, relax.

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  5. I think every writer I know has the same worry at one point in their life: What if it’s all wrong? But in truth, the most important part of writing is your voice. If you’re telling the story in your own words and reactions, it can’t be wrong. People who it resonates with will find it. Keep at it!

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  6. I wonder if it could help you to try writing complete rubbish – just for a few minutes? Taking the pressure off writing something worthwhile might help you get started again.

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  7. Hello, and thank you for co-hosting this month. I like to take a break now and then from writing, but like you, the longer I stand back the harder it is to pick it up again. I tend to forget what I wrote and then have to go over it again and again and it does get harder and harder. BUT, I have gone back and rewrote, revised, and edited.

    Sometime’s an inspiration hits, and our fingers are itching to write. If your present story isn’t getting your juices flowing then maybe you should try something new. Or, if you’re dedicated to what you’ve written, just read it over and perhaps your characters will begin to speak to you, and you’ll get in the groove pretty quickly. Good Luck.

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  8. Hi,
    thank you for co-hosting the IWSG today.
    You’re so right, we need clear goals and accountability. I think just knowing that we have made a vow to ourselves to do something gives us the motivation to do it.
    Shalom,
    Patricia

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  9. Isn’t that the way it seems to goal? We set goals for ourselves, then we allow complacency to set in. I spent a long time, myself, not writing. But the call was always there. I’m finally getting back to it and setting small realistic goals seems to help. Baby steps so to speak. Keep working on those goals, you will do it. And if they fall through the cracks one month, just work at them again. You’ll get it, as long as you have the determination to keep trying.

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  10. I went through a decade or more of mostly procrastinating. I had little kids, and I told myself that I needed big chunks of uninterrupted time to work on my book. So of course, I’d maybe pull it out once a year and try to write a bit. I didn’t learn to write in little bits until I’d learned to write often. Sometimes it takes a long time to figure out what you need to do. Sounds like at least you haven’t taken a decade!

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  11. Thank for co-hosting this month. Sounds like you have a plan and understand where are and what you need to do. I know I need to learn to have fun again and find the joy in my writing I once did, I allow life stress to derail me and I want to get to the point I can write through all the chaos and still be productive and creativity.

    Juneta Writer’s Gambit

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  12. Thanks for co-hosting today! I’m the same. Haven’t written in years and now I’m blogging (shocker) and writing poetry and fiction like I use to. But have fallen behind this month, binge watching a favorite drama from Thailand and reading manga. Have to get back to doing my minor-productive goals like doing 15 word sprints and the like to achieve my major goals for this month. Mainly finishing my YA novella and resume writing my romance novel draft to the end. It’s all about micro goals to help achieve major goals and accountability.

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  13. There are so many other things going on that make it easy to procrastinate. And the idea of serious rewrites can be discouraging. Maybe you can get back into it a little at a time, so it won’t seem like such a huge monster to tame. As you said, you’ll never know if the story will work if you don’t give it a chance. Good luck with it, and thanks for co-hosting!

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  14. I have been procrastinating my main writing project for the last two and a half years. I’ve published two of my finished books in that time but only pecked at any actual new writing. It can be so hard to get yourself in the right state of mind to just sit in front of the screen (or notebook) and make mistakes.

    Sounds like you’ve summoned up the right motivation though and will be writing again soon. Good luck! You will do an amazing job 🙂

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  15. I too have been struggling with my fiction as of late. It’s good to hear others going through what I am and hearing the encouragement in your words. Thank you for sharing and for co-hosting today.

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  16. Don’t beat yourself up. There’s a time to every season and your season isn’t here…yet. I wanted to be a writer since I was 7 and wrote poems and stuff all my life, but life, kids, work go in the way. Eventually I could write and felt good enough to actually submit it. You will too. Take it easy and get your priorities straight first. Then sometime, sooner or later, your writing will soar.

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  17. Procrastination is more common among writers than you think. Seems like whenever I get a block of time to write, the first thing I do is find other things that have to be done first–like I needing to clean my room, or deciding I need a class of water. The funny thing is, once I sit down in front of the computer and start typing, all that other stuff goes away. The trick is to force yourself to sit down and just start writing.

    Thanks for co-hosting this month’s IWSG.

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  18. I can understand your procrastination. I’ve had to do complete re-writes on things and it goes so far on the back burner because it’s kind of miserable for me haha, but you just gotta force yourself.

    I think some of the best advice I was given, as a writer, was to just sit down everyday and write because that’s what a writer does. I mean, it doesn’t even have to be fiction, just any writing though I try to do at least some fiction (even if it’s just an idea jotted here or there).

    Don’t know. Anyway… ignore those what ifs, go for it! 🙂

    Also, stop with the TV binge watching. I have a serious problem with that and it’s cutting into my LIFE haha

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  19. I’m a great procrastinator myself but I find that if I don’t allow myself to get distracted and actually just sit down and do the writing I produce writing that changes how I feel and gives a whole new look to the day. Good luck with it though, I don’t know why one writes one day, or week or month – what sets it apart from the days when one doesn’t.

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  20. I suppose every writer goes through the rollercoaster emotions at some stage in the journey. So the consolation is, you’re not alone.

    If you don’t try, you’ll never know! 🙂
    Good luck with your writing!
    Thank you for co-hosting the IWSG this month.

    Like

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