Category Archives: Insecure Writer’s Support Group

#IWSG – NaNo Time…

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, and be sure to check out the Twitter account and the new Instagram as well!

This month… oh man, this month.

It’s National Novel Writing Month – and I really wanted to participate in it, but it already feels like life is pushing against me with that. I have a slew of health things that are making it challenging for me to write, and taking what energy I do have. I was going to write in order to just write, to get back into the flow of fiction writing, but I need to be gentle with myself right now, and that may mean not winning NaNo. There is still time – but a lot of the things I’m dealing with (pinched nerve in my back, and broken tooth among other things) aren’t going to be addressed until after Thanksgiving due to scheduling (nearly a month wait for an MRI, really?).

So writing sits on the sidelines. I am doing what I can, and that’s really the best I can do right now. It’s not the first time that I’ve faced the possibility of not succeeding at NaNo, when I look at my pattern over the past years I’ve participated I seem to succeed every other year. Last year I succeeded, but I’d really love to break that pattern and succeed again this year – maybe even with some potential seeds to use in the future.

I need to balance my health with my determination, and do the best I can.

(Typed during a commute… and posted late… because it’s that kind of week).

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Insecure Writer’s Support Group: Life Events

wp-1462383471325.jpgThis 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, and be sure to check out the Twitter account and the new Instagram as well!

IWSG Day Question: How do major life events affect your writing? Has writing ever helped you through something?

I really appreciate this month’s question, it causes me to do some reflection on my writing in the past and some of those things that have been getting in the way of my writing in the present.

When I look back at when I started writing my stories down (because I let them play through my mind for many years before I started to put them on the page) I can easily identify how it was actually in reaction to something that was going on in my life. It was right near the start of High School. We had two sets of cousins visiting us, and I wasn’t really connecting with any of them very well. But my younger sister was.  She was having fun learning the Macarena from them, hanging out at the mall, and generally doing all sorts of things that I thought were silly and wasn’t particularly into at the time.

It was the first time I can remember when my sister and I didn’t get along. It wasn’t that we weren’t getting along, really, just that I didn’t feel like I had anything in common with her. Being the only two girls in a family with five children we’d always been “in it together.”

I’d had a built in friend my whole life, and suddenly I felt like I didn’t have anyone. So I turned to the stories. I wrote myself into worlds of my own creation as a method of escape. And it certainly wasn’t the last time in my life that writing helped me through something. Sometimes the stories would take a form of glorified journaling – a little escapism in moments when I was needing to sort things out. Sometimes they would be completely unrelated themes, but a way for me to find a space of calm in chaos.

But life events aren’t always so helpful in my writing. Sometimes they serve to pull me away from my writing. Lately I feel like that’s the state I’ve been in – I’ve let things that are happening in my life serve as excuses to not write. As can be seen if you read through my past year or so of IWSG posts, I keep setting these goals to write, and then setting more of them. Since I finished my novel-draft a few years ago I haven’t been terribly productive with my writing. There are a variety of reasons behind this, that I’m slowly picking apart and making sense of (or at least figuring out how to work with). Hopefully I’m actually making progress and will start seeing more writing again soon… at the very least I plan to participate in National Novel Writing Month again this year, and that generally helps me get some story-work done; even if I don’t end up doing anything with that work, my goal right now is to just get writing again — I don’t care if it’s something that will ever see the light of day. I just need to start getting stories flowing again. 

Insecure Writer’s Support Group: Waiting For The Magic


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, and be sure to check out theTwitter account and the Instagram as well!

As I was sitting in one of my most magical places I was reminded of one of the challenges I sometimes have with my writing. There are many, to be sure; trying to fight through the “shoulds” and the easier brainless activities being two that have given me particular struggle lately.

But one that comes back again and again in my life is the thought that I need the right inspiration. I think about all those times where I’ve put a story aside because I just don’t have the inspiration. When I go out in search of the right place, the right time, the right activity, that will launch me into a perfect place for writing.

There are times in my life when that search has worked… but they are rare. When I think about it, really think, it’s far more common that inspiration comes when it is least convenient -in the middle of a class or workshop, when I’m drifting off to sleep, as I’m driving somewhere, in the middle of a show or when I’m in a conversation.

Where I went camping a few weeks back was one of those places that has often inspired me. Stories come through in that place, characters seem more vivid and alive. One of the things I love about camping there is that I can step away from everything, sit with no expectations on my and just let the story flow.

Of course, if I go there with that expectation then it doesn’t happen.

And then today, I’m at a conference in Arizona, and had certainly not expected anything of the fiction-writing inspiration to appear. But as I finish this post, looking out from my hotel room balcony, I find the stories stirring and know that the magic has found me – even when I’m not looking.

Insecure Writers Support Group: Slump

wp-1462383471325.jpgThis 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, and be sure to check out the Twitter account and the new Instagram as well!

 

Yikes!

August has snuck up on me. Completely.

I think my writing is suffering from some of the same issues that a lot of other pieces of my life are – I’ve been trying to cobble together the energy to make progress and find focus. I’ve spent the month just sort of stuck.

And that’s really all I have to contribute this month. I do have hopes that I’ll be able to make some more progress in August – push myself to edit a bit, or write something new. I want, at the very least, to start doing some journaling. Things have been so off kilter and out of sorts that I feel like i need to get some grounding under me before I reach too far.

Insecure Writers Suppott Group: Chugging Along.

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, and be sure to check out the Twitter account and the new Instagram as well!

IWSG Day Question: What are your ultimate writing goals, and how have they changed over time (if at all)? (This month on Tuesday!!)

I’m making PROGRESS. It’s slow, certainly, but it’s progress still.

This month I’m going to be participating in Camp NaNoWriMo, trying to push myself a bit further on this editing. I have the goal of 25,000 words for the month; since editing is a completely different beast than first-drafting that seemed like a reasonable word goal.

I can’t believe June has already passed us by, now I’m trying to regroup in order to make some real progress in July. While I am still needing to use a lot of my downtime testing, I hope to hold myself to a little bit of writing time during the week and some dedicated time on the weekends.

I’ve officially shuffled up the order of the story, and plotted out some of how the middle will work with the necessary changes. I just hope I can hold myself to doing the work that needs to be done.

Thinking about my ultimate writing goals is kind of strange. When I first started to actually put my stories to the page I was this lonely 12 year old who didn’t really feel like she belonged anywhere.

At that time I just wanted to let my stories out somewhere. To give life to the ideas and characters running around in my mind.

That evolved to a goal of wanting others to read and appreciate my stories. But then I got scared, overwhelmed, and uncertain about what I was writing.

Now I’m not entirely certain my writing goals. I have small ones, like finishing edits on this novel and finding the voice for my other stories.

But for bigger ones, I’m not sure. I think, ultimately, I want to write something that inspires someone in some way.

Maybe it would be to think about something in a different way, or to read more, or to write. Just making an impression on someone.

That’s not too much to hope for, right?

Insecure Writer’s Support Group: Another Approach.

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, and be sure to check out the Twitter account and the new Instagram as well!

 

IWSG Day Optional Question: What’s harder for you to come up with, book titles or character names?

This month I am recommitting to my writing.

Again, for the umpteenth time.

After SO many times saying that and not following through I feel like I’m starting to lose credibility – even with myself.

The only person I have to blame is myself. Sure, I’m busy – who isn’t?  And it isn’t like I’m THAT busy. I have had plenty of time to zone out at Netflix, or play video-games with friends, or read, or get together with friends in person to hang out and to crochet, or play the Harry Potter game on my phone. The only thing I seem to not have time for (aside from cooking my lunches for the week… need to get better at that) is my writing.

I know I’ve thought about the WHY behind that, and talked about it here — I’m in an editing stage (and have been for, what, two years now?) and just keep getting stuck. I find myself wondering if the story is worth it, if I have the right kind of beginning, if I have the POV correct, if the changes I know are coming are going to work out correctly.

Having anxiety makes editing a challenge. I am, sometimes, able to shut off off my super-critical editing brain when I’m writing, but when I’m editing I am SUPPOSED to be listening to it. However, it’s a tightrope balance between listening to the editor and over-thinking and I think I’ve fallen off on the side of overthinking.

Just pushing myself through hasn’t worked, so it’s time to try yet another strategy. Since I have really hit a snag at chapter 4, and I know that the information is going to stay the same (just the order will change) I’m going to allow myself to jump ahead. Step to the middle of the story, where there is so much revision needed it will quite-nearly be full on rewriting. Yes, I’ll then likely have more editing to do on it – but I’ll likely have more editing to do on all of this so why not at least make SOME progress rather than none?

So that’s what I’m going to try this weekend. Taking a page out of the book of a coworker who is trying to finish her Thesis while working, I’m going to start making myself wake up a bit earlier on the weekends. Hold myself to getting some writing-work done before I do the fun things on my schedule.  I’ll check in next month on how successful I am in this endeavor!

As for the question of the month – it’s really a toss up for me. I’m pretty challenged by both character names and titles.  I think, though, that it’s the titles which probably give me the most trouble… this work-in-progress, for instance, remains unnamed. After YEARS of working on it (and thinking about it) I’ve got nothing.  Most of the WIPs I have going don’t have titles, just saved in my files under the Main Character’s name. Whereas most of my characters find their names within a month or so of starting the project.

How is your writing going?

 

Insecure Writer’s Support Group: May? Already!?

wp-1462383471325.jpgThis 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, and be sure to check out the Twitter account and the new Instagram as well!

 

 

Yikes! It’s already May!?

April kind of vanished in a mess of surgeries and recovery for me. I had intended to do some work on that infamous CHAPTER 4, which keeps hovering over me growing more and more imposing by the moment. But I honestly haven’t been in any sort of shape to tackle it this past month, so it’s just sat there.  Waiting.

And I am recognizing that it’s taken on this image of an insurmountable task in my mind – simply because I have procrastinated on it for so long. It really isn’t THAT frightening, I just need to DO it.

So this week I plan to do that. Since I’m still out of work until Monday the 7th, but I’m off of pain killers (aside from Tylenol and Advil) and able to actually sit up and work on my laptop, I might as well start the work that needs to be done. It’ll be good to start making strides into this revision again – it’s fallen way behind the schedule I originally set for myself.

But I also know that it’s unlikely to see much work over the next few weeks during the week itself. Because I’ll be jumping back into work, but my body is still healing, I anticipate that I’ll be pretty much coming home, eating dinner, and going to sleep during the week.  This means that I’ll have to make sure I set aside time each weekend to do some serious work.

I have to hold myself accountable to this work – no one else will.

Have you ever put something off so long that it starts to look like a giant monster — only to tackle it and realize it really isn’t so bad after all (because that’s what I’m hoping is going to happen here!!)