Category Archives: Insecure Writer’s Support Group

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.

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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!!)

Insecure Writer’s Support Group: February was a Bust

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.

 

February was a bust.

I had intended to complete another chapter of my novel – but it seemed that my health was conspiring against me in that regard.

I struggled over Chapter 4 as it was. And the weekends, normally my best shot at getting sustained work done, ended up going quite differently than I planned. There was one weekend in the month where I was fighting something, and slept the entire weekend. But I did manage some work during lunch-breaks I stared down the chapter, trying to find my way to a proper rewrite.

It wasn’t until I was on the train on my way up to visit my sister over President’s Day Weekend that I realized one of the reasons I was having such a struggle. The chapter needs to be completely restructured. It has all the information I need to get across, the conversations are great, but it’s in the wrong order.

I need to pull apart the chapter, map it out, outline things, and put it back together.

But over that weekend I suffered from some severe Gallstone pain and was out of commission for a week. No story outlining happened

So now I approach March with the intention, again, to get Chapter Four revised. It isn’t as though this month is any less busy, but I know that if I allow myself to put it off another month it’ll be even harder for me to jump back in.

I love the question for this month – “How do you celebrate when you achieve a writing goal/finish a short?” – because it is something good to reflect on just now. As I plod my way through to this goal of having a complete revision of my novel by the end of the year I need to have ways to celebrate the smaller milestones (like completed chapters).  But, what? Due to the health stuff I’m trying to move away from food-based celebratory things, but what else can I do that I enjoy, that doesn’t cost a lot of money?
It’s a tough thing to figure out.

#IWSG – February Check-In

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.

Monthly Optional Prompt: What do you love about the genre you write in most often?

 

Time for the monthly writing check-in. I’ve been working on my editing, and it’s coming along. I have a few people reading the chapters as I complete my first revisions on them, and the feedback they’re providing is really helping. It was scary at first, letting other people read this thing I’ve been working on for so long, but I’m glad that they are. The feedback is helping inform the edits I made as I continue along, and will help my next rewrite immensely. Now I just have to keep going – get myself to spend the time working on the edits rather than other things.

This story is fantasy, as most of the stories I write are (to answer the IWSG question of the month). I think what really draws me in about writing fantasy is the freedom it gives me. I can draw from historical elements, but also come up with my own way for things to run. I can create creatures that fit the needs of what I require. And I can make statements, analyse things that are happening in our world, or explore some universal themes without getting bogged down in questions of historical or modern-day reality. Because I tend to be over-critical of my own work I know I would spend a lot of my time looking at realistic stories I’ve written and picking apart if it is “real enough.”  By throwing that expectation out the window I have the freedom to focus instead on creating my characters, the world they’re in, and the story they have to tell.

Which doesn’t mean I can’t still get things wrong. I’ve already proven to myself that just because it’s a world of my creation doesn’t mean I can’t worry that I’ve done it WRONG.

What? Me? Anxiety? Nah…..

But I am trying to push through that. When I feel like I’ve done something WRONG, I step back and figure out why I think that. What can I do to fix that – is it a matter of continuity in the world? Does something just not make sense? Why?  What can I do to change that? Because when I’m writing fantasy I have the power to change the world so that I can say what I’m trying to say, and write the story the way it’s meant to be told.

Insecure Writer’s Support Group: Hello 2018!

img_20170917_091348_6841544375496.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.

Hello 2018!

Wow. 2018.

Even though I’m a little shocked that we’ve somehow reached 2018 already, I’m excited for it. This year my goals are similar to previous years: more writing, more reading, working on my health. Unlike previous years, though, I am approaching my goals with set-out plans and strategies to help make them achievable.

Since this is Insecure Writer’s Support Group day – I’ll start with looking at my writing goals (reading and health goals I’ll write about later this month).  That, right there, is one of my strategies to help attain my goals.  I am going to commit to writing about them. Each month I’ll make myself do a goals check in (aiming for the the third Wednesday of the month) on how I’m doing on these goals. For me that low level of accountability can be the extra little nudge I need to keep moving, without feeling like it’s an overwhelming obligation.

For writing my goal is very specific: I want to revise at least one chapter of my WIP each month. Ideally I’d do more, but I know that some of these chapters are going to require complete rewrites, and I need to create an attainable goal. Since I have a tendency to overbook myself and set impossible goals I’m trying to be more realistic.

I also have a few friends who are willing to read what I’m writing, one chapter at a time, and give me some feedback. I’m hopeful that this will give me that little extra push when I just am not feeling like writing, and it will give me an as-I-go sounding board to keep me in check on things.  If there’s a glaring issue that shows up in Chapter 2, I’d rather know about it before I get to the place it matters in Chapter 10 than after I’ve completed this entire revision!

Additionally, I got a calendar specifically for keeping track of where I should be in edits – with a lot of space to notes that I need to remember later on or things I need to figure out. Each week I’ll sit down and assign myself minimum times for writing, as well as creating benchmarks to aim for.

The final piece of my plan is to keep reminding myself how awesome it felt when I did NaNo this year. After over a year of not writing I suddenly was writing again. Every day I got a few words – but the days I really set aside dedicated writing time I got a lot done. It wasn’t easy, certainly not, but I stayed well ahead of my goals and really felt overall better because I was dedicating that time to writing.  So when I find myself being dragged down in revisions, feeling tired of sitting down at my computer at night instead of just curling up in bed with a book or movie, I will remind myself of November.

This story has been in the works for over a decade. It spent the last year completely ignored, sitting – literally – on a shelf gathering dust. This is the year to finally get it into a form where other people can start looking at it. I don’t want to sit around with no one else reading it for much longer — it’s time for me to start getting ready to really put the story out in the world.

And it’s time to make the space to start working on other stories as well! I did some free-writing the other day during my lunch-break, and the idea held onto me so strongly that I found myself dealing with the challenge of typing on my phone to continue working on it during my evening commute.  So I’m going to make an effort to spend some time during a few of my lunch-breaks each week doing free-writes just to keep those creative juices flowing and to keep working those writing muscles.