Wednesday, November 6, 2013

November IWSG, Nanowrimo and Shoveling Sand


Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time. I'm currently #162.

Also, in case you've missed the new website, or the Facebook page...just click the links. :)

I had visions of sharing more notes from the writer's conference I attended in September, but Nanowrimo is in full swing and that's occupying all my brain space.

The first five days have come and gone quickly. All I can say is, "Thank goodness for write-ins!" Thanks to a great run on Saturday I'm actually on track. I was only 100 words short of the goal when I called it quits last night.

However, going into day six, my insecurities are rearing their ugly head. I've got 8,000 words of sludge. Let me explain...My first drafts are full of telling, scarce on descriptions, gaping plot holes, etc. But I want it to be this awesome story that's playing out in my head.

This disease has dogged me all year. I've jumped from story to story, not finishing any of them. It's time to kick it, and finish something. That's my goal for November and Nano. Finish a draft of Search for Knowledge. Get a sludgy story down on paper so I can start revisions.

How am I going to push through?

By repeating this quote over and over. Every day, every hour of November.

"I'm writing a first draft and reminding myself that I'm simply shoveling sand into a box so that later I can build castles." ~Shannon Hale

So, the next time you feel like you shouldn't keep working on a story because it's so much junk, think, "shoveling sand"  and keep going.

That's what I'm going to do. Hopefully I'll end up with this.


What other things help you to keep writing when insecurities try to drown you?

47 comments:

  1. I like the sand castle pictures!
    I'm also sparse on description, but that's all right. We can fill it in later.
    Keep it up! You are still on track.

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  2. Still love that quote. And I really want that last sand castle. In writing, and just in my living room or something, because it's awesome.

    And I'd love to experience a write-in, but there are never anywhere close to me. One of these years, I'll organize one in my areas.

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    1. I feel blessed with my new home. A year ago I didn't have a writing group or anyone to "write-in" with on a regular basis. Who knew North West Arkansas was such a hot bed for writers?

      Good luck with Nano this month!

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  3. Great post! one has to see the end from the beginning. Having that vision of the finished product really helps when the path along the way becomes hard to navigate.

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    1. You're so right Stephen. Thanks for stopping by!

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  4. I never heard the shoveling sand description but I'll keep it in mind. I currently have almost 10K grains of sand in my book, hoping to be a castle someday.

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    1. Woot for all that sand! Keep up the good work and I'm sure you'll end up with something amazing.

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  5. I love your analogy! I did mine on skating on thin ice~
    Yes, we both are weathering the storms~
    Hang in there!
    I like this post *smiles*

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    1. Thanks Ella! Where can I find your post? Wading through that huge list is hard, but I'd love to come read about your "skating" ;)

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  6. I love your analogy and those pictures! I know you'll build something beautiful and amazing - just like you did with Magic Wakes! Keep on writing!!! You can do it!

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    1. Thanks Tyrean *hugs* Here's to hoping and shoveling. LOL

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  7. I've had more trouble re-introducing myself to my characters than anything else. It was horrible!
    I'm behind on NaNo due to an unexpected visit from the kid and grandson. They needed a place to stay whilst their home was getting spray-foam insulation. Rather too stinky to stay!
    Great to see them but Holy Cats, it sure put me back a ways. Today I've done 2500 words and counting. More to go today and tomorrow is mine. MINE I SAY! ALL MINE!!
    *hysterical laugh*

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  8. This is a great post and much needed.
    I love that quote. I really want to have something at the end of November that I can work with. It is making my progress s-l-o-w but I think it will be worth it.

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    1. I felt like I was beating my head against the desk with writing today, but I'm getting close to the goal for today. Here's to both of us moving forward, no matter how slow it may be.

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  9. Heh, heh. Hope tomorrow is all you desire. It's good to visit with family, but it does make it hard to write. Still, isn't it nice to be able to open your home to loved ones?

    And I'm having trouble with Talia. All her growing in the last book and now she's regressing. Acting all "protect me mighty Landry!" That's got to stop and now.

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    1. This was in reply to Huntress. Hope it makes more sense now. :)

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  10. I've never done NaNo, but I do like the idea of just free writing and seeing what you come up with. Even if a lot of it is rubbish that will get tossed later, there will certainly be some good stuff in there, too, that you can build on and revise into something wonderful. Keep going!

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    1. Thanks L.G! That's the plan, and all these wonderful IWSG posts are going to help me moving forward. Thanks for stopping by!

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  11. Awesome!! I tend to have to fill in details, add description and always end up with a higher word count after rewrites. Just get the basics down on paper, DON'T EDIT (just make notes somewhere or put a [***notes here] in the manuscript. Keep writing, you can do it!

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    1. LOL, I have all kinds of notes pasted in. I even started a list in red at the very top of the ms for things I've already decided to tweak. Such as the 3 new characters are being changed to 2--but I'll save that for the rewrites.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  12. I compare it to pottery. I throw mud on the slab and keep working until it resembles something I like. Then I make it prettier.

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    1. That's another great visual. I love these! Thanks M!

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  13. This is great, thanks! Also, to foster creativity/beat writers block, writers could add a line to this round robin event on Twitter: http://www.thriftbooks.com/twitter-contest.aspx

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  14. NaNoWriMo is TOUGH. I didn't think it would be that bad, but it is tough. When my insecurities threaten to get the best of me, I force myself not to think about it. I just keep writing. Don't look back, don't worry about whether every word is perfect--you don't have time. We can worry about all that junk in December. :)

    Good luck! You got this. And you're kicking my butt. I'm not even at 7K yet.

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    1. It is tough, but you can do it. Just keep plugging along. I had a great write-in on Saturday and that helped. Thanks for coming by Holli!

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  15. Great analogy! In the class I'm taking write now, the teacher says, the ONLY goal of a first draft is to finish it! The rest comes after. Good luck this month.

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    1. So true, but it's so hard to make yourself stick to that. Good luck!

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  16. I love that quote. I go in thinking 2,000 words then I'm free! I like yours better. =)

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    1. Heh! Feel free to steal the quote I already stole. :)

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  17. I know the feeling. The temptation to edit my unfinished first draft nags at me constantly. I have to make myself push forward with this inner voice saying The Time For Editing Is When It's Done. Shoveling sand, indeed.

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    1. Good luck keeping that inner editor trapped long enough to finish the draft.

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  18. I'm terrible at being a perfectionist while writing:( I scrutinize every line and before I know it, I'm waaaaay behind. Keep at it, resist the editing urge, and may your word count grow by leaps and bounds!

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    1. I bet you don't spend as much time revising as I have to though. :)

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  19. I too notice that my Nano project has a lot of technical pitfalls but I tell myself if I backtrack I'll never finish. Just keep moving forward and I love the quote you use.

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  20. I'm bad at sticking to a specific schedule and word count. Nano is definitely out for me. But I hope to be writing and editing at a slower pace.

    .....dhole

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    1. Writing at any pace is always good. Thanks for coming by!

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  21. When I'm having one of those, "This is crap," moments, I remind myself that it doesn't have to be good. It just has to be there so I can edit it later. I even write that down as I'm writing. I actually type a sentence allowing that what I'm writing is crap, but it's okay as I'll fix it later.

    Sometimes it even helps.

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    1. This is so true. I just wish it wasn't so hard to allow ourselves to write crap.

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  22. Have you shared this metaphor before? I can't remember whether it was on your blog or another that I've come across it, but, regardless, I'm glad you reminded of it. I think I'm going to print out some pictures of sand and sand castles to put in my study as a reminder of this quote. Best of luck persisting with nano!

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    1. I shared it on the IWSG facebook page a few weeks ago. Good luck with your writing!

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  23. That gorgeous sand castle is a great reminder of the effort and hours spent shovelling that sand...
    Good luck with NaNo!

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  24. I'm doing NaNo for the first time this year, and I'm in exactly the same boat as you - up to date with the word count and feeling like it's a useless point of words! I'm just hoping that on the 1st December I will be able to look at all the words and hope that it's better than it feels at the moment!
    Suzanne @ Suzannes Tribe
    x

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    1. Me too. Good luck and let's keep pressing on.

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