Wednesday, January 3, 2018

IWSG and a Brand New Year

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. Be sure to link to this page and display the badge in your post.

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!  Our Twitter hashtag is #IWSG

The new year and first Wednesday sort of snuck up on me. I know that might sound weird, but all the days have been running together. It will be nice to get back into a normal routine again. My boys went back to school today, and there's only two days left until my girls head back to college.

That means all my goals will start on Tuesday, January 9th. Why not Monday? Because I have a dentist appointment that will probably make me cranky for the rest of the day. :)

Anyway, my insecurities are definitely present. I can blame the failure to reach my goals in 2017 on working full time. However, I've quit that job. Now I will be the one to blame for not stepping up.

There is so much that I want to do. So much I still need to learn. In a way, it's easier to concentrate on reading ways to market better, or how to make your newsletter sing. I can brush up on my self editing skills, and so forth. But when it comes down to it, that's all just another way to avoid actually writing.

Case in point--8 hour drive to TN
This used to be prime writing time. On the last trip I just reread everything that I'd already written on one of my WIPs. This in itself was not a waste because I haven't worked on it in quite a while. I needed to reacquaint myself with the characters and story. However, I didn't do anything at all on the return trip. I am stuck.

Fear of not doing the story justice, not getting the emotions I feel for these characters onto the page, has me tied in knots. Part of it is a formatting issue. What's the best way to share this story from two important points of view? 3 shorter novels or 1 with separate parts.

Basically, I want someone to read it and tell me what to do. Decision making is one of my insecurities.

January 3 optional question - What steps have you taken or plan to take to put a schedule in place for your writing and publishing?

Here's the good news. My writer's group starts back up tomorrow. I can take this story and start to get the feedback I need. Just being with these other writers also motivates me to dig back in. That in itself will be exactly what I need.

So, to answer the question. The steps I take for my plan are the same:
  • Writer's critique group every Thursday
  • Write SOMETHING every day Monday through Friday (Saturday when my family lets me)
  • Keep repeating that silent mantra when drafting, "it's okay to write crap, it's okay to write crap"
  • Focus on one project at a time (this is hard because I have 3 that are half way done at the moment and about 100 other ideas I want to work on)
How about you? Making any changes this year or will it be same as usual?


  1. That would be great if someone else could tell us what to do.
    Working sucks a lot of time, but now you are free and in charge.

    1. True. I think I just need to get back into the habit of writing for me and not worrying about what others want. However, I do hope to give my readers something they can enjoy at the same time.

      I'll have to add "I'm in charge" to my mantra.

  2. I know what you mean about not reaching your 2017 goals. I didn't either, so it's a bit demotivating. Feels like I lost all my momentum last year.

    So now I'm trying to get it back by instituting a non-negotiable 20-minute rule. I have to write or edit something of my own for at least 20 minutes per day.

    Sounds crazy, but I started doing this around December 29th, and I'm already feeling like I'm getting stuff done.

    1. Exactly! I feel like I'm starting all over as well momentum wise. Isn't it good that we didn't lose what we've learned in the past though?

      Good luck getting started again.

  3. You've taken a big step by quitting your job. Maybe this is just what you needed to do to move ahead with your writing.
    Wishing you all the best in 2018.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G

    1. Thanks Pat! I miss my job, but I know that my family needed me more. When I'm with them I'm happier and therefore get into writing a lot easier. I know I'll get there again, I just have to be patient and keep working at it.

      Good luck to you this year as well!

  4. Hello, Charity. I hear you--it's easy to let writing-related chores gobble up all my actual writing time. I hope you find the feedback and perspective you're looking for in the new year. Happy writing in 2018!

    1. Thanks Rhonda! Here's hoping we both put writing back into our writing time. :)

  5. You can read in the car? You are lucky. If I so much as look at my phone I get motion sick. The most I can do is sleep so I don't feel like I'm going to hurl.

    1. I've always been very lucky in this regard. As a teen, my dad would have me read aloud on all our road trips. I'd read what he wanted to hear of course so I learned all kinds of crazy things. :)

  6. Happy New Year, Charity! It sucks when we get stuck on revisions. Is the POV of your WIP first person? I don't know if this would work for you, but in my New Adult sports romance series, I alternated each chapter from first-person hero POV and heroine POV. Each chapter title was their name. Good luck to your kids back at school and to you with your writers group. Hope the dentist isn't too painful.

  7. One of the ladies in my writers group likes to write short stories based on tangents from the novel she's working on. It's stuff that may or may not have anything to do with the novel. It just helps her get her mind in the right frame.

    So, I'm going to suggest rather than tackling your issue head on, write around it. Take a minor character and write a short from his/her point of view. Take one of your POV characters and write a scene that may or may not go in the novel. It might loosen some things up.

    Just my two cents. (At least you're writing. I haven't written anything in probably a year. Or more. Go you!)

  8. New ideas are a constant distraction for me too. Some days I think all my characters have a meeting inside my head and they all just want to talk about their separate stories. Loudly.

    At least you have plenty of story concepts to keep you writing :)

  9. Having a schedule will help you a ton. I also find it really encouraging to keep a running list of what I accomplished each day. Especially if you find you need to stop and plan or stop and research, you might feel you aren't writing enough. But when you see all that you did each day, you can continue to ride the wave of doing.

    Wishing you a wonderfully creative 2018!

  10. It sounds like you have some solid plans in place, Charity. I can't read or write in a car because I get motion sick. Besides, I love reading the landscapes flashing by me. I also play photographer at 75 mph. I'm working on my writing plans for the year now. My anchor is the IWSG which inspires, motivates, and encourages me. All the best to you as you tackle your writing plans!

  11. Sounds like you have the winter blues.(I'm not a psychiatrist but I stayed at a Holiday Inn. LOL) We all (in the northern U.S.) get them. You just beat the rest of us. All kidding aside, you are overwhelmed with ideas and goals. Write it all down, what you want to accomplish. Then break each one down into small segments. Write down the time you have to write each day; the amount of time you want to spend on other things, like plotting, character development, promo, learning, etc. Can you slot in your weekly goals in that time frame? I hope that helps. Best wishes for a great 2018.

  12. I've made too many promises and stupid comments saying how motivated I was in years past. Before I predict my renewed ambitions, I need to show myself that I can (and WILL) do the writerly thing.
    Hence the effort and blog posts once again :)

  13. Never start on a Monday, eh? Mondays are for catch up. ;) That's what I'm doing. We've been out of town for almost 3 weeks, and there's some serious catching up to do. I loved reading over your goals. Be productive and eat cheese, eh?

  14. I'm with you! Sometimes making the right decision is so hard!

    I'd love to have a local writing group but for now my online buddies have to be it! There's v few local writers willing to meet in the Caribbean (that I've found... but maybe we're all hiding inside??)


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