Insecure Writer’s Support Group: Progress is Progress. But…

Insecure Writer's Support GroupToday is July’s instalment of Insecure Writer’s Support Group, which sees hundreds of writers and bloggers worldwide post about their insecurities, support others with theirs, and offer up advice for overcoming them. If you want to visit the other IWSG member blogs, or sign up yourself, you can do so here.

I’m currently plugging away at the first draft of The Mothers, the final book in my Paper Duchess series.

It’s moving forward nicely enough, following the plot, but it’s slow. With life and family pressures and distractions, I have very little writing time, and this one really seems to be dragging. Or maybe I’m just feeling more impatient because it’s the last in the series.

With a lot of writer friends currently rocking Camp NaNo, I feel like I’m a snail being left behind. I know that progress is still progress, and, even if I only manage to write 100 words a day, it’s 100 I didn’t have the day before. But it’s not easy to convince myself.

Are you a slow writer? What do you do to speed up production? And where do you find pockets of writing time during the day?

Insecure Writer’s Support Group: The Real Struggle

Insecure Writer's Support GroupToday is June’s instalment of Insecure Writer’s Support Group, which sees hundreds of writers and bloggers worldwide post about their insecurities, support others with theirs, and offer up advice for overcoming them. If you want to visit the other IWSG member blogs, or sign up yourself, you can do so here.

All writers have a certain part of the book-writing/publishing business that they really struggle with (or, more likely, several parts, but we all have our absolute nemesis). Mine is blurb writing. Even more so than titles.

My biggest problem with it is that, for some reason, when I sit down to write one, every cliché my brain knows spews itself onto the paper. I just can’t help it!

I’m learning, I think I’m getting better, but no part of my book suffers more revisions than the poor blurb.

I’m working on one now. Wish me luck! What’s your writing nemesis?

Resolutions for 2017

I’ve made a lot of resolutions over the years, and I’ve broken almost as many. I’m a quitter. I always have been, and I resigned myself to the fact that I always would be. Or maybe I just used that as an excuse. Over the past three months, something has happened, no, I’ve done something, to prove that this is no longer the case.

On October 13th 2016, I walked into my very first Slimming World meeting with hope and optimism. That optimism wasn’t misplaced. I’m beginning 2017 more than three stone lighter. I plan to end the year at my target weight. As a slim woman. Something I’ve never been before. I am not a quitter, and I’ve proved that. (If you’re interested in this, I post a lot about Slimming World on Instagram)

In the light of that, I feel, for the first time probably ever, that I can make a long list of resolutions for the year. And I feel that, for the first time, I am capable of seeing them through. So here goes…

  • I will reach my target weight of 10 stone, and I will maintain that weightloss, and enjoy a healthier, fitter, slimmer life.
  • I will give more of myself to my boys; I will give them more time, energy, and focus, and be less distracted.
  • I will declutter and tidy the house.
  • I will make lasting, happy memories with those I love.
  • I will stop wasting time simply mooching around the internet or watching the TV just because it’s on.
  • I will focus more on building my writing career, with less distractions, and more organisation. I will create action plans, and I will follow them through. I will stop using a lack of time as an excuse. I will make time. I will manage time.
  • I will allow more time for reading. I will turn off the TV more, and I will read in bed instead of playing pointless app games.
  • I will be kind and generous to both myself and others. I will not feel guilty for occassionally treating myself, and I will open myself to more experiences and opportunities. I will say yes more.
  • But I won’t be afraid to say no. I won’t feel guilty for putting myself first sometimes. I will not spread myself too thin or burn myself out simply because I feel obliged to others.
  • I will look for, and document, the good things in life. I will avoid futile arguments and debates. I will hope, I will be optimistic, and I will see the good in people for as long as they deserve it.
  • I will stick to things, and not look for easy or quick ways out. I will finish what I start.

And no excuses now. I know that I can be stubborn and resolute if I want to be. I know that I can be determined and self disciplined. But I won’t abandon the wishy-washy, spontaneous, unprepared side of me either. I can be both things. Because you never know when a wind might come to blow you onto another path, or when that other path might be exactly where you’re meant to walk.

What are your resolutions and hopes for 2017?

Monday Motivation: Old Habits…

Monday MotivationOne thing a lot of writers struggle with is motivation. Unless writing is your day job, and actually paying your bills, it can be hard to incentivise yourself enough.

The trouble is, writing is hard work, and after a long day at your job, in education, or parenting, hard work is the last thing you feel like doing. Which, really, is fair enough. But the crux of the issue is, of course, that you can’t be a writer if you don’t write.

But I sympathise. It’s far easier to shut down your brain and stare dumbly at the TV, or mooch around on social media, or watch endless videos of dogs on skateboards or cats playing the piano. It’s so much harder to actually think, and create, and breathe life into something.

We’ve all heard the advice about distractionless writing. Turn off the TV! Turn off the internet! Turn off your phone! I’ve even given that same advice to others. But it’s far harder to follow. I’ll put an old, favourite movie on, one I’ve seen a hundred times, and I’ll tell myself I won’t actually watch it, that it’s just for background noise. Or I’ll tell myself I’ll just keep the internet open for research, or finding names, or checking word definitions. But it’s all distractions, and it all nibbles away at your motivation.

Today I’ve written double my daily wordcount target. I’ve been focussed, motivated, and unwavering in my desire to write. I’ve pushed the story forward, developed characters, and revealed plot points like an absolute trooper.

And why?

Because there’s a fault at our local telephone exchange so we’ve had no broadband.

WIP Wednesday: Charging Forward

WIP WednesdayYesterday I did some quick calculations in my head, trying to work out the date I needed to finish my first draft of The Visionary for the promised December release. Then I worked out the minimum words I needed to write each day. Then I panicked.

Luckily, mental arithmetic is not my strong point.

Today I used a calculator and realised that, not only is it entirely possible to finish on time, it even gives me some breathing space to either finish early, or (more likely) get ahead because I’ll find it almost impossible to work at weekends.

Anyway, the good news is that my work on The Visionary is absolutely storming ahead today. It’s only just lunchtime and I’ve already exceeded today’s word target. (Ok, so I’m celebrating on day one, and we all know how easy day one is, don’t we?) But I think a positive attitude is important, and by celebrating the little victories, we’re motivated to keep working towards the big victories. That’s my theory anyway.

How’s your WIP going?

The Visionary coming winter 2016