Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Insecure Writer's Support Group - December Edition


Good morning and Happy Holidays! Welcome to the December (yes DECEMBER) edition of the Insecure Writer's Support Group. The brain-child of our fearless leader, Captain Alex, the IWSG meets on the first Wednesday of every month to air out our insecurities and to offer help and encouragement to those who are feeling insecurities of their own. Wander on over to the home page to find the list and read the posts of all the members. Also, a HUGE thank you to all of our marvelous co-hosts for this month <3

***

The past few months have been so crazy. We had hurricanes, car accidents, and unexpected (but not devastating) biopsy results. We also had family members come and stay with us and the joys of wandering about, entertaining, and dipping our toes into the icy Atlantic. Needless to say, I've not done much writing since October!

Still, I'm not feeling that insecure. I finished a draft of a project I've been working on for a few years now and come the first of the year I'll start the first rounds of keying it into the laptop (yes, kids, I write my rough drafts longhand! On paper. With a pen. Gasp!) As for fiction, I've got an idea that's little more than an outline/summary/first two pages. Ugh. And I have a secret to tell you: I'm not excited about it. Not at all. The story intrigues me, though. It's weird and I told myself I'd stick with it because it's a challenge. That said, my goal for January is to have 10-20 pages of this weird story that does not enthuse. Some might say to put it on the back-burner and go after a story that really draws me in. Truth: I don't have one. Not yet. And I'm OK.

***

Our question of the month is a fun one:

In terms of your writing career, where do you see yourself 5 years from now and what's your plan to get there?

In five years I see myself writing stories that intrigue me, strange tales that tap at the backdoor of my imagination. The ones that go wassailing, that brush icy hands against cheekbones on moonlit nights. The stories I'm afraid of. Yes. Yes, that's it. In five years I will have at least five of these goblins written. That's one a year. Not too pushy. Lots of breathing room.

And speaking of goblins at the backdoor, it looks like that baffling story that I'm so unexcited about fits right in.

"Every book is different. Some of them are pure agony, like having your molars extracted with a pair of pliers and others flow from the typewriter like maple syrup from the tree." ~ Jessica Fletcher, Murder, She Wrote.

Come January, looks like I'll be extracting some literary molars!

***



HAPPY HOLIDAYS! MERRY CHRISTMAS, GOD JUL, HAPPY KWANZAA, HANUKKAH, BOXING DAY, SOLSTICE AND ANY OTHER FESTIVE OCCASION I MAY HAVE MISSED. 

I'll see you all in January!!

xxoo 

79 comments:

  1. Hi,
    I know of a writer who does his first draft in pencil also. He says he needs to do that.
    Thank you so much for co-hosting this month.
    All the best.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G

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    1. Hi Pat! It's a quirk I've always had. It takes longer but I enjoy it! Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. I only recently (last month!) made the change to writing straight onto the keyboard (gasp), which wasn't as bad as I'd thought it was going to be. But I still think there's a bit of magic in pen to paper.
    Happy hosting!

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    1. Fleshing out a story on paper makes me feel a more tangible connection toy work but there's a swiftness to computer working that I envy! I just need that contact between hand and pen. Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. That would be a challenge to work on something I was less than inspired by. Who knows though. Inspiration could be a paragraph away.

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    1. Thanks for the vote of confidence! We'll see :)

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  4. I do a lot of writing by hand. I usually jot down scenes and then jiggle the order of them around when I'm writing. I like how comfortable you are with where you're at.

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    1. Thanks so much, Susan. That's something that's always been important to me: to be comfortable with where I AM not where I'm headed. I've spent a lifetime trying to "get" somewhere but the somewhere has always been ambiguous. I need roots first, then wings!

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  5. I've had those great story ideas that I can't get excited about, too. One became a pretty decent poem, so there's that. You'll get it worked out. I still do my poetry work long hand, but anything more than that, I'm on the keyboard. Thanks for co-hosting!

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    1. Thanks for sharing that, Dean! I think I just need to start writing it and see if it really wants to be a novel. It may be happy being a short story!

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  6. I hope we all keep pushing forward and working on stories that truly inspire us. Thank you for co-hosting today and have a happy holiday season. :)

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    1. Thanks, Christine. Yes! It's the inspiration that keeps us going. Happy holidays to you :)

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  7. Thanks for co-hosting this month! I'm intrigued by the story that doesn't excite you. Maybe, it's a resistance on your part to write out of your comfort zone. I curious to see what transpires. Happy New Writing Year!
    Mary at Play off the Page

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    1. Thanks for that, Mary. You're probably right. I have a habit of sitting down to write and trying to force a story into a box. You know, the "safe for entire family" box. But this story is definitely not safe. Not at all. And that, I believe, is the key. Happy Holidays!

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  8. At heart, I'm a paper-and-pen gal! Longhand is the best...especially for free writing.
    Thanks for co-hosting the IWSG this month, Jen! I can't wait to read all your stories!
    Writer In Transit

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    1. Thanks, Michelle! Actually, I wasn't supposed to co-host this month and with the minor surgery I had I wasn't able to jump in and co-host anyway. Le sigh.

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  9. You have had a lot going on in your corner of the world. I love that you're challenging yourself with something that's not quite a good fit for you. I wonder where it will go. Good luck and thank you for co-hosting!

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    1. Thank you, Elsie! Thank you for putting a positive spin on this tale for me. "Challenging yourself with something that not quite a good fit for you." Maybe that's all it is?

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  10. High five, hand drafting buddy!

    I have to say, I've had very little drafting time this year, and right now, I'm busy rewriting a book that seems to be growing every time I add a chapter. But gosh darn it, I WILL draft something by hand in January. :-D

    Hope things calm down a bit for you as you enter the season and new year.

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    1. Haha! High five back at'cha! I love it :) Best of luck in your drafting this coming year AND with your rewrite!

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  11. Sounds like you've had a rough time, I hope everything smooths out for you soon. Good luck on those molars!

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  12. Festivus for the rest of us!

    Best of luck with everything you're doing!

    Thanks for co-hosting!
    Heather

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  13. If your writing is anything like this post, I'm all in. 'backdoor of my imagination', 'literary molars'--how very clever.

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    1. You are too kind, Jacqui. Thank you so much!

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  14. Giving ourselves breathing room is a wonderful reminder!

    Maybe that intriguing story idea just needs to be told from a different point of view or in a different tense, etc?

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    1. Thanks, Madeline! I've been contemplating doing just that. Also, I'm wondering if my main character is who I think she is...

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  15. As long as you're okay and feeling secure, that's all the matters. :)

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  16. Sorry about all the mishaps. Hopefully you get excited about that story once you begin.
    Have a Merry Christmas!

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    1. It's all good. Really. I don't have anything to complain about. I need to remind myself that every now and then. Happy Christmas!

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  17. Great goal. I hope your journey involves more maple syrup extraction than molars.

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    1. Thanks, Raimey! Here's to all the maple syrupy goodness we all can tap :)

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  18. I love a good goblin story, so here's to writing some of those. Thanks for hosting today! Great to connect with you.

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    1. Thanks so much! Have a wonderful holiday season :)

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  19. Thanks for co-hosting, Jen. As for your story, I had the same thing happen to me. I got an idea, began slowly, kept wondering if it would ever go anywhere, and guess what? It was published in 2011 and has been getting rave reviews. Go figure. Hope you'll stick with yours for awhile. Maybe it'll take you to some exciting places.

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    1. Thank you for this, Joylene. It's funny but the stories I've felt so strongly about have taken me no where but this little nugget is digging in deep and refuses to give up. Here's hoping I'll have splendid news regarding it this time next year (if not before).

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  20. I love that Murder She Wrote quote! There are definitely days where it feels like I'm not only have molars extracted but also a few root canals at the same time.

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    1. Whew, tell me about it! Have a wonderful holiday season!

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  21. Writing stories which intrigue you is definitely the way to go.

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    1. It is. And this story, while it doesn't excite me, does intrigue me. It's so weird!

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  22. Writing old school - on paper with a pen - whew - I was panicked you were going to say with a quill and ink pot :-)
    Sometimes when the words don't flow - I switch to pen and paper.
    Have a great holiday season and a wonderful new year.
    Tweeted.

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    1. LOL! Now that would be something different. Maybe I should try it. I actually have a collection of calligraphy pens and several ink pots. Hey, you never know?

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  23. Wow, sorry to hear about your past few months! That doesn't sound fun, but it seems like you're handling it well--a lot better than I would be.

    Your goals sound more than reasonable, and I'm glad to hear you're not beating yourself up over the times when life gets in the way. That, along with your determination, will ensure you reach your goals!

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    1. Thank you so much. You're very kind. And it's only because I don't write about the anxiety attacks and mental breakdowns that get thrown in between ;)

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  24. You are definitely handling things well. All the best to you in 2017. The big thing writers need to remember is to keep goals in perspective: dream big; plan within reason. Happy holidays!

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    1. Thanks so much, Victoria. Have a wonderful holiday season!

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  25. Sounds like you're almost ready for 2017, but literary molar extractions? Ouch! Jessica Fletcher sure conjures an image. Thank you for co-hosting! Happy Holidays!
    Best,
    Adrienne

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    1. I know, sounds painful doesn't it? Here's to a wonderful 2017! Happy holidays!

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  26. Happy Holidays to you too, Jen, and may this month and the coming year be on the quieter side for you and your family! It looks like you have some inspiration and a lot of aspiration between now and five years. Sending you creative vibes to either turn your main project into a more enthused one or to come up with a more fun alternative.

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    1. Thank you so much, Liesbet! Have a wonderful holiday season.

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  27. Five stories in five years is a great goal. Will each first draft be longhand? Guess time will tell. :)

    Thanks for co-hosting.

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    1. Oh they will definitely be long-hand! Not the entire draft, but most of it. Have a wonderful holiday season!

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  28. I love that you write rough drafts longhand. On paper. With a pen. I used to do that, but these days, I'm more hybrid—but the pen and paper is never too far away.

    Glad to hear that you're not that insecure at present, and that you're OK. Here's hoping life will settle down for you soon and will be filled with creative vibes.

    And bonus points for the Jessica Fletcher quote!

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    1. Thanks a bunch, M.J. I do love me some Murder, She Wrote :)

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  29. We have somewhat the same plan. One book a year would be nice!

    I love Jessica Fletcher's quote. (Or the screenwriters)

    Thank you for Co-hosting this month, Jen!

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    1. Haha! Yes, the screenwriter should get props only I don't know who that was! Happy holidays!

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  30. Great goal: "I see myself writing stories that intrigue me, strange tales that tap at the backdoor of my imagination." I second that. Good luck!

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    1. Thank you so much! Have a wonderful holiday season!

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  31. OMG! Someone who still knows what paper and pen are for! You are my hero. Yes, I also still write on real paper with a real pen. And one book a year is exactly what I will strive for when I transition to full time writing. Seriously, right now, just getting the first ONE done is my goal. As for not much writing since October, no worries - you have plenty of material percolating! Thanks for co-hosting today.

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    1. Ah, a fellow Luddite! I love it :) Here's to many more pen and ink scratchings for the both of us!

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  32. I enjoyed reading your colorful goals description. I'm sure you'll those five books written! Thank you for hosting this month.

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    1. Thank you for the vote of confidence! Have a wonderful holiday season :)

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  33. Love your description - stories that go wassailing. :)
    Thanks for co-hosting!

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  34. Thanks for co-hosting this month! Life happens and it’ll take you for a ride. Congrats on completing your draft during all that’s happened, even when you wrote it in longhand. And sorry the other story idea hasn’t intrigued you. But maybe it will, with enough time for the story to stew. Happy writing 2017!

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  35. Not letting time spans of no writing get you down is the best way to move forward. Sometimes life happens or we need breaks. Good luck with your goal of one book a year!

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    1. Thanks, Shannon! Have a wonderful Christmas!

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  36. Sometimes, writing it down on paper gets other parts of your mind engaged. I wouldn't do it all the time since I'm too slow a writer, but I've found that a pen a paper is great for the imagination every once in a while.

    Thanks for co-hosting this month.

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    1. It is slow but it helps me feel more connected to my writing. I do a lot of typing with my drafts too just so I can spill it all out and THEN go back and write it long-hand and connect to it. Happy holidays!

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  37. Go for it, Jen!
    Great analogy! What ever works!
    Happy co-hosting, too!

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  38. Stories that scare you? That sounds like a good plan!

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  39. I love that you plan to go outside your comfort zone and write those goblin stories (great way to describe them, btw)

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  40. Goblins huh, that sounds like fun too not just scary. Wising you much success.
    Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

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