IWSG and What's Up Wednesday

The Insecure Writer's Support Group was created by Alex J. Cavanaugh as a place where writers can talk about their insecurities once a month, and receive encouragement and support from other writers. It's such an amazing group, it even has its own website now, which you can visit here.


Mostly what I'm insecure about at the moment is the fact that I'm not doing enough writing. My plan was to start my edits on my NaNo novel in January, and I've only just started the first read through. I'm not too concerned though; I should have a lot of spare time over the next few days to finish the read through, then I can get started on the big edits. 

I haven't been doing much other writing, either, and that's a bit of a problem too. I'm hoping to write more short stories this year, so I can enter them into competitions and so I get a little more writing experience. As usual, getting started is the hardest part. I have a lot of ideas though, and there are a couple of competitions I'm interested in. I just need to sit down for a solid block of time and work on those ideas. 

My plan is to plan better; I have a timetable saved on my computer at all times, that I update every day. It tells me when I need to write my blog posts, when I'm working, and when I want to get writing related things done. The problem lately is that I haven't been planning ahead enough, so the timetable's been almost blank. And when it's blank, I'm much less likely to spend my time writing; I'll pick up a book or watch something on TV. I just need a little more discipline. I've been slacking a lot after Christmas. 


Now time for my What's Up Wednesday post. What’s Up Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Erin L Funk and Jaime Morrow, and the idea is to let other bloggers know where you are with any writing and reading goals you may have.


1. What I'm reading

I read two amazing books at the end of December, completing my Goodread's challenge to read 50 books in 2013. The first was Let It Snow, a book of three linked short stories written by Maureen Johnson, John Green and Lauren Myracle. I loved the first two stories; they more than made up for the mediocre third story. I'd recommend this book to anyone who likes a bit of light reading. 

The second book was The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, which I've wanted to read for ages now. I can't believe I waited so long; it was amazing. Such a lovely story, though I had expected it to end a little differently, but I suppose that's the sign of a good storyteller. Anyway, I'm a sucker for an emotional story, and this definitely was. 

I'm now reading Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas, which I've heard great things about. I'm enjoying it so far.

2. What I'm writing

As I said above, not much right now. I should be getting started on a short story within the next week though, and the edits for my NaNo novel.

3. What else I've been up to

Well I had a great Christmas and New Years. Other than that I've spent a lot of time working, as always. I've been a little worried about money lately, so I started selling my books that I bought for uni (some 5 years ago now) and to my surprise they're being snapped up. I'm selling them on Amazon, and I honestly thought that I'd put them up and they'd sit there for months. However, I've sold three already since putting them up on Monday, so that's great.

4. What inspires me right now

The fact that my NaNo first draft isn't as bad as I'd expected it to be. I've started reading through it, and while a lot needs work, it's not a bad story and the writing is pretty good. It makes me even more determined to start edits and turn it into a brilliant story. 

Comments

  1. When you don't have a target or a goal, other things tend to take your attention away. You know what you need to do to fix it, which is half the battle!

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  2. I'm also reading Throne of Glass right now and enjoying it.

    Glad you're feeling good about the NaNo project. I think that's the whole point of it: to get a draft down on paper. Now you can shape and mold it. I hope you can find more time to write. Even 100 words a day can help. Good luck!

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  3. "I just need a little more discipline" - Don't we all? :)

    My challenge is similar. I could set myself yet more deadlines, but I fear all that will do is set me up for failure. Instead, I've set myself a goal of picking up the manuscript once per day. I may be to just read a page, or it may be to edit a chapter, but I need that tangible reminder of what I'm working on.

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  4. Goals can definitely help! Good luck!

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  5. I've started selling my old uni books on Amazon, too - hoping someone picks them up! (especially the massive poetry anthologies which cost me about £30 each!) It can be hard getting back into writing after a holiday, but setting goals definitely helps, especially when revising. Best of luck with your NaNo edits!

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  6. I LOVE The Faulit in Our Stars! Seriously, that is easily on my top five favorite books of all time list.

    Lately, I've been feeling bad about not accomplishing as much writing as I should be. So good luck. Hopefully, next week will be better for both of us.

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  7. You have a plan of what you need to do and some ideas for short stories so I'm sure you'll find a schedule to fit round work etc. It can take a bit of time getting back into things after a break. Good luck with the edits too.

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  8. I, too, was late to the FAULT IN OUR STARS show. Such a great book! I'm so happy it lived up to all the hype. I hope you like THRONE OF GLASS. I can say without a doubt that it is one of my favourite series. That must be a boost to realize your NaNo project is better than anticipated. Good luck with your edits!

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  9. I know what you mean about being concerned about not writing as much. I haven't gotten much writing done since November because I've been busy editing. I'm looking forward to when I have time to write again.

    Good luck with your goals!

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  10. It's hard to write and stay focused during the holidays and at the start of a new year, but it's important to set goals. I always make a to-do list and this helps me to tackle the things I have to do, and write.

    Good luck!!

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  11. I loved The Fault In Our Stars and enjoyed Throne of Glass as well. It's always nice when first drafts aren't so terrible, right? Here's to a New Year and more writing!

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  12. I feel insecure about the amount of writing I'm doing too. I NEED to get back on track, but the universe is trying to stop me! Or maybe its just my kids...

    Anyway, nice to meetcha.

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  13. I'm feeling the same way - not writing enough or really at all right now. It's great that you had a good holiday season and also that you're happy with the NaNo first draft so far, that's a good sign!

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  14. I try and write something everyday . . . .. I have a new idea for the dreaded A to Z so I am working on that if I do not write a blog post. I certainly dont spend a lot of time doing this each day and even ten to twenty minutes is enough, but it keeps the desire to write rolling along in my mind, it is easy to stop and hard to restart. So keep chasing the dream.......

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  15. January is a long month--you've got plenty of time to get those edits done! And I think the short story idea is great; they're fun to write, there's not as much pressure with them as with a full-length novel, and it does make for great experience! Good plan :)

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  16. There are so many hours in the day I could spend doing more work. I never consider time spent reading as wasted. And Throne of Glass is terrific and the second book, Crown of Midnight is even better.

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  17. I loved TFiOS and I'm interested to see how the movie turns out- I think it comes out this year sometime.
    I bet that was such a great feeling to see that your NaNo book was better than you thought. I'm scared to pick up mine again because I feel like it's a big mess. One day I'll get the courage for revisions.

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  18. Apologies if you receive two comments from me. I think blogger ate one...

    I really hope timetabling works for you :D And good luck getting to grips with your NaNo project ^_^

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  19. More discipline and more writing seems to be my theme for the year, so I sympathize with you, Laura--and I'm cheering you on, too! I was pleasantly surprised with my WIP when I first began edits. And I continue to be surprised--just when I think it's not really that good, I read something that stands out and rekindles my confidence in both the story, and my own ability to write. I hope your revisions are FULL of moments like that. :)

    Have a great week!

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  20. Good luck with the edits. I know the feeling of finding that the first draft isn't as bad as you thought it was, but editing can still be a daunting task. Also, good luck with the short stories and contests.

    I also have problems scheduling my time effectively. Even if I write tasks down, I still get distracted and I never complete everything on my list by the end of the day.

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  21. I put off reading THE FAULT IN OUR STARS because the subject matter hit a little too close to home, but when I eventually made myself read it, I actually loved it. I bawled like crazy though. I hope you love THRONE OF GLASS. Sarah J. Maas has become one of my favourite YA authors, and I thought the second book in the series was even better. Good luck with the book selling, your new short story, and your edits! :)

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  22. I really have to read The Fault in Our Stars…now, to find the time!

    You know what? We needed that Christmas break. December is super busy, plus you just moved AND did NaNo the previous month. Getting that timetable set up will help you for sure! Best of luck with revisions and edits ;)

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  23. We definitely all need a break now and then. It sounds like you're ready to jump in with both feet again. And I'm glad your NaNo novel looks good. I'm excited to read it when you are finished.

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  24. don't beat yourself up, I mean, If you did then how will you type?? not everyone gets the time they want to write. keep working on it and you'll get there!

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  25. I need to get back to writing as well. I just need to fit it in somewhere between working, working-out, studying, and sleep.

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  26. Not getting around to writing has been my major issue of late too. I'm doing well with my 500 words a day though so I'm slowly getting there.

    Good luck with your writing and editing!

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  27. The end of the year can be a tough time to write (or do anything for that matter!). We now have a shiny new year ahead of us and the possibilities are endless! I'm excited to see where all these new ideas I'm hearing about go. The stories and the novels that will be written are legion! Best of luck with your NaNo novel and the short stories!

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  28. I think a lot of people slow down between Christmas and New Year's. It's a time for family & friends, celebrating, and refocusing. I'm positive you'll get your recharge and your writing time will pick up speed. :)

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  29. I tried to be organised with my writing back along - I scheduled writing, blogging and emailing time separately on Outlook. It worked for a while, but then I kept disobeying the timetable, so I deleted all the entries. And now I work by willpower alone.

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  30. I think everyone worries that they are not doing enough writing. And even if they are, they wonder if its good enough. Ya know? At least I do. I think organization is key. Keep it up!

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  31. Planning to plan better. I like that concept.

    Putting things down on the timetable is sort of like making a contract with yourself for your time. Good luck.

    I need to plan to plan better myself.

    Leanne ( http://readfaced.wordpress.com/ )

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  32. Sometimes our brain needs that creative rest, especially after reaching a major goal like completing a NaNo book. Congrats! We are not machines in that way, that can keep trudging on. But even machines need rest and replenishing.

    The rest may take longer than we like, but I've learned that, even though I'll still complain about it and feel like I should be writing, there's always a benefit to taking a break. If I'm starting to take too much of a break, I usually get a big reminder that it's time to get back to it!

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  33. I'm not writing enough lately either, and it comes down to wasting the free time I do have. Sure, I'm busy quite a bit of the time, but I'm sure if I tracked everything I did all day that I'd find I have plenty of time to write.

    The good thing is that I decided to turn in short stories for my critique group, which meets every two weeks, approximately. Right now, it's forcing me to edit ones that have been wallowing in a folder waiting for edits. And eventually I'll run out of pre-written ones, so I'll have to write. Having that system is place is really helping me at least get something done.

    Good luck!

    The Warrior Muse

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  34. I also haven't been writing much, but we just finished moving house, so it's taking a bit of time to settle into the new place. But now that that's done, I don't really have any other excuses not to write!

    I STILL haven't read the Fault in Our Stars! I need to change that this year. Before the movie comes out!

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