Wednesday, June 7, 2017

#IWSG: On Not Quitting

http://www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com/p/iwsg-sign-up.html


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 (click on the badge above for the list) and connect with your fellow writers - aim for a dozen new people each time - and return comments. This group is all about connecting!
This month's question is: Did you ever say "I quit"? If so, what happened to make you come back to writing?

Before I get to the question of the month, I need to share my current insecurities. See, what with one thing and another, the edit I'd expected to finish by mid-May at the latest is still far from done. And that's not because it's bigger than I'd hoped (which, alas, it is), but because I've just not been working on it. Life got in the way again. Every time it does that, I wonder what the heck is wrong with me. Worse, I have trouble getting my momentum back. Now it's worse, because the kid is out of school, and that means he's sharing the den with me in all but the earliest-morning hours. And without having to get up and get him off to school, I'm missing those early-morning hours! 

Someone please apply a firm kick in the seat of my pants?

Okay, now for the question. Did I ever quit? A better question might be "how often?" I have left my writing to molder for months and years at a time, up until I published my first book in 2012 (and even since then, well, see above...). I finished and shopped around 3 novels over about 20 years, and got nowhere. Each of them took years tot write because I kept leaving them behind, and each time I couldn't find an agent, I figured I might just give up. 

Why did I come back, or not give up? I'm not completely sure, but I think it's because the stories just keep bubbling up in me, and I have to do something with them. If they didn't, it would be easier just to let it all go and go hiking or something. But instead, I keep planning and writing another.

What about you? What keeps you coming back when logic says to quit?


P.S. Check out my guest appearance today at the Coach Daddy Blog, talking about kids and hiking.



©Rebecca M. Douglass, 2017
As always, please ask permission to use any photos or text. Link-backs appreciated!

15 comments:

  1. Consider yourself kicked! :)

    What about a new writing plan for summer? Maybe it's smaller chunks of time scattered throughout the day, maybe it's one big chunk like an hour or two a few times a week, maybe it's a scene here, a character backstory there.

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    1. I'm *supposed* to be editing. But I think you're right: other tasks may be more suited to the schedule. I think it's going to be short stories, with a challenge to submit them for publication.

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  2. Life can sure get in the way when we have goals. I think it does that on purpose, as a way to tell us making plans often doesn't work. lol

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    1. Maybe you're right! The best-laid plans...

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  3. I keep coming back because the voices in my head tell me to! Seriously, though, I can't NOT write. I took a break last summer and ended up getting a short story from it that went on to be published and the rusty form of a story I'm now working on. Taking a break did wonders for me and I'm in the process of shutting down on social media for the summer this year and hopefully recharge my creative batteries. Keep writing, keep getting those words out there! And if you quit, remember you can always come back!

    Cheers!
    Jen

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    1. Shutting down social media is a great way to increase productivity :)

      And I thought those voices were only in my head...

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  4. I'm signing up to Camp Nano again. It's the only way to get the Perihelix finished. And hopefully the second edit of Curved Space to Corsair. And if I finish those with time to spare (or as usual, if I'm on a roll) I'll start the first draft of Zanzibar's Rings.
    We're been working on these things for too long and we have so much to do to promote them. Take a sabbatical if you need it. Time with the kids is too precious.
    xx

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    1. I think it's the promotion stuff that really gets me down--or the realization that I've done so little of it lately.

      Is Camp Nano for July? That's our travel month this summer, though I will also be pretty busy in September. And this month is looking pretty booked up. Oh, dear :)

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  5. Brace yourself, metaphysical kick, coming your way...

    I know what you mean. Building momentum is hard. Writing is like pushing a rock up a hill, until you get to the top and it starts rolling and everything starts going great.

    Sadly, there's usually another hill on the other side and you have to start over again...

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    1. Ugh. At least I've finished for now with one set of distractions--4 middle-school graduations in 3 days. On to writing. Tomorrow.

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  6. I've decided to publish my book finally after many years on the shelf because, in rare moments of self-confidence, I think it's good enough for people to read. Then I get really scared and don't work on it for weeks at a time. So I need your support group!

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    1. Anyway, don't give up on the book. Just keep chipping away at it. My first couple of books took years and years and years to write because I kept ignoring them. But eventually even that process produced a draft (and the need for a LOT of editing; I cannot tell a lie--the first one never made it).

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  7. I've heard from so many friends who have the same struggles in the summer when their kids are off, Rebecca. You're definitely not alone! I don't suppose there's any way to take the summer off? Or, failing that, work out a schedule with your son where he does an independent activity he enjoys for an hour each day while you're writing?

    Ah, work/life balance...the impossible dream. Hang in there!

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    1. It has occurred to me that there is an obvious time available to me...the first bit in the morning before anyone else is up, since I'm the only morning person around the house these days. I just have to stop letting that time slip away while I sip coffee and read the paper!

      It's really more about my schedules and patterns being all messed up, and I have to get used to that, because after 15 years, there won't be any kid going off to school every morning come fall!

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