Wednesday, August 5, 2020

IWSG: Writer’s Update


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 - and return comments. This group is all about connecting! Be sure to link to this page and display the badge in your post. And please be sure your avatar links back to your blog! If it links to Google+, be sure to change it as Google+ is going away in January. Otherwise, when you leave a comment, people can't find you to comment back.

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG.   
The next posting day is August 5th. 

Sign up here.

 
The awesome co-hosts for the August 5 posting of the IWSG are Susan Baury Rouchard, Nancy Gideon, Jennifer Lane, Jennifer Hawes, Chemist Ken, and Chrys Fey!



My update:


It’s hard to believe it’s been 3 months, during which I have managed to write 3 not-very-good short stories—and about 12,000 words for my eyes only. It helped a little in my fear that I’m not a writer anymore, when I realized just how much journaling I had actually done!


Where things stand now as a writer: I wrote and on Friday will share on my blog another silly SF story about my favorite hapless, er, intrepid space explorer, Xavier Xanthum. I produced a very poor draft of a story for the IWSG Anthology, which I have some rather small hopes of being able to spiff up enough to submit in time. I have also resumed edits on my new Pismawallops PTA novel, and am finding that going much better than expected. I've regained enough focus to work for 45 minutes or an hour, and the editing at the front end of the novel is pretty simple, so it's soothing.  I have also worked on an exercise to try to write a character who accepts her feelings, rather than trying to hide/deny them as most of my main characters do. That one isn’t producing any kind of story, but it is good writing practice.


That leads me to a question I asked a couple of weeks ago about fictional characters who are good with feelings, and that’s sent me to start re-reading Jane Austin, but I also realized as I was relaxing with a new mystery that Jacqueline Winspear’s Maisy Dobbs is someone who is very much in tune with feelings, her own and others’. While she may not always show them, she at least doesn’t deny them to herself, which may be what we are really looking for. It’s not that one—or one’s character—needs to wear her heart on her sleeve, but that feelings should be acknowledged and accepted, not condemned as a weakness. I'm reading through The Emotion Thesaurus, and giving some thought to how my characters express emotion--and how they reveal it when not speaking of it, too.


That brings me to Chrys Fey's new book, Keep Writing With Fey. It's blog hop day for the book as well as the IWSG, and since the hop is about dealing with depression, burnout, or writer's block, my update is right on topic! I've been reading at this book, too, and considering what might help me from Chrys's many smart and thoughtful suggestions. So far, the big one for me is to do *something* every day--and celebrate having done so!


Hop around to get inspiration from the other writers participating in the hop, as well as to the other IWSG bloggers!




I’ll take a pass on this month’s optional question, but feel free to leave comments about genre or about your own struggles with writer's block, depression, grief, or anything else that you want to talk about.


Oh, and I'm out of the mountains, home for a couple of weeks. So here's a random pretty picture:


33 comments:

  1. Good post. I was thinking that your writing efforts put mine to shame, but then realised I’ve been in publisher mode for all my projects. I should ease up on myself and maybe get just one short story done!

    Keep putting one foot in front of the other...

    Jemima

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    1. Publisher mode is vital, but it does seem to leave one feeling as if you aren't really a writer. Taking time out for short stories, or maybe plotting the next novel (or the next short story!) seems like a good way to refresh your spirit and remind yourself why you do it.

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  2. I think that it's awesome how much you have been writing, especially with all that has happened in your personal life. I've been using The Emotional Thesaurus more these days too to show my character's emotions in different ways.

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    1. Recognizing my journals as writing helps me to realize that writing is what I turn to first and automatically when I'm struggling. Not necessarily good writing, not fiction, but putting words on paper. It helps keep me sane, if I've ever been wholly sane.

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  3. Writing anything, no matter how much we may think it stinks, is great during times when we struggle like this. I'm glad you've been writing and journaling, and I'm wishing you luck with your anthology story.

    Thank you so much for participating in my blog hop!

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    1. Thank you for the kind words, and even more for the helpful ones in your book! Glad to participate in the hop :)

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  4. Writing has helped me a lot over the years, through lots of hardships and struggles. I've got so many old notebooks and journals in the Closet that I will probably never do anything with, but they're hard to part with because they have a part of me in them, you know?

    Keep up the writing and good luck with your anthology story!

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    1. I couldn't bear to part with my journals, but I do wonder if I should have them burned on my death! I'm just glad I'm not famous so no one is apt to think they ought to be published :D

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  5. Sounds like you've been doing some interesting craft work, Rebecca. I think it all "counts"...the journaling, the research, the pondering. It's all part of the writing process, and will lead to some interesting work in the future.

    Hope you're well.

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  6. I'm glad to hear your journalling is going well and you have some hope for a few current WIPS.
    That is a breath-taking picture of the mountains. Thanks for sharing it.

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    1. Breath-taking, indeed--that pass was something over 11,000 feet!

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  7. After your loss, I think you're doing well with your writing. You're working at your pace to mourn and heal.

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    1. <3 I am trying to give myself time and space, and not feel panic over my slipping publication schedule.

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  8. This post makes me wonder how my characters handle their emotions. It's been a while since I've read my own stuff. I should check that out.

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    1. Worth a look! I hadn't thought about it, until my grief counselor started pushing me to stop judging my feelings!

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  9. You're doing great. One day, one step, one word, one breath at a time.
    Most of my characters bumble about with their feelings as well., but then again, I think I do as well. :)

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    1. Don't we all? But as a writer, it probably isn't a bad idea to think about them from time to time!

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  10. I'm glad you picked up Chrys' book, for many reasons. Give the anthology a shot. Who knows? Third time lucky?

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  11. Look at that beautiful glacial valley in your photo, Rebecca! Nature, mountains, and geology always lift my spirits, so thank you. Do "something" every day and celebrate it is an awesome spark from Chrys's book. Yay for you! I'm always doing something, but I'm not celebrating my somethings enough. You've been through so much, and I admire you for your strength and courage. I'm amazed that you can do anything! Sending you a big hug!

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    1. Thanks for the hug--I needed that :) And yes, getting out in nature really helps me, though I don't do much writerly writing out there--just a journal, usually mostly notes on where we went and what we ate :D

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  12. I loved your post. I think sometimes we just get into our own heads. You've got this. ;)

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  13. Rebecca, I hope you do enter your story into the IWSG anthology. What stops me is the choice of genres. I'd feel a fake trying to write SF.

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    1. I've only written a short sci-fi story once before but managed to write another one for *this* one. It's fun to try different things...

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    2. I'm a bit of a fraud, too, certainly not writing "hard" SF. But sometimes it's fun to move way outside our own world, and sometimes, like now, it's the best place to be.

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  14. How can you even think that you're not a writer anymore? It's like saying you're not a human anymore. your article alone screams WRITER! You have such creative words and your thought process also scream WRITER!!!! Love you!

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  15. I love Jacqueline Winspeare and the Maisy Dobbs series--it's one of the few series that I will buy in hardback. Such a great writer, and she delves deep into the human psyche as well. I hope you're well, Rebecca! (((hugs)))

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    1. I'm doing okay. Not always great, but usually okay.
      I agree about Winspear and Maisie both! I might go back and re-read some of the earlier novels, before her life took some hard turns I don't want to visit just now.

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  16. 12,000 word are great. Keep writing.

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  17. The Emotion Thesaurus is awesome! When I get in a rut with repetition of emotions, it's a great help. Great job on the short stories and 12,000 words!

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  18. I've been working on some short stories lately too. Some just for me, and some for contests. It is very good to practice, I think. Hope that you make some new and useful discoveries.

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