Wednesday, December 2, 2020

IWSG: The best month for writing?

 

It's the first Wednesday of the month, and that means time for the Insecure Writer's Support Group post. The IWSG is the brainchild of the amazing Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh. Since we are all insecure and can use all the support we can get, huge thanks to Alex and this month's co-hosts,
Pat Garcia, Sylvia Ney, Liesbet @ Roaming About Cathrina Constantine, and Natalie Aguirre!

 

Each month we have an optional question to spark discussion. 

This month's Optional Question: are there months or times of the year when you are more productive than others, and why?

Let me know what you think!

I think this is the flip side of the question about when it is hard to write, or what makes it hard. I've commented in the past that travel/vacations mess with my ability to write regularly, since there tends not to be a lot of down time, and a lot of distractions. Aside from the obvious corollary that writing happens more when I'm at home, I'm not sure when I write best. The truth is that I don't really know what life looks like going forward, so I might not be able to give a reasonable answer to this question.

But: in the past, my most productive writing times have been ones without travel, and usually with the extra incentives that NaNo offers. By incentives, I mean both the gimmicky things like the histograms showing progress toward the utterly arbitrary 50,000 words, and the community of writers who are all doing the same thing, and offering support and encouragement to each other. So November, despite the holiday distractions, has been a productive month for me in many years. This year I'm hoping to be ready to start a new novel in January or February, and to dive in hard and fast, NaNo-style, once I'm set.

 #

The Writing Report: Unlike other Novembers when I've had a novel going, this year I was just editing and organizing old stories into collections, and when I took off to spend Thanksgiving with a small corner of my family, progress on that ground pretty much to a halt. The project just didn't have the sense of urgency drafting a novel does. Still, I need and want to finish the collections, so I'll be ready to get back to Death By Donut as soon as my beta readers are done with it. So I guess I'd best get cracking! 

 

35 comments:

  1. You are floating, or at least bobbing along, through your new life at present. I'm sure you'll find focus when you're ready. xxx

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  2. Glad you were productive in November. I was productive in a similar fashion. And I totally get why you don't know what will happen in the future as you navigate through your new life. I admire you for continuing to travel.

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    1. Travel, especially wilderness travel (aka backpacking) has been so important to me for so long, it would be extra-devastating to lose that, too. I owe a lot to my BiL/SiL and other friends who are willing to include me in their adventures, or join mine, so I don’t have to do them alone.

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  3. Targeting your strongest performance times is half the battle. Surprisingly, I find I do really well when I'm away from home, whether on vacation (New Orleans!) or at a writers conference (not this year!) or when I rented a hotel room to be closer to my grandson for a week and pounded out a ton of words when the regular routine of life didn't intrude. We pick our times and our battles!

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    1. Yes! I was very productive visiting friends ind Maine, because she was working mornings—so I worked mornings, before we went out to play :)

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  4. NaNo is great at getting us to crank out those words.

    Good luck with finishing your collection of stories!

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    1. Yup. There’s something about all those people doing the same thing!

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  5. Death by Donut is a great title! I wish you happy writing and happy holidays in December.

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  6. Accountability, a deadline, and a bit of stress can produce better writing results, I think. Like you, I am rarely able to write and focus on jobs when I travel. Unlike you, I ALWAYS travel (I live in a 19ft camper van) and have no home/house to be productive in. It's a tough combination, but every year I think I'll do better... Luckily for me, Covid had me settled for a few months this past summer and stuff happened! :-) Happy Holidays!!

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    1. I am always amazed by people (like our own Ellen Jacobson) who manage to write while living in an RV and traveling around. Maybe I would in the rainy season...

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    2. Ellen is being a pro at it! As a matter of fact, we are camped right next to their Scamp in Arizona as I write this. She is as funny and incredible in real life as she is online. :-)

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  7. Like you, my life is in flux, so I'm not sure if or when I'll settle into what I think of as a regular routine of any kind--writing or otherwise. Hope you have your family for these holidays. I know mine really help me.

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    1. Hugs to you. Yes, my family will be with me, or at least some of it. It's scary, having my boys traveling home at this time, but some things just have to be done.

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    2. Everyone tells us to be safe. I say that's just not possible. Life isn't that way. All we can do is be brave and love each other.

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  8. If I'm traveling, I don't expect to get any writing in.

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    1. I usually don't try to do more than keep a journal, except on trips where we have some down time (as we did in NZ in 2019). But this fall was a little different, and I needed to cling on to that writing life-line.

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  9. Good luck with your writing next month! November was certainly full of different challenges this year.

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    1. So far December hasn't been very productive, but I did get the first collection out!

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  10. As you know, I'm normally a November NaNo writer - except this year. I feel bad about not finishing that beta read for you after all you did for me. I'm impressed by your approach in the midst of everything. Blessings and inspiration.

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  11. Good luck with finishing up your project! I always hope I'll write while on vacation, thus meaning I bring my laptop with me, but then I don't write a word.

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    1. Usually I don't get beyond keeping my bare-bones journal while traveling. This time was a little different, to say the least.

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  12. I find writing tough on the road too. Mornings are best. Good luck on your collection progress, and hang in there!

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    1. Morning used to be my time. Now, it seems to be evening, maybe because it takes that long for me to get started?

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  13. Writing on vacation is difficult. Too many distractions. NaNo makes you focus. Congrats!

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    1. Yes! In a normal year, that NaNo focus has done wonders. This year--well, it actually did increase the time I spent working, at least for a couple of weeks.

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  14. I wish I could join in with NaNo in November but it's always a busy month for me and because of the dark and cold I tend to feel more tired than normal. I've started doing CampNaNo in the summer instead and I get much more done then. Good luck with your writing in the New Year.

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    1. Camp NaNo can be great! I like to buckle down in November exactly because it's dark and cold! (Or I would, if California would get the memo that November is supposed to be winter).

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  15. Wow, a trend I've noticed as I've visited a few IWSGers is that NaNo is the best time to write. What if every month was its own NaNo? Talk about super production! But writers might get burned out. :)

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    1. I think you have to pick your times and allow recovery after that kind of writing effort. Anyway, editing periods last longer, at least for me!

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  16. My apologies for the unanswered posts. I kind of lost track last week.

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  17. Hi Rebecca - no need to reply to this ... you're been amazing and shown great resilience ... and have been able to spend some time with your stories ... equally you seem to be doing what you can, but taking time out as and when necessary. Good luck with this coming year and the new drafting ... all the very best in 2021 - with hugs and thoughts - Hilary

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  18. Happy New Year, Rebecca! I agree--there's something about NaNo that really works for productivity. I participate every year, whether I want to or not!

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