Wednesday, July 7, 2021

#IWSG: Why I Keep Writing 7/7

 

 
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!

Every month, the IWSG provides an optional question that members can answer in their IWSG post. These questions may prompt advice, insight, a personal experience or story.

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world! 

The awesome co-hosts for the July 7 posting of the IWSG are Pat Garcia, Victoria Marie Lees, and Louise – Fundy Blue!

Before I get to this month's optional question, I have to report (with great excitement and not a little relief) that after weeks of struggle, and my rather despairing post last Wednesday, the new novel has fallen into line and I have begun the draft! I couldn't be more pleased. Though the writing isn't pouring forth it is coming, and that's huge. I'm managing about 1100 words/day when I'm able to write at all, which is well behind my usual NaNo output but way above anything in the last year.

In other news, many of my books are participating in the Smashwords Summer/Winter sale.

 

This month's optional question is: What would make you quit writing?

I choose to turn the question on its head and ask instead, "Why do you continue writing?" 

There are plenty of reasons for any of us to quit writing. Thinking about my own reasons for twenty seconds or so gives me a good list: Sales suck. I am traveling so much it's hard to find time. Grief makes it hard to focus and makes it even harder to write about death (i.e. murder mysteries). Writing is work. It's hot. I need another cup of coffee... the list is endless. When my kids were little, I didn't write for long periods, because I was too busy and too tired--and because I hadn't learned the tricks to write when you have no time or energy. But I didn't stop entirely.

So why do I keep writing? 

The answer might actually lie in my report above: because when it's happening, there's no excitement like it. It's addictive, the stories really do want to be written, even when they are hard to start.

There are other reasons, too: writing has become my identity, in many important ways. If I'm not writing, I don't have a lot left.

So: I keep writing because I need to. The only thing I can think of that would really make me stop permanently would be disability.

How about you? Why do you keep writing?

©Rebecca M. Douglass, 2021
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21 comments:

  1. Good list 😀
    I’m glad you keep writing.

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  2. Hi Rebecca - I certainly could not give up blogging (by writing, I research my subjects - my learning grows so much) ... only by necessity - illness etc ... congratulations on your novel 'outline' coming together and being able to start writing it ... cheers Hilary

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    1. We learn so much that way, and I love what you share.

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  3. Well said! Boy, those kids do take a toll! But I suppose it is good content when the time comes!

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  4. So happy that you started drafting again. I agree with all your reasons for stopping writing for periods of time. When I was working and taking care of my daughter and husband, I often had to quit writing for periods of time. And then it was a long time before I cared to write after my husband died.

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    1. Stopping for a time is one thing. The idea of never writing a story again? Pretty much inconceivable. It was really hard after Dave died, but it felt so good every time I wrote a sentence--I still knew who I was, in a way.

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  5. I keep writing because I like doing it and it's fun. For the most part. Lately, I've been meh about it, but I also remind myself that I had major surgery this year, lost my job, hubby switched jobs, and I might have another surgery in my future, so I have a lot on my plate and it's shoved writing off for now.

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    1. Yeah, a lot of stuff of that sort rather takes the edge off. Give yourself time to heal, mind and body, and just play with words for a while if that's what it takes.

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  6. I continue writing because it’s too much a part of me. Publishing, on the other hand, is a different story. lol

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  7. I'm so excited for you, Rebecca! Write on! I can't wait to read your published book!

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    1. Aww, thanks! It does help to know people want to read it--though it's also a bit terrifying to have people eagerly awaiting my next book. What if I can't do it? What if I write it but it's not good? What if... :D

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  8. That feeling when you're in the flow is definitely addictive. Creating something that didn't exist before is a great thing to do. Glad to hear your writing is picking up again.

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  9. Even on dark mornings, I see promise in sitting down at the computer to write. Despite all else that goes on, this is quiet time, to focus and to dream. I've done this so long now, it's truly part of who I am -- and so reading your post, I'm reminded how being a part of this online community of writers is another way to nurture us all. May the month bring you good writing and good memories to cherish.

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    1. Yes. I think I'm most really me when I'm writing, even during times when it's hard to focus.

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  10. Oh my gosh, Rebecca! When my five children were little, I was too tired to even read an adult book. And true. I hadn't learned all the tricks of how to create story either.

    However, we camped all over the continental U.S.A. and up into Canada with our children, visiting many national parks along the way. As my children grew, they became my characters and our camping adventures were fodder for the YA adventure fiction I created later. All the best to you in your travels and writing!

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    1. Everything is fodder, whether we know it or not! And five kids... I can't imagine. My two kept me exhausted, and slightly crazy. The best thing I did in those years for my writing was start the part-time job at the library. It at least kept me reading, and eventually became the source of the ideas for the Ninja Librarian books.

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  11. Glad to hear that progress on your novel is happening.
    Thanks for letting us know about the summer sale.
    Thanks for stopping by my blog.
    I'm with you. I write because I have to, even if I take breaks sometimes. A disability would likely mean I'd have to drive someone crazy enough to start dictating for me.

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