Insecure Writers Support Day -December 13


20131203-113616.jpg

Today is IWSG Day, the last of 2013 and the only month I missed was November :(

So what am I insecure about this month?…

Continue reading

Insecure Writers Support Group October 2013


20130926-100113.jpg

Huge thanks as ever to the wonderful Alex J Cavanaugh for hosting the group :) I will try to get round as many of you as I can today.

Another month has absolutely flown by, but I don’t mind, I love autumn, when I can wrap up warm and drink endless amounts of hot chocolate. It also signifies the run up to Nanowrimo, and I’m excited this year because (1) I’ll be using Scrivener to write the whole thing and (2) I think I’m really going to enjoy writing this one :)

So what am I insecure about this month?

Continue reading

Insecure Writers Support Day – September


20130823-113049.jpg

Today is Insecure Writers Support Group Day where we all get to have a winge and moan about writing ;)

Thanks, as always, to the wonderful Alex J Cavanaugh for hosting. You can find all the info and see links to other participants on Alex’s blog.

This will be the 17th month I’ve participated. I will, one day, go back and read all my posts, but it will probably be very depressing lol…*thinks* ok, perhaps not!

So how am I feeling this month?

Well, fairly optimistic actually lol (makes a change). I know where I’m going with the rewriting and editing of both novels, I’m looking forward to starting Nano (and my new project) and I seem to be back into reading fiction, and enjoying it (rather than analysing it). So all is good with the world yeah?

Ummmm, no, not exactly lol

Now I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed lol. I’ve never been the type of writer who can juggle more than one project at a time, but it seems that a lot of writers do and that out in the real publishing world most authors are editing one novel while trying to write the next, due to their contract of a book a year.

Its all a bit alien to me and I feel like I’m going to get confused. I’m used to doing a little bit of this and a little bit of that, challenges and prompts, but nothing I have to really concentrate on or commit to. So I’ve organised my schedule allocating different days each week to a different novel but I’m so tempted to just put one on the back burner and concentrate on the other. I’m not sure my brain can cope with all these characters at the same time, all shouting for my attention!

So how do you do it? Do you work on more than one project at a time? And if you do, how do you stop yourself from ending up with characters who sound the same just with different names lol

Insecure Writers Support Group August 2013


20130803-081308.jpg

Today is Insecure Writers Support Group day. A huge thank you to the wonderful Alex Cavanaughfor creating and hosting this monthly event. If you want to join, click the “Insecure Writers” tab above.

Ok, so where do I start? Well, at the moment I’m awaiting feedback on my first 2 novels *gulp*

The first chapter of all 3 versions of “Still” are with agent, Meg Davis who i’ll be having a one-on-one session with at Swanwick next week (more on Swanwick in Fridays post). I applied for the session back in February and last month I sent her my 6 thousand words. My question? Should I actually bother continuing with any of them, and if so, which one? Lol.

It’ll be interesting to hear her opinion, so I’ll let you know :)

My 2nd novel “Tangled” was sent to the RNA as part of the New Writers Scheme which offers feedback on manuscripts as part of the membership package. I sent 50,000 in first draft form (oh dear….it’s a mess I’m sure) off to them last month, but I don’t expect to hear anything for a good few weeks.

So at the moment I’m waiting on the feedback to both of those *bites finger nails*

I’m feeling a little bit nervous but not as much as I thought I would. I’m just convinced they’re both gunna say something like “good attempt Vikki, but, have you thought about trying crochet as a hobby?” He he he. Just like my Faber reading, I’m under no illusion that I’m the next E L James just waiting to be discovered. I’m happy to be a hobby writer, I think, and I’ve always fancied learning how to crochet ;)

Wish me luck I’ll keep you posted! And in the mean time, I’ll try not to think that this could be the death of my writing career before it started ;)

Insecure Writers Support Group – July 2013


Well, that’s another month gone lol ;)

Today is Insecure Writers Support Group Day where participants get the opportunity to moan and whinge and get a sympathetic virtual shoulder to cry on. Many thanks to Alex Cavanaugh for hosting this wonderful group and please check out the other participants by clicking the ‘insecure writers’ link above :)

20130627-075332.jpg

Ok, so where do I begin?

I’ve virtually written nothing this year. I’ve done the odd prompt, tinkered with my novel for Faber, thought about jacking it all in and argued with myself about my motives for being a “writer” and more importantly being published.

And then last week I read this post by the lovely Jo Phillips and if you don’t follow Jo’s blog, 1. Why not? And 2. You really should! ;) Anyway, I could relate so much to what Jo was saying (seriously, go read the post!) but what particularly struck me, hit a nerve, was when she mentioned wanting to do other stuff, other projects. Yes, so do I!!!!! I want to create some art, I want to learn how to draw, I want to make my own clothes and stuff for around my home. I want to bake, I mean really bake (not just the odd cake) and I want to go back into volunteering…or even *shock horror gasp* get a job! (part time of course!).

I’m bored….. Ok, there, I said it! I’ve been at home now for 2 years concentrating on my writing. The Hubster’s suggestion which I totally agreed with at the time, and thank him for (hes always encouraged me to do whatever i want to do). Ooooo, yes, 8 hours a day to concentrate on my writing! But it hasn’t worked out that way. I procrastinate, I faff about, and probably only write for a couple of hours a day anyway, well, ive not even done that this year :(

I talked last month about losing the fun from writing, and reading Jo’s post made me realise that I really need to get a grip. It’s the story of my life really (the Hubster will be shaking his head at this point and saying “here we go again” lol). I’ve spent the best part of 25 years asking myself “what do I want to do when I grow up?” And I thought I’d finally found something I could devote my life to. But perhaps being a published author isn’t it? But what else do I have? There’s nothing I’m good at, and that’s the problem :(

Perhaps I’ll never know, never find it….but in the meantime, there’s no such thing as failure. If you never try, you’ll never know, and it’s all part of the journey, right? I know some if you have been writing since you were children, I haven’t. I caught the bug late in life, so writing was never something I’d really considered as a career choice, until 2010 lol. But perhaps it really is the wrong choice?

I have a book, somewhere in a box that is about finding your life’s calling. I never actually got around to reading it….perhaps I should dig it out lol ;)

Did you know what you wanted to be when you grew up? Do you know what your life calling is now?

Don’t get me wrong, I love writing, but do I really want it as a career?

Insecure Writers Support Group – June 2013


20130523-072914.jpg

Apologies in advance that this post is quite long and isn’t really my normal whiney type of post for IWSG.

I remember the day that I wanted to write. My friend Jayne had been writing for a while, but needed some direction. I persuaded her to go to a class at our local adult education centre, and to offer support, I said I’d go with her. I didn’t have a clue what to expect, thought I could possibly bluff my way through the class. I didn’t even consider that we might get set homework which would mean I would actually have to write some fiction lol.

That very first class was a complete turning point in my life. The tutor started by recommending that we keep a “writers notebook” to jot down ideas for stories, observations we’d made, snippets of overheard conversations blah blah blah. I’d been journaling for a few years. Filling notebook after notebook (most of which I still have) with snippets of my life, descriptions of events and daily musings, so that recommendation sounded like fun!

When I got home I went to my stash (I didn’t need to buy one, come on!) and started to scribble down ideas, collect info, take photos and write down the thoughts that had been fluttering around my head for years.

It was like a lightbulb moment! And within a couple of weeks I’d half filled that book (I still have it…it’s notebook No1…I’m on notebook No39 now lol) and had written 2 short stories. Sitting here now, I remember the excitement I had. I remember how eager I was to learn, to soak up every single piece of information I could, to help me become a “writer” :)

Unfortunately I didn’t finish the course (it was on a Tuesday afternoon, and both me and Jayne found it more and more difficult to get there). So Philip Kane if you’re reading this…THANK YOU!

20130523-075228.jpg
So here I am, 2 years and 7 months later and I’ve finally realised…it’s not a race. I’ve been putting too much pressure on myself. Those of you reading this who know me in real life will know that I throw myself into things 110% if I’m passionate about it. I’m like a sports car (I don’t look as good, obviously) trying to go 0-60 in 0.4 seconds. I need to slow down, get that excitement back, and I’m forming strategies to help me with that (like the 2 week break I’ve just had which worked really well and I won’t hesitate to do again when I’m feeling worn/burnt out).

This month I will be focussing on “fun” writing and trying to recapture the innocence I had back in 2010 before I knew all about publishing, agents, Kindle and the shit prospects I face as an aspiring “author” with a very slim chance of ever publishing a novel.

So I guess I’m not insecure as such this month, but I’m definitely re-evaluating. In the writing community I am a mere toddler, and you know what they say about your childhood? They’re supposed to be the best days of your life :)

Incidentally: The first piece of homework I had to submit for the writing class? Mr Kane liked it and actually asked if he could put it on a web site :)

I think I’ll always feel insecure about my writing, it comes with the territory, but, I think the key is not to stress. To take a moment to breath and just concentrate on being the best writer that you can. The rest will just fall into place at some stage and if it doesn’t, does that really matter? If my dream is to be published and then I achieve that, I’ll just have to come up with a new dream ;)

So what are you feeling insecure about today?

Insecure Writers Support Day – May 2013


20130423-100335.jpg

Thanks, as always, to Alex Cavanaugh for hosting the group. Please go and check out the blogs listed who participate :)

So the A-Z Challenge for 2013 ended yesterday and I am absolutely exhausted! Lol…in a nice way of course ;) I’ll be doing a reflection post in a couple of days….. I’ve tried to keep on top of all the comments, so if I’ve missed one I’ll apologise now.

It’s good to get back to normal, but what is normal? I’m afraid I’ll only be posting 3 days a week from now on. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. I did have it in mind that I would have set days for set things, but, I’m not sure now, things might chop and change a bit ;)

The one thing that will be coming back is my Mondays To Do List….and that brings me on very nicely to this IWSG post. Since starting the A-Z challenge I have written virtually nothing…zilch! Yes, I know, these posts are writing but I mean fiction. Is it because I’ve not had a list to work to every week? Or is there more to it?

I submitted my Faber Synopsis and 1500 words for the Agent/Publishers event, but still have to decide what piece I’m going to read for the 2minute pitch. So no new words have been added to Still and I’ve got the deadline for the RNA New Writers Scheme looming. I feel like my heads spinning and at one stage I was seriously thinking about jacking it all in! Luckily, the words of a fellow NWS Member (thanks Jo) gave me the kick I needed, to stop wallowing in self pity and sort myself out.

And thats what i need to do…..SORT IT OUT! I think I’m just mentally worn out! Constant reworking/rewrites of the novel, trying to keep up with everything.

Sooooo, what I need right now is to gather my thoughts, make some decisions, and, actually, put my feet up for a while. Write for enjoyment, not because i have to, does that make sense? Somewhere along the way I’ve lost that. Now, it just seems like a chore :(

So I’m taking a break. I’ll be gone for 2 weeks, well, just over, as that would mean I’d be back on my birthday lol….so we’ll say Monday the 20th. I’m hoping that taking a step back, reevaluating why i enjoy writing (or don’t) will mean that I’ll be back with a more positive attitude, or at least feeling refreshed :)

Take care you lot, I’ll try to keep up with your blogs if I can. I have about half a dozen awards to sort out so if you’ve given me one recently I promise I’ll sort that out when I return (I have them all part way started in my Drafts folder).

Have you ever got to the stage where writing has felt like a chore more than a pleasure? I’d be interested to hear your experiences and what you did to resolve it.

Insecure Writers Support Day – March


It’s the first Wednesday of the month, and you know what that means don’t you ;)

20130305-124724.jpg
Many thanks, again, to the wonderful Alex J Cavanagh who created and hosts the blog hop :)

Ok, so last month I was in a real state, suffering from Writers Block, big time! And, although I was able to establish why I was struggling (because it just wasn’t working), I couldn’t see a way out of it. Thank you so much for all your kind words of advice and support. It really helped me make the decision to start rewriting the WIP again (scrubbing the 25,000 words of rewrite number 2 and starting rewrite number 3) and it was the rewritten first 5000 words that I submitted for critique to my fellow students at Faber last Monday night.

At this point I’d just like to add that my class are 11 fellow students (plus my tutor) who are all, in my opinion, very talented writers. They come from different backgrounds (and countries in 3 cases), are different ages, different sexes, and write different genres. I value their opinions so much and respect their judgements. It’s probably one of the best parts of the course (although it doesn’t feel like it when you’re being critiqued lol), a pure emotional roller coaster, and possibly one of the bravest things I’ve ever done!

Anyway, back to my critique and how I’m feeling today… I had some very positive responses to my piece, but also lots of comments on the structure. When I started rewrite number 2 I decided that, as it was really Ruby and Laura’s story, I had to find a way to have Laura’s story from the past, running along side Ruby’s story from the present. I thought about doing part one then part two…..nah, boring. Then i thought about just having different chapters in a different time frame…..nah, that can be annoying lol. So i decided to go for the idea of having Laura’s journal. Cliched? Probably, but, I like reading novels that include letters and diary entries.

But there are a few problems in doing that.
1. Making sure that the two voices of Ruby and Laura are different (the journal is a younger Laura and then an older Laura appears later on, which complicates things even further).
2. Making the journal entries believable and not just sound like the narration of another story.
3. Deciding on how reliable Laura’s version of events really is.

So, yep, you guessed it….I failed on numbers 1 and 2 and hadn’t even considered number 3! Lol…back to the drawing board.

So now I have a page full of notes and ideas from class and 7,000 words that need sorting out (again) lol. But I’m ok about that. Everything they said made sense, and I can see a way forward now. I’ve just got to decide exactly how to structure it, and iron out the problems with voice (which I think is going to be the hardest! Haven’t I always said that I think all my characters sound like me lol). Lots to think about, decisions to be made, a new Synopsis to be written and then…..back to page one! (Which also needs to start somewhere else) Lol

Not good when I have so many deadlines looming :(

So I guess today I’m feeling stressed…Stressed, but optimistic, panicked but positive. I beleive in this story. I believe in these characters. Perhaps I’m just not a good enough writer to give it the justice it deserves? My insecurities are what they’ve always been, am I good enough? Can I really do this?

And the hardest part is trying to kick those self doubts in to touch (you’ve all been there I know) and actually start writing again. Knuckle down and actually get on with it!

One day I’ll look back at all this and laugh….hopefully :)

Are you feeling insecure about your writing today? Please share so that I know I’m not alone lol ;)

IWSG – February – Confronting Writers Block


It’s Insecure Writers Support Group Day….and this month I really need a day to wallow ;)

Huge thanks as ever to Alex J Cavanaugh for starting the group.

20130201-123057.jpg
I’m not a bragger…never have been, never will be…But, I have often said on my blog, and on others, that I don’t suffer from writers block (don’t you just hate writers who say that?) and I’m still of the opinion that it’s true, I don’t. I can always find something to write about. I’m never completely without words. But, I’ve recently discovered that there are several types of writers block (thank you Fred White) which has made me realise that actually, perhaps I do!

1. Procedural Blocks: Where you get to a point in your story and think what do I do now? And can’t figure out where to take the plot next.

2. Creativity Blocks: Lack of ideas (Mr White says this is the hardest to overcome, but I disagree – see above lol).

3. Psychological Blocks: Your inner critic is telling you you’re not good enough, your writing is crap and that you’ll never be published.

4. Distraction Blocks: Chores, friends, commitments, resulting in not being able to focus.

5. Procrastination Blocks: You find every excuse under the sun to put off the writing (probably because of number 3!).

So at the moment I seem to be suffering from number 3 :( Mr Squiggle is definitely winning (you’ll need to read a previous post to know what I’m on about with Mr Squiggle lol).

The last week of January I was editing like a lunatic (the first 5000 words which will be my next submission for class) and I’ve subsequently discovered that I can’t write and edit at the same time, thats fair enough, lesson learnt. But…then I stopped editing, and I’ve hardly touched the WIP since. It’s like I’ve come up against a brick wall :(

20130201-123020.jpg

I have over 25,000 words written now of The Last Word Cafe and I’m stuck! Good and proppa! It’s not that I don’t know where the story’s going, I do. It’s not because I’ve got to a hard bit, I haven’t. So what’s the problem? I have a synopsis, I know exactly where the story needs to go. So why can’t I write the damn thing? Is it because its a rewrite of the Nano 2010 novel that I started working on, then stuck in a drawer, then got out again, so I’m bored with it? Or does there just come a point when working on the same “story” for however many years just makes you worn out? And yes, I’m worn out. I have deadlines looming and need to have it completed by June (edited!).

At the weekend i printed off the whole lot and I’m reading through it. Trying to do a bit of planning, in the hopes that it inspires me. In the meantime, come on guys, I need a kick up the arse….how do I get back into it? It seems that I’ve had such a love/hate relationship with this novel over the last 2.2 years…I need to get it finished and put to bed for my own sanity lol

Insecure Writers Support Group – January 2013


Firstly, thank you soooo much for all the entries on yesterday’s post. You guys are amazing! Fantastic stuff! I haven’t replied because I don’t want to influence the hubster in making his decision, so at the moment I’m keeping stum! When he makes his decision on Sunday I can then have my say lol. I’ll announce the winner next Monday (7th).

Right, now where were we…..I won’t be posting on Wednesdays normally, apart from once a month :)

20121226-220827.jpg

IWSG Day, created by the brilliant Alex J Cavanaugh seems to come round so quickly every month, but I’m not complaining ;)

I don’t often share how I actually feel on my blog, so IWSG Day is an opportunity for me to have a day of self pity and wallowing lol.

Sooooo, I’ve just started the complete rewrite of But Not Forgotten, which is now The Last Word Cafe. I spent most of the Christmas break flitting from 3rd person to 1st person, weighing up the pro’s and cons, and basically making a decision….which I then changed a week later lol.

I started thinking about my own reading preferences, went back over the last few books that I’ve read. And it seems to be that I like reading first person POV, so it would make sense to write in it wouldn’t it? But, what made me decide to go for 3rd person was the fact that when I write in 1st person it just sounds like me. Who was it that said find what you’re good at and use that to your advantage? Someone in my Faber class told me she loved my voice or rather, my characters voices….Ok, well, if that’s the case it looks like the novel will be in 1st person and expect some very strong South East London (pronounced SOWF EAS LUNDUN) accents :)

So yep, the decision has been made (thank gawd!) and I’m now on day 3 and feeling nervous….because I so want it to work and I’m terrified that it won’t *bites finger nails*

Terrified seems like such a strong word, but it’s true. I want to come away from the Faber course feeling I’ve achieved something, that it was worth it. I will not fail and will have my novel completed by June. I’m trying to stay positive about the Agent pitch I’ll be doing in June….but, lol ;) Still, I guess I should take comfort in the fact that last year the best piece of work (in our tutors opinion) wasn’t taken up by any of the agents!

I can do this can’t I? Or am I completely delusional? Lol