Insecure Writers Support Group Day – July 2014


Wow, where did that month go?

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Today is IWSG Day…a HUGE thank you to the team over at Insecure Writers for all their hard work, month in month out :) Please check out the web site, theres loads of useful stuff over there.

So how am i feeling insecure this month? *thinks* Wow, if i have to actually think about it it can’t be that bad can it? Actually, it can lol

I got off to a cracking start yesterday with the 100k Challenge, wrote 1014 words, the opening of the new novel….EXCITING…but not lol. I reread what i’d written and its crap lol. Its no secret that I’ve never been confident about my writing, but in the past I’ve written some pretty good openings, even if i do say so myself. The opening of the first novel, Still, was a scene where a man was committing suicide. The opening of the second novel,  But Not Forgotten was the main character finding her husband dead on the floor (i won’t count Sorrento Sunrise as that was a Mills & Boon so no real drama at the beginning). This one, Presence has the MC standing in front of a house *yawns* DAMN! Why can’t i come up with a bloody good opening image? 

Im also struggling with whether to do it in first person or third person. The 1000 words i wrote yesterday are in first person. Is that the problem? Ive always struggled with first person in the past. Perhaps its just not me, although most writers say its a lot easier. Perhaps i should rewrite that whole section in 3rd person? Or just come at the story from a different angle? Or a different MC? Or perhaps write a different novel? NOOOO, i won’t  be defeated! lol

But as it stands its just not working *slumps* Ok, back to the drawing board, I’m going in….wish me luck ;)

What tactics/methods do you use when something just isn’t working?

Insecure Writers Support Group Day – June 2014


Good morning Insecure Writers :) Its that time of the month again and if you havent got a clue what I’m on about do check out the Insecure Writers web site.

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This month i have been feeling very insecure about my writing. I ummed and arred about whether to take a Creative Writing course, and purchased yet more books on the subject.

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Insecure Writers Support Group Day – May 2014


Today is Insecure Writers Support Group Day, or affectionately known as IWSG for short. I haven’t taken part since December last year (WOW! Has it really been that long?).

If you don’t know what it is check out the link, but basically its one day every month where writers get to whinge and moan, give in to self pity, and share their insecurities with the world. As a member its then your job to visit other participants and offer hugs, support and encouragement.

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Insecure Writers Support Day -December 13


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

So what am I insecure about this month?…

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Insecure Writers Support Group October 2013


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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?

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Insecure Writers Support Group August 2013


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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 Day – May 2013


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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 ;)

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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.

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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 :(

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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 Day – September


Yep, it’s that time of the month again (no wise cracks please lol) and for some reason, I feel it’s come around really quick this time….weird lol

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So it’s IWSG Day and this will be the 6th consecutive month that I’ve participated. If you haven’t joined, please do (see the tab above) as I can’t recommend it highly enough. It’s been great, and I’ve met some lovely bloggers :)

Sooooo, where do I start? What am I feeling insecure about this month? Actually, wait for it, nothing! Lol. Yep, you heard right, zilch, nada lol ;) Well, ok, there is something but more on that later ;)

I think I know the reason why I’m feeling so good…. SWANWICK! I enjoyed it last year, which was when I attended the first time. But I came home feeling totally inadequate and out of my depth. Come on, who wouldn’t! Sitting in the bar, having a drink with Iain Banks and feeling in awe of Meg Davis and Emma Darwin as they mingled.

This year was different. This year I still had respect for all these authors, agents and tutors, but, I didn’t feel so inadequate or intimidated. I didn’t feel that they were somehow “better” than me. I even spent a couple of early mornings sitting on a bench chatting to Meg while we both smoked lol.

So what changed? I dunno….lol…..I have a couple of theories :)

1. I’m more confident in my own work.
2. I’ve got used to mixing with these people and realise they’re “ordinary”?
and
3. Blogging, connecting with other writers, forming a support network, and feeling that I’m part of a huge family of writers that spreads across the globe.

*grins stupidly and is filled with a warm fuzzy feeling*

So I came away with a sense of support. I came away with a smile on my face, and a determination to succeed :)

Then, last Wednesday, I had an e mail from The Faber Academy (who are part of Faber & Faber the publishers in London) to say that I was being offered a place on their Novel Writing course. When I applied back in early July I had to submit 1000 words as an example of my work. They had 52 places on their London courses for 2012 so they decide who gets a place based on your writing. I sent them the prologue and first couple of pages of But Not Forgotten. So I guess they liked it lol. I’m excited, but bloody terrified!!!!!! I’m worried that there will be high standards, that my work won’t be up to the calibre of the other students. Silly really, because Faber obviously see something in my work that I don’t lol.

Sooooo, my advice to anyone who is feeling insecure today? DON’T GIVE UP! KEEP WRITING, NEVER STOP! Even if it’s only 1 sentence a day. Mistakes and crap writing is what we learn from. If its not working, put it aside and try something else. Don’t bin it, it’s part of your journey. And if you ever get chance, do try to go to one of these Writers Summer Schools. Over the last 2 years I’ve met people who have been attending Swanwick for years! I can see me being one of those, definitely :)

And if you don’t believe me, read what writer/tutor Simon Whaley has to say about these events :)

I’m away from home today (I’m in Birmingham lol) so I may be a little late visiting other IWSG members, but I’ll get to as many of you as I can later :)

So what are you feeling insecure about today? I’m all ears, and available for hugs and finger wagging if required ;)