Insecure Writers Day – July


Today is Insecure Writers Support Day πŸ™‚

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…..and yes, that was a smile. I’m not smiling because I have no insecurities, I’m smiling because I’ve finally made a decision about my WIP…. *drum roll please*

I’m going to STOP

Yep, that’s right, you heard me lol….there are a couple of reasons:

1. I keep hearing from so many people that you should never edit before you’ve finished, purely because if you do, you’ll NEVER actually finish it. I’m beginning to believe it, as it’s still not finished, so I made a big mistake there 😦

And

2. I attended a talk by an agent last week, which has made me decide it’s not strong enough. You wait till you see my post, 20 Things I Learnt From An Agent (which I’ll be posting on Friday). Seriously, I’m being realistic. What’s that old expression about flogging a dead horse? Lol

The 65,000 words that currently make up But Not Forgotten were written in 2010. I’ve changed so much as a writer since then, I’ve learnt so much. My main problem is getting back into that mindset. Getting back the feelings I had in 2010 when I wrote it. I’m being logical (which is soooo unlike me, I’m usually a heart person, not a head person lol) and logic tells me it’s still a good story, but, it’s just not good enough.

I want to be published. There, I said it, out loud. Is But Not Forgotten a strong enough debut novel for the cut throat publishing industry where your manuscript has to stand out amongst thousands? No, I don’t believe it is, and that’s not just me having confidence issues. I’m being cruel to myself to be kind. I don’t want to still be banging on about this bloody MS in 2 years time. I need to gather my thoughts, decide what I’m going to do next, and move on πŸ™‚

So although I’m feeling delicate, almost a bit bereft, I’m glad I’ve finally accepted where I’m going with this. I need to put the whole lot to bed, move on πŸ™‚

Wow, I feel like someone I hate has just died lol. So onwards and upwards πŸ™‚ I have a few decisions to make over the coming week, something which is quite exciting if I decide to go for it….I’ll tell you more, as and when πŸ™‚

So how are my fellow IWSG members doing? Don’t worry if you’re not a member, if there’s something you want to get off your chest I’m all ears, and available for virtual hugs, chocolate, lattes, wine, that kind of thing πŸ™‚

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78 thoughts on “Insecure Writers Day – July

  1. Still insecure. Striving to worry less about the reception of my writing and more about actually writing. I’m sure many of the ideas from your WIP will end up in another piece. It’ll be refined down to its essence and be awesome.

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  2. This is a huge step, and very brave of you to take. I honestly had to read this twice to get the gist of it–that you are putting this one to bed for good, because I was so surprised.
    I can understand though.
    Many times I have contemplated whether or not I should continue revising this first novel of mine, but simply put, I can’t stop. No matter what anyone says, (and there are so many problems with it!) I am determined to make it the strongest it can be before I begin revising the next one.
    I love the story that much.

    Difficult as it might be to leave this story of yours unfinished, I think finding the one that sings to you is more important. Good luck, and I’ll be looking forward to reading all about your next endeavors!

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    • Thank you Kirsten πŸ™‚

      I’ve been thinking about it ever since I met Chris Baty. He said that our manuscripts are disposable. If its not working….bin it and start again. I have no intention of actually binning it though lol πŸ˜‰

      Good luck with yours! Hearing you say that you can’t stop with yours makes me beleive I’ve made the right decision πŸ™‚

      Xx

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  3. Hey Vikki, It sounds like you have put a lot of thought into this and we are behind you 100%. “I want to be published.” It is scary saying out loud. I know we are suppose to write because we love it and because that is what we do, even if no one reads it. But, that is BS. I want to be published. I want others to read my stuff, too. So, push on.

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    • Awwwww, thanks Sydney πŸ™‚

      I do write because I love it, but, there comes a time when you have to realise there’s a difference between writing because you love it, and being serious about it. Is this a hobby, or something I want to persue as a possible career? I’m beginning to see/realise the difference πŸ˜‰

      Xx

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  4. Congrats on your bravery! It’s not easy to stop writing a manuscript, but sometimes it’s the best decision. I decided to throw out my first WIP and it made way for my new work on Rain. Give yourself a pat on the back and a few days to think and you’ll be writing again soon! πŸ™‚

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  5. A very inspiring post. You should be proud of yourself for stopping work on a manuscript – finding the courage to let go is something I struggle with. Good luck with your work. Onwards we go!

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  6. Brave decision – and probably very sensible too. How about sticking it on a shelf with the knowledge you can always go back to it? When I wrote fanfiction it was published in sections as it was written (think Charles Dickens lol) and I got partway through a story that was really planned in detail, and then suddenly lost interest in it. Years later I still get people signing up to be notified of updates, and I just can’t bear the thought of going back to it.

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  7. Hi Vikki – can I become a member please?

    I also want to say I think you’re really brave making that decision, and you have to trust your instincts with this. If you really believe this is not going to be your ‘breakthrough’ novel then it might well be better to focus on something else. Who knows, you might come back to it in the future.

    It seems that with first novels that don’t manage to get the attention of an agent or publisher, writers have two options: give up or self publish. I had some interest for Can’t Live Without from an agent, but she didn’t end up offering representation. I knew it was good – not great, maybe, and clearly not good enough to breakthrough the barriers of today’s ultra-commercial publishing world. But I wanted people to read it, which is why I did the beta-reader and then self-pubbing thing. Also it set me ‘free’ to start on my next novel. (Well, I say that, but in fact now I am just spending all my time promoting my book and not writing much at all!)

    So yes, I think you’ve done the right thing, and I can’t wait to hear about your new WiP.
    Best wishes,
    Jo

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    • Lol, I think ALL writers are already members Jo πŸ˜‰

      Thank you so much honey, for your great advice. It’s brilliant for us “aspiring” writers to hear the experience of people who have already been there πŸ™‚

      Do you think you’ll stay with self publishing, or would you like to go down the traditional route with the next book?

      Awwww, thank you πŸ™‚ I will definitely be talking about the next WIP quite a bit, I’m excited about it. Another reason that made me decide to put But Not Forgotten away…you need to be excited and passionate about your WIP not dreading looking at it πŸ˜‰ lol

      Xx

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      • Hi Vikki,

        Even though I’ve self-published, I think I’d definitely be happier having an agent and a publishing contract! For one thing, publishing is so much work! And doesn’t leave much time for writing 😦 I can’t speak for other indie authors, but maybe self-publishing is just another form of polishing your work, getting feedback from readers, and learning your craft. I think that before I self-publish each of my future novels I will probably send an enquiry out to the agents I respect, just in case …
        x Jo
        PS Great post about agents today x

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  8. Wow – good on you for admitting this, it’s such a brave decision. I actually ‘oh really’-ed out loud, lol, it really did take me by surprise. I wish you all the best with this Vikki and sometimes the best thing is to stop, take a step back and start again.
    I’m just about to write my IWG post – it’ll probably be the same old same old but hey, that’s what today is for right? πŸ™‚

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    • Ha ha ha, thanks Virginia πŸ™‚

      It kind of came as a shock to me too, even though I’d been thinking about it for a while. I just didn’t have the guts to actually make the final decision. Being a failure, feeling like I’m quitting, they were the reasons I kept going, but, enough is enough lol πŸ˜‰

      Will pop over later and see your post πŸ™‚

      Thanks honey xx

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  9. Good decision, Vikki. There comes a time when you know you don’t want to carry on and the hard decision is to stop. I did this some years ago with my PhD … I’d done all the research [loved that] and had written first drafts but my style of writing [non academic and rather chatty] wasn’t going to pass in academic circles, so I stopped. It wasn’t a wasted exercise. I learned a huge amount about research and about my chosen subject and I’ve written odds and ends as a result.
    Onward and upward with whatever you decide to move on to. x

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    • Awwwww, thanks Chris πŸ™‚

      I feel like a bit of a quitter, but, I also feel relieved lol

      It’s not like I will stop writing or anything, and I learnt so much from that MS….hopefully, I’ll be a better writer because of it πŸ™‚

      Ah, yeah, I can see where you’re coming from with that….who needs a PhD anyway πŸ˜‰

      Xx

      Like

  10. Pingback: Insecure Writer’s Support Group Day « Poeta Officium

  11. Congratulations on your decision. It must be so difficult to put aside your WIP but you are brave for doing so. And now that the decision is out of the way, you’re free to move forward in whatever direction you choose. Best of luck to you. I admire your honesty!

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  12. I think you’ve made the right decision. If you don’t feel it’s strong enough then it probably isn’t (yet) Keep it as later you might see what it needs to make it work, but even if you don’t, I’m sure you’ve learned a lot from writing it.
    My published novel was the 5th one I started writing. 2 are unfinished (and will probably stay that way).

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  13. It takes a lot of courage to say enough is enough and put a project aside. And only you can know when it’s right to do that. Maybe But Not Forgotten will be resurrected in a different form sometime in the future, but you need to do what’s right for you now. Good luck!

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  14. You sound so relived! Must feel good to have finally made a decision about where you stand on that piece,like a weight off your shoulders πŸ™‚ Look forward to hearing about your next shiny new project.

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  15. Ooo. I like saying that out loud. I WANT TO BE PUBLISHED! There I said it again! I haven’t come to the point of shelving ANY of my stories. Yet. I’ve struggled with a few twists and turns and given one of them a break, but I haven’t decided to stick it on a shelf yet.
    But I do know enough is enough. I have had to change routes with one of my stories until it no longer even looked the same. Hmmm…maybe I did shelve that one…
    Now, once that new project is out and under way, let us now! Thanks for visiting my blog and for the encouraging words you wrote:)

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    • Thanks for stopping by Talynn πŸ™‚

      Yeah, I thought about completely changing it, and I still could, but then I thought, really, what’s the point, I might as well just start again lol πŸ˜‰

      You are very welcome πŸ™‚ I try to get round as many blogs as I can on IWSG Day πŸ™‚

      Xx

      Like

  16. Reblogged this on By Amanda Leigh and commented:
    Another great post, this time by Vikki. Everyone who writes wants to be able to finish what they start. But sometimes, no matter what we do, we can’t achieve that. Vikki was brave enough to admit this, and her strength is very admirable.
    I commend her!

    Like

  17. You should take the idea you had the other week and write that. You will obviously use everything you have learnt, and hopefully write something you are a lot happier with. It will be a new project you can believe in. It is a tough call stopping on something else but sometimes necessary. Take it as lessons learned, and who knows, further down the line when you are working on something else, an idea might crop up which works better on the abandoned project.

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  18. So many great comments here. I can relate to what you are going through Vikki. Over the last 40 years I have started six previous novels and got through anywhere from 10K to 80K words and never finished them. Part of the problem was I did not understand the process. I didn’t follow the mantra that First Draft is Crap and was always going back to revise before I finished and subsequently never finished. But I wanted to let you know that there is hope. After working with Holly Lisle’s How To Think Sideways course, to understand the process, and communing with a lot of other Writers in her forums, I truly believe I will finish this time around. And like most of us I love to write, but like you (and probably most of us) I also have this need for recognition and the best way I know to get that is for some Publisher to say “Here is a check for your book”. I don’t even know if self-publishing would do it at this time (well if thousands of people bought it I guess it would). Fame and Fortune is not necessarily an evil thing (well maybe not fame or a lot of money, but at least some recognition and a few bucks). So know that many of us are cheering you on and look forward to hearing about your next project. Thanks for stopping by my blog for ISWG

    Like

    • Thank you so much for stopping by, and for your kind words πŸ™‚

      I’ve heard a lot of good things about Holly’s course, I know another blogger who’s doing it. I do subscribe to her e mails, so I might look into it more.

      You are very welcome, that’s what today is about right? Support…thank you for yours and for sharing your story πŸ™‚

      Xx

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  19. Telling ourselves “no” is not easy.
    Extra piece of cheesecake? Yes
    Sleep in instead of going to the gym? Yes
    Continue pushing on with a WIP that has consumed countless hours? No…

    That is a sign of tremendous maturity as a writer. Admitting that you WANT to be published also shows that you aren’t willing to put your name on an unpolished product simply for the sake of vanity.

    Keep up the good work and keep growing, in writing, in life.

    -A.M.
    http://amschultz.com

    Like

  20. Your decision takes courage but how nice to feel that you have grown as a writer so when you tackle the next writing project, it will be much stronger. However, there is a part of me that wants to shout, “Don’t give up on your baby!”

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  21. Great post (and hello fellow Vikki!). Brave to make that decision and I know exactly what you mean about learning more since you started that novel. I find it inspiring to see on published, successful writers blogs the drafts and MS’s they binned before they made it. It’s a matter of just that one getting through. Look forward to your post about what you learned, now following you. This is my first IWSG.

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  22. Hi Vikki. I too have manuscripts that I had realized just were strong enough for one reason or another. I look forward to hear more about your future works, and reading what you learned from the agent.

    Best wishes!

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  23. I’ve set aside the novel I originally asked you about as well. I plan to look at it again in a week or two but for now it;s just fizzled. Good luck with whatever you write next. When it clicks it clicks, you can’t force it.

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  24. That’s tough when you have to admit that. Put it in a drawer and revisit it in a few years. You never know. I returned to a novel I wrote over thirty years ago and it became my first published book.
    Thanks for participating in the IWSG! Sorry, takes me a while to visit even half of the people on the list.

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  25. Vikki – I’m proud of you for making that decision. I’ve spent hours changing my book that I started writing 3 years ago. Almost there now, but I suppose the difference with non-fiction is that you can leave the old bits in as stories of the past or as tips on how you’ve moved on. I imagine it’s different with a novel. You’ve very brave, but sounds like you are happy. (61 comments on this post – wow! You are really going up in the world πŸ™‚

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  26. Pingback: One step at a time « The struggle to be a writer that writes

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  28. I’m just echoing everyone else here– very courageous of you. And I know it hurts (despite you putting on a brave face). You will find another ms to be passionate about and your experiences will make you so much better.

    I gave up on a story I worked on for four or five years (sniff). It was so frustrating, I didn’t write for years afterwards. When I came back, more mature and confident, I wrote something more within the scope of my abilities and by God, I finished it.

    Hats off to you Vikki!

    Like

    • Thank you so much for stopping by Dan πŸ™‚

      Ahhhh, yes, that’s exactly wat I didn’t want happening lol, sorry you had to o through that hon. But, I’m a big believer in taking these fails, I mean frustrating situations lol πŸ˜‰ and turning them into something we can learn from. It all helps us grow don’t you think? πŸ™‚

      Thanks honey πŸ™‚

      Xx

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  29. Just because you’ve stopped now, Vikki, doesn’t mean you’ll never return to the book. I have gone back to books I thought abandoned, once I had a greater skill set and had gained some distance from the story. Maybe I had become less emotionally involved with it, too, and could slash and burn the story until it came right. x

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