Insecure Writers Support Day – December


Bloody hell, where do I start!

Today is Insecure Writers Support Group Day, the brain child of Alex J Cavanaugh it’s where a whole lot of writers post about their insecurities, once a month, and get support from fellow participants. Seriously, I urge you to join! You will soon discover you are not alone πŸ™‚

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Ok, back to my post…..

If you’re a regular reader you’ll know that in 2010 (my first Nano) I ended up with a 65,000 word unfinished story entitled, But Not Forgotten. I did a spell check on it last year, and this year I’ve tinkered with it, a bit, only the first 10,000 words. I then decided a few months ago that But Not Forgotten wasn’t working and gave up on it (a previous IWSG post). But there has been something haunting me about it ever since. So I submitted the first 4,500 words of it for my critique in my Faber class (see the response here ) telling the tutor that I was unsure about it, couldn’t finish it and wanted to know whether I should.

Was that complete madness? Looking back now, probably. I’d considered it to be 2nd draft (after a spell check and slight tinkering) but, if Chris Baty is right and what you’re left with at the end of Nano is actually draft zero, then what I actually submitted was first draft lol.

The response, (you can see if you click the link above) wasn’t good and although I know, deep down in my heart, every single word they said and suggestion they made was true it’s still left me questioning whether I’m cut out for all this? Whether I can actually do it, be a writer I mean. When do you draw the line? When do you admit defeat and come to the conclusion that you will only ever be a writer as a hobbyist and that you’ll never have any commercial success? I’m not motivated by money, but, having given up an actual “job” to pursue my writing over 2 years ago I’m now feeling that perhaps that was a bad idea and that I should just go get a job?

But I got the answer I wanted, right? It’s crap, bin it! Lol

So now I have the daunting task of starting again. A new story with the same characters. A new POV and only part of the existing plot line. I don’t even know where to start! Lol. In June I have the opportunity to pitch to a room of agents and publishers….SHIT! It’s a great opportunity, and I don’t want to blow it, but will I ever have anything that’s good enough?

I’m hopefully starting on it again this week, but I said that last week! *takes deep breaths and reaches for the alcohol* I now understand why there are a lot of writers out there with drink problems lol πŸ˜‰

I hope everyone else is having a better month…..will pop over to as many as I can today πŸ™‚

This Weeks Goals 14-20th May


So did you give the photo prompt a go yesterday?

I was thinking along the lines that it was a guy returning to his family home to introduce mummy & daddy to the latest girlfriend. Mummy & Daddy are Lord & Lady Hampton and the new girlfriend is a cockney, who drinks pints of Ale, smokes roll ups and works as a lap dancer πŸ˜‰

Right, where was I? Ahhhh, yes, the goals…..

I’m afraid, I failed miserably 😦 My reason? I had to have my dog put to sleep on Wednesday night (the 9th). It was fairly sudden, she became ill over the weekend, vet gave her antibiotics for a chest infection (she was having trouble breathing) and by Wednesday night we ended up at the emergency vets, where an X-ray confirmed a tumour on her lung. Too large to operate on and causing her distress. Always a difficult decision, but we didn’t want her suffering any longer. The vet said it was only her spirit that was keeping her alive. She was 12.

So as you can imagine, I’ve been on a huge downer….bouts of tearfulness and generally the inability to even pick up a pen 😦

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My darling Georgie, I will miss you so much….the house feels so empty without you….but, I know I have to pick myself up, carry on, because I know you’re somewhere, reunited with Bill (our Shih T Zu who died of a heart attack in 2010). I know in my heart that one day I will see you again.

*blows nose and wipes eyes* Does how you feel emotionally affect your ability to write? It feels like I’ve just been plunged into a dark space, and I’m finding it hard to focus my eyes. Oooo, that sounds a bit dramatic doesn’t it….I’m fine really.

Right, so lets crack on, I needto focus…… I needto get back into some kind of routine πŸ™‚

The original list from last week was:

1. Finish the spell check (and do it again incase there’s something I’ve missed). DONE
2. Check that’s it’s set out correctly (ie paragraphing and indenting dialogue). STARTED
3. Check punctuation (I have a tendency to forget all about it during dialogue). STARTED

The rest, I’m afraid, didn’t get tackled….however, I did print all 202 pages off. I find it much easier editing it when it’s on paper in front of me.

Yep, so guess what the plan is this week?

4. Change tense where needed (one of my worst habits, I tend to flit between past and present during a longer piece lol). STARTED
5. Print off to start the re-write (I’ve decided to change a few things quite considerably). PRINTED OFF
6. Do the research needed.
7. Write the ending (GULP).
8. Write a synopsis.
9. Decide who to pick on as Beta readers lol (Think of questions to ask Beta readers)
10. Think about what to do with it next (depending on Beta readers comments, I could be starting back at number 1 lol).

What are you hoping to achieve this week? And how about editing Do you do most of it on the PC or print off and use the red pen?

This Weeks Goals 7-13th May


I started working with daily goals last week, and I have to say I failed miserably. So this week I’m going to try working to a weekly list πŸ™‚

So what’s on the agenda this week?…..

My aim this week is to have the whole of my WIP spellchecked, set out properly and printed off for the next stage of editing (from 1 to 5). I’ve decided not to write any more short stories for the time being, I’m determined to get this novel into some kind of finished state before I start the next one in November.

Sooooo, the to do list with the novel is:

1. Finish the spell check (and do it again incase there’s something I’ve missed).
2. Check that’s it’s set out correctly (ie paragraphing and indenting dialogue).
3. Check punctuation (I have a tendency to forget all about it during dialogue).
4. Change tense where needed (one of my worst habits, I tend to flit between past and present during a longer piece lol).
5. Print off to start the re-write (I’ve decided to change a few things quite considerably).
6. Do the research needed.
7. Write the ending (GULP).
8. Write a synopsis.
9. Decide who to pick on as Beta readers lol (edited to add: Think of questions to ask Beta readers)
10. Think about what to do with it next (depending on Beta readers comments, I could be starting back at number 1 lol).

So, any advice? Is there anything I’ve missed?

For your viewing pleasure, these are my piles of “working” writing stuff on my dining room table lol

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It was only 2 piles until I decided to start all those extra notebooks lol

So, I’m hoping, that sharing my plans for the week with you guys will mean that I’ll stick to them. You have my permission to beat me with a large stick if I post next Monday that I failed πŸ˜‰

What are you writing plans for the week? Do I need to find a large stick to use on you? πŸ˜‰