Wednesday, 1 August 2012

#IWSG: Déjà vu

Today is my first post as part of the Insecure Writers’ Support Group, which consists of a bunch of lovely bloggers who post on the first Wednesday of the month with all their writing insecurities. I’ve got plenty of these, so it's a given I’d be into this.

I'm the 226th member! Click here to see the list of other participants (and to join up yourself, perhaps?).

So what are my writing insecurities? Well (CAUTION: ANGST AHEAD), my main fear at the moment is that, in my effort to learn how to write well, I'm going round in circles and absorbing nothing! I keep having all these “epiphanies” about what step to take next, then realise I’d already thought of (and dismissed) that idea some months previously.

It’s like I'm taking one step forward and two steps back.

The other day, for instance, I started thinking about a TV Program I used to watch, called Fat Friends. Anyone remember it? It was a show based around a slimming group, and we got to delve into the lives of each of the slimmers. It was a warm fuzzy comedy with likeable characters and plenty of emotional issues.

Realising how important the community aspect could be in a good story, I resolved to come up with lots of good “community” ideas for future stories.

But then I thought to myself: wait, this sounds familiar. I consulted an old “story idea” spreadsheet made in June last year, and found this:

(By the way, I have no idea what the hell a Cider Farm is. Is that even a real thing?)

And that's another thing: all these spreadsheets and print-outs and worksheets are just feeding my insecurity! The only thing that will get rid of my insecurity is getting it done, for crying out loud (sorry, I'm in complete despair at my lack of progress). 

I've resolved to start bringing my laptop into work to do a bit of writing on my lunch breaks. I need to get a big bag/rucksack first, though. Cutting about Glasgow with a laptop bag at 6am just screams *mug me, please*. Here's a hilarious Limmy sketch to back this up.

I think insecurity breeds on silence. It’s good to talk to other writers; to vent and not be considered a weirdo for having the audacity to dream of being a writer.

Yesterday, I met the lovely Anne from Is Anyone There for a coffee and a gab. Not only was it great to meet such a sweet person, it was wonderful to just talk about writing with someone who can relate.

Speaking of people who can relate, I look forward to visiting the other #ISWG bloggers when I get home from work tonight!

What are your writing insecurities? Feel free to share (and make me feel less exposed haha) x


michelle said...

Welcome to IWSG Catherine!
I've been there... lots of times... I think most writers get 'stuck in limbo' at some stage or the other. Fear not, you are in GREAT company!

Kyra Lennon said...

Lol, I've been in your position too, but you have answered your own question! :D The only way to get through it is to keep on writing. Second guessing yourself is a sure way to make sure you don't really learn anything. :( Good luck!!

Melissa said...

Or, if you have a computer at work and web-based email, you could write scenes and email them to yourself. LOL At least you wouldn't get mugged.

Sounds like you just need to set some specific goals for yourself and avoid those tempting bunny trails. Good luck. And welcome to the group! :)

IWSG #179 (At least for today.)

Catherine Noble said...

@michelle: Thank you! I am indeed in great company, amongst all you wonderful writers; I seem to be the last to join the group!

@Kyra Lennon: Thanks, Kyra :) Haha you're right! I have the answer, I just need someone to lock me in a room and force me to write! Anyone? Anyone?

Catherine Noble said...

@Melissa: That's a good idea! I thought it'd be easier to bring the laptop as I'm using Scrivener, but I suppose I could just save screenshots of the storyboard etc and save it on a USB stick. Thank you for the warm welcome, I look forward to reading your post!

Ravena Guron said...

I just joined the group as well! I'm in the same position right now, and the problem for me is that no one is WILLING to lock me up in a room, and not let me out until I've written. The world is against me :D

Catherine Noble said...

@Ravena Guron: Yay, a fellow newbie! I wish someone would lock me up in a room, but I don't want them to think I'm getting all "fifty shades" on them haha. We should start a new business: Personal Writing Prison Wardens. We'd make a fortune! Ooooh what a world!! :)

Anonymous said...

Welcome! I am an outliner too and it is so easy to get caught up in 'thinking on paper' rather than writing. Good for you for getting started with IWSG. I have yet to make my post for the day but I do have the excuse that it is still early here. I am going through and doing the reading and commenting so I have no excuse not to start today as well.

BTW, there are apple orchards here in the U.S. East coast and Midwest that churn out a lot of cider. One could say they are farming cider!

Tyrean Martinson said...

Love how the laptop carrier gets the guy talking and then pops him with the laptop . . .too funny.

For me, the only way to finish a project is to make a goal and force myself to finish. I joined National NOvel WRiting MOnth and finished a rough draft in a month . . .it's taken me nearly two years to revise the thing . . . but I forgot to make a goal for that. :) Anyway . . . just keep writing, keep writing, and try to enjoy it.

Jamie Burch said...

I can totally relate, Catherine! It's taken me so long to get where I'm at. But to keep writing is the best way to learn and grow as a writer. Just wish I didn't let so many things get in the way.

Glad to have you here! :)

Kaye Draper said...

Cider mill maybe?

There's only been one occasion when I was unable to really get going on a project. I finally gave it up and moved on to another project. In the middle of the second project I had an "ah-ha!" moment and thought, you know what if the story was set in this world. That's all it took. Once I realized this one little feature of the world, then the whole thing kind of just flowed. Moral of the story (sorry for rambling)- maybe you need to move on to something else and let your subconscious stew on this one until you're ready?

Nancy Thompson said...

Hi Catherine and welcome to the IWSG! I'm also a member (#47) and am now a new follower of yours. I think you'll like it here!

Yes, there's lots of advice for writers out there, but I think it's important to know what works for you and stick with that. For me, it's culling one idea then jotting down notes then outlining the entire story in longhand in a notebook. Then I sit down and write with my notes in front of me. It's important to get the story down before revising. Worry about the plotting and everything else later. That can all be changed and layered and made juicy-good farther down the line. Most importantly, don't try to work with more than one idea at a time. Sure, jot your other book ideas down for later consideration, but focus on only one thing. Let it come to a slow boil. And whatever you do, just keep writing. Good luck!!

Anne Mackle said...

Loved the video. I wonder how many people understood the Glasow accent. Thanks you for your lovely words it was great to meet you too and to speak to someone about writing we will do it again soon. It sounds like the advice I gave you just to keep on writing was the right advice. So get in that locked room and write!

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

Hi Catherine. Today was my first IWSG post too. We're like kindred spirits or something. Ha, or not. But I can relate to your dilemma. What Nancy wrote is great advice. You have to decide what's important to you. I was lucky, my character stopped by one day and wouldn't leave until I wrote her story. In fact, she's still with me.

I think, as corny as this sounds, you need to keep doing what you're doing. Some time in the future, hopefully not too long, you'll look back and see how all this struggling really led you to where you were meant to go. Life works out like that a lot, I think.

Happy writing.

Catherine Noble said...

You people are all amazing. I literally want to print out each and every one of your pieces of advice and stick it on my wall! I promise to catch up on replies in the morning, I have a 5am alarm and it's already 10:30pm :o *groan*

Till tomorrow... x

Krista McLaughlin said...

You are in the right place for support! It is good to speak to other writers and know that you aren't alone. I just joined IWSG two months ago and it is great to have the support of others and realize that they struggle with the same things.

I haven't made any writing progress in two weeks, but that's okay. Writing takes your mind and you have to be willing to write a lot of crap before you write something good. Keep plowing forward! (Sorry for the farming reference, I'm from Iowa and we are surrounded by corn.) Keep writing! :)

Lexa Cain said...

It's great that you have so many ideas, but you're right, you can't improve unless you actually write things and get feedback and then revise. Maybe you could start out with short stories. That's what I did.

Vikki ( said...

Just stopping by from the IWSG :)

I've felt exactly the same when it comes to "learning" about writing. It seems the more I learn the more reluctant I am to actually pick up a pen lol :(

Good luck honey, don't give up, you are not aloe :)


Catherine Noble said...

@amy gh: "Thinking on Paper" is an excellent way to describe what I've been doing with myself for the last year haha. Thank you for clearing up the Cider Farm mystery, I can't for the life of me remember a) why I wrote it and b) why I thought it would make a compelling story idea haha!

@Tyrean Martinson: It's hilarious, isn't it? I love Limmy, his stuff is outrageous but it's my kind of humour. Well done for getting your rough draft done in a month, I done the same during NaNo 2011! We should make revision goals for our Nano 2012 attempts :)

@Jamie Burch: You've done so well for yourself :) I think a common attribute for writers is the ability to let things get in the way, so you're not alone, I wish the same thing!

@Kaye Draper: Now cider MILL I've heard of! Thanks, that's been on the top of my tongue since yesterday haha. Thank you for your wonderful advice, I will definitely be up for letting the subconscious stew if I get stuck with this WIP (I'm hoping it will flow when I give it the attention it needs!)

@Nancy Thompson: Amazing. Your advice completely sums up the process I want to work with! Looking at my current WIP, I do fear there might be too much going on. Perhaps I should've been putting some of the extra stuff in a seperate notebook to be pursued at a different time. You've given me plenty of food for thought, thank you :)

@Anne Mackle: I knew you'd like the video haha! Yes, we should definitely meet up again when you get back. Looking forward to it! You're right, your advice was spot on :)

@Joylene Nowell Butler: Yay, I like the sound of kindred spirits haha :) You're so lucky with your character having so much clarity, I get so caught up with work etc. that I have to force the story out of my head sometimes then have to go hunting for it later on! Thank you for your lovely words, I do hope to look back one day and think "ahhh you've come so far!" Life really does have a way of panning out like that :)

@Krista McLaughlin: How amazing is IWSG, really? I can't get over how wonderful and supportive everyone has been. I think joining ISWG is one of the best decisions I made last month! Your farming reference is so apt, considering the cider farm fiasco haha. Here's hoping your next two weeks are productive and inspired :)

@Vikki: Thank you, it feels good to know I'm not the only one feeling like this. That whole learning business is a vicious circle haha. Good luck picking up that pen, you can do it :) xx

Katharina Brendel said...

Ohh, keeping track of ideas is horrible! I have about a gazillion journals lying around with things jotted down. I try to periodically go through them and put them in Scrivener so they are at least a little organized ;)

But yes, I also struggle with thinking too much about my story and not getting it done! Trying to squeeze in writing time at work sounds like a good idea, hope you make some progress!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Welcome to the IWSG! You are in the right place.
I think I've heard that called over thinking. I do it as well. Don't worry if it's been done or if you're doing it write. Just start writing.

Cheyenne Campbell said...

Hi Catherine from a fellow newbie to IWSG!

I can totally relate to not wanting to cart around a bag big enough to carry a laptop in Glasgow - I used to live in Renfrew and am up to visit Cumbernauld a few times a year! (mother-in-law's up there :) Hopefully moving back to Scotland soon...

I've been writing in pure solitude for so long and only this past year did I start to slowly try to meet people online to talk about all the crazy insecurities, thoughts, and doubts that pop up doing this writing thing that I want to do more than anything. And sometimes making lists and character descriptions and writing ABOUT goals takes over from the actual doing - but that's when it helps to have other people to give me a bit of a kick to get back to it :) Good luck with your writing this month!

Chemist Ken said...

Welcome to the IWSG!

Nothing wrong with coming back to your old ideas. The fact that you do just means the concepts are deeply ingrained within your subconscious. Don't ignor them. You'll want to write those stories someday.

Post a Comment