Wednesday, May 6, 2015

The Insecure Writer and Calendars



Today is May's contribution to Alex Cavanaugh's Insecure Writers Support Group.


Why am I an Insecure Writer this month? 

Because of that darned calendar sitting on my desk.

It's May, and the goals I set for myself back in January suddenly appear much more daunting than they did back at the beginning of the year. Sometimes I wonder where all my time goes. I spent the first four months of the year feeling I was making good progress, but every once in a while I hit a rough patch and the writing ground to a halt while I worked out the kinks. And before I knew it, another month had passed and I was still on the same chapter.

I've come to the realization that this is how my writing process works and it's never going to change. Perhaps my pace will quicken over time, but I'm never going to be the kind of writer that bangs out a book in six months. Probably not even once a year. The only way I'd ever have a chance to meet those goals would be to quit my day job, and I'm not that delusional.

Still, I'm doing better than last year, and that's something to be thankful for.  Wait, am I allowed to be positive during an IWSG post?  Better not tell Alex.


BTW, I salute those of you who were able to rise to the A to Z challenge. It probably would have killed me. I may try it next year--I've already chosen the theme--but we'll see how it goes.

ChemistKen

31 comments:

  1. We need a little positive!
    I'll never crank out a book every year. We just have to be comfortable in our own writing styles.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. True, but when everyone else around me seems to be writing faster than me, I begin to wonder if there's some secret I'm missing.

      Delete
  2. I'm not working and I'm still slow as a slug. Then again, being an at-home mom is not without its time-sucking challenges.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Trust your writing process. You've believed in it all this time already :) Yay for being positive!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I once tried keeping a calendar and giving myself a sticker every time I wrote another 1000 words. I hated it. It was de-motivational. Like you, I sometimes need a few days off to know how to move forward. That's how I work. 1k a day is never going to be a reasonable goal for me.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I'm getting faster with time, but I'm not one of those writers either, and probably never will me. Hang in there and tell yourself that quality is what matters most.

    IWSG #134 until Alex culls the list again.

    ReplyDelete
  6. LOL, yes, you're totally allowed to be positive! Good for you, actually. It's hard to accept that our pace just is what it is - but it's so much better when we do! I hope I get there soon :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Time just keeps getting faster. But progress is progress and that's always good and a reason to be positive or at least optimistic.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Don't look at the calender - that's my dream solution ;)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Accepting how we write and not comparing ourselves to other writers is huge. I'm not a fast creator of stories, either and I've just had to get used to that.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Accepting how we write and not comparing ourselves to other writers is huge. I'm not a fast creator of stories, either and I've just had to get used to that.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I'm not a once-a-year author either. Quality over quantity! (Not saying fast authors don't have quality, but I know I wouldn't!)

    Also, I set my goals on my birthday - so while everyone else is panicking about December, I know I've got another four months to reach them ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  12. I'm not a once-a-year author either. Quality over quantity! (Not saying fast authors don't have quality, but I know I wouldn't!)

    Also, I set my goals on my birthday - so while everyone else is panicking about December, I know I've got another four months to reach them ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  13. Better than last year is a good thing. It shows improvement. And I agree, quitting the day job is daunting, and something I'm not willing to do either. But you're doing great. At least you're working on a chapter. That's better than nothing.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I'm not the world's quickest writer either! Any progress is progress and that's the way I try to look at things. Definitely stay positive about your goals.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Some months are bound to be slower than others - I wouldn't worry about it! I draft fairly quickly, but the editing takes forever. I'm trying not to compare my writing speed to others!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I have those moments, too. As long as you keep moving forward (even if it requires going backwards), it's all good.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I know what you mean, Ken! I promised everyone I'd get my first book out there this year, and already the way the months are flying by has me chewing my nails down to the quick! Eek. Stop the world, I want to get off :-)

    ReplyDelete
  18. I try setting realistic goals for myself. I won NaNo in 2013, and I'm STILL revising it! I do understand what you're saying.

    Thanks so much for visiting me earlier today. It's much appreciated. Have a great one! Eva, IWSG co-host

    ReplyDelete
  19. My goals slipped a little too. I think that's okay. Keep at it and you'll finish the book. =)

    ReplyDelete
  20. I only know a few writers--i.e., Russell Blake--who can write multiple books in a year. His first were only just good enough and then they got great. I sure can't do that.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I never get tired of the photo at the top of your blog... Hey, you can be positive here! Who said you can't? I just read a post on another bloggers site that talked about writing slowly. That most "traditionally" published authors do write slower than the ones that as you said, put out a book every six months. I too, am a slow writer. I can do a fairly fast first draft (thanks to NaNoWriMo) but the fleshing out and making it a "real" book, take a lot more time. Thanks for visiting my blog today! Lisa, co-host #IWSG May, @ http://www.lisabuiecollard.com

    ReplyDelete
  22. The older I get the more determined I am that we rid this house of calendars, clocks, and mirrors. I'm cheering for you, Ken. I didn't do the challenge by myself, which I have to say was a great introduction. Think about joining in with a few others to whet your whistle. Takes the stress out of doing it alone.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I'm the same as you - I can get bogged down in a chapter and before I know it, a month has passed. Yes, we have to accept we'll be lucky if we're one-book-a-year writers. But if it's one book that we're proud of, then it's worth it. Good luck on yours and have a great week!

    ReplyDelete
  24. It's good that you know your method. I'm sure somethings are a battle sometimes, but we all learn by doing. And you're getting better every day.

    Anna from Elements of Writing

    ReplyDelete
  25. It's good to know your pace and method. It's okay to have your own and not someone else's. :) I keep trying to remember that, too. I have an on and off method - I keep writing a little every day, but the "big" work gets done in spurts, and not consistently.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I'm like this too. In January, I think I can conquer the world, but it's slower going by spring, especially when warm weather is calling. It's good that you know your method. I'm lucky if I finish a book in a year (or two).

    ReplyDelete
  27. I'm super slow, too, but I have heard that once authors get a lot of experience and even have deadlines to meet, they become much faster writers. Maybe it's like anything else--if you get very good at writing, you may find you can write faster and faster over time, even with a job. I seem to be writing faster than I was last year and 2 years ago.

    ReplyDelete
  28. For me the speed of writing a book depends on each individual story. Sometimes they flow super fast (I love it when that happens). Other times, they are like drawing blood from a stone.

    ReplyDelete
  29. I don't work as fast or as diligently as some I know. That frustrates me also, but then I remind myself that there are real life things I cannot ignore. I guess my slow pace is just my pace.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Embrace your writing style and pace and keep moving forward! You'll get there, I promise!

    I didn't do A to Z this year either...

    ReplyDelete

There was an error in this gadget