Tuesday, October 3, 2017

The Insecure Writer and Not Ignoring Your Family


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

This month I'm co-hosting IWSG , along with Olga GodimJennifer Hawes, and Tamara Narayan.  Be sure to stop by their blogs and say hello.

Why am I an Insecure Writer this month?

Because I think I may be neglecting my fatherly and husbandly duties while focusing on finishing my story.   

I still have a ways to go on my book, but I can at least see the end approaching, and that has me pumped to write every chance I get.  It’s also fall, the season when my creative juices are at their highest.  Needless to say, I’m using every spare minute to write.

But occasionally I look up from my writing desk and realize life is running along without me, and chores I should be doing are falling by the wayside. Normally, my wife would be there to remind me, but she’s been busy with her own projects and hasn’t noticed my lapses.

This might seem like a win-win situation, but I’m beginning to wonder what’s happening with the kids while my wife and I are off on other worlds. I assume they're eating and bathing and doing their homework and going to school, but I don't really know for sure. I suppose I should check up on them—that is, after I finish my next chapter.


Let's tackle this month’s IWSG question:

Have you ever slipped any of your personal information into your characters, either by accident or on purpose?


Not really, unless you count giving my protagonists some of my personal habits and quirks, but nothing I’d want to keep secret. On the other hand, I did use my very first girlfriend’s name for my protagonist’s ex-love interest.  Haven’t told the wife about that one though, so let's keep that little tidbit between ourselves.  Okay?

BTW, this is "Show Us Your Writer Insecurity day, so get those pictures of you being insecure posted on your blog or your Facebook page. Needless to say, I misread the directions, so my picture will be kind of lame.

In other news, today should be the announcement of the official release of the free IWSG Guide to Writing for Profit. Check out the IWSG website for more details. 

Happy Insecurities to all of you!


ChemistKen







69 comments:

  1. I understand that fear. I feel the guilt at times too since I am really trying to get a new novel idea off the ground and I can't stop thinking about it. I do get up early and work for a couple of hours, but I wish I had more time. Good luck to you. I hope you can maintain your balance between life and writing :)

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  2. My kids are too intrusive (or young?) I wouldn't stand a chance of ignoring them! Although as they get older and more interested in their own things I find I can occasionally sneak off for a bit of scribbling

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    1. I hear you. The problem is that you'll miss those younger years once they're gone. We just can't win. :)

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  3. My boys grew up to "Give Mommy 15 more minutes to finish this scene!" . . . unless there was arterial spray or broken bones. (Son 2 was born on the same day the revisions for Book 3 were due and both were early!) They though everyone's mom did that. And the grew up to be (for the most part) normal! Thank for hosting today, Ken!!

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  4. It's very, very easy to get so absorbed in our writing that we don't notice what's going on around us.

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  5. When you're into your writing, it's hard to stop because you might lose the flow. As long as it's a short time, hopefully it's okay with your family. And even though we are parents and spouses, we have to have our own life too. Trying to figure out that one myself right now. Thanks for co-hosting.

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  6. We all hate to lift our heads when the words are flowing, but perhaps you might schedule some "quality kid time" into your day. They'd probably love it and so would you. And in the end, who knows? You might return to your words with fresh eyes and more ideas!

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  7. Understandable. But I'm sure they know that you're not doing it on purpose, that they understand youre working on something important to you. My own kids are always all over me, literally, making it impossible to ignore. But when I tell them I need to write they say "okay mommy" and give me my space. That is until a fight breaks out.
    Happy co-hosting!

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  8. Thanks for the reminder about to get our free IWSG Guide to Writing for Profit. I misread the directions, so my picture is with this months IWSG post. Oh, well.
    Thanks for co-hosting this month.

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  9. Thanks for co-hosting!
    A short burst of focus on your work is all right. If it drifts into months and then years, yeah, you might want to check on the kids.

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  10. Little tidbits slip into my characters as well, but I'd say it's a conscious choice on my part. Thanks for co-hosting, Ken! You're the best! http://www.raimeygallant.com

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  11. I know what you mean about family. Fortunately, or maybe not, my kids are not ones to let me drift off into my fantasy worlds. They demand my attention often and loudly. The house and yard and pets on the other hand...Ugh. Too many balls to juggle. Good luck to you on balancing them all!

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  12. My husband will gently remind me to look up now and then, not only from writing but from publishing.

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  13. I sometimes worry my chores are being forgotten too, but the story calls! And your secret is safe with us. ;) Thank you for co-hosting.

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  14. Fun. Where did you post your picture? I have kids, too, and luckily they're very self-sufficient, but still, they like it when we at least say Good Morning. It's always hard to find a balance. Maybe plan an outing with the family to reconnect, then chain yourself back to the writing table!
    Mary at Play off the Page

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  15. Balance is hard to find. Especially if I'm on a writing roll. At least you noticed and can take action. :-)

    Anna from elements of emaginette

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  16. My kids are finally getting to the age that I can ignore them, at least for a little while, assuming I do enough prep to lay out snacks, food, drink, and get a show going. If I do that, I can usually get a good 20 minute stretch of writing in. Too bad it doesn't happen very often.

    I say, cling to that momentum while you've got it!

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  17. How bad can the kids be? I mean, their dad basically does homework as a hobby. Of course, they're in school and eating. Where... else..?

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  18. Ha ha! We'll keep that quiet. I try to write while the kids are in school. It helps with the guilt trip.

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  19. Thanks for co-hosting this month. I hope your wife doesn't read your blog :-)

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  20. I've been neglectful in the past too--sometimes the writing sucks you in and won't let you out! My son is grown up now though, so it's a little easier.

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  21. I have a similar insecurity. I'm determined to finish my current project, and I'm setting a lot of other things aside to get it done. But this has been going on for a while now, and I'm starting to worry that I'm setting too much aside for too long a time.

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  22. I'm a lot like you, Ken. That is exactly why I couldn't write until my kids left the house: I just couldn't balance both lives.

    Thank goodness I dropped in on your blog. I had no idea of all the other #IWSG activities.

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  23. "Happy Insecurities" - Love it:-) Surprise Date nights and Marshmallow Wars do well to bridge the unintended gaps in closeness. I often leave little notes - in the fridge, or a sock drawer - just to let them know my muse is not entirely my captor. Now my daughter leaves notes too ;-)

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  24. I have to admit that I'm jealous. At the moment it's the opposite with me, where my life is making so much drama that it's nearly impossible for me to focus on getting something written.

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  25. Ken, I suspect the wife knows now. LOL. It's wonderful how men are different, yet all the same. Or is that husbands? Happy IWSG. Thanks for co-hosting. And welcome back to earth.

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  26. Thanks for co-hosting! I'll be back around to check out some of your Harry Potter posts :)

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  27. Hi there, and thanks for co-hosting this month. Yeah, life... what a drag, right. Always vying for your attention. I always give my characters names of real people from my real life as I write my first drafts. Then, afterward, I do a "find and replace" to change them. And what goober would intentionally put into their work details and tidbits that they want to keep secret from people? Interesting incidentals are one thing. Deep, dark, secrets we don't even like looking directly at ourselves are something else altogether. Glad to hear that your current WIP won't release its stranglehold on your brain. Yes, neglect of the children tends to be a side effect, but... meh. Kids need to learn self-care skills at some point right? ;)

    Happy writing. Enjoy the season!

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    1. When I don't have a name picked out for a character yet, I will use the name of my friends as a place holder. But I'd never tell them that.

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  28. Thanks for co-hosting! Meh, I'm sure the kids are fine if they're still fed and watered. ha ha

    I'm like you. This is the time I like to write too. The warm weather is starting to leave, the sweatpants are making a comeback, it's time to plant my butt down and get to it!

    Enjoy the rest of your week!
    Elsie

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    1. Ah yes, nothing like writing in your sweatpants after dark on those cold winter nights. The problem is, sometimes they're so comfy you want to fall asleep instead.

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  29. If the kids were hungry, I'm sure they'd let you know. :)

    Good luck with the book!

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  30. Congrats on nearing the finish line! What a great feeling that must be. I do use personal information in my characters, but certainly nothing I consider "secret." Thanks for co-hosting today. (I hope this doesn't post twice-Blogger comments hates me).

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  31. We only have 24 hours a day. I don't think it is possible to squeeze in all we want. Priorities have to be made, and some things are going to get ignored because of the lack of time. It's all about priorities.

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  32. I have had moments with my kids like that, too. Sometimes, they get busy with their own projects, and sometimes, they start demanding food ... :) Actually, they have survived most of my writing moments with grace and endurance.

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    1. Promise them that they'll be characters in your next story if they stay quiet. :)

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  33. Hi,
    I find it super that you're getting along with your manuscript. You're on a roll so keep writing. Keep that flow moving. And thanks for co-hosting.

    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

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  34. Life is a neverending quest for balance, I think, especially when you have personal projects. Kids tend to let you know if they've got a problem, so I'm sure they're doing alright!

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  35. Isn't it exciting when you can see the end? I love it. Since it's only Hubs and me now (and he's indulgent) I don't worry too much about what falls by the wayside when I'm in the zone. Good thing I didn't start this gig until the kids went off to college. Teach the kids how to call 911 when necessary and to let you know when the EMTs arrive. :)

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    1. Oops. Forgot to say thanks for co-hosting! Yay, you!!!

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  36. Seeing the end in sight is awesome! I bet your kids are doing just fine! :)

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  37. I usually create at least one character in my own image in my stories. Finding balance is as a writer is hard. Great post, and thanks for co-hosting!

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  38. Thanks for co-hosting this month.
    I sometimes worry I neglect my husband too. Though I know he understands that I write when I can. Since we still squeeze in date nights, I think we're good. Having kids probaly makes it a little harder, but I'm sure your family understands. Plus, the fact that this concerns you is a good sign your family is always on your mind, even when you are writing. :)

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  39. I feel this all of the time. Time is really the most precious of resources. We can never have enough. I like to think my family understands, but it gets hard at times.

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  40. Thanks for co-hosting! If it makes you feel better, I sort of wish I could get to that point sometimes.

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  41. I'm neglectful when I'm writing too. It's a good thing my daughter's grown and married, and my hubs can take care of himself. If your kids are being quiet, though, you might want to check what they're up to ;) LOL.

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  42. I'm impressed. I get though. Done some of that myself. Glad you did not get in trouble with your wife. LOL.
    Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

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  43. Oh, that's funny about the ex-girlfriend, because I gave an ex-boyfriend's name to my detectives rather vile (ex)husband!

    I'm trying to adapt to the fact that I don't have any kids around to neglect. Which means I'm fresh out of excuses.

    Thanks for co-hosting. I appreciated the visit and comment :)
    —Rebecca
    My IWSG Post

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  44. You definitely need to check in with those kids and I hope your wife isn’t quietly cataloging those lapses!

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  45. I'm happy to hear that you're seeing the end in sight, Ken! What an awesome feeling that must be. I so get your insecurity, although I don't have kids to neglect, just a husband. Sometimes he plops a plate of food in front of my face so that I don't pass out from hunger when I'm on a roll. LOL Happy writing toward the end in October! Thanks for co-hosting!

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  46. I often feel guilty when I'm devoting a lot of my weekends to writing rather than family stuff and housekeeping. I do try to do one day of writing and one day of family. (Chores tend to creep in during the week--the up? or down? side of working from home.) But I'm lucky in that my family supports my work and encourages me to take the time I need for it.

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  47. LOL. Wait until your wife finds out. You better put her in the dedication page.

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  48. Scheduling quality time with your kids and wife, as another suggested, would be a good idea. And then schedule quality writing time so your characters don't get neglected. Even if we don't want to stop writing, those breaks end up helping us. :)

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  49. There are times I seem to go into workaholic mode too. To combat this, we have family days and stuff like that where we all set aside other things and do stuff together. Even if it's just binge watching movies and eating junk food or playing board games. Doing this once a weeks helps you feel like your not so out of touch. Good luck!

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  50. You are in TROUBLE if she finds out! :-D

    It's so hard to balance writing with the rest of life. Some days I want to write all day and other days I'm so grateful for my day job. And a lot of home chores are left undone due to this writing thing.

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  51. That's a problem, feeling so inspired to write this time a year and guilty you are neglecting your family. But what would it hurt to spend an extra ten minutes here and there? They'll love you for it and you'll feel better. I try not to ignore those feelings. I misread the instructions too. Too much skim reading on my part. Thanks for co hosting!

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  52. I understand this. Unfortunately. Lately, I've be hitting writing hard and end up spending my evenings in front of the screen. My kids do their own thing, but I'm feeling guilty. I've promised myself to start shoving the laptop away for 30 mins or so and playing a game with them. See if it works.

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  53. Bravo to you, Ken. You can see the end of your novel. Go for it! But do check on the kids. Whenever my kids were quiet, they were usually doing something they shouldn't be. But MY kids would always bother me about food and questions for homework. You're lucky.

    Thanks for co-hosting the October question for IWSG. All best to you.

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  54. Getting lost in the writing world can be good and bad! For me, I am focusing on all those chores and life getting in the way things, so no writing my memoir the last two months. I need to make a shift. And, as for everyone, strike a good balance. Congrats on getting this far with your book already. Happy autumn and inspiration season, and thanks for co-hosting!

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  55. Well, since you can see the end, then it's probably okay to be a bit more lax about chores and such. Otherwise, you could find some things you can do in a short amount of time that can give you a bit of a break from writing. :)

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  56. It's all balance, and it's hard to achieve. Often I feel myself tugged in multiple directions. Do I write or play games with my brother? Do I play or do I hang out with my wife? Do I hang out with her or do I focus on exercise and achievement? Do I do any of that, or do I write? Combine all this with chronic health problems, monthly injections, creative catatonia caused by narcotic medications, and just raw exhaustion from working along with everything else and it just creates a constant tug of war.

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  57. I have to admit that I love it when my writing goes so well that life happens around me for a time without me noticing. Is that bad? lol

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  58. It's easy to get so deeply entrenched in your writing, that the real world seems to fade away. Love the confession about the name of your first girlfriend. Mum's the word! Keep writing! www.dianeweidenbenner.com

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  59. My husband and the new cat seem to ignore my lapses. I love them dearly for it. Maybe it helps that this second job of mine earns me some money and has the potential to keep us happy in old age.

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  60. Chores often fall by the wayside for me when it comes to writing or my crafts. It's why I make to do lists and put that sort of stuff on there. It reminds me to pause writing and go clean the bathroom it is gross. LOL

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  61. Thank you for co-hosting the IWSG this month, Ken!
    One question. Does your wife read your blog?
    Happy October!

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  62. Already ordered the new book! Thanks for co-hosting, and don't worry, I'm sure the family will understand!

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  63. Losing yourself in your work has to happen. Thanks for co-hosting this month.

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