Wednesday, December 6, 2017

The Insecure Writer and the End of the Year


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


Why am I an Insecure Writer this month?

Because we're nearing the end of the year, and as usual, I haven't met my writing goals.   

Hey, at least I did better than last year, and that should count for something, right?  The important thing is that I tried.
I tried



So let's tackle this month’s IWSG question:

As you look back on 2017, with all its successes and failures, if you could backtrack, what would you do differently? 


The answer is probably not too much. I pushed myself to submit something to both my monthly critique groups, no matter how much it hurt, and as a result, I wrote more words this year than ever before. Still not as much as I might wish for, but life insists on getting in the way, so unless I quit my day job, there's a limit to how productive I can be. 

I guess one bad habit is my tendency to take it easy after a really productive writing session. I’ll feel so good about what I accomplished that day, I’ll often take a break the next day, even if I have time available for writing. A couple more days will pass, and before I know it, my slothfulness will have cancelled out my one productive day. I need to follow up a good day of writing with another one, and another one... 

Another big problem was the lack of posts on my blog during the last several months.  Some of that can be blamed on spending extra time working on my story, but part of it was laziness, and that's something a writer like me can't afford. 

Still, I look forward to the beginning of the year.  That's when we all get together and announce our resolutions and writing goals.  It'll be a heady time!


ChemistKen



46 comments:

  1. Please don't make me make a resolution. :) I'm so bad at it. :) http://www.raimeygallant.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Haha! That kid trying to do a cartwheel like his older sister! I'm LOLing hard.

    That's me watching all the cool authors with published books trying to be like them. Arms up to the sky one second! Face-plant on the floor the next....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, that's kinda how I feel when I see everyone else publishing so much.

      Delete
  3. Sounds like you had a great writing year! Hope 2018 will be good for you, too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd like to say I'll have finished my story by then, but I have no idea if I will or not.

      Delete
  4. I have a day job too, and I don't think you can be too hard on yourself when you have one. You need to have family time and just relaxing time. It's not lazy. You probably don't get enough. I don't either with my blog and writing. That's all important too. You're doing great!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the encouragement. Like I said in my post, I just need to be more consistent in my writing--and not just when I have a submission due to my critique group.

      Delete
  5. It's tough when a day job is involved. Not an excuse, but it's challenging.
    Just set a time each day, just fifteen minute. It will keep you in the groove.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can manage 15 minutes a day. I just need to keep my nose to the grindstone for the full fifteen minutes.

      Delete
  6. Oh my gosh I love that gif. I'm right there with that little guy!!
    My job has become more demanding, in a good way, over the past year and my writing time has definitely suffered. Since I'm already a terrible procrastinator, that's been deadly for my productivity. But 2018 is a new year for us all, right?
    Happy Holidays to you and your family!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My new job has been keeping me busier, but I'm working hard at trying to find more writing time.

      Delete
  7. I never post except for on IWSG days! I feel like my writing time should be spent on my novel writing. Have a great Christmas!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Have a great Christmas, yourself. Thanks for stopping by.

      Delete
  8. When I read your blog, Ken, I always feel you're doing the best you can balancing too many tasks. I feel the same about myself. No way will I feel bad about that!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As long as the most important task of finishing my book happens, that's all that's important.

      Delete
  9. Love the gif.

    DLP keeps me so busy now that I never have time to write my own stories.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. One day you'll get back to writing. I just know it.

      Delete
  10. That gif is awesome! I agree with Alex if you can set a few minutes aside every day, it will add up. Happy holidays!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The only trouble is that I'm a slow writer, and 15 minutes a day just isn't enough. I want to finish my book before I retire!

      Delete
  11. I fall into that bad habit too. The truth is that sometimes, if I have an unusually productive writing day, I really do need to take the next day off to recover. The struggle is determining when I really need to rest and when I'm just being lazy. It can be hard to tell the difference.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In my case, I'm pretty sure it's laziness. Or else the fear that I won't be able to duplicate the productivity a second time.

      Delete
  12. I'm guilty of that in writing and housekeeping. After spending a day cleaning like mad, I think, "Whew! No need to work that hard again for a few days!" which become weeks and before you know it, you're living in a toxic wasteland--again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I understand your cleaning rational completely. My wife is not pleased about that.

      Delete
  13. Progress is progress! And like you, I tend to take days off that stretch into weeks, making me an even slower writer than I might usually be. But I'm also looking forward to starting fresh after the holidays. I know it's arbitrary, but psychologically it's so much easier for me to get going once the calendar has turned.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The new year always starts out so new and refreshing, and full of promise. By the time I hit April, I know I'll be behind in my writing.

      Delete
  14. Having a monthly critique group sounds like great motivation, and I think you've done well to submit regularly. I do struggle to not "rest on my laurels" with writing, too. But we can all have a restart next year. Here's to it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Restarts are good. I just have to make sure I take advantage of it.

      Delete
  15. You tried and you did better than last year - those are the important facts to focus on.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm happy with it. I still wish I wrote faster though.

      Delete
  16. Sometimes I just wear out. On writing. On blogging. On getting up in the morning. Time for a break when that happens. And trying gets a + in my book.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We all need a break now and then. Getting up early in the morning gets old very fast.

      Delete
  17. You wrote more than last year. That's fantastic! Even if we don't succeed in a goal by a certain amount of time, it's better to make progress on said goal than not to. Here's to a great 2018!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Doing better than last year counts for a lot! :)

    Taking it easy the day after a good writing session would decrease your momentum. Keeping it going is important. Knowing me, that day of relaxation would make me lazy and the next day I'd struggle to get back into it.

    ReplyDelete
  19. That easy slide from needed rest to laziness is tough. May we all strike a balance in 2018!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Loved the gif! I feel like the first kid ... on my face and getting up again.
    Keep on writing down word after word, step after step, and you will reach your goals, Ken!

    ReplyDelete
  21. It's been an up and down sort of year. I definitely feel like the kid who face slammed :) but hope for better is never wasted. Keep plugging away, you'll get there!

    ReplyDelete
  22. That cartwheel is a killer! A day job definitely makes it difficult to be productive in the writing. I consider it a major accomplishment that I write at all. Like you, I hope to finish my book in 2018, so here's to both of us succeeding!

    ReplyDelete
  23. You do deserve a reward, but a day off might not be the right choice. Try chocolate, or puppies, or a bike ride... does it what reward matter? No, because you're writing more words and that is awesome.

    Anna from elements of emaginette

    ReplyDelete
  24. We do what we can. My goal is to use my time better. Sometimes things happen we have no control over. So we accept it and move on. We do what we can. Re: blogging. What's more important, blogging or writing your book? That's where you need to spend your time. Best wishes for a great 2018.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I'm going to be chuckling over the cartwheel all evening, Ken. I think at this point in my life, I'd be a face planter too. Kudos to you for writing more this year! Onward and upward in 2018!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Yay to writing more this year! Life does make writing hard sometimes. And I'm glad to hear that someone else just gets lazy sometimes too.

    ReplyDelete
  27. That's my new favourite clip!!!
    If we achieve all our goals, that means they were too easy ... right??? :)

    ReplyDelete
  28. Cute video. Narrow focus and write everyday is a goal for me. I do that think of one good day then several no days too, lol.

    ReplyDelete
  29. I wouldn't worry too much about a lack of posts on the blog. I am currently only posting once a month because that's all I can manage at the moment. It's ok. As you said, life has a tendency of getting in the way. And that's also ok.

    ReplyDelete
  30. I think it's important to celebrate successes like productivity. If there's no reward, then there's less subconscious inclination to keep being productive. Or maybe it's recharging instead of a reward?

    ReplyDelete

There was an error in this gadget