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So Near And Yet So Far – Insecure Writer’s Support Group



IWSG is a support group for insecure writers, like me (and maybe you!) Basically, we post about our doubts and struggles (and encouragement, if you please) on the first Wednesday of each month. If you want to know more about IWSG or join, check out this post by our host Alex J. Cavanaugh.

January ended and with it, the deadline I have set for my WIP. My goal was to hit 70,000 words by January 31 and unfortunately I was 15,000 words short. So what else is new?

I decided to make the most of my recent time off to catch up and while it was hard work–involving a lot of staring rather than writing, it was fun work. I also ended up going back to my outline with a lot of changes and additional scenes.

As I sit with my updated 60,140 word count, I should be happy my goal is so near. After all, the longest novel I’ve written was roughly 53,000 words. Except I now realize I won’t be finished at 70,000, as I still have a long way to go, story-wise.

I have no idea what number I need to hit now before I can say I’m finished with this draft. I know it would be trimmed down in the revisions, which means I should be glad I haven’t run out of plot but at the same time, there’s this sense of disappointment. I started writing the story way back in ’07 or ’08, shelved it before picking it back up sometime last year. As the word count added up, slowly to be sure, I was at least consoled by the fact that the finish line was near, only to now realize that while I came so close, I am in fact still very far. Sigh.

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32 thoughts on “So Near And Yet So Far – Insecure Writer’s Support Group

  1. I actually stopped setting goals because I kept falling short. Not a good attitude, I know. That’s why I love IWSG.

  2. It sounds to me like you’re well on your way. Keep up the good work!

  3. I agree with Cathrina. Sometimes you have to stop worrying about the actual number of words and just focus on the story. That’s the important thing anyway. Before I became a writer I was a reader. As a reader I never thought about how many words was in the story. Now I’m trying to remind myself of that very thing as I write…don’t look at the numbers, keep moving the plot toward the finish…

    Good luck!

    You can find my IWSG post at http://charitywrites.blogspot.com NOT the wordpress site linked above.

  4. I am so jealous of your word count – sounds to me like you are doing great.

  5. Don’t set yourself a number to be finished. Creativity doesn’t work that way. I, too, set myself a rough goal with my first novel. I told myself I would be happy with 60,000 words. That novel became close to 90,000 when finished. That’s just where the story needed to go. Just write the story you want to tell and that will be your final word count. Good Luck.

  6. Good on you for not getting discouraged. Goals are fluid if they’re to be useful. Guidelines, if you will. Discovery during the process is what makes writing so exciting . . . and frustrating.

    • It’s a struggle sometimes and I’m really grateful to have found such a wonderful support group with IWSG. Totally agree on the exciting/frustrating part though. I suppose that’s why I always come back to it in the end. Thanks for visiting!

  7. Hey. You’re doing better than me. I can’t seem to write a novel under 100k words to save my soul! LOL

    As far as my retreat goes… Staying at a hotel in my own city helped. I do enough sightseeing in my daily life. 😉

  8. @ Cathrina, charity, and Wendy: Thanks for stopping by and the encouraging words. Really appreciate it and you guys sharing your process. Thanks!

  9. Setting a number goal for word count is kind of tough for that reason. A story can’t fit an exact word mold, at least not at first. Focus on setting goals based on getting to certain points in the story. Then once you get the whole draft written, you can figure out how to get it to the right word count for your story.

    I totally understand this though. I have several books that are in various stages of writing. I just can’t seem to finish one!

    Good luck! You’re doing awesome! I think it’s amazing that you’ve written over 60,000 words. Keep it up!

  10. Your story will tell you when it is done. Just keep plugging away until then. How about ignoring the word-count for a bit, and just focusing on the action? Good luck!

  11. Focus on the story. I only pay attention to word count when it’s a daily goal. But the story ends where it ends. Still sounds like you will be finished soon though!

  12. Just keep going and congrats on not giving up.

    —Greetings from a February IWSG Co-host

  13. What a great word count!!! 🙂 I love the title of your blog.

  14. @ Liza, Alex, Sheena: Thanks! I definitely need to do that instead of being so obsessed with the word count. LOL

  15. And yet you’re much closer than you were before you picked it up last year! I feel you’d be better focusing on that thought, though I know it’s nice knowing a nice, round number of which to aim for… but you’re definitely a lot closer to finishing that if you hadn’t ever begun working on it again. Best of luck with your writing adventure!

  16. I think you’re doing well with your goal. It’s always difficult to get back into a routine after Christmas, and you have no need to worry. I haven’t regained my routine yet. If I write five pages, double-spaced, in four hours I have done brilliantly. My average is three. I’m not sure about the word count. The main thing is that it all adds up. Even half-a-page each day would get you there – eventually.
    All the best.
    The html for the badge, by the way, is the host’s website where the list of names are for the blog. Add it to the photo of the badge. I haven’t a clue how to do this on wordpress.

  17. I tend to ignore the word count and numbers game when I’m writing. I’m more interested in getting the story out, then editing it and worrying about the numbers later. Some stories take a long time to write. Discard the guilt trips. The story will be told in its time. No need to stress about stuff you can’t control anyway.

  18. Hey Caffe!

    First off, 60K is nothing to sneeze at. Kudos for getting that much accomplished. And this is how I figure it, write until the story is told. I plan that first draft to be in the 90-100K’s because the first draft is a lot of BS that will be cut down to a respectable sized story.

    I achieve my goals, but don’t put unrealistic expectations on myself, keeping in mind that life has a way of butting in on the best of intentions.

    Thanks for visiting my blog!

  19. Word count isn’t everything, sometimes it’s better to forget it and go with where the story wants you to go. You will reach your goals!

  20. Yes, I was going to say the same as the comment above. Give yourself credit and encouragement for writing CONSISTENTLY and focus less on the word count. It seems to be tripping you up a bit. Plus, take it from someone with the opposite problem (too long of manuscripts–90K or so), a shorter word count is desirable in the current market. You’re in the perfect range with enough leeway to wrap up your story!

  21. you’ve come so far! and i am in the same boat with my wip, i need to add about 15000 more words to reach my goal. the only way to get there is to keep writing! we can support each other =)

  22. What a good group to start! Honor where you are at and enjoy the process. I’m an optimistic encourager so if you have a cheer-leading section for the group, let me know! Keep writing!

  23. Pingback: (Don’t) Edit While You Write – Relapsing and IWSG | Just Get It Written

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