Just Get It Written

Dream, Create, and Make It Happen …

Are You Ready To Commit? (IWSG)



It’s the first Wednesday of the month, which means it’s time for our group posting for IWSG. Insecure Writer’s Support Group is the brainchild of Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh, and his co-hosts for February are Gwen Gardner, Dolorah, Sarah Foster, and M. Pax!

This month is all about commitment for me. Writing, after all, is a marathon, and not a sprint, which means it’s important to be able to get down and commit yourself to a project until it’s through. Unfortunately, I’ve wasted the last few years jumping around from story to story. Sure, I have “finished” drafts here and there, but without the polish of revisions, they really can’t be called finished.

So I decided to commit to one of the two stories I’ve been working on. I was happy with my choice. It was something I wanted to focus on and finishing it would definitely be more rewarding than the other one. And for a few days, things were going good… and then that other story just wouldn’t shut up. You know, the one that you thought you’ve read to death and are just sick of that you want to put it aside for a long while? Well, turns out, it won’t leave me alone. But I was committed, and so I refused to heed the call.

Now if this were someone else’s story, that commitment would probably have resulted in much success and rejoicing, but this is me we’re talking about… so no, it didn’t quite work out for me. I was doing more staring than revising. It’s the perennial stuck at start problem, as I made it as far as chapter three. So I caved in, and worked on that other story, just to see if I could at least be a little more productive–and I was. Even things that I didn’t notice before seem obvious to me now.

So I don’t know what the lesson behind this whole thing is, since I obviously did not stick to what I committed myself to. Maybe I made the wrong choice? Maybe it was just its time now, and I didn’t realize it? Either way, I apparently still suck at committing. But for now, I’m going to commit to this one, see where it goes.

Do you find it just as hard to keep your focus or do you stick with a story until it’s done? At what point do you decide to set it aside and work on something else? How do you keep yourself committed when you have that other project that’s just calling you?


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23 thoughts on “Are You Ready To Commit? (IWSG)

  1. Writing certainly is all about committing. I love it when a story won’t leave me alone. Dive into and enjoy the time you work on it. 🙂

  2. Some people just work better when they have two or more projects on the go – if you swapped back, you might find you have the same feeling of seeing the first project with new eyes! Don’t knock it, if it works 🙂

    • That is great perspective to have! I think I’ll keep that in mind. I never actually thought of it as a good method, just seemed wishy washy on my part LOL. But you’re right. If it works, then it works. No need to sweat it.

  3. I think you listened to your intuition and it didn’t let you down. I have learned the hard way to do that…obviously something inside of you needed to get back to that story. I hope everything worked out great and you are well on your way to a terrific story!

  4. I usually keep a sheet of scrap paper beside me while I write. Any stray thoughts I have go there. Sometimes I end up with a lot more on the scrap paper than in the project I was supposed to be working on, and that’s okay. Any productivity is good in my view.

  5. Yes, I definitely find it hard to focus. It’s probably the reason I write more poetry than prose – I can keep myself in line for at least a couple stanzas! I agree with Annalisa and James. If the switch was productive for you, go with it!

  6. Ugh! I, too, did not follow through to what I committed. Twice. I think putting a lock on the way I work messed with me. When I decided to focus, I couldn’t stop thinking on other projects. When I decided to work on them simultaneously and write whichever inspired me at the moment, I didn’t get anything finished. Now I’m back to one project. It kills me. lol. I’m just going with not pulling my hair out for now o_O.

    Sorry I’m no help. But I understand the frustration.

    • Seems we have the same dilemma. It’s hard when you just keep going in circles and can’t figure out the (right) way to do it. We should start our own club! We’ll probably get even less done then. LOL

  7. I tend to have a couple of projects going on at once, and I focus on whichever one is most strongly in my head at the time. That seems to be the way I make the most progress on both of them. If I try to force the issue, I don’t usually get very far.

    • Yeah, forcing it doesn’t seem to lead to much, but sometimes it’s all about discipline, too. Which means I really have no idea how to go about it half the time. That’s not a good thing…

  8. I have a tough time committing to one project at a time. I usually have two going at once. One thing I am struggling with is taking each project all the way through to fruition and not giving in to the lure of a shiny new idea. Editing is never as exciting as creating that first draft for me so I have to restrain myself from starting a new project when the old one gets difficult.

  9. Two stories calling at once? Not a problem I’ve ever had, but it might be a blessing in disguise for you. Just go with the flow, whichever one that entails.

  10. I’m a lot like you, where I’ll jump from story to story. I figure I’ll get to the end eventually. I’m a patient person. At least, I’d like to think I am.

    You’ll get there, and it’ll be great. 🙂 Best of luck writing!

    • That is a good mindset to have, Loni. Thanks! I used to wonder if I’d ever get there, the way I keep flapping about from story to story. But I’ve come a long way in the last year, so maybe you’re right. Just gotta keep working at it! 😀

  11. You other characters were just jealous, lol. Sometimes the right words come when you are not focusing on them. I still say you made the committment, and stuck with it – just on the other project 🙂

  12. I totally agree with this: “Writing, after all, is a marathon, and not a sprint” … it requires our dedication. 🙂

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