Just Get It Written

Dream, Create, and Make It Happen …


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On Hiatus (IWSG)

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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.

My blogging hiatus is now long overdue, as September came and went without a post from me. First of all, I apologize to everyone who has visited, read and made comments in my last few posts. I’ve been unable to return the visits nor respond, which I hope to make up for as soon as I return to blogging.

I know this hardly seems like a proper IWSG post, but some of you might recall that I was having health issues of late. My doc found a cyst and it turns out I was also anemic, but last week, I finally went in for surgery to have the cyst taken out. The good news is that it’s benign. I’m sleeping a lot lately and admittedly, haven’t done much writing since the couple of weeks leading up to the surgery, but I hope to catch up on some reading instead during this period. I need to learn about making blog posts on my phone so I apologize in advance if something is wonky with this post.

If you’re still hanging around my blog, thank you! I look forward to coming back and doing my regular visits!

 


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Time Out (IWSG)

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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 August are Nancy Gideon, Bob R Milne, Doreen McGettigan, Chrys Fey, Bish Denham, and Pat Garcia! Thanks for all your hard work!

Taking time off from blogging is rough. You come back and then you wonder, what do you write about, and would anyone even care? I suppose that is one of my major fears and insecurities… what do I have to say and does anyone care? Maybe it’s an insecurity shared by every writer, or maybe I’m caught in a purgatory that is all my own…

I realized my brand of writing was 70% staring/procrastinating and 30% writing, which means I’m not very productive, even when it comes to something as simple as writing a blog post. And that’s what mostly accounted for my being MIA. I had some things come up, and well, blogging just became the thing that had to go, at least for a while. I’m still doing rewrites on my WIP, “Lost,” though, so I haven’t totally been unproductive writing-wise. And as I continue chugging along there while riding the crazy waves of that thing called real life, I’ve decided to continue my blogging break for a month or so. But of course, I just can’t make this post and NOT share some music. See you in Sept!

 


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Small Steps (IWSG)

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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 June are are M. Pax, Tracy Jo, Patricia Lynne, Rachna Chhabria, Feather Stone, and Randi Lee!

Writers write, and stories need readers for them to come alive. And yet, how do you know when a story is ready to be set out into the world? Writers tend to be neurotic, insecure creatures, and at a story’s infancy, when it is most vulnerable, most of us can be crippled by a harsh critic or even something as simple as lack of a support system.

For years, writing was my dirty little secret. Stories were hidden, tucked away in locked drawers and password-protected files, never to see the light of day. The only writing I’d actually shown anyone were those that I had to. But fear can rear its ugly head even during the best of circumstances, and sometimes, you just have to take that small, tentative step, and see what happens.

And so I opened the door, took that first step and actually sent off a few chapters from my current WIP to a friend of mine to beta read. Sure, friends are nowhere near CP’s in critique value, since friends would naturally be nicer with their feedback, and perhaps even shy away from telling you what’s wrong with it. But I feel just a little braver now for sending it off, and that small step towards progress is something I have to be content with for the moment. As that line from one of my favorite movies, Contact, go: Small moves, Ellie, small moves.

 

How easy/hard was it for you when you started showing your work to other people? Did admitting you’re a writer to friends and family come easily to you, and how did you deal with those moments of “I’d love to see what you’ve written!” and all you have is a mess of a novel?

 


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I’m a Tortoise, Not A Hare (IWSG)

Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way. – E. L. Doctorow

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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 April are Suzanne Furness, Tonja Drecker, Toi Thomas, Rachna Chhabria, Fundy Blue, and Donna Hole!

As A-Z’ers kick off the A-Z Challenge and Campers get busy for a month of Camp NaNoWriMo, I find myself stuck as everyone else surges forward this crazy month. A-Z has always seemed so daunting to me, but Camp seemed like a good idea, especially since I really had fun with it last year.

In the end, I had to make a decision: Do I get back to creating, or do I stick with revising? I could have countless drafts and it won’t do me any good if I can’t see something to the very end—something that I would actually be proud to let others read (which is an insecurity that I will save for another day). There are times when I feel like I’m going in circles, reading and revising the same chapters over and over again. Is there any point to all of this, or am I deceiving myself? Am I chasing something that will never be? But I still love the story, and no matter how long a break I take from writing, I inevitably keep coming back. That, at least, has to mean something, doesn’t it?

One of my current WIP’s is my Camp novel from last year, Lost. It currently sits at 60,940 words. It’s very slow progress, considering I finished Camp with 51k words. I spent a lot of time second-guessing the third person narrative in which it was originally written. I ended up rewriting a portion of it in first person, just to see if that suited the story better. It didn’t. While some parts worked better with the first person voice, the over-all story suffered from it. So back to third person I went.

Maybe it’s a natural progression, something I had to do and see for myself, to see how the narrative plays out. Or maybe I wouldn’t have wasted all that time if I had a writers group or a CP. Who knows? Sometimes it feels like I’m hardly moving at all.

Do you find yourself rewriting scenes in different points of view, just to see how it works out? At what stage of writing/revisions do you feel confident enough to show your novel to others? How did you find your writers group and/or critique partner, if you have one? Any tips on how to find one?


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Author Interview: Behind The Scenes with Lynda R. Young

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Everyone’s journey to publication is different and unique. In Behind The Scenes, I interview writers who tell us how they started and got to where they are today. With the knowledge that comes from experience, they share their words of wisdom with us. If you’re a writer, I’d love to hear about your journey! Please contact me here if you’re interested in being interviewed. New interviews featured every second and last Monday of the month.

Lynda R. Young is with me today to talk about her journey. She mixes her love of storytelling with game-development. She is a contributor in The Insecure Writer’s Support Group Guide to Publishing and Beyond, which is available as a free download, thanks to the wonderful people at IWSG.

 

1. Tell us a bit about your writing journey. How did you get started, and how did you get to where you are now?

Despite being a slow reader, I couldn’t get enough. The authors made writing look easy. I didn’t realize how much work goes into making the writing look effortless. So with no clue whatsoever, I embarked on my writing journey with a head full of dreams and a heart full of possibility.

It took me nine years to finish my first epic of 219k words. Back then, finding information on the industry was next to impossible unless you knew someone on the inside. I knew no one. Consequently, I remained clueless and eventually gave up trying to get published. It took ten years before writing drew me back. The internet opened up new possibilities. Armed with new knowledge and an online support group of writers, I charged forth. I even wrote books that were almost publishable. While I’ve found success getting short stories published and even a novelette, I’m still working on getting a novel published.

 

2. Anything you would’ve done differently if you could do it all over again?

If I had to do it all over again, I wouldn’t have given up so easily. Yes, it’s a difficult industry to break into, but it’s not impossible and we have so many more choices today. Also, when you stop writing for an extended time, you lose some of your writing skills and confidence. It takes a long while to get them back.

 

3. What advice would you give to new and aspiring writers?

My advice to writers is if you are serious about getting published, then go ahead and eat a slice of reality pie: Writing is the easiest part of it all and that’s still not easy. Once you’ve digested that morsel, enjoy what you do, learn everything you can about the craft, the market, and the industry as a whole. Read a lot and don’t give up. Keep writing.

 

4. Is there any book you’ve written that is particularly special to you? Which one and why?

The first book I ever wrote is particularly special to me. It remains a hot mess, I might’ve been clueless, I may have made a gazillion mistakes about character arcs, word count, and general storytelling, but I completed it the best I could at the time. I didn’t let fear hold me back.

 

5. Who would you say is your favorite character(s) from your books, and why? What is it about this character that makes him/her tick?

My favorite characters are the ones who are nothing like me because they are a challenge to write and fun to get into their head.

 

6. Tell us about your latest project. What are you working on at the moment, and what can we expect from it?

My latest project is one that’s taken me in an unexpected direction, a different avenue of storytelling. I’m currently working on a game based on a world I created for one of my books. It has presented a whole set of new challenges, but I’m loving it.

 

7. Are you self-pubbed or traditionally published? What made you go for this model? What advice/tips can you share with writers working towards the same goal?

I’ve experienced both self-publishing and traditional publishing. Each project demands its own route for various reasons. For example, I’ve chosen to self-publish a daily devotional this year because the traditional market isn’t in demand for this kind of book. My advice is to remain flexible to the many options available to us. Don’t choose self-publishing because you think it will be easier. It’s not. However, both paths are equally rewarding. And don’t forget to keep writing.

 

Author Bio: Lynda R Young writes speculative short stories and is currently writing novels for young adults. In her spare time she also dabbles in photography and all things creative. She lives in Sydney, Australia, with her sweetheart of a husband who is her rock. You can find her here: Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads

 


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Are You Ready To Commit? (IWSG)

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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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Writers Write – An IWSG Post

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It’s been a rough couple of months and writing-wise, I have not been very productive. I didn’t even get to do NaNoWriMo, as I’d intended. I’d hoped it would help me get back on the saddle, so to speak. But in the end, time simply didn’t permit me to even attempt it.

We all have other things to deal with in our journey–life, work, relationships, etc. It is up to each of us to find the time to dedicate to writing, if it is something that we truly want. So does that mean that I do not want it enough? I don’t necessarily think so … although I wonder whether this is me simply trying to justify things?

Writers write, and the simple fact is, I haven’t been getting much writing done. So that’s my insecurity. I feel that I should have been able to do more. The first half of the year went so well goal-wise, and the latter half was just a downhill spiral. In the back of my mind, I know I should be writing, there’s that voice telling me I should fire up my computer and get writing. But at the end of the day, I find that I don’t have much energy left, and just crash.

With a few weeks before I go on a much-needed Christmas break, I’m thinking it’s time to forgive myself and not beat myself up over what I haven’t been able to do. Instead. I’ll take my break, hope I come back new and refreshed, and pick up where I left off.

Does that sound like a good plan? I don’t know. I certainly hope so!

Any tips on how you guys do it? Do you take planned breaks or do you just keep going? Beat yourself up over those lost time when you should’ve been writing?

 

Insecure Writer’s Support Group is the brainchild of Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh, and his co-hosts for December are Heather Gardner, T. Drecker from Kidbits, Eva E. Solar at Lilicasplace, and Patsy Collins! Thank you all for your hard work!


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IWSG Celebrates Three Years!

InsecureWritersSupportGroup2 It’s the first Wednesday of the month, which means it’s time for Insecure Writer’s Support Group. And what a session this is, as it marks the three-year anniversary of IWSG! Thanks to the Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh, who started this and has kept it going, along with his various co-hosts for the month. This month, his co-hosts are Kristin Smith, Elsie, Suzanne Furness, and Fundy Blue.

To celebrate the anniversary, the IWSG team is putting together an ebook that will benefit writer, The IWSG Guide to Publishing and Beyond. Very exciting indeed!

My insecurity for this session is that unlike most of my fellow IWSG’ers, I really do not have much of anything to contribute to the book. I suppose it’s an insecurity that pretty much every writer goes through: Do I really have anything worthwhile to say? Does anybody care?

The writing journey never ends. We are constantly learning and growing, and I think the difference is where we are at that point in our individual journeys. In my case, I think I’m pretty much still on the starting line, which can be quite frustrating and depressing if I think about it, so I try not to. And if you don’t focus on how far you still have to go and just keep on doing what you love doing, then it’s not so bad. And at the end of the day, I’m happy to be surrounded by people who are more than willing to share their guides and expertise.

So pop on over to some of the IWSG members’ blogs and see what tips and advice they have to share!

 

 


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Calling All Authors – An IWSG Post

InsecureWritersSupportGroup2When I started this blog, it was as much to inspire me as well as others.  I had the idea for Behind The Scenes a while back, as a way to feature writers and give other people a glimpse into their journeys. But I lost sight of things and never went ahead with the series. I suppose I was also afraid people would think my questions were silly and that I’m not very good at interviewing people, which brings me to the topic of my IWSG post for this month.

I’m looking for more authors to interview, for what I hope will be a long-running series, Behind The Scenes. Anyone interested?

C. Lee McKenzie has been wonderful enough to kick this series off, giving me the chance and the renewed confidence to attempt this. You can find her interview here to see what you’re getting yourself into (or just to learn more about Lee and her writing journey!)

As writers, we are always riddled with insecurities, some moments of elation, followed by more doubts, and then those hurrah moments–a crazy rollercoaster ride on its own. Still, they say it’s the journey that matters and not the destination. And so I’m curious to hear about your journey and I think others will be, too.

If you’re interested, please contact me using the contact form or leave me with your contact information in the comments section. I hope to hear from you!

You can also find me on Twitter:

 

Insecure Writer’s Support Group is the brainchild of Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh, and his co-hosts for August are Sarah Foster, Joylene Nowell Butler, Lily Eva, and Rhonda Albom! Thank you all for your hard work!
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You Win Some, You Lose Some – An IWSG Post

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It’s the first Wednesday of the month, which means it’s time for Insecure Writer’s Support Group. Thanks to our host, the Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh, and his awesome co-hosts for July: Krista McLaughlin, Kim Van Sickler, Heather Gardner, and Hart Johnson for all their hard work!

As we reach the halfway mark of the year, I thought it’d be interesting to talk about goals and check in with everyone on their progress: Are you on track, falling behind, happy with your progress despite everything?

For myself, I hit a setback in June as I didn’t meet any of my writing goals. Life happens, things come up, other things have to be prioritized, and those few pages of edits and research…Do they really count as accomplishing something? I tell myself that yes, they do; that somehow they are all the bits and pieces that have to happen in order for me to achieve my goal. But am I deluding myself? I don’t know. All I know is that goals aren’t achieved overnight. We have to keep on working and moving towards them, even if it’s at a slow pace. As the ever-wise Gandalf said: “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

What’s your process in trying to meet your goals? How do you deal with the adversities and missed deadlines?

And to everyone who’s participating in Camp NaNoWriMo this July, good luck!


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