writers

#IWSG: Running Solo

InsecureWritersSupportGroupHappy July! It’s time for the monthly Insecure Writers Support Group post…it’s the blog-hop for the writer to talk about their anxieties and/or offer encouragement to other writers going through the struggle as well. The awesome co-hosts for the the July 1 posting of the IWSG will be Charity Bradford, S.A. Larsen, AJ, Tamara Narayan, Allison Gammons, and Tanya Miranda!


 

Happy first of the month, peeps!

1stofthamonth

Yeah, thanks to the group Bone Thugs N Harmony…years later, I still play this song in my head every first of the month. Source: http://www.israelekanem.com

I recently signed up for a 5K. Now, it wasn’t one of those serious races that you need to go and train for, it was the fun-run kind where you socialize, stop for selfies/usies and get stuff thrown on you like bubbles or powder. Since this was a social thing, I was supposed to do this run with a friend.

Source: Thephotobrigade.com

Source: Thephotobrigade.com

Key phrase: Supposed to.

Turns out my friend couldn’t do the run. However, I was already en route when I found out. So I had to decide if to either turn around and head home myself or keep going and run solo. There were a lot of good reasons to go:

  • I had paid a registration fee
  • I took time (and gas) the day before to drive across town to pick up my race packet
  • I had gotten creative and cut up and decorated the race shirt,
  • and most importantly, I was almost at the venue

And my reasons to not go?

  • I was by myself. This wasn’t intended to be a solo thing. I wanted to socialize and stop for usies with us covered in colored cornstarch that despite how well I washed my hair, I would still find it somewhere the next day.
...in my hair??? I just washed it! Source:diylol.com

…in my hair??? I just washed it! Source:diylol.com

After debating for a few moments, I decided that I had invested too much and had literally gotten too far to turn around. So, I did the run alone. So, just how does it relate to writing? (Hello, this is a writing blog, duh.) I deal with some insecurity in my writing (hey, #IWSG!), so there is also insecurity in other non-writing related areas. Like going to social events alone. I’m naturally introverted, so this was a challenge.

But, just like when writing, sometimes you have to push through those feelings and finish the race…or the book. Hell, just getting the chapter done. Despite when it gets uncomfortable. Or you’re unsure of the outcome. Or that review turned out to be not what you expected. Or whatever emotion you’re dealing with that has gotten you stuck and/or questioning yourself and your ability as a writer.

Completing that 5K was not the experience I intended to have. However, it turned out to be awesome. I’m a baby runner, so I did walk for parts of the event but that sense of accomplishment to cross the finish line couldn’t be topped. It’s akin to writing “The End” when that WIP is finally completed. In a sense, finishing the 5K can set the tone for how I approach my writing moving forward. Not allowing those emotions (anxiety, fear, exasperation over that one character that always goes left on you, whatever) to stop you from moving forward, being okay with the varying pace of writing (some chapters can take longer to write than others), and just simply staying the course.

Advertisements

#IWSG: Is This The End? Telling whether it’s a writer’s rut or if that story is really finished.

InsecureWritersSupportGroup

It’s the first Wednesday in December, which means it’s time for the monthly round-up of writers in the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. The purpose is to encourage since we all have challenges that can us leave feeling a little (or a lot) insecure.  Feel free to hop on over and check out the other participating writers.

*****

New Edition's Ralph wondering if it was the end. Because, she used to be his when the chips were down..(Source: youtube)

New Edition’s Ralph wondering if it was the end. Because, she used to be his when the chips were down..(Source: youtube)

I recently read a post by Christina C. Jones over at Being Mrs. Jones about her decision to not go forward (at least for now) with a follow-up to her first novel, Love & Other Things. Her words struck a chord with me because I had been planning a follow-up, or a continuation of my own with Graduation Day (GD) and found myself in a similar predicament. The story hit a block, but I wasn’t sure if I’m the block or if the first story was truly the end of the road for this particular character.

Even Boyz II Men didn't want it to end...

Even Boyz II Men didn’t want it to end…

Maybe I was being selfish if this story was done. Kendall, her roommate Ameenah, and her cousin Reese have been around for many years, so I thought that maybe I could be trying to force a full novel. At one point, I completed a manuscript and even had the story edited and cover conceptualized. Then, I shelved it. Why???

Honestly, I got scurred.

scared-gif

I discovered in my process of getting ready to publish that I made several mistakes, one of them being a prologue that was about 90 percent backstory. Another was that I kind of blew through parts of the story and didn’t really devote a lot of time to character development. I wasn’t willing to risk publishing if it wasn’t right.

So, I began making some changes. Went back to the drawing board many times. Fleshed out characters. Took away some. Added new elements. Scrapped pieces that felt clichéd and overdone. Struggled with my own insecurities and perceptions about what I write and how I write. Now, with the exception of GD, I feel like Kendall’s story is my eternal WIP.

So, after years of trying to tell her story, was it really that a 2000-word short is ALL she’s got?

seriously-thats-all-you-got

Or was it me? If it was me, then why was this story so effin’ hard to finish? Well, in the process of cleaning up this blog, I happened upon posts from a now-defunct blog of mine and found that my struggle isn’t brand new. And, it’s not just with this particular story. Follow-through, consistency, routine, even confidence or the lack of it, old fears…this has been my struggle as a writer. And the more I went through my old posts, and even revisited some story concepts, the more I knew…

notyouitsme

I have to be able to deal with and push through those issues. Use it as fuel to move forward instead of allowing it to hold me, and ultimately this story, back.

So, how have you been able to handle those internal roadblocks?