IWSG August 2022

I’m feeling desperate, lately. Like I’m running out of time.

I didn’t feel like that in 2020. In 2020, I felt isolated. I had plenty of UnFinished  Objects lying about–projects I’d started and then put aside for whatever reason. An embarrassing amount of craft supplies that languished in storage because I would get to them, “someday.”

2021 was supposed to be the year I got back to writing, because I’d cleared enough physical and psychological clutter that I’d feel lighter and freer and less compelled to consider non-writing crafty things.

In 2020 I made a significant dent in the UFO list, although there is more to do to really bring things down to the reasonable level.

And I often “find” more, though “find” is in quotes for a reason. Like when Governor Polis of Colorado signed an order to ban single use plastic bags by 2024. 2023 is when a price per plastic bag is enacted to phase out their use.

My first thought was: “I have enough scrap fabric that I could probably quilt it all together and make my own bags.” (Side note: I have bags already. I’ve had them and used them for 20 years, but they’re net bags, and they’re starting to fall apart, so replacing them is going to have to happen, anyway.)

Then I thought, “Wait. How many MORE projects am I adding? Can I afford to add more projects?”

Better yet, WHY am I adding these projects? Shouldn’t I be using this energy towards writing, even if all I do is scribble random notes or emails to myself?

I’ve been told I’m resting and resetting myself when I’ve brought these thoughts up to others. “You’ve got a lot going on that you aren’t being given a choice to deal with. Go easy on yourself.”

“With what time?” I wonder. After all, books don’t write themselves, and the numerous ideas one may have are nothing if you can’t get them out and expressed to others.

And another project: my She-Shed, my Shed of Craftiness, my personal Sanctum Sanctorum, MY INVIOLABLE SPACE, now has electricity! Now I’m moving all my creative stuff from the house into MY SPACE and setting things up just so. Which means going through boxes and sorting and discarding and coming up with more projects to do because now that I have the space to actually go through all my crafty things without worry of impinging on someone else’s space, I discover I have stuff to sew this thing and spin that thing and build this other doohickey and I have a writing corner carved out with my desk and all but its really distracting to go in there and write because while my family isn’t in there and I don’t have to worry about setting up everything to work only to have to move it an hour later there’s so much other stuff to do that might actually get me that hit of instant gratification with the neurochemicals and then setting up the shed is not going as fast as I would like because I’m recovering from foot surgery still and for some reason I’m expected to be a semi-decent mom and oh, yeah there’s this other thing and that thing and I’d like to start this other project too because it just sounds nifty even though it has nothing to do with writing and-

You get the idea.

Check out the Insecure Writer’s Support Group to see more writers dish about their concerns, their solutions to various problems, or their favorite random side-quests to distract themselves from writing.

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IWSG June2022

June 1 question – When the going gets tough writing the story, how do you keep yourself writing to the end? If have not started the writing yet, why do you think that is and what do you think could help you find your groove and start?

Ahhhh…. Always fun to visit my excuses and attempts to get going again.

It actually depends on why the writing has gotten tough in the story.

This may come as a shock to my dedicated audience, but I’m a dyed in the wool, 100% home-grown pantser. My butt has burned though asbestos spun fibers more times than I can remember.

For one book, when I reached a difficult spot, I had to take a nap for 30 minutes. I guess I had to dream up the next bit. For 3 months I had to lay down at least once a day.

For another, I absolutely had to have a raspberry chocolate mocha every single time I hit a difficult spot. I have no idea why, but I craved it, I absolutely had to have it, and my writing was shot without it.

Interestingly enough, that book had absolutely no coffee mentioned. Not even once. It was a fantasy novel. And while I was known to have the very occasional mocha before that, I’ve now become almost ritually dependent on it to start my mornings. Which is funny because I don’t like coffee, but now hot chocolate is too sweet without it, but I’m too cheap to go to a cafe regularly, so I mix something up in the kitchen that is more like coffee and hot chocolate’s illicit love child had an affair with an Eldridge horror and the shambling abomination of that union pretends to be a mocha, but everyone knows it isn’t, but it’s a nice kid and it means well even if it does the job poorly.

For my current difficult child, I’ve dissected it, examined it in all the ways a plot could be examined and analyzed, researched war obsessively, dissected it again, got lost, asked for directions from a very nice man selling gyros out of a cart, watched a crap-ton of documentaries, taken a hiatus, meditated, took the dogs for a walk, gone on walks by myself, read How To Be A Villain (excellent book, by the way), tried writing scenes out by hand, went out for Chinese food, somehow ended up getting foot surgery while buying a bonsai from the back of a van and….

So on.

Flogging myself to write is apparently not something that works for me.

I’m hoping that having my own shed now-with electricity!– will help. I just have to set everything up — move furniture, set shelving, unpack all my boxes, make certain the feng is absolutely shui.

It sounds weird, I know. But having my own space is a big deal for me. I haven’t had my own space in nigh on 30 years. The free desk I scored to use as my writing desk is one of those made in the 1960’s metal jobs—the kind that you can hide under during a major earthquake or a nuclear strike and survive unscathed.

So once I get past my foot surgery, physical therapy, set up the shed blahblahexcusesblah…

Maybe that will be enough to get me out of this current tough spot.

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IWSG May 2022

Yes, I’m late to posting.

Again.

Things are… rough?, which weirdly fits in with this month’s optional topic: the best of times and the worst of times.

I often find that there’s a certain level of stress involved. If I approach that level, I am suddenly super productive. The words flow from my fingers, the ideas just keep coming. It’s euphoric escapism better than any drug out there (I imagine). Possibly the best of times, for writing.

I’m in that zone right now. With the slow and steady approach of summer comes another whirlwind of things to do, things that could go wrong and the continuing joy of various medical issues–my own and my family’s. I’ve been slowly getting back into the work of writing because of it.

But there’s a point at which the stress becomes too much. A point at which all systems shut down except for the most mechanical, the most repetitive, the least possible creative activity.

Nothing works. Ideas stagnate in the swamp, then slowly sink below the surface. How long can I fend it off? Can I avoid it this time?

The worst of times.

It sits there at the end of the path. Patient. Implacable. Unforgivable. Sometimes unavoidable.

These periods of “the worst of times” can take months, years, to pull out of. The longer it takes, the harder it is to recover from.

I hope my shed will be finished, soon. I hope that having a dedicated place I don’t have to move from, a place separated from the rest of the world, even for just an hour or two a day will help keep me from the worst of times.

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IWSG April 2022

Have any of your books been made into audio books? If so, what is the main challenge in producing an audiobook?

In order for that to happen, I would first have to publish the damn things. Which means I need to finish writing them. Which means I have to get off my ass and actually work.

What the hell? I thought this group was all about supporting each other with our insecurities, not calling people out. I feel so attacked right now.

Okay. On with the question.

I think my main problem will be, aside from having a finished product, funding and all that, would be finding the right voices. It can be a great story, but if the narrator’s tone and speech patterns don’t line up just so, it will absolutely suck.

Some books I would want one overall narrator. Others I want two. My first ever kinda romance novel, I would want Bruce Campbell as the male narrator. Or at least someone that sounds a lot like him. I have no idea why, I just know that in my head that’s whose voice I hear. Patrick Stewart would absolutely not be a good fit. For the fantasy novels, sure, Patrick Stewart would work out okay, I guess.

But I’m leaving my options open. No offense to Stewart, but I’m leaning more towards Anthony Head or James Marsters for the fantasy books.

Oooo. Just had a thought: James Marsters would be AWESOME as the male narrator for the second romance novel.

Crap. Now I’m stuck with that voice in my head.

Check out the Insecure Writer’s Support Group to see more writers dish about their concerns, their solutions to various problems, or their personal struggles with earworm therapies.

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