Friday, December 19, 2014

Light in the dark and the return of the sun

Winter solstice is coming... just thought you might be needing a little light at this dark time of year. I know I do.

I had a successful month of writing last month, and have proceeded to be laid up with back problems and now with a cold for the past 3 weeks. Sigh... I'll be back on my feet soon! And back to the keyboard, I hope.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

IWSG: The Post-NaNo blues

It’s time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! Time to release our fears to the world – or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic. If you’d like to join us, click on the link and sign up. We post the first Wednesday of every month. I encourage everyone to visit at least a dozen new blogs and leave a comment. Your words might be the encouragement someone needs.

I just finished NaNoWriMo... wrote 50,000 words in 30 days. You'd think that would make me proud and happy. And it does, on one level. But my insecurity comes from the knowledge that I have SO much revision work to do to even make those 50,000 words legible! I'm standing at the bottom of Revision Mountain and the climb up looks pretty daunting.

I'm going to put it away for a little while and see how I feel about it after that.

Not to mention I don't know what to do with myself now. I love the NaNo community, but it's so fleeting. 30 days fly by when you have a common purpose with so many others. I already miss all my NaNo friends.

Did any of you do NaNo this year? How did you do?

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Insecure Writers Support Group: NaNoWriMo post

Hi everyone! It's that time again, time for Insecure Writers Support Group. If you don't know what IWSG is, please pop on over to this link for an explanation, and when you realize it's the one thing you've been missing in your writing life, JOIN US!!
So in case anyone is keeping score, I've started off with a bang for NaNoWriMo this year. Killing it! Woot! Of course, it's only day five. And that's why I'm so eager to crush my word count now...because I'm afraid of the slump...the point at which I lose steam, run out of ideas, and let the whole thing fall to pieces.

I'm a pantster by nature. I can't help it. I tried outlining the Camp NaNo project I worked on this summer and it jumped right off the map and made its own direction...and then it fell to pieces. Again.

All these false starts are starting to give me heartburn! I want to finish something, but I keep losing steam and moving on to the next thing, with only the barest sliver of hope that I'll ever return to revise/add to/complete a project.

This current novel has no point at all so far, other than documenting daily life of the main character. I'm waiting to see if something exciting happens, that I can then doctor up in revisions, and hoping that we make it that far.

Anyone else out there doing NaNo this time around?

Friday, October 24, 2014

Check out my editing blog too!

So, Hi readers! It's been a while, I know... I mean, since I've posted for anything besides IWSG. I am still working on inspiration here, and it's been dry recently. I apologize. I'm eternally hopeful that I will begin posting here more soon.

In the meantime, I wanted to invite you over to my editing blog at I write there almost as frequently as I do here (lol). But there I share writing tips, my experiences as an editor, and my deep and evergreen love for Harry Potter. If you think you can handle that, I'd love to see you there, too. And I could use some "followers". It feels a little lonely over there.

I'll still be writing here as regularly as ever, but I thought perhaps some of you might like to share with me over there, as well.

So stop by and say hi! I'd love to hear from you.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Insecure Writer's Support Group: Just Write

If you've never heard of Insecure Writer's Support Group, you're in for a treat! Head on over to the IWSG website, created by the awesome Alex Cavanaugh, and sign up to be part of this amazing network of writers. Then on the first Wednesday of every month, post your insecurities on your blog. It seems counter-intuitive, I know. But instead of being tarred and feathered for being insecure, you'll find you're uplifted and encouraged by others who are in the same boat as you, or who have been there before and can show you the treasure map so you can make your way through to the other side.

This month's post is my submission for the IWSG Guide to Publishing and Beyond, for the category "Writing".

You know, I've been working on this insecurity for a while now, this idea that there are no set "rules" for how to be a writer. You just...write. But that doesn't mean you write every day, always, although maybe you do...It means just what it says: You just write. It doesn't mean that you have books published, or an agent, or that you're in the process of querying everyone in the publishing industry. You just write.

So much of our insecure writers’ lives are spent seeking validation from other people, people we deem to know more about the business of writing than we do. We give them the power to tell us whether our ideas are any good, whether our plots are properly executed, whether we’re allowed to take up space at the next writer’s conference if we don’t know what a query is…when really, what we want them to do is tell us that we belong to this magical group: Writers! And, sadly, there will always be someone who wants to keep other people out, because they’re just as insecure as we are that there won’t be room for them in that group if they let us in.

The truth is, though, that we are the ones with the power to tell our stories. We decide what is good. And by the very act of writing we declare to the world that we belong.

Do you have an outline? Just write. Do you have a first draft? Just write. Do you have five published novels and a contract on a new series? Just write. Do you have the tiniest baby of an idea percolating in your mind? Just write! Write it down. Then guess what? You're a writer!

Elisabeth Kauffman is a freelance editor of fiction and you can find her on the web at

(I give the IWSG Anthology permission to reprint this blog post for their publication "The Insecure Writer's Support Group Guide to Publishing and Beyond)

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

IWSG: Brainstorming my novel

It's time for Insecure Writer's Support Group, the most amazing bloghop you'll ever participate in as a writer. If you need to air your insecurities and find others who share them with you or have amazing, encouraging advice, then you NEED this group. So hop on over to Alex Cavanaugh's blog to learn more and sign up.
I got stuck. I was working on a project for Camp NaNo in that I had half an outline for...and when I got through to the place where my outline ended, I sputtered to a stop. I'm usually a pantster, so this road-block was unprecedented. I spent a few bewildered days trying to get started again, worrying that I wasn't writing anything...

Then I had an idea. What if I spent a few nights brainstorming my novel? So I grabbed my colored sharpies and some blank paper and started scribbling. I wrote down things I already knew, things I'd already written about, and then found a few of the things I didn't know yet. And those led to things I hadn't written yet, but that I knew I wanted to. It was a GREAT experience...and a good reminder that not all Writing is about word count.

I haven't added any more recently to my manuscript, and probably another brainstorming session is due. But I'm looking forward to that now.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Insecure Writer's Support Group: Spending time on something you love

It's time again! Time for Insecure Writer's Support Group, the most awesome group out there on the interwebs, if I must say. You can find the linky list to sign up for IWSG here, and if you're a writer you should DEFINITELY sign up. Giving and receiving monthly encouragement from others in the trenches of writing, creating, publishing, rejection, acceptance--the entire roller coaster that is the life of a writer--you don't want to miss out!

My insecurity this month comes from the list of "shoulds" that hovers around me whenever I sit down to do something like writing (or painting, which I also enjoy). I find myself blocking up and not being able to access my creative muse because all I can see is the pile of dishes in the sink, or the giant tumbleweeds of dust bunnies chasing my cats around the house, or the dwindling bank account sending out an S.O.S. for more freelance editing clients.

Some days it doesn't matter. Some days the muse is prodding me so hard that I have no choice but to write (or paint). And I have a few different lines I use to combat the list of "shoulds", but mostly I just want to go hide under my desk, and then I don't get ANYTHING done, not even anything from the list of "shoulds"!

What do you use to fight back and claim your writing/creative time?