Fake it Away – Insecure Writer’s Support Group March

Insecure Writer’s Support Group is hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh.  To find out more and sign up visit the link.    IWSG Badge

This month I have also been organised enough to answer the optional question. Virtual cookies for everyone.

Have you ever pulled out a really old story and reworked it?

The first story I had published (and I mean, like totally grown up published with actual payment and a contract, and everything) was a reworking of something I wrote in my teens.

I was so  excited. I jumped. I squealed. I told everyone, and everyone was suitably impressed. They all wanted copies of the anthology my story would be in. They all expected me to be the one buying said copies.

This led to the second lesson I learned (the first being just send the damn story off already because what have you really got to lose?)

Second lesson. It’s great that family and friends want to support me, but next time I will give them a website link and get them to buy their own.

It gets ridiculous very quickly. Add to this guilt that grandparents, work colleagues, boyf’s family etc. would not normally have an iota of interest in vampire slash/YA romance/fairy-tale mash ups/barely concealed feminist re-workings of the top ten moments in history that make me angry (pick your poison) so I felt bad about asking for the money I’d spent back.

Not a sensible way to make a profit.  Less sensible to put my boyfriend’s dad in the position of being that far inside my head.  ‘I liked your story,’ he said sympathetically, ‘but what did it actually mean?’

I do not regret supporting the publication that gave me a chance, but next time I will be so much cooler and controlled about the whole thing. Self-help gurus are always saying fake it until you make it, and I have solemnly sworn to fake it like a demon.

On the outside anyway. On the inside I will always be the girl jumping up and down and squealing.

blond-1868815_640
image courtesy of Pixaby

How about you? What have you learned from publishing? Have you ever re-worked an old story?

Life in the Slow Lane – Insecure Writer’s Support Group February

Lost goggles meant this week’s swim was confined to breast stroke in the slow lane. I poodled along behind a lady with a blue rinse and watched the world go by.IWSG Badge

Possibly not as many calories burned but more relaxing than the normal how-many-lengths-before-I-have-to-be-back-at-my-desk flurry.

This is how I’m writing my book.

A great deal of time is wasted on panicking because it is all taking so long, and all the people I connect with are working on their third book and have websites and more Twitter followers than me and oh dear God, how I’ve wasted my life!

Then sometimes I put down an indie book after the first few chapter’s because although I may like parts of it, there are other parts that I feel disappointed with because I feel it could have been so much better if they’d taken their time.

Don’t get angry. I appreciate that you can’t quantify how much time it takes to write a book, and the things that make me disappointed can be subjective.

However, not being able to please everybody aside, I really hope that’s not me, and people won’t stop reading because they feel I’ve let them down.

It was good to take my time swimming in the slow lane, feel my muscles moving and play with the water rather than plough through it. It feels good (when I’m not panicking) to take time writing my book.

As Hamilton teaches though (got tickets Monday! Squee!) you get nothing if you wait for it, and sooner or later I am going to have to find that magic place when I know I’m ready.

It’s s tough battle that’s being fought in my head right now

Has anyone out there felt they published too soon? Or wished they’d done it sooner? How did you know your book was good enough to go?

Massive thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh and the Insecure Writer’s Support Group for letting me share these doubts.  If you want to join in next month follow the link.

Another New Year – Insecure Writer’s Support Group, January

Another new year, and another new year’s resolution. This one is brought to you by Alex J. Cavanaugh over at Insecure Writer’s Support Group.

IWSG Badge

My resolutions always seems to be a variation on me making more time to do things. Lots of thing because my ambition will not accept that time is a finite resource.

Or that it comes down to the fact that I treat time like it’s my bitch, and if I don’t respect it then why should it respect me?

I often indulge in the fantasy that if I could book a week off work I could put my head down and finish this season’s big project (this time round it’s revisions to the novel I wrote as part of a six month course last year).

When I do have a whole week off though (Yay!!) 7 days, 168 hours, I know I have time to sort out the kitchen cupboard, meet my mum for tea and finally finish series 1 of Outlander.

And I know I’m procrastinating, but it’s OK because it’s only been two days and I still have 120 hours left.

Today, I was planning this week off work and wondered what would happen if I didn’t have those 7 days in one go?

I probably wont revise a whole novel, but I do think that I’ll get loads more done because I wont have the temptation to procrastinate so much and I’ll be under more pressure. Especially now I’ve mentioned it here.

8th, 15th, 23rd and 28th or 29th of January

3rd Feb, 10th or 11th of Feb and 17th February.

They are noted in my calendar in black biro. 7 days, with lost of days in between for blog posts, social media and smaller projects.  Only 43 hours though because I am corralling my ambition and only working six hour days.

Can’t wait to get started.

What are your tips for managing time, and how do you balance the big projects with everything else?

Seriously, help me out here.

 

 

 

Insecure Writer’s Support Group – May

Insecure Writers Support Group BadgeAs my blog once again suffers from a lack of updates I welcome you to this month’s round of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group hosted by Alex j. Cavanaugh.  For more supportive awesomeness go here.

This month I’ve turned my thoughts back to author branding.  This blog (like you needed another clue ) is very much being done on the cheap as I faff about with mind maps, coloured pens and taglines trying to work out exactly who I am.

Yep, mid thirties and no idea who I am, although I do have a pretty good idea who I want to be.  My expectations of my yet-to-be-created-self though are possibly above my reach.

 The truth is that I’m kind of worried that my characters have more personality than I do.

There’s a really cool scene in Laini Taylor’s Dreams of Gods and Monsters, where two of her characters make up taglines for the other characters.   So for kicks, I did it for some of mine (old and new).  The two protagonists of my Six Month Novel project (along with experimental doodling) are below.

 Ex-nun on the run is determined to revenge her sister’s death, if she can prevent herself falling for the man she holds responsible.  Vila

Discontented seeker sets out to save the world, and realises that sometime people find that sort of thing irritating.  In the end he settles for saving himself.

Still a bit of a Frankenstein’s Monster look to this one.

Matthias

Then I tried it for me…

Writer struggles to discover herself, gives up and goes to make a cup of tea.

Five hundred words down, then the heroine is distracted by need to do the Saturday night shop.

Aaarghh!

Has anyone else struggled with their author brand? Both it’s concept and implementation? I’d really love to know.

I do love Kristen Lamb’s Rise of the Machines e-book. I’ll read that again, but if anyone else has any resources they love let me know too.

A turn up for the Books – Insecure Writer’s Support Group April

Welcome to April’s IWSG hosted by ninja captain Alex. J. Cavanaugh.

Insecure Writers Support Group Badge

I was feeling pretty disheartened in March. To make up for that, and to show just how quickly things can change, I’m going to focus successes this month. Ironically they were successes I was aware of last month, but had allowed myself to let the bad stuff overtake me.

Despite some of my best efforts it is always so easy to do that. This month though, I have taken some action and am more able to accentuate the positive.

TFATF2 front cover with outline scaled

19th of March saw the publication of my short story in The Forgotten and the Fantastical 2 from Mother’s Milk Books. If you are a fairy tale fan I’d really recommend you have a look. I met some brilliant and inspirational writer’s at the book launch and want to give a shout out to Rebecca Ann Smith, Ronnie Randall, Teika Bellamy (who edited and drew the cover), and  Emma Howitt for her gorgeous illustrations inside the book.

The 4th of April also saw the second month of Sixth Month Novel, the novel coaching coarse that I was accepted on at the beginning of the year.

It does pretty much what it says on the tin. After four weeks of plotting this week I finally get to start writing.   I have four months to write a first draft, and as a NANO veteran, I’m hoping that will be, if not a cake walk, then at least very doable.

Hoping everyone else has some good news this month. Looking forward to catching up with you all.

cupcake

 

Insecure Writer’s Support Group – March

Welcome to this month’s IWSG hosted by the amazing Alex J. Cavanaugh.  Head here to check it out and sign up. IWSG badge

There were lots of things I could write about this month, but 2016 is sort of wearing me out already.  There have been a lot of funerals, and people getting sick.  My relationship with my boyfriend is in a pressure cooker as we try and sort out the things around us, and as a consequence are drifting further apart.

The bad news keeps coming.  I have great friends though, and talking to them always inspires me and helps me put my own life in perspective.

It’s all about choice so this month I’m choosing to look at what I do have.  Especially now that the Calais Jungle is being cleared. Check out the World Wide Tribe Facebook page for more on that.

It’s all about choice. I need to start thinking more about what it is I want to write and why.  I keep feeling the need for something  more. What it is I have to offer too.

Does anyone else feel like sometimes writing for themselves alone is not enough? does anyone volunteer their writing skills for a charity – and how did you get into that?

 

.

Feeling Hungry? Insecure Writer’s Support Group February

IWSG badgeThere’s only been one moment in my life when I’ve actually cried tears of joy.

In 2010 I submitted the first three pages of my novel to a writing conference, and received a commendation. I didn’t even get placed, but oh my goodness, my name still went on the website. I got some lovely feedback from the judges, and I cried absolute spine wracking sobs of relief when I read it.

It was amazing, they liked it, they really liked it!

Note that was in 2010. You may wonder what the Hell I’ve been doing for the last six years? So do I. Daily.

Back then I had just split up with my husband, changed jobs, changed houses and I was determined to make the most of life. I was hungry for the changes I was going to make. Then I shoved my hands in my pockets and slouched off to gaze at my navel.

I was still writing, still planning, but the actual taking charge of my life and having the courage of my convictions bled away into the ether.

I forgot the hunger and slid back into an easier slip stream.

It’s hard to fake it for ever though, and now that the hunger is back it’s like a clawing beast in my gut. I need to keep hold of it, and feed it so that I don’t let my ambitions dwindle away again. It’s what is going to drive me to shoot for something better and help me bash my fear of failure into submission.

Staying hungry is going to help me get what I want, but I’m also worried that it’s going to lose me other things that I want too.  I sometimes feel like I’m working two jobs, and although my partner is supportive on the surface, I feel like sometimes when he gets home an hour after me he’s wondering why the washing up hasn’t been done.

How do your partners feel about your writing? Especially if you have a full time job too? Any tips on balancing everything would be much appreciated.

A big thank you to Alex J. Cavanaugh and the Writer’s Support Group (sign up here)