#IWSG – April was … Frightening, exhilarating, overwhelming

The path of writing is narrow and treacherous.

It’s a good thing I’ve gotten more involved with a local writing club, and that I’m meeting them in person every two weeks. I’ve felt like I’ve been going at this alone, with only myself, the information I find online, and the books I have about writing. Meeting other people who are writing and who are serious about it has been great for me.

I often regret that I didn’t get serious about my writing sooner. I don’t hold any illusions – I know I’ve got an uphill battle now. My first published flash fiction was more of a fluke, it seems – it was accepted early on, before I got many rejections. Now I’m seeing the rejections, and it’s disheartening – what if I can’t do it again? What if I can’t get another work published by a reputable website or magazine? I’ve been steadfastly refusing to share these rejected stories on this blog – I don’t want to narrow my options for future publication (and so many publishers won’t publish something that has been blogged).

My ideas have stagnated somewhat. I have been working with drafts of older work lately – it’s been a while since I’ve written something entirely new. There were so many times I wished I could just hand off my ideas to a ghostwriter. Somebody who has higher degrees in creative writing, someone who’s been published many times. But I know I can’t do this – not only could I never afford a ghostwriter, the stories that came out wouldn’t seem like mine. I have to do this, I have to get the ideas out in my way. Nothing else will truly satisfy my urges.

April’s A-to-Z blogging challenge helped to reinforce this determination. Those Evil Spirits that I researched are ideas for a novel-length piece I’m working on, and doing the research helped me get some more ideas for the beings that will populate my dark fantasy world. The downside is that I didn’t do nearly enough writing in April. I couldn’t find the balance I needed between blogging, studying my edX course, preparing for the classes I teach, and writing. I won’t be doing daily posts on my blog any more. But I will post 2 or 3 times a week, and those posts will be helped by pre-scheduling – a trick I gained full appreciation for in the A-to-Z Blogging Challenge. I also learned ways to keep my posts  shorter, to keep them from taking too long to compose.

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With my slightly reduced workload now, I need to get back to writing as much as I should be. I’m glad I did the A-to-Z challenge, but now I really need to get more manuscripts submitted. I must also try not to worry so damn much. I’ve got a long way to go, but I do have people I can meet – people traversing the same road of words & narrative.

 

My discussion question for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group is: What do you do when you feel overwhelmed? What is the cure for stagnation caused by just having too much to do?

4 comments on “#IWSG – April was … Frightening, exhilarating, overwhelming

  1. mirymom says:

    I’m a big believer in lists. When it feels all spun out of control, I sit down and make a list of all the things that I have to do. Then I organize the list into categories based on how much time, energy, resources, etc. it will take to get them done. Then, I look to see if I can take anything off the list. Is there anything there that I don’t really have to do?

    Then, I just start working and crossing things off, one item at a time. I pull in family and friends to help if that’s needed.

    I won’t ever really really catch up . ..but I can get back a sense of control and perspective this way.

  2. I usually head outside and just inhale the fresh air for a moment. It clears my head, calms me down, and gets oxygen to my brain so I can get back to work! Thanks for your post!

  3. Christina says:

    For me, I make lists and I give myself time limits. It’s best to give myself a certain amount of time, and if the task isn’t finished, it goes on the next days list with a time limit. That way I feel good that I did say, a half hour of housework, even if the house still is a mess. I’m kind of a brat so if I tell myself I can’t write until 8pm, it’s all I think about at 6pm. I like to trick my brain that way.

  4. emaginette says:

    As you collect your badges of bravery — the rejections — look for hints of communication, feedback, invitations to revise and resubmit. We’ve all been there. Wear your badges proudly; your an author. 🙂

    Anna from Shout with Emaginette

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