Wednesday, January 6, 2016

IWSG January: A New Awakening

The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Writers post their thoughts on their blogs, talking about their doubts and the fears they have conquered. It's a chance for writers to commiserate and offer a word of encouragement to each other. Check out the group here.

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“He who breaks a resolution is a weakling; He who makes one is a fool.” – F.M. Knowles

"I know. I'm lazy. But I made myself a New Years resolution that I would write myself something really special. Which means I have 'til December, right?" – Catherine O'Hara

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Writing-wise, 2015 was a big year for me. I self-published my first book. I expanded my writing circles. I made mistakes and I (hopefully) learned from them. I started to build momentum that I hope will carry me into an even bigger and better year in 2016. For some reason, I couldn't see any of that last month when I wrote my very short and miserable IWSG piece. I was bogged down and slowed and though I had lots of promising projects and prospects on the horizon, I just felt stuck.

Today, one month later, I am feeling much more optimistic.

It wasn't that the holiday break provided a rest. Far from it - my kids were up at 6:00 every morning so I certainly didn't catch up on any sleep. It wasn't that I got any writing in because I didn't write a word after the first or second week of December (though I did narrate someone else's story for a short Christmas special, which was a lot of fun). It's not the changing of the season that reveals the hope and promise of a new year, because we got DUMPED on with snow a couple of days after Christmas, and this morning it was -28 degrees. It's impossible to be optimistic when your eyeballs are frozen. Hell, it's not even the revelation of the first good Star Wars movie in over 30 years.

The singular event that improved my mood was getting my manuscript back from my editor.

This son of a bitch right here.
I've been waiting for this for awhile. I felt frozen and paralyzed, anticipating getting it back, unable to continue but also unwilling to seriously commit to something else and get too deep into it. It's such a relief to get back to work, like finally pulling that nail out of your hand.

It's not even that the book came back with glowing reviews or anything. It has improved, certainly, but it still needs work and I'll probably have to tweak the ending again. But the important thing, the empowering thing, is that I now I can actually go back to work on it. I can finally feel like I'm moving forward once again, that I'm making progress and moving toward that finish line.

There will be another round (at least) of edits, and I have to get to work on getting the cover art nailed down and start thinking about promotion. There's a ton of work yet to complete, but I finally feel good about it because I'm getting it done. Stuff is happening.

It reminds me of when I used to work in a print shop. There would be times when I had dozens of orders on the docket and I would have to come in on the weekend and run five printers at once to get them all done on time. I would have juggle all the paper and collating and binding to keep all the machines running because if anything stopped I would miss deadlines. I loved it.

This is one of my favourite places in the world when the customers are locked out.
I don't care much about how much work I have to do, as long as I feel like I'm accomplishing something. Actually doing work is the best motivation in the world to get more work done.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have a book to finish.

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