Wednesday, June 2, 2021

...It'll work itself out fine (#IWSG June 2021)

Hey, look! It's my first time this year posting two months in a row for IWSG! (Please don't drop me from the list, Alex, I'm at #59 and I don't want to start over!)

June Question
For how long do you shelve your first draft, before reading it and re-drafting? Is this dependent on your writing experience and the number of stories/books under your belt?

I know I should wait between first draft and revision. I used to wait longer (on my first published book, Ten Thousand Days, I waited 8 years). I usually advise waiting at least a month after finishing your first draft, to give the story time to percolate, and to come back to it with fresh eyes. Unfortunately, the more I write, the less time I seem to give myself. On my second book, I waited two or three months. On Psycho Hose Beast, I waited about a month, which I feel is ideal. On my current WIP? I finished the first draft on a Tuesday and I started revising on Wednesday.

I'm putting unnecessary pressure on myself. I had a release date in my mind that I wanted to hit, which meant that I had several deadlines to meet that. Deadlines to get it to an editor, to get the cover artwork, to set the pre-order on Amazon, to arrange reviews and marketing. Again, I haven't announced this release date, and the only person expecting anything is myself. But it seems that as I write and publish, I want to write and publish more, so I'm shortening my timelines and making everything more difficult. 

Why did I think this is a good idea? The rest of my life certainly isn't getting any easier, or giving me more time. I just want to get Gale Harbour book 2 out, so then I can start working on book 3, and then I can start something new...

This is the kind of stuff I tell my kids not to do. My son especially. I'm constantly telling him to slow down and take his time, to work carefully, and enjoy each step in a process. Or at least to make sure it's done properly, to save yourself headaches down the line. Is there a fable about following your own advice? I think I need that one...

Anyway, onto some good news...

The latest volume of Strangely Funny is now available! It includes my short story, "Exorcist to the Stars." This is my fifth time appearing in Strangely Funny and my fourth published story this year:

Other crazy people who have printed my stuff.

It's been a heck of a year for me writing-wise, and I would love to cap it off by releasing a new novel, but will it happen? Should I care? More importantly, should I lose sleep and neglect other parts of my life to make it happen? 

I think I know the answer, I just have trouble convincing myself it's the right one.

Hugs & Kisses,

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 at


  1. Congrats on posting for two months straight. And on having your story published. I think waiting a few weeks or a month to edit is a good idea. I hope you follow the advice you give to your son and don't put too much pressure on yourself. It's exciting that you'll be releasing a new book soon.

  2. There's a reason people are printing your stuff!
    Maybe you're just a glutton for punishment?
    And don't worry, not knocking you off the list!

  3. Hi CD - congratulations on posting two months in a row ... but also having a story in the 'Strangely Funny' book ... it's perseverance isn't it - keep on doing and writing, and perhaps taking your own advice to your son - but enjoy these Spring/Summer days with the family - cheers Hilary

  4. Congrats on all your published stories this year. And for two IWSG days in a row ;) Take your own advice and keep those goals clear… but don’t burn out! Best of luck :)

  5. Congrats on your newest publishing win! I find I need less percolating time than with my first few novels, probably because I've internalized more knowledge about the writing process, thanks to a bazillion classes & craft books. I've also internalized reader expectations for my genre--bet you have too, though your horror/humor genre is more slippery. Yeah, the life-work balance part is tough. Then again, when non-writing life gets complicated, my writing time is a refuge. At least there I can exercise some control. Happy writing in June!

  6. Woot for another Strangely Funny! You've accomplished a lot this year. That's awesome. I get the stress of balancing life with writing. I'm not so successful with that, but I'm wishing you all the stress-reduction success in the world!

  7. I know exactly what you mean about your place on the list. I'm #76 and I guard it like it pays for wine. 🤣

    Congrats on the publications! You've clearly got some creative vibes going there. Definitely take time to enjoy family and friends, though. It's all about balance. (yeah, I read that somewhere. No actual personal experience with it, though.)

  8. Gotta love Paris (the person) not the city. I placed my writing on hold the last year or so. I concentrated mostly on reading because that's my job. But I really do hope to get some fresh ideas this summer! I say, if it happens, it happens.

  9. Four published stories this year is excellent! I hope you did spare some time to be justifiably proud of yourself. And then jumped back into the writing. Imagine a digital high five from me!

  10. Nicely done! Looking forward to reading more of your stories!

  11. Nice to meet a neighbor! I'm 62 on the list and want to celebrate you writing this IWSG post two months in a row! I appreciate your comments on how deadlines and our own expectations push us to improve how efficiently we write as well as how thoughtfully. Nobody seems to be talking about the pandemic, but that seemed to me to put added pressure on us all at so many different levels. Life may just be one challenge after another. So how do we heal ourselves? Find focus and courage to believe in our stories? Maybe the healing is in the writing. I find the writing itself is easier if I work the same times each day (not always possible). May 2021 be good to you and yours.

  12. You are rocking it, dude! It sounds like 2021 is your year, and who knows? Could be your decade. Also, your comment about Alex knocking you off the list was on point (and also a legit fear of mine so I NEVER miss two IWSG posts!) Here's to more awesome news for the rest of the year!

  13. Congrats on the new story, and on posting twice in a row! I might say to you what people said to me when I was trying to get my novel out and fit it around travel and surgery: give yourself the time you need. Don’t make writing a source of stress.

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