Wednesday, January 6, 2016

At Peace with the Process


Well... not YET, but I'm working on it.

Hallo fine peoples!!! Welcome to the Insecure Writer's Support Group Monthly Meeting!!! I encourage you to go see LOTS of insecure writers today (list at the bottom) because we all love hugs. Or most of us do. Some are crabby, but in a funny way, but all of us need love.

So what am I on about?

I have recommitted to my writing process this year after a really darned lousy 2015 (if you are curious, probably half the other posts on the page mention details).

I wonder what the writing equivalent of this is... Totally looks like my style
The really good news is I've found a couple ladies to team up with for a bit of cross-promo... They are smart and extremely talented and I am really looking forward to working with them. But they are much more prolific than I am... much more published... much better marketers... I know they invited me because they see something... I've done really well in a couple contests, so there is some talent there... but I just seem to keep spinning my wheels trying to get some traction...

I have other friends who are all orderly... they talk about their idea, share blurbs writing the book. They send it to their agent who loves the book. It gets subbed to a publisher who loves the book. Then they start a new book. (I'm looking at you Gae Polisner). And it makes me feel like a scatterbrained mess.—and I'm kidding Gae about how easy she makes it look because just this week she was talking about how hard it is to get going on a new story—me, I'd start a story every day. Nothing would make me happier than to spend my life just starting stories—but I have a feeling this would turn my “support myself with my writing by retirement” dream into a never never-land plan.

And then I ran into Chuck Wendig's blog for the week. And it reminded me of one of my favorite Seussisms...

And I thought, you know... it's okay... I've written seventeen completed first drafts. The fact that only four have gotten polished enough I felt ready to publish says more about my difficulties approaching polishing and querying or the alternative, full-on prep for self pubbing than my writing. And then I also need some work on my marketing skills. None of these things means I can't write. It just makes it harder actually get my stuff OUT THERE. And I really do believe at SOME point I will manage that—sell something that does well, and the demand + my backlog of things that only need a LITTLE MORE work means I will be able to spread my wings and fly... And this is my process.

So Chuck's wisdom seemed the perfect thing to share for all of us feeling insecure. Your process is your process. My process is my process. We can all learn and grow but that doesn't mean pitching our own stuff and accepting that somebody else's process might work better for us. It DEFINITELY doesn't mean anybody should be judging anybody else's process. It just means we all could benefit from reflecting now and then on what is working and what isn't and adjusting accordingly. Not nearly so intimidating that way.

No go visit some other insecure folks!!!


THIS JUST IN!!!! The Seventeen, my entry for the Insecure Writer's Speculative Anthology, was selected for inclusion and it's an EXCELLENT list of fellow writers I'll share this honor with!!! Go check it out!!!


36 comments:

Yolanda Renee said...

Seems to be the theme of the IWSG community today, a re-commitment to the writing we all know we are capable of but have found excuses for not doing, and acceptance of our individual talents!
You go girl! May 2016 be your writing year - and every year thereafter!

dolorah said...

I hear ya on the process, just takes too long. But, gotta get through it. Sounds like you have obtained an excellent support system Hart. You have been one of those authors I've looke dup to over the last few years. Keep up the good work - in your own style.

Joss said...

It sounds like you are definitely on the right path. I am really bad at promoting myself and I can't see that ever changing. Like you I love starting new projects and I could start a new novel everyday if I wasn't tough on myself and forcing myself to stay focused. I hope you achieve all you dream of and have a great new year. xx

Jan Morrison said...

Yes to all of that. I too want a slightly different year for my writing but I try and remember that I would write no matter what -even if it turned out to be only me reading it. If that is true then I must keep on keeping on.

Jan Morrison said...

Yay! Just read you are one of the winners and your story will be in the anthology. Super good news. I'm proud to be your pal.

T. Powell Coltrin said...

You'll do it. You have the stuff you need in you. Congrats on winning a place in the anthology.

authorcgcoppola.com said...

I feel like, as long as you're working, you're working. Like you said, we all have different processes and we all go at it differently.

And, as Ray Bradbury said, "you only fail if you stop writing."

:) Happy 2016!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

We can only do the best we can do.
Congratulations on making the cut for the anthology.
And what is the purpose of a board tied to a tire?

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Congratulations on the story, Hart! Your 2016 is off to a great start - keep it going! :)

Hart Johnson said...

Oh Alex, you sweet summer child... when the board hits the mud it gives you a point of traction to launch you out of your rut!!!

L.G. Keltner said...

Congratulations on your short story being included in the anthology! I'm looking forward to reading it!

You could always use the beginnings of stories never finished in a book, and just say they're writing prompts. I don't know if it would sell well, but people are always looking for writing ideas.

I am the definition of a scatterbrained mess, so you're not alone in that.

Hart Johnson said...

I typically save the beginnings and let them ferment, then I start from scratch when the idea has blossomed... there is overlap, but I really need to write those beginnings to get my brain moving to process what the overall story will be. My file is about 60 stories deep...

Crystal Collier said...

Congrats on making it into the anthology! Clearly they saw something in you, as most people do. We all have different strengths and the key is to surround ourselves with the people whose strengths counteract our weaknesses, eh? Then all are benefited.

Here's to an epic 2016!

Tamara Narayan said...

Congrats on getting into the anthology. I need to work on the marketing thing too. (Actually entering the ISWG contest was hopefully part of that in getting my name out there and my writing in other folks hands, so yeah for us, huh?)

Deborah Hawkins said...

Congrats on making the anthology!

I feel like that often, too, when I see someone publishing a fourth book in a year, and I'm wondering, "HOW!?" We're all different.

Sandra Cox said...

Congrats, Hart! I'm looking forward to reading The Seventeen.
Thanks for stopping by and offering congratulations. That was very kind.Here's to a wonderful 2016.

Arlee Bird said...

Surrounding oneself with good capable people is the best ticket to success. Smart move.

Arlee Bird
Tossing It Out

Feather Stone said...

I'm doing the happy dance for you. Congratulations.

Yolanda Renee said...

Sounds like a great start! Congratulations on placing in the Anthology!

cleemckenzie said...

Great that you've found some people to team with! Here's to a much more productive year than last, but it seems that's already happening. Congratulations on being in the anthology!

Cherie Reich said...

A good reminder that we can only do what we can do and shouldn't compare ourselves to others. :) Congrats on the short story! I'm excited we're anthology buddies.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Hart - well done on being included in the Anthology - that's brilliant news. People who help and are happy to team up with ... that's also good news - keeps you writing - your writing resonates .. and here's to 2016 - cheers Hilary

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Congratulations! And here's to a better 2016!

Andrew Leon said...

I'm using the marketing strategy of "write more." Not that it looks like that's what I'm doing...

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Perfect advice! We all do it our own way. It's great all you recognize your own way and what stands in it. You are youer than you.

Liza said...

You must be doing well, you've won the IWSG contest. Congratulations to you! Trust in yourself, You CAN do it.

Nick Wilford said...

Congrats on getting into the IWSG book! That's an exciting start to the year for sure. Here's hoping it can put some wind in your sails for your ongoing writing!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

You know what to do now.

Congrats on your story. I really enjoyed it.

Loni Townsend said...

Congrats on getting into the anthology! That's great! I hope your success continues throughout the year.

Denise Covey said...

Hi there clever lady! Came by to congratulate you on being included in the Anthology! How awesome! Can't wait to read it!

Chemist Ken said...

You know, if I didn't hold myself somewhat accountable, I'd keep starting new projects all the time,and never get around to finishing any of the. Congrats on the anthology!

Michael Di Gesu said...

HELLO MS. TART...

HOW ARE YOU? Happy NEW YEAR and CONGRATS on making the ANTHOLOGY and hooking up with those super talented ladies. DO count yourself as one of them... PLEASE!

I've known you for YEARS and I know how talented you are... never forget that~ You've accomplished plenty. And you are so right, comparing ourselves to other amazingly talented people and their successes is just not healthy. If anyone knows this, I do... I still have very little published and NOTHING under my name, so that is just how it is...

But our journeys are all different. This is why I LOVE our community so much because we are all supportive of one another and we are all at different levels in our writing careers. And most of us ALL have other jobs supporting us. There is NOTHING wrong with that. If anything, we should respect each other even more because of our determination to move ahead with our writing...

I couldn't be happier for you! I wish you all the success in the world for 2016!

I've got the rehab pics posted if you'd like to drop by an see my loft from HELL! LOL.

Helena said...

Congratulations on Seventeen! I'm looking forward to that anthology 'cause I know that you are one crazy good storyteller. And so what if other people are more orderly and organized or are marketing whizzes? Do what makes you happy, which coincidentally makes your readers (like me) happy--just keep writing.

Erika said...

Great post. You inspired me. And I'm doing my best to get around to as many blogs that I can this week. COngrats on finding great writing partners. They certainly help keep the energy rolling when it seems like a dream is taking forever. Happy 2016.

mshatch said...

I hear you on the polishing. I want everything to come out perfect the first time!

Chuck's awesome. And hilarious.

M.R. R. said...

Congrats on making the anthology.