Wednesday, October 5, 2016

What is this THING you speak of: Ready?If only



So WELCOME friends to the Insecure Writer’s Support Group first Wednesday meeting! You can find out all about IWSG here, and I encourage you to join if you have not already. Tons of great friends, support and resources. Plus the knowledge we are not on this journey alone.

If only it were this easy...
As a format, the group has been throwing out a question each month. October’s question is this:

When do you know your story is ready?

And the truth is, this is the crux of my problem. I have published 6 books and a short story. All published with DEADLINES. Because you see… I will keep tinkering and thinking “just this one more thing” forever unless somebody kicks me in the back side and says TIME!

Now three of my books (and the short) I had external deadlines imposed--an editor waiting for the book and a date it had to be there by. And that worked out pretty well… well the 2nd book was rough, as they edits they asked for were pretty large. But mostly that all worked out. I had to say “good enough” and because they were going to a professional editor, I could trust somebody else would call me out if they were not ready.

The flu trilogy was different. That was me trying to publish serially and because the first part WAS GOOD I dived, but then I didn’t want to leave people hanging too long waiting for the rest… sort of a forced speed of it that only allowed so many iterations.

Yet here I sit with probably 12 completed books, at least 5 of them pretty near ready, and I keep tinkering… I am calling one DONE. Maybe I will start with that.

Now go visit some people who have their act together, because clearly you aren’t going to learn anything useful here… erm…

20 comments:

Fundy Blue said...

Twelve probably completed books! Wow, Hart! I'd love to have one probably completed. Obviously you are doing something right! And actually, your illustration is excellent advice. You can't really worry about your writing being ready without going from letters to words to sentences to pages to chapters to a book. Even that is not easy! My brother-in-law finally said to my sister about her first manuscript: "Just get the damn book out there!" She did, and it got published. Good luck!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Deadlines do make a difference. It sounds like it's time to nudge a couple of those stories over the edge.

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Maybe set a deadline by getting on the calendar with a freelance editor? Helps me and I work better with deadlines, too.

mshatch said...

I have to admit (even tho I really hate to) I work better if there's some sort of timetable *sigh*

C.D. Gallant-King said...

Most people work better with deadlines. Without a set goal, we always strive for "perfection," but "perfection" doesn't exist. There's only "good enough right now," the extent of which will be set by those goals, whether that's a deadline or some other limit.

So set a limit for yourself! Find a target and start throwing books at it!

IWSG October

Nicola said...

Seems like a dealine is required to stop the tinkering :) Get those stories out - we want to read them :)

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I need deadlines! Although when I set them for myself, they don't seem to give me the same push as external deadlines. Maybe if I also give myself a cookie at the end.... :)

Stephen Tremp said...

I'm a free form writer but there comes a time I need to set deadlines. And events like NaNoWriMo help even though I never approach the 50,000 word goal it's still a huge help.

Stephen Tremp
www.stephentremp.com

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

Thanks for making me smile. Without deadlines, I can write forever and never be satisfied. Good luck with your submissions.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Here's your kick - it's time!

Crystal Collier said...

LOL! You just needed this prompt to kick you in the rear. So when's your next release date? Eh? ;)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Hart - such a great poster ... but so true - keeping going til you've written and finished your story ... cheers Hilary

Andrew Leon said...

You need to find someone you can trust to tell you to quit. :P

Tamara Narayan said...

I've been sitting on a book for years that needs a stronger ending. I need a pause button to catch up.

Jenni Enzor said...

Deadlines make a huge difference in getting things out the door. They helped me with magazine writing. Twelve books! That's amazing!

Rebecca Douglass said...

Deadlines are very helpful! I have to set my own, but of course, deep down I know they are only mine and can be broken. Since I have self-published, the best I can do for a real deadline is put the book on Amazon's pre-order. Then I have a hard and fast deadline.

Push some of those mostly-finished books over the line!

erica and christy said...

12?! I think you have your act together quite nicely! You ARE amazing. But thanks for the laugh at the end anyways. Ha. I may steal that line because after reading other people's blog posts, I always think, huh, that was really informative and helpful! Then my posts, in retrospect, seem like blah, blah, blah. Christy

dolorah said...

I think its easier to put "finished" to a project that has an external deadline. For me anyways.

Diane Burton said...

Deadlines work for me. I hate the pressure, but then I'm really productive. Whatever works.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

If you work better under deadline, maybe you need to assign a "due date" to each of your manuscripts, one at a time. I mean, that's a LOT of manuscripts waiting for some editing TLC! Maybe it's (DING! DING! DING!) time to send some of those darlings out into the world. :)