Insecure Writers Support Group

Welcome to another Insecure Writers Support Group meeting. If you haven’t come across it yet (although I think that’s highly unlikely), IWSG is about sharing your insecurities and encouragement with other writers. The wonderful thing about this is that once your insecurities are out there, there are always people who are in the same boat, or who’ve learnt how to deal with the problem. I highly recommend that any writer join up. πŸ™‚

And now, on to my post.Β 
Those of you who haven’t been to my blog in a while might notice that it’s undergone a name change. And that the count down timer is back. I’ve basically set myself this almost impossible goal and gave myself Β a time until I do it.Β 
All very good and well. Gives me something to strive towards. And motivation to keep going.Β 
Problem is that I’m not all that sure about how I’ll do it. I mean, I understand that I need to finish as many books as possible in order to even stand a chance of getting somewhere close to my goal.Β 
But how? See… I have something like four finished drafts that need to be rewritten. Then I have sixteen story ideas and rough drafts in progress. (I limited myself to these for now or else I’d go insane.) Common sense would say that I should rewrite, revise and finish the four I’ve written.Β 
Except for one thing. I have the first two books in a series under contract. They’re both done. The sequel to the second is an unfinished draft and since I have to assume that I didn’t spend over five years working on something that’ll sell badly. So. The third will need to be done.Β 
And I am a slow drafter. Especially when it comes to this series. There’s just too much to keep track of for me to just rush through. So. I need to get book 3 done to the point where I can simply rewrite it.Β 
Which is exactly what I’m doing now. I’m drafting like mad. And I will be doing so until book 3 is done.Β 
But am I doing the right thing?Β 
Anyone else have mad or madly important goals? (Check out my bloghop if you do.) How do you pick what to write when you have too much writing to do?Β 

49 thoughts on “Insecure Writers Support Group

  1. Don't know what to tell you. I've got the Lila's Journey Series to pound out. I'm rewriting book 2 but I have my White Trash and Pill Heads series to finish. Book 1 is almost done. Book 2 is in notes. And Book 3 is almost completely finished. I'm in the same boat, I guess.

    Hugs and chocolate,

  2. Wow, my mind is boggling! Hats off to you! I could not juggle all that! If you're happy with the way you're working then you must be doing the right thing! Keep at it and all the best of luck to you!

  3. Wow. I admire you already enormously. I think you're going to be wildly successful. I think Alex is correct. Get that book done NOW while you still have the time. Things are about to get a lot busier:D

  4. My vote (if you're taking them) Draft number three now, but don't worry about the revising of it until you have an idea about the sales for book one.

    Then get back in there and start working.

    Other than writing a *ton*, I have no idea how to make the goal you've set yourself.

  5. Focus on writing and crafting the best stories you can. Unfortunately, sales are a bit out of our control as authors, since they rely on other people and not ourselves. But each book will build and grow into a readership. Don't give up!

  6. You sound like me! Maybe that's what I need to do. Set a goal like that. I have tons of irons in the fire at different levels. I know how overwhelming it can be with that many stories going on. I take on one at a time. When I get stuck or bored in one, I play around with a story idea. Gives me brain a much needed break.

  7. I'm not sure how to react to your monstrous goal; yes, monstrous. I wonder, even if you made it, or even half of it, you'd be any happier. This is what happens to so many writers, they start off writing because they love it and think they can write something really good, then they want to earn money for their hard work. Then they set these gigantic goals. The enjoyment of writing disappears. I don't know if that is happening to you, but it sounds like some form of it. I wish you luck. I hope you make it. And I hope you still feel the excitement of writing a good story.

  8. I'm not sure if it's just me, or my age, or what, but I'm kind of past pushing myself to have mad goals. When I was younger, I worked through my undergrad and grad degrees and focused on my career and having kids and buying our first home and and and…

    I don't want to live like that now. I want to write because it fills my needs. I'd LOVE to make money at it, but that's not a primary motivation for me. Life is too short with too much to love and savor. But I do think so much of that perspective has to do with what chapter you are in with life.

  9. I have a lot of projects planned and they stay in folders where ideas go while I'm working on other projects. The thing that gets picked tends to be the one with the most complete plan. So far, I haven't had any issues choosing.

  10. I think you are wise to set high goals, but be flexible too. I like having multiple projects going – when one is troubling you it's a good time to shift gears to clear your mind.

    Good luck reaching your goal!

  11. I'm not technically taking a vote, but if someone gave me an excellent reason not to draft, I wouldn't draft. As it is, my thought process went along the same line as yours.

    And yes. Believe it or not, the goal is actually to motivate me to write more, rather than to make the money. πŸ˜€

  12. Oh definitely DO set a goal. Just make sure you have a plan of approach too. The bigger the goal, the more of a plan you need. Otherwise, you'll stare at it, not knowing where to start.

  13. I'm actually pretty happy because I set it.

    In fact, I made the goal BECAUSE I love writing. Not because I want to make money. For lack of a better measure, I picked a high monetary goal as a measure of how well I was able to write all the books I still want to write, but leave shelved for lack of focus.

    It's also a measure of my ability to do it well, because I'm well aware that the only way I'm going to come even close to my goal will be to write damn good books.

    I have always said that writers shouldn't write for the money. I still stand by it. I'm here to write what I love first. Hopefully it makes money. But mainly, I'm concerned with ensuring that I get my stories published.

    This isn't about me losing my happiness with writing. It's about me having twenty amazing projects and not knowing which one to start with. πŸ˜€

  14. That makes perfect sense for me.

    Part of the reason why I set the goal is to distract myself in a positive way from the madness and stress from my day job.

    Yes, I put a bit of extra pressure on myself because I made it public. I now feel like I'll need to achieve at least something.

    But what I'm not worried about is whether or not I'll really make the money. I'm going to try, but it won't break my heart if I don't.

  15. Oh yeah. I've recently discovered that I get a lot more drafting done in a month if I work on more than one project at the same time.

    Basically, it's like giving myself two or three days to think what happens next in any given book.

  16. That logical rational math will get you every time. True, logically, you can't possibly do what you've set out to do. But as they say in sports–that's why they play the game. Because the impossible regularly happens (anyone Remember Appalachia State beating USC?)

  17. All of my goals seem mad! I usually have at least 5 stories vying for my attention at any given time. Loudly. Those five may change, but there's always something lurking on the horizon. Many times I'll start drafting and wonder if I'm working on the “right” one. Should I be drafting the OTHER story? Sometimes, the best way to get through these doubts is to just finish what you FIRST started. This is really hard for me and a lesson I'm in the process of learning. You can do it! It sounds like drafting the third book in your series should be your focus for now. Get it done and then work on something that holding your passion. You can then go back to the third book draft and work on it. I always have to shift back from one project to another. That's the only way I can keep my interest in BOTH stories πŸ™‚


  18. Write the sequel and set up a marketing plan. Try not to think of the other projects. I hear your pain though – easy to say, hard to do. I usually have more than one project going at the same time. I try to limit them to two as with admin and marketing, things can easily get overwhelming. Congrats on the contract!

  19. I loved how you said, '..simply rewrite it' πŸ™‚ I would love it more if rewrite were simple, though. I think you're doing the right thing… you have no deadline (yey, you rock with that contract!) on the other books (apart from the self-imposed one). Best of luck Misha.

    Shah X

  20. One of the best things about writing is that you are completely in control of your own career and its direction… Unfortunately, it also means you haven't got anyone gently nudging you in the right direction and putting the right project in front of you at the right time. It's great you have so many projects read and waiting for the right time πŸ™‚

  21. It's good to have goals and I do, but I keep them close to the vest and only tell a few people. That way, if the idea doesn't pan out, I don't have that pressure on me.

    I got into writing to set my own pace and not answer to anybody. HA. But at least for now I'm my own boss. πŸ™‚

    M.L. Swift, Writer

  22. Misha, sometimes when I have too many ideas simmering in the pot I try and figure out which is the most ready. Sometimes, they're all ready and I just have to make a decision (but when I start a new project I'm always wondering if I should be working on something else). I can never stay faithful to one project because I'm always thinking about another!

  23. I agree…finish that sequel because someone somewhere will say “I wish there was a follow-up book” (and they will!) and you can go “Bam!” Instant sequel and that will make the readers happy happy. They hate waiting for sequels. Right now I'm contemplating (okay it's most likely going to happen) a follow-up book but it's not ready. Bad writer. Bad.

    Because what's worse than not being ready? Knowing that readers have short attention spans…

  24. I think goals are good. For me, I've tried to set them, but always end up disappointing myself. So I change them up. Instead of word count, my goals are usually time spent writing. As for finishing a project, well, I set a date and just put my nose to the ground and shove forward. Sometimes I meet my goals, and sometimes, I don't. I wish I could be a better goal-setter. I'd probably get more accomplished. πŸ™‚

    Best of luck to you!

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