I had every intention of getting a blog post up for January (and February)'s ISWG group, but as they say, the plans of mice and men….December and January have been difficult months. In the midst of cold and flu season, I think I was only well for one week of those months. Sitting down at the computer has not been on my priority list. In fact, I got quite discouraged about my writing, because I wasn’t doing much of it.
Then with the difficulties with yet another cold starting, I decided to just write for as long as I could stand it. I figured I would last 5-10 minutes, but I lasted an hour. It felt good to accomplish something, even if it was small.
My plan for my January ISWG post was to write about January goals. Looking back on 2015, I set my goals too high. I planned to finish revisions on two projects (!) and start a third. I only finished (or nearly finished) revisions on one manuscript. There’s been many times I’ve felt bad about that, especially when I talk to other writers, who are faster writers (or perhaps just faster revisers) than I. It’s easy for me to forget that finishing one manuscript is still something to be proud of. And I’m glad that I took that amount of time, because if I had rushed, it would not be as strong of a manuscript. I know it’s not perfect, and I am too close to have true objectivity, but this is the first time I’ve written a manuscript where I don’t have those nagging doubts in the back of my mind. Nagging doubts that I hope an editor, an agent, or even a critique partner will overlook.
So what does that have to do with writing while I’m sick? It is the small steps that count. I have always loved What About Bob? (Yes, in addition to fancy period pieces, I love silly movies.) But those baby steps have been so true for many parts of my life—from saving money to raising kids to writing books. We can’t rush it (or at least I can’t), but if you do the next thing, no matter how small, it eventually adds up to something significant.
What about you? How do you deal with discouragement when everyone else seems to be writing faster than you?
P.S. Since I wrote this post, I did finish my revisions! If anyone's keeping track, this is my shiny new manuscript. It may no longer be quite as shiny, but I'm finished. (That post was from 2014 while I was working on the first draft. I started this project in 2009, set it aside for 5 years, and revised it for a little over a year.)
Insecure Writer's Support Group
Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time.
Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!
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