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Wednesday, January 8, 2020

IWSG - Starting the New Year without a bang


Happy New Year!!! And what better way to start off the blog this year than with IWSG?

Every first Wednesday of the month, this group of writers comes together to offer support, advice, encouragement or simply to let  frustrations and woes flow. Writing is a tough journey, and we don't have to go it alone.

Thanks goes to the brain behind this group, Alex J. Cavanaugh! If you want to join in or find out more (because there is so much more to this group), then head on over here.

Twitter is @TheIWSG and hashtag #IWSG . They can also be found on Facebook or on the IWSG blog.

Super, special thanks goes to this month's co-hosts: T. Powell Coltrin, Victoria Marie Lees, Stephen Tremp, Renee Scattergood, and J.H. Moncrieff!


With a brand new year comes new energy and swing on the writing front! Right? Well, not in this writer's head. While the dreams mount and goals overflow, I'll admit...I feel slumpy.

And yes, 'slumpy' is a word in my world.

You know those moments... every word is trash. Every sentence forms such a mess that the entire literary world would be aghast if they even caught a glimpse of it. Nobody's writing has ever stunk as much as what's hitting my manuscripts.

That's me, at the moment. And that voice in my head is bouncing up and down, screaming that I should just give up because I definitely have no right to think that anyone would ever like my garbage. The short stories I've published are a laughing stock. People say they like them and they were published...but, come on, I know they stink to high heaven. And Music Boxes...a sheer accident. I haven't even completed another book since that one.

Sure. I have hundreds of story ideas floating through my head. I'm pretty sure several of them are dazzlers too. Which is all good and well...until I try to write them. Let's face it, those stories don't have a chance with my pathetic skills.

Sound familiar? If not, I'm amazed at your confidence and wouldn't mind having a dusting every now and then.

Will I listen and give up? It's tempting, but...not a chance. It's just that stupid, little doubt monster, who managed to squiggle his way out of whatever hole he was hiding in. Again. The best way to shut him up is to ignore him and keep plugging away. Because he does get tired of it, at one point. I just hope it doesn't take a few months...years? Luckily, I'm in for that even if it does. I'll just have to make sure my supply of chocolate never runs out.

What are your 'secret' ways of dealing with your self-destructive, writer's voice?

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This is coming up next week! Don't miss out because it's a ton of fun. 

22 comments:

  1. I'm with you on "slumpy" being a word - been there, done that, most likely will again. I don't think the Doubt Monster will ever totally go away, for me anyway, but he does hibernate, so I try to make the most of that when it happens. :) Hang in there!

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    1. Hibernation is better than nothing :)

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  2. Don't you dare give up. Music Boxes was such a hit! You can do it again.

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    1. Thanks for the uplifting words. I am currently outlining another book which will slide into the same category as Music Boxes. So, we'll see.

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  3. I noticed Diane called Music Boxes "a hit," and it truly was magical, but sometimes creating another story after one like that can be daunting. Especially when there's high expectations of creating another hit. Even if we don't realize that's why we're struggling, it can be a lingering thought far in the backs of our heads. And all the stuff that comes with publishing a book (marketing, school visits, etc) can leave us in a slump, too.

    I believe you'll get through it. Take your time. Step away from writing for a while. Find that spark again. ;)

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  4. I think accepting that we all have these slumpy moments helps us through them. And knowing others have them as well.

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    1. Honestly, that's one reason I put it in the post and didn't hide it. These moments constantly come and go, and I hate it when I see writers letting the doubt monster get to them. It's something we all face. Again and again.

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  5. So sorry you're having a hard time. Taking a break to watch TV and read a lot has helped me. And exercise is really important for me to stay positive about life. Hope some of that helps you.

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    1. My fear is that I've been binging too much Netflix lately ;)

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  6. Slumpy is 100% a word. ^_^ I've been all over the place with my thinking lately. I was even planning a rewrite of one of my published books, not even three weeks ago, only to realize after a few days that the changes I was planning to make wouldn't change the story one bit. Because, deep down, I don't think the book needs an overhaul. The short stories I've read of yours are great. But I also totally know how you feel. I keep looking at one of my books in particular and feeling like everything is trash in comparison. It's why I'm brainstorming myself to death right now. But if I can do something great by accident, I can do something great on purpose. We keep fighting, and that's worth a lot more than always being on our A game. :)

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  7. I avoid going back and reading my published works because I know I'll be kicking myself the entire time. Although, your kind words are uplifting :) I truly wonder about those writers who claim they never doubt themselves. Is that even possible?

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  8. Visiting a bookstore or re-reading a favorite book usually gets me out of a slump. Changing projects also helps me.

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  9. Doubt Monsters lurk everywhere, but when you out them--as you have here--they tend to lose their power. Let's hope you've gotten them under control for the entire year.

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  10. I just remind myself that manure makes good fertilizer, so write that crap and the good stuff will grow from it.

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  11. I've had my fair share of slumpiness. But don't give up - you're an awesome writer! Tell that doubt monster to go back where he belongs.

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  12. Slumpy is a word that certainly resonates with me. I am brand new to this world of writing, and every step seems to be like trekking through molasses. I'm on my first book and even getting the outline together has been quite the adventure with the plot for Parts 3 and 4 still a bit "mushy." Just stumbling upon IWSG has been a boon. The difficulty with feeling "slumpy" is that I start feeling trapped which makes me afraid. Fear isn't a great atmosphere for fostering creativity. Over the years, my one tried and true antidote for fear has proven to be curiosity. If I start to spin out, I start asking a lot of questions. I find being curious brings me back to the present and often leads to some discovery that helps put me back in the flow. Hope that helps and thanks for sharing.

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  14. I still have those lows, but I've been at this long enough to know it's just that, a phase. I remind myself that by publication, all will be well. Sometimes taking a break and reading some well-written fiction helps. Sometimes pushing through and coming back and editing the lousy part later helps. 'You doubt because you care, and that can only lead to good things.'

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