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Wednesday, August 3, 2016

IWSG and Nose Dives

It's time for. . . IWSG!

What is that?

Well, for those of you who don't know. . .the amazing founder of this awesome group, Alex J. Cavanaugh, says it this way:

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

This month, I'm co-hosting along with Tamara Narayan, Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor, Lauren @ Pensuasion, Stephen Tremp, and Julie Flanders! 

This summer. . . or better said. . .

Summers in general are not my best writing times. Word counts do a flailing nose dive straight to the ground only to leave a huge splat of 'wished for' and 'desired' in all directions.Goals set in May, all those joined writing groups and even word boot camps end with what-nots and 'say whats' and 'yeah, rights' until there are less words in those MSs by August than I started with in the beginning of June. 

Is that even possible? Yes... yes... I'm convinced words pack their bags and run away.

Far, far away.

But I'm counting summer as inspiration time. To write, we need to dream. Experience. Live. 

Today's question is:

What was your very first piece of writing as an aspiring writer? Where is it now? Collecting dust or has it been published?

Like many writers, I've had writing in the blood since I learned to write the alphabet. And I have tons of little, silly stories from growing up. Each one, I was sure might make a great book. Kids love to dream!

The first thing I wrote, which I thought (in the beginning) I really wanted to send out to a publishing company, came when I was in college. It was a contemporary piece about a teenage boy and a difficult court case he was wrapped up in. . .based on a real situation. 

Oh, did my fingers type away on that one!

Thank heavens the mess (a finished manuscript, I might add) has been shoved into a drawer and sits on the very bottom of some forgotten pile. Will it ever see the light of day? Golly gosh no! And I'm so much more than okay with that! 

How's your writing been going this summer? Watch those words drift away on the waves too? Or did you get some amazing progress done?


  1. What an excellent way to look at summer! Instead of everyone beating themselves up for not getting as much writing done, looking at the season as a time of inspiration makes it so more fun and freeing. :)

  2. Not much progress here, but I keep myself busy with other writing tasks while waiting for my muse. Thanks for co-hosting today.

    I think there may be an issue with your link. I had to click on your home button to find this post.

  3. Thanks so much for co-hosting, Tonja. Appreciate it! Love your story. You should take that old piece of writing out one day and give it another chance. Who knows, right. Although, mine is stuck deep in a shelf somewhere too. It was a great learning tool.

  4. Finally, an explanation of what happened with my writing this summer - "I'm convinced words pack their bags and run away." Now, it makes sense :-)

  5. Yes, sometimes those early stories should stay buried--- like my historical romance about lady pirates that I still have bits of somewhere....
    I have summer writing problems. The heat gets to me, I go off my special diet, and then I'm too sick to do anything for days. But I'm back in form and ready to catch up with all those neglected household chores, not to mention the blogging, blog hopping and writing....

    Nissa Annakindt

  6. Summer is never a good time for word production for me either. I love the sun too much.

  7. Summer can be busy for many reasons. I'm sure your word count will grow again soon. And as you say, some manuscripts are best left in a drawer but I think we learn from having written them nevertheless.
    Thanks for being one of our co-hosts this month.

  8. I wonder if you'd still think it was a mess if you revisited that story? It sounds like a great premise.

  9. Ha, ha, that's what happens to my writing in the summer, too. Must be a Pied Piper of Words somewhere piping away...
    Thank you for co-hosting!

  10. Never throw that ms away! It's a treasure. Thanks for co-hosting for #IWSG today.

  11. Hi, Tonja! This is my first time at Kidbits. I've joined your blog. Thanks for co-hosting IWSG August session. Summer is a difficult time for me to get writing accomplished as well. Okay, so maybe the five children make it a bit difficult, but still I get disappointed about it. I do use my family's summer adventures as a basis for my short story adventures. All the best!

  12. Great post! I too struggle in summer to sit at a desk and write when I would rather be outdoors basking in the sunshine. However, I have also experienced lots of creative ideas as far as new stories go and work through a structure book every morning for about 30 minutes so I guess that is something. :)

  13. The words have been on an ebb and flow. Although, I’ve definitely got more writing done than during this time than usual but not as much as I liked as I’ve just discovered the beauty of Netflix. Already I’m starting to realize that my previous ignorance of Netflix was bliss. Thanks for co-hosting today!

  14. I definitely understand watching all those carefully made plans flutter away. I've actually had good progress this summer, if you count revisions. My goal is to build up my writing endurance in time for Nanowrimo, and force myself to write at the same time everyday.

  15. If you're taking the summer to live and be inspired, then enjoy the experience! The words will get hungry and come home soon enough.

  16. I never thought about it before, but maybe words can evaporate over time. That would explain why I never seem to get anywhere when I write. No matter how much I write, I never seem to move closer to the end. Maybe I need to seal my manuscript up in an airtight case when I'm not working on it.

  17. It's winter my end of the globe. And I've been super-productive. Just completed my very first CampNaNo!
    Thank you for co-hosting the IWSG this month, Tonja!

    1. So the trick is to move around the world! :) Way to go, btw!

  18. Madeline - See, it's all in the attitude!

    Toinette - thanks for the heads-up...blogger was hiccuping.

    Joylene - Practice makes perfect, they say.

    Ellen - Lol! Wish they'd take us on vacation with them.

    Nissa - Sounds like you're getting back into the swing of things - good for you!

    Susan - It will disappear soon enough for winter. So you should

    Suzanne - Writers all need their 'graveyard' of forgotten MSs. Hmmm...sounds like a story idea in itself.

    Jacqui - I accidentally got it in my hands again a couple of years ago and ugh.

    Lori - That's it!

    CLee - MSs are treasures no matter how rough.

    Victoria - I'm betting those adventures are amazing!

    Erika - The 30 mins every morning is a great idea. I might be stealing it ;)

    Lidy - Ah, Netflix. What a wonderfully, awful, addicting thing.

    S.M. - Congrats! I'll pre-cheer you into NaNo :)

    Alex - Lol! Put the food on the table, and they will come.

  19. The only time of year I can't seem to get much done is winter. I don't know if it's because it's dark or because Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's are all packed so close together, but it's okay because we all need breaks least our brains melt and leak out of our heads. :)

    I didn't write my first serious novel until a year and a half or so post college. It is also something I'm happy to never look at again - but if I ever feel so inspired to rewrite it from scratch, I'm totally game for that!

  20. Summers aren't bad for me. Actually, I might get more done in the summer, but that would make sense with the whole home school thing. It's just one more level of stress. Yup. Total reverse of most people's schedules.

  21. LOL ~ I think many of us have that "mess" hidden away in a drawer! I'll have to remember to burn mine before I die! It was so bad that it's actually ripped in pieces in a back drawer. I write best when I'm home and not traveling ~ which I seem to be doing a lot of this year! Thanks for co-hosting and enjoy your IWSG Day!

  22. Thanks for co-hosting. You've got my attention regarding the manuscript lying in a dark drawer. Perhaps it's worth resurrecting? LOL. This summer has been chaotic. My husband became critically ill, then my dogs' health seemed to suffer - perhaps from all the stress in our house. However, writing and editing Forbidden has been my safety valve, my corner away from all the stress. Thankfully, we all now seem to be 'normal' and more than ready to enjoy what's left of summer. Ya, August. Blessings

  23. I'm a winter girl in terms of actual productivity. I have [ahem] more than one mess of a manuscript lounging about, but each one gives me a reason to keep writing. Thanks for co-hosting!

  24. That manuscript may not be published, but I bet you learned a lot that you use in your writing today.

  25. I guess it is a mess until we rewrite? Maybe? Don't know. Wishing you much inspiration.
    Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

  26. Sometimes, our writing muse needs a vacation. It will come back. It always does.

  27. hank you for co-hosting today's #IWSG, Tonya. Some of your early works sound like they would make good stories if fleshed out with your honed skills today! Going back to work on old projects is never as much fun as compiling a new story, though. This is my first day back from a two-week vacation and there was nary a word typed that didn't appear on Twitter or in email during that time. Trying to make up for lost time now.

  28. That's a great way to look at summer. Or for me lately the whole year as I seem to be doing everything but writing!
    Hope you're having fun co-hosting!

  29. I don't get much of a break when the seasons change, but it certainly feels like my writing has taken a vacation too! Guess I just need to spend some time playing until it returns. :)

  30. I think it's great that most folks never do throw away that first piece, though it's way down at the bottom of a drawer somwhere... Thanks for cohosting.

  31. Thank you for co-hosting!

    I love that you're okay with leaving your work alone. You're better than me. I think I'd obsess until it was done. Summer has also taken it's toll on my writing. Not much done here either. That's okay though. There are more months ahead of us.

  32. Krystal - Ugh! Did you have to mention all of those holidays??? :p

    Crystal- I'm always amazed how you can home school and get writing done. Awe inspiring!

    Fundy Blue - My mind would be in so many places if traveling...and writing wouldn't be one of them.

    Feather - Oh my! Hopefully, that was simply the huge wave before the quiet. Enjoy August!

    Lee - The 'mess' pile is pretty high...but I'm not mentioning that one ;)

    Juneta - Rewriting is like a rebirth.

    Olga - Hopefully, it brings trinkets with it. :)

    Gail - Hope you enjoyed your break!

    Julie - Lol! If I was honest, I'd have to say the last 2 years...but this summer has really dragged.

    Loni - If you're writing decides to fly away, you definitely should too.

    Elizabeth - I guess we hang on to those stories. Even the bad ones.

    Elsie - At the beginning of summer, I was pretty frustrated. But time does wonders. Plus, it's only a couple weeks and the kids are back in school...so the days are ticking by now :)

  33. There's a lot to be learned from those under-bed or trunk books, including when a project is best abandoned.

    @mirymom1 from
    Balancing Act

  34. The words will flow later on. Need experiences indeed, as life is still out there. Some drawers need to stay shut haha

  35. Drawers are important agents in protecting our practice writings, either literal or virtual drawers. :)

    Thanks for co-hosting this month!

  36. I never thought about words packing their bags and running away, but you're right. They do. You'll always remember that first story, though, and what you've learned from it.
    Thank you for co-hosting today and for visiting my blog.

  37. Hey Tonja! Thanks so much for co-hosting this month's IWSG. I have stories sitting in my computer from I don't know how long ago, but I'm still editing my first novel which I started three years ago. Oy! Have a great week. Hugs. Eva

  38. Thanks for co-hosting this month! I find summer can be as hard as December for getting writing done. There's just so many wonderful things I don't want to miss. :)

  39. Thanks for co-hosting Tonja! I'm plugging away on the WIP this summer, but not as quickly as I'd like, but like you say, summer's a time to read other things and go live life for a while.

  40. I usually have a rut in the winter, but I've been quite stagnant for a few months. Maybe I'll be more wordy in the Fall.

    Thanks for co-hosting!

  41. Thanks for co-hosting. Love your phrase about words taking a nose dive. They sure did. Hopefully, the muse will return from vacation. Soon!

  42. Catch those runaway words Tonja! Yeah the first writings often get relegated to the back. At least they're the start.

  43. My summer work nose dives too. I usually feel a lot of anxiety over it, but I'm beginning to think you're right...it is the time to enjoy life and those experiences are part of the writing process. Maybe I should just start planning a lack of productivity during the summer months.

  44. I like that you finished your first manuscript. Maybe, you have pushed it aside but you finished it. Yeah.
    My summer has been topsy-turvey but so has my whole year so far. Sometimes we experience challenges that test our metal.
    All the best and thank you for co-hosting.
    Shalom aleichem,

  45. Heck, it's summer. Enjoy especially if you have kids at home. Make the most of every minute with them. Words-schmords. They'll be there when you're ready. I don't make goals for the summer. I just go with whatever comes along. Wishing you a wonderful end of summer! Thanks for co hosting.

  46. Thanks for co-hosting IWSG this month. Summer tends to be my writing time now. I teach full time during the year and also do some writing, but summer is my time. That said, I also have days that I just do not much of anything, and those are great,too. Of course, my daughters are grown up now. It was different when they were younger.

  47. I understand how summer can make word counts sky dive. I've done well this summer, but only because I set myself strict deadlines and made them known to people who can hold me accountable.

  48. I've made fits and starts with progress. However, I did make more progress than this past fall, winter, and spring, due to being too busy during those months, so yay! Before that, summer was always my slow time.


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