IWSG: Stick-With-It-Ness


Here’s my monthly post for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, where the first Wednesday of every month we get together to share our concerns and support one another in this ongoing writing journey.

This month, I feel like – well, there’s nothing astounding to report again. Making tiny amounts of money from writing, not enough to live on. Doing lots of edits. Living life.

But here’s what I can say: I’m still here. I haven’t given up yet! And then I thought, I like the phrase stick-with-it-ness, one of those fun phrases people use now and again when we need to grin with our gritted teeth. Here’s to plain old determination – and you know what else? I love language. I love how language works and I love the fun, crazy, awesome things we do with it.

And that’s why I’m a writer. Because I love language and literature and human speech. Sometimes, I need to remember that too.

How about you? Any news to report? (Including the news that you’re still plugging on? That definitely counts!)

Looking forward to the monthly pick me up.

Calm Before the Storm

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This week a fellow writer posed a question to an online forum. He wanted to know what to do when you start to hate – or at least dislike – your current project. The majority of responders advised him to put it aside for later, which I thought is really good advice if possible.

Sometimes it’s not. I am about to finish a professional, non-fiction project with several hard and fast deadlines, a project which seemed like a good idea at first. I’ve just made it through most of the flaming hoops (more or less unscathed) and now it is down to the final edits. I will be so glad that I went through with this, I tell myself – because it is true. Who knows, I might even be brilliant.

Recently, a friend found an old poem I wrote during high school. I don’t remember handing it out, but do remember all the angst and feelings that were part of the creative process, the emotional roller coaster of good and bad feedback. Sometimes I’d think – that’s it, I’m never sharing anything ever again.

Eventually, especially when there is no hard and fast deadline out there, eventually you just have to say I hate this because I’ve agonized over it. This text made me work hard. And that may be why this is going to be a great read for someone who isn’t me.

There are also times when I can be in love with my writing. A text can be so fun to write and so lovely and so wonderful – but not to anyone else. Not yet. Sooner or later (always too soon it seems) the text has to go to that First Reader, another human being with their own life and their own time frame. And then, we wait.

Here comes Monday.