Wednesday, January 6, 2016

7 Ways I kept writing in 2015

What is the IWSG? 

It is the Insecure Writers Support Group and it holds a meeting on the internet the first Wednesday of every month. The fella who started the whole thing is Alex J. Cavanaugh . Here's what it says on the web site:

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!
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. Be sure to link to this page and display the badge in your post.
Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!
Our Twitter hashtag is #IWSG
The awesome co-hosts for the January 6 posting of the IWSG will be L.G. Keltner, Denise Covey, Sheri Larsen, J.Q. Rose, Chemist Ken, and Michelle Wallace! 

So why join? Well, it is a great boost to hang out with other writers and you will find all sorts in this gang. Every month you can see what some (or all if you are unemployed!!!) are up to. You are sure to find some who feel as bad or good as you and those that are more than willing to give you some courage for your journey as a writer. This month is special because they will be announcing the winners of the first annual IWSG Anthology. I did not submit but sort of wish I had - I just had too much other writing on the go so decided to forgo this contest in the hopes that where there is one - there will be more!

Now - here is my post for today:

7 Ways I kept Writing in 2015

  1. I set goals all through the year. Maybe I didn't accomplish them all but I wrote more than if I hadn't bothered posting any.
  2. I kept a number of writing projects fresh and hot. I was working for the bulk of the year on a revision of a novel I started a couple of years back in a BuNoWriMo. I started a new novel in this year's NaNoWriMo. I sent off a short story and several poems. If I flagged at one, I picked up another.
  3. I hired a mentor. I was lucky in the fall of 2014 to go on a wonderful writers' retreat 'Pipers Frith' in Newfoundland. There I met my teacher and after a short time realized he would be the ideal mentor for me. I asked and he agreed. We struck a deal and it took a bit for both our calendars to be clear but it did work out. He is helping me with my Bright Angel revisions and I love working with him. And paying someone keeps you motivated to keep writing.
  4. I read and reread all the writer type books I own. I read them while I revised, I read them while I wrote fresh books - I kept them by my bed and my bath. I read them like they were thrillers or Jane Austen books I hadn't seen before. It was like keeping a long conversation going about one of my favorite topics.
  5. I set challenges or joined ones already on the go. I gave my best friend the promise of 70 poems in this her seventieth year. That means I have to write about six poems a month. I'm a bit behind after the holiday but I'll get back up to speed this week. I send them to her as I write them. I signed on to NaNoWriMo with not the faintest idea in my brain pan, but a strong desire for a new novel to work on. 
  6. I kept up some sort of relationship with this blog and my blog pals. It has been sketchy, what with a new full time job (a very intense job) and the vicissitudes of real life but I did it 'good enough'.
  7. I sat my bottom on my chair and wrote. And that, truly, is the best of the seven. Even if I didn't feel like I had something to say - I just hushed myself and sat and WROTE.  


Anonymous said...

I love these words of wisdom, Jan! I think they all help keep writers focused on their writing, even during those times when it's the hardest. Especially the last one...

Hart Johnson said...

The mentor options seems particularly awesome. I feel like my writing is GOOD but I am at a place I'd love a little help to make it GREAT. I will have to put my mind to the local writers I've met and see if any of them might be suitable.

Jan Morrison said...

Thanks Margot and Tartlette - yep - finding a mentor was a great thing. Mine was teaching 'voice' at the workshop I attended and I really liked his approach. He has been great so far - very thorough and provocative in the best way. I think it could so easily not be like that and so I am so grateful.

Bish Denham said...

Wow! Seems like you did a lot. Finding a mentor would be a wonderful thing. My writing in 2015 was sluggish at best. I am determined to do better this year.

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

That was a really productive and successful year! So glad things are going so well. Happy 2016!

Jan Morrison said...

Thanks Bish and Elizabeth. It was a good year and surprising as l also had a full time job. I clearly write more when I have to squeeze in the writing!

J Q Rose said...

Recognizing the 7 ways to keep you writing is important so you can use them to keep going. Great post and yep, just set down and write is probably the one we don't want to have to do everyday.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

You can hire a mentor? Yeah, I had no idea.
You've reminded me that I need to read more writing books.
There will be another anthology contest with a different theme this year, so hopefully the timing works for you!

Jan Morrison said...

Yep J.Q., and that is the real one -everything else is just a way to get you there.
Alex - I'm calling him that, not sure what he'd call himself. Here in various provinces in Canada we have mentoring programs - emerging writers apply to their province's writing association, and some lucky few get hooked up with a mentor. The province pays and it is all good. I, being impatient and elderly decided l would rather choose my own person and pay for it myself. So I did, and it is well worth it. The chemistry is good which l think must be vital. He looks at my 3rd or so draft (I'm always a bit hazy on those details, so let's just say a well along the way draft) and gives me both big and little comments and revision notes. I beaver away and send it back, maybe with a skype conference too. Now I'm waiting for what l hope will be the final notes. I have a writer pal who will help me with the copy edit as I'm comma dyslexic. Then my mentor has agreed to also help me with where and how to send it out.

Arlee Bird said...

Great job! I need to follow your plan to get something done in my world.

Arlee Bird
Tossing It Out

Karen Jones Gowen said...

What a great list, makes me want to write one of my own. I did write in 2015 but not as much as I'd planned and not as much as I hope to in 2016.