Writing Ups and Downs

I refuse — refuse!! — to say that I’ve failed at my goals with regards to writing, this year. The end of May is staring me in the face, and I realize that the first draft that I wanted to have finished by the end of April is still barely started. Since I want to be nothing but honest with myself, as I try to figure out what works for me, I will point out that it’s not like I haven’t been working steadily on it. It’s not as though I don’t have something like 35k words written on the book. So they imploded and I can’t use but hardly any of them? That’s not failure, it’s just, um. Not super-efficient.

I can think up excuses, right? I work full time. I have animals to snuggle with and dote on. My partner is going through some medical issues. I have other interests besides writing that takes up time, too. I’m reluctant to give up all of my reading time. I’m easily overwhelmed and prone to depression, and worse, migraines, and migraines make writing . . . interesting.

And, really, these are all true.

Once upon a time I wrote a fantasy novel, from beginning to end, with story-building and world-building as I went. It was amazing, and it took me the better part of a year, and I loved it. I still love it. And then I wrote another book, but I never polished that one up like I did the first one. And then I wrote a lot of short stories, and discovered that I really love writing short stories.

But I miss writing novels, and I have an ohmygodIcanttakethepressure!! boat-load of novels waiting for me to get around to writing them, and that’s where this “Will get a rough draft done in three months!!” goal came from.

But, I’m discovering that writing like that? Makes me absolutely miserable and makes me hate writing.

Am I writing to get published? It’ll be a neat side benefit, and certainly I’ll want to work on getting my stuff published. But when I focus on that as the goal? I don’t want to write. The stories suffer. I’m too busy looking outward rather than inward.

I’ve picked up Lazette Gifford’s first three sets of the 2 Year Novel writing courses. I’m not planning on taking the full two years with them, but — so, back when Angela’s story stalled out again (been working on that one in various incarnations for three years now and I do NOT WANT TO GIVE HER UP) I decided that once I finished the current WiP, I’d work through those workshops with her material and see if I couldn’t shake myself free of all the baggage that’s coming with them. And I read a bit of the first set, and discovered it was going to be fun. It was going to remind me of the joy and wonder of story-building.

So, I’m using them, now, at least until I get caught up with the three sets (if the rest aren’t out by then) with the current WiP. Because how I wrote The Fosterling isn’t working for me right now, and I need to stop thinking it will.


10 thoughts on “Writing Ups and Downs

  1. Danielle Drury

    I still have my copy of The Fosterling. 🙂 Printed out page by page and stored in a large shoebox for the past decade or so. It has come with me through approximately 13 moves over that time!

    1. Jolene Post author

      Oh my god, 13 moves . . . *shudder* I’ve done . . . five? In my whole life. And that’s too many!!

      The Fosterling rocks. Sorry. It just does.

      1. Danielle Drury

        I agree whole-heartedly. ;). In fact it’s Ben a number of years since I finished it. I may have to reread it soon. Why dont you publish it? I’d love to get a copy of it on my kindle. Nod. And it’s been more than 13 moves… More like 15 or 16 since I moved to Indiana. But I plan on staying where I am now for a whiiiiile. You should come visit and see my and Amy’s awesome new house.

      2. Jolene Post author

        I’ve gone back and forth about releasing The Fosterling independently or trying to get it a mainstream publisher. I love how easy it is to format stuff for Kindle, am terrified of formatting for other platforms, but really ought to just do it. Because, I adore it and it’s good, and it should be out there. Hrm. Things to ponder.

        I’d love to come visit, at some point. Who knows when that’ll happen — the trip to New England wipes us out, and then we generally pay for her daughter to come out to us, so, it’s spendy. Of course, if you can find a fiber festival local to you, I’m *sure* I can convince Beth that it just HAS to HAPPEN.

        heh. I joke. Sorta. She’s sort of, um, obsessed.

        Meanwhile? PHOTOS!


      3. Danielle Drury

        Ahem photos… Yes yes. And I don’t know about the fiber festival thing. That seems pretty fancy for Indiana. We do have a lot of Amish in the area though… Maybe they have something going on. Will look into it. I did convince Amy that our next vacation will be to the pacific northwest!

  2. firefly124

    Bingo! If it’s becoming work instead of enjoyment (it can be both, just not lacking the enjoyment factor), then a new approach is the way to go. I’ll be interested to hear how those course sets work out for you.

    1. Jolene Post author

      You say that like it’s obvious or something 😉

      So far (I’m up to week 8, and getting nervous that I’m going to get through the available material before the next one comes out — on the other hand, I’ve got voices chattering at me, so, I’m sure I can figure what to do without it) it’s been loads of fun. You will, of course, get to see the finished results, at some point. Hopefully before the year is out.

  3. Willow Rose

    Again, you sound very similar to me in this. I wrote a novel awhile back and then a lot of short stories and totally miss novel writing, which is why my main focus has been on that (with the exception of the anthology I mentioned in another comment). I have so many novel ideas, and they don’t write themselves. The problem is that novels take longer to write than a short story, so crossing them off the “to do” list takes longer, of course. But still, getting one done as opposed to none done is a great thing.

    I hope you can get passed whatever blocks are keeping you from accomplishing your goals, Jo~ ❤


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s