Wednesday, 3 July 2013

July already? Insecure much?

Yes, folks it's July... and it's the first Wednesday... which must mean it's time for another Insecure Writers Support Group meeting, hosted by the wonderful Alex J Cavanaugh. Click this link to find out more, to sign up and to check out the other group members.

Today's post is not an insecurity, it's a deficiency. I have a game plan for my writing career, and I'm not achieving it. Instead I'm achieving other things, like creating my new website and self-publishing my collection of stories. Neither of these things were in my original business plan.

In fact, when I started writing, self-publishing meant taking out a loan and spending an arm and a leg on several thousand copies of your book that you then had to store in your living room and dining room and kids bedroom until you sold them. Print on demand and ebooks have changed the face of self-publishing, so you can excuse my lack of foresight.

Similarly, the internet was born after I started writing. Author websites were something proper authors had - not me - so I never even considered it was something I should do until this year.

My writing plan involved being published in specific literary magazines, and winning high-profile competitions.

And there lies my deficiency... I have not been submitting stories. In fact, while I've been focussing on trying to write my novel, I haven't even written a short story for a while. Which is odd, seeing as though I call myself a short story writer!

Has your writing taken a turn you weren't expecting?


89 comments:

  1. Yes it has! I have a list of short story ideas but never seem to get round to writing them. In fact I had forgotten about the list till I stumbled across it a few days ago when looking through my notebook for something else! Some of the ideas were really good too, so must find time to write at least one of them over the summer. I like entering the odd competition and I need some fresh stories.

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    1. A list of ideas, that's great! You have to utilise them :-)

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  2. Mine writing has definitely gone in a direction I never fully envisioned when I started - a novel. I've been working on it for a couple of years now, but back when I began taking my writing more seriously, about four years ago, I just thought I'd write short stories and poetry. I never saw myself writing a novel. Time changes a lot, doesn't it? Great IWSG post!

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    1. Exactly the same for me. A novel just seemed like far too much work.

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  3. i don't think it's a bad thing that you are "taking a break" by doing other things! then it gives those awesome stories in your head some breathing room.

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    1. Hopefully there will be an outpouring of awesome soon :-)

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  4. Go with the flow, chica! There is a very good reason I don't makes plans. You never know when things are going to change! As long as you're writing, and you haven't stopped working, you're doing it right! :D

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  5. I kinda went the same unexpected path as you. I submitted Flicker to magazines first, and then when that didn't work out did another round of edits and self published. While it came out while I was still getting my writing legs under me, I never had that in mind. I wanted to go traditional.

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    1. There's plenty of time to try the traditional route too. I like the fact I've got a variety of options.

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  6. Just keep writing. I've been consistent with my writing goals, but it's difficult. Very, very difficult. For me it's always a time factor, squeezing everything in between family and life.
    I understand your frustration. I'm in the middle of promoting an upcoming release and it's sucking up all my writing time.
    Indie publishing is a delicate balancing act :)

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    1. Yes, there's so much that can be done, and so little time... especially if you want to do everything well.

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  7. Just go with the flow! As long as you're writing, you're on the right track!
    Happy Holidays to you! :)

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    1. Always writing, I just have to make sure I'm writing the right things :-)

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  8. I haven't been able to write at all this past month and it's breaking my heart.

    I've never been one to stick to any plans I've ever made (especially diets LOL) Life seems to morph and change and I must ditch the plans I have made in order to adapt.

    Get back to the writing as soon as you can- that's why you started on this journey in the first place. All of those other things will come :)

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    1. Oh, I feel your pain at not writing. I've been editing a novel, so at least I've been creating. And it was fun watching the website emerge :-)

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  9. Yes, but I'm trying not to stress about it. I'm just going to keep writing. :)

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    1. Sometimes being in charge of every aspect is a bit overwhelming... I can literally do ANYTHING I want... so perhaps that's the problem :-)

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  10. I started my writing career at the top of a roller-coaster thinking it would be a straight shot down. Yeah, I'm still in the middle of the ride and I don't think I'll ever get off. But it's oh so much fun :)

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    1. There's nothing quite like the thrill of making hundreds of different characters do whatever you want!

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  11. There's nothing wrong with focusing on your novel right now. :) And those other things may not have been part of the original plan, but wow! Look at all you've gotten done!

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    1. Thanks Rachel, a dose of reality - I have done well :-D

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  12. At least you're still writing, even if it's not necessarily what you were expecting to write. You'll make your way back to your short stories when the time is right :)

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  13. The things you are doing are things that must be done. It's only right that your goals should change along with the sweeping changes in publishing.

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    1. Sweeping changes is an understatement, considering I first starting writing for publication in the very early 1990s!

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  14. I read something once (I'm paraphrasing this quote) that said "as long as you're writing, you're moving forward". Sounds like you're still moving forward :-)

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  15. I had a writing plan also - set up before the Internet and ebooks. etc - but it's gone and taken a different route. It's been a bit difficult to adjust, but I'm doing the best I can and trying to enjoy everything on the journey. :)

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    1. Enjoying it is the most important thing of all!

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  16. I had a plan, to ONLY sign a contract with a big six publisher after I found an agent. Then I realized as long as I'm writing and getting my work out there for others to read, that's what I REALLY want. I couldn't be happier with my small publisher. (Though I'm still going for that big contract ;))

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    1. Big 6 was luckily never part of my plan. Being read is the most important to me as well.

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  17. Wouldn't it be nice to have a crystal ball that foretold the future of the writing industry? As long as you are writing and adjusting to the changes around you then it can't be all bad, right?

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    1. A crystal ball telling me whether I'm on the right track wouldn't go amiss either!

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  18. Be like the willow! Bend with the breeze!
    Yes--the writerly life is full of twists and turns...
    (As if I know!)
    ~Just Jill

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    1. I shall bend :-) Thanks for the follow!

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  19. Mine sure did take a turn this year. I think the good Lord above puts us in hiatus and runs us through trials and such and that is what happened to me. But I'm coming out of it now and things are steam rolling forward now.

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    1. Glad to hear things are settling down for you now.

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  20. Sometimes our goals end up changing. I NEVER planned on being a professional speaker. I just wanted to be a fiction author. But that's worked out because I'm a better speaker than fiction writer.

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    1. It's great that you found your niche even though you started in a different direction. I'm in awe of anyone who can speak... that's how I know I was meant to be a writer :-)

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  21. One thing thing you need in this business is the ability to be flexible. I don't think your goal will change, but the way you get to your goal may take a different route given the trends in the industry. As long as you stay focused on the goal, you'll be fine.

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    1. Oh, the actual goal is always there, I'm just not getting closer at the moment - but now I've realised it, I can do something about it.

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  22. My plan is way off. I hoped to be a millionaire by now.

    Seriously? This business changes so rapidly, I think having a fluid plan only makes sense! See how wise you are?

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    1. I don't often get called wise. I like it. It should happen more often :-)

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  23. The business really has changed and I see it changing even more. Being able to change with the times is important and it sounds like you're doing that.

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    1. I'm trying to keep up, but I'd much rather be leading the way... That's the next plan :-)

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  24. Yes, I used to just sit down and work on one project, drafting the whole thing from start to finish in wild abandon. Now, I'll be working away, and something else will crop up. "Revise this whole manuscript in three weeks!!!!!" Or "That contest would be perfect! Now all I have to do is POLISH THIS OTHER MS!"

    I never stop while drafting to draft something else, but more and more, crazy revisions jump in on my drafting time. It makes me feel like I'm a lousy writer and I lack discipline.

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    1. Yes, the more you write, the more you have at various stages, all waiting for you to get back around to them. Good to have lots of work though, rather than an empty page! You're definitely not a lousy writer, a lot of us are exactly the same :-)

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  25. Why yes, my writing career kept going. Never expected that.
    Maybe the new direction is a good thing?

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    1. Lol, I'm always amazed at how amazed you are by your own career :-)

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  26. I think we have to be fluid and go with the flow! I seem to chop and change - I think a change is as good as a rest. I don't like to have a proper plan about where I'm going - I like a surprise or two!

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    1. Surprises are good too. But my heart has always 'known' where I'm heading. It's a peculiar feeling to be so sure of something - sometimes I have a wobble about being wrong.

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  27. Most definitely my writing career has changed, but you must adapt to your conditions. The best business plans are tweaked at least every six months.

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    1. Every 6 months?? I don't adapt that quickly!! 6 years is more my speed :-)

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  28. Yes, it seems to take a turn about every three months that I had no clue was coming. I sometimes worry that all these turns are going derail me. But I here I am turning again.

    I'm new to IWSG. Hi!

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    1. If you turn enough times, you'll be back where you started :-)

      Welcome to the group, it's a lot of fun and a lot of help!

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  29. My writing career isn't exactly going as planned either, but rather in a good way. I don't spend enough time on the supernatural thrillers I was planning to write, but I got several movie contracts instead. Couldn't really say no to that :)

    And please write some new short stories NOW, because you got me addicted.

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    1. Your career path is definitely going in a good direction! I love your use of the word 'addicted' - I'll try hard to write some new short stories this year, I'm already lining up some markets.

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  30. I never planned to write novels and instead just wanted to be a freelancer who wrote feature articles on the web and in magazines. Now all I think about is writing novels. I'm not complaining, but I do still want to freelance so I feel like I need to make a plan to get organized and figure out how to try for both. I'm the most unorganized person on earth so I don't feel at all confident on my ability to do that!

    But I think that what you have accomplished is amazing even if it wasn't what you had planned. Maybe these wonderful collections and novellas are what you were meant to do all along. :)

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    1. Thank Julie :-) Fiction and non-fiction are so different - I hope you find the balance.

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  31. I'm impressed you have a business plan. I think the closest I've gotten to a business plan is telling my husband that I'll buy him something nice after I've been published.

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    1. Lol, I'm still waiting to buy myself something nice! I bought a chinese takwaway with my first royalty cheque... and had to put some money towards it :-D

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  32. Well, at least now you know and you can try to get back to short story writing. Though, I think you are currently doing a fabulous job. When I decided to be a writer I had certain dreams and expectations of myself and currently, I have not made everything into a reality, but I am working on it. Good-luck with the novel!

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    1. That was my thought exactly - once you know where you're going askew, you can do something about it. Good luck in reaching your dreams.

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  33. Great post! I know exactly how you feel. I never expected to self publish. I wanted to be the next Stephen King, but I'm not writing strictly horror. I used to have such a clear plan, but now, I'm more about going with the flow and seeing where it takes me. All I know is that I want to keep writing.

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    1. You've been doing amazingly well, seeing as though you're off-path! I agree, the actual writing is the most important part, the rest will follow in the way that's best for you.

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  34. I'm impressed that you can write short stories. I'm not very good at them! They just keep turning into longer stories. It's like they're crying out that they want to be novels, and why should I pack them into a mere 2000 words?

    As long as you're writing, you're accomplishing :)

    Allison (Geek Banter)

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    1. I'm impressed with people who can easily throw 60/70/80k onto a page and have it make sense. The novel I'm redrafting still won't quite reach 50k! Novels and short stories are so different, it's a very accomplished writer who can do both really well.

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  35. It's impossible for me to get off track from my writing plan, because you see, I never made one! But I'd say your veers from your path have been well played.

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    1. I saw my writing path as clearly as I see the plot for a short story. Not having a plan is cool - that's how I approach every other area of my life!

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  36. Get submitting! :)

    Mine has gone as planned so far, it's just taken a bit longer than planned. :) I'm grateful though!

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    1. I know, I will. Already starting to look for new markets - hard to know the 'right' ones to submit to these days though, there are so many online now!

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  37. I love how life utterly destroys our vision of a planned destination! Yes, my writing has taken several turns and I just keep marching forward with it, seeing where I lead it, and where it leads me! Very good post.

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    1. Thanks Julie. My writing made the biggest turn when I started blogging and saw all the amazing opportunities. Keeping marching, Julie :-)

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  38. I started out writing a little non-fiction. Then I tried my hand at flash fiction and a few (unfinished) short stories. Now I'm trying my hand at a longer story... not sure what all this means though...
    Writer In Transit

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    1. It means you have a wide skill-set, Michelle (in corporate-speak lol)

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  39. Writing, like life, can really take a lot of twists and turns...some good, some bad.

    Don't worry, though, things will get back on the track you want them too...it just takes a bit of work.

    Best wishes! :)

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    1. You're right, Mark. My original plan included me being a recluse, but instead I got married and had kids :-) I probably won't revert to THAT plan!

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  40. Yes...but that's because life had other plans for me this year. I'll make up for it next year, though! :)

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  41. Absolutely. I really thought I'd be able to get more stuff out there and sell more. Then again, it's really hard work to do the marketing and ask folks (even family ) to buy one's book. But, I've taken a step back and just decided to be happy with my product, make it good, and not worry about the sales. I'm fortunate that I have a "real" job that pays steady money. It's all such a game. I think you are doing quite well - but that's my perspective across the pond.

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    1. Marketing is one of the hardest things I've tried to do. Some people do it so well it's beyond imitation, other people do it badly and it's easy to spot where they've gone wrong. I'm trying to fit into the middle somewhere, and not doing all that well *sigh*

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  42. I don't see that as a deficiency Annalisa! You are getting yourself out there. You are working for yourself and doing it well. You are competing in a modern market and moving within it. I think it's all positive. Seriously. You need to be raising a glass to yourself xx

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    1. Thanks for putting a positive spin on it. Publishing is changing so much, so quickly. I hope I'm keeping up, but I write so slowly, and other people seem to be able to publish their work so much faster.

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  43. Wish you all the best with your novel. I find myself in the same state as you-- worse, cos I had stories lying around and wasn't submitting them. I'm changing that now.

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    1. Good luck with your submissions. How great to have stories ready to go!

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  44. I can't believe it's July.

    I just started writing short fiction again. I carved out pockets of time on weekends and in afternoons.

    It's good to write in as many ways as we can and to try and publish in as many ways as possible.

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    1. It always feels good to get back to short stories, doesn't it? Enjoy!

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Please comment - I love a good chat!