The first Wednesday of the month is officially Insecure Writers Support Group day – and this is the first month I’m taking part. Oh, the relief to find a group of people who not only feel the same as I do, but are also willing to blog about it and offer support to each other. The blogosphere is a warm and fuzzy place for me today! Check out the rest of the list here, and pop along to some other insecure writers to lend an ear.
So, what am I feeling insecure about today? Tons! Coincidentally, today is my daughter’s first day at school – that kind-of longed for moment when she would trot happily off across the playground and I would come home and … erm, well, write! I imagined that I’d write all day long, in a frenzy of creativity, all those repressed ideas which have sat impatiently in my head while I played dolls houses and painted trees and flowers and pushed my little one on the swing for hours and hours. I have, literally, been waiting for this moment for four years! (That is, the writer in me has been waiting for it – the mum in me has been dreading it!)
That’s the thing about a busy life – it offers the perfect excuse for not achieving your goals. Not written a single word for a week? Well, I’ve been busy, haven’t I? Not keeping up with Facebook and Twitter? Well, excuse me for putting my family first! But now I officially have at least 25 hours a week to write – to produce. And I’m feeling pretty terrified. Procrastination rears its ugly head – there is filing to do, windows to paint, rooms to sort out and tidy. There’s housework and ironing and sewing, and friends to catch up with, and clothes to be bought. There’s the gym to visit now I have the time … Oh, dear – and there was me thinking I’d suddenly have no rivals for my writing time.
What I need is a plan. Yes, I’m going to spend most of today coming up with a plan for how to spend my newly empty days. And that’s not more procrastination, is it? Oh, it is 😦 Well, tough.
OK, over to you – are there any other insecure writers out there?
- Insecure Writers Day – September (the-view-outside.com)
September 5, 2012 at 11:42 am
I love this, Jo. If only I had more time, if only I had more time is a mantra that plays constantly in our heads. We get more time and what happens? The washing up becomes appealing! Your post conveys the dilemma really well, and commenting is helping in my procrastination efforts!.
September 5, 2012 at 11:55 am
Yes, and answering your comment is helping mine 🙂 I am a superstar when it comes to finding stuff that suddenly must be done around the house. Right now, of course, it’s lunch time! Oh well, there’s always this afternoon … x
September 13, 2012 at 12:06 am
Struggling to balance writing and running a family? Try doing this when you break your wrist. While mopping the bathroom floor, I slipped and fell and broke it. Now I’m in a cast and struggling with the most basic of things. Can’t drive for 8 weeks!
Makes me want to reach for the Chardonnay.
PS: Housework is dangerous.
September 14, 2012 at 2:35 pm
Yes, housework is very dangerous, which is why I do a little as possible. Did you know that it’s an official law that if you have broken a bone in one of your limbs it’s OK to drink wine after 10.00am? Only for women, mind. The world is not a fair place 🙂 x
September 5, 2012 at 11:49 am
Welcome to IWSG! Oh, dd off to school and all this time on your hands? What a perfect set up for writer’s block! LOL
I finally have all 3 of mine back in school after summer vacation (and homeschooling a couple of them the last 4 years) and I’m not as productive as I hoped to be, but it’s only the second week. I’m giving myself some time to settle into a new routine. it’ll happen. 😉
Best of luck and glad to have you as part of the group. 🙂
IWSG #177 (until Alex culls the list again. :P)
September 5, 2012 at 11:53 am
Great to meet you 🙂 Homeschooling – you are a saint! Yes, lots of time to write seems the ideal set up for writer’s block – I wasn’t prepared for that. Anyway, at least I’ve got 176 other blogs to look at now, so it’s not like I’ll be idle 🙂 x Jo
September 5, 2012 at 11:50 am
Yes, I have that sentiment too, in spades, and buckets, and shovels, and diggers! However, I find that after a few days of lazing around and being self-indulgent (and cleaning the house), what I call ‘mooing around, cow-like’, writing starts to be appealing again and I want to spend all my time on it.
September 5, 2012 at 11:56 am
Thanks Marina, there’s a lot of wisdom there. So basically, if I give in to it, and moo around (that’s really funny as where I live I’m surrounded by noisy cows), eventually that will wear itself out and I’ll be back to inspired writing. Gonna give it a try! 🙂 x
September 5, 2012 at 11:54 am
I’m also an insecure writer!
I’m on the other side of this… I’ve got school starting tomorrow (junior year I think… I’m British :D) So I’ve just had three months off and procrastination certainly did its horrible thing-ey for me. So now I’m trying to overcome it. I’ve heard that if you’re busy all day and your life is jam packed with things, you’re more likely to your writing done as well. Good luck!
September 5, 2012 at 11:59 am
Thanks Ravena, and great to meet you. Yes, I do seem to get more done when I’m busy – not sure how that works, really! Are you having one of those ‘OMG where did all that time go?’ kind of days today? Good luck with Junior Year, and keep up the writing no matter what x
September 5, 2012 at 12:18 pm
Yes! That’s exactly how I’m feeling! I think THREE MONTHS HOLIDAY and I think CRAP! I just spend three months doing NOTHNG! 0_o Thank you 🙂
September 5, 2012 at 12:11 pm
So very true! Being a creative you can always be creative with excuses too. I used to decorate a room once my youngest went back to school after the summer. I found just organising myself in another area helped shift me away from that sense of holiday mode and with decorating being so dull it gives me the room to think, plan and come up with ideas.
Unfortunately creative people need deadlines and if you are working on your own project when is the end?
Now 25 years on from my daughters first day at school and now second and last child has just gone into year five today I have the work ethic pretty much sorted with myself – So I waved him off and went back to bed 🙂
September 5, 2012 at 12:19 pm
Yes, you definitely got that sorted! Now, why didn’t I think of that? 🙂
It’s interesting talking about creativity – I tend to think I’m either in creative mode or working mode, and it’s just occuring to me now that these two aspects can be linked. I am still being creative when I’m working – even while writing this reply! I recently indexed a book by Jennie Lindon on children’s creativey (more of it should have sunk in!) and she is a great believer that being creative isn’t always about having a product at the end of the process – it is the process.
Love your blog BTW x
September 5, 2012 at 1:08 pm
Welcome to IWSG, Joanne! I think every writer experiences that temptation to put other things first, regardless of how busy we are or aren’t. I recently found myself with a lot more free time for writing as well, and one of the things that helps me is writing out a daily schedule for my “free” time at the beginning of the week and sticking to it like the boss gave it to me and my job depends on it.
Also, there’s a book that helped me a great deal with procrastination (or resistance, as the book calls it), called The War of Art by Stephen Pressfield. It really changed the way I approach my writing! Check it our, perhaps.
September 5, 2012 at 1:27 pm
Welcome to IWSG!
Great post Joanne. Many of us are masters of procrastination. If there was a degree in it, I’d have a Ph.D. 😀
September 5, 2012 at 2:02 pm
I put this down to being creative, but I think about ideas and what I am working on all the time – so staring into space – is this work? I find it very difficult to switch that off and can not imagine a time or age when I say ok I’ll go and garden or play bowls now (other pastimes are also available).
It’s hard to put this in a way that doesn’t sound crass, but I used to envy people who do mundane jobs as there seems to be a contentment within them.
Following on from a previous discussion – did you read in the news today about Andy McNab’s website being bought up by Tesco’s http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2198560/Tesco-buys-Bravo-Two-Zero-author-McNabs-Mobcast-e-book-website-4-5m-deal.html
Is digital and self publishing the future? Ultimately deal or no deal your book will either sell or not, but it certainly feels like it is opening a door, the only problem will be quality I guess.
September 5, 2012 at 7:11 pm
Your comment had me smiling to myself because I, too, have often had those thoughts about contentment and jobs. I’m totally unemployable – there has never been a job I’ve done (and I’ve had many different jobs!) that didn’t make my teeth itch with discontent at some point. And usually right about the time I started to tell by manager exactly how they should really be doing things, I knew it was time to leave!
That is a really interesting article – thanks for sharing it. I’d never even heard of Mobcast! Is that just me – I do tend to live in a bubble 🙂
September 5, 2012 at 2:42 pm
Interesting post Jo, it takes time to settle back into the flow. Don’t be too hard on yourself – I’m fully retired and still find it difficult to maintain any kind of discipline but trust me a lot of the chores can be ignored. When you produce such interesting writing – which you do – you are certainly doing something right.
September 5, 2012 at 7:07 pm
Thank you for the vote of confidence 😉 x
September 5, 2012 at 3:26 pm
Just plan in a 30 minute writing burst or two . . .for today!
September 5, 2012 at 7:07 pm
Thanks 🙂 That’s a good idea – just do it in short bursts. I did manage that, in fact, and it feels great to have made a start.
September 5, 2012 at 4:49 pm
I am a master procrastinator. It doesn’t matter how much I don’t have going on, I will find a way to put off writing just a little bit longer.
September 5, 2012 at 7:06 pm
Hi M.J., I’m right there with you.
September 5, 2012 at 6:35 pm
It’s also my first month with the IWSG, so it’s lovely to find a fellow newbie 🙂
I know that devil procrastination well. He and I are good friends. We sit, we eat chocolate biscuits together and then…. well, I’m not sure what happens, but a couple of hours just seem to disappear. I hope he’s less troublesome for you and the list helps.
September 5, 2012 at 7:05 pm
Hi Rebecca, great to meet you 🙂 There still is no list! I tried but stuff got in the way. Argh – I even procrastinate from my procrastination activities. There’s no hope …
September 5, 2012 at 7:09 pm
Great to see that you’ve joined Jo (and thanks for the Pingback!) 🙂
What’s that old saying, give a job to a busy person and it gets done lol. I’ve not been working now for 9 months (gawd, is it really that long?) and have achieved….ummmm…..yeah, not a lot lol 😦
I think, when you’re at home all day, doing the chores, it’s so easy to get caught up in everything other than writing 😦 I can always find loads of other things to do other than write *deep sigh* I’ve tried a timetable, it lasted 3 days, and I’ve tried going out to write in coffee shops, but I always forget to take something with me lol.
I don’t know what the answer is….a will of steel? Turning off the Internet connection? my phone constantly bleeping reminders at me to write?
I saw Adele Parks speak a few months ago. She said she goes to her desk at 9am every day because that’s telling her brain it’s work time. If she can’t think of anything to write she’ll do “writing related stuff” until she feels ready to write. Sooooo starting next week, I’m going to try this….I now have a desk (so no more writing at the dining room table staring at the washing) and I’m going to try a timetable again, having a set time each day I sit at that desk, come hell or high water lol. There was a famous writer, a bloke, Faulkner? Hemingway? Can’t remember now lol. He went to his desk at 8am (or something similar) until 2pm every day. Then after 2pm he would never write, never talk about it, that was his working day done with. Perhaps that’s the way to go? 😉
Good luck honey, I hope both you and the little one had a good day 🙂
September 5, 2012 at 7:28 pm
But you’re so productive – if you find it hard there’s no hope for me 😉 I’ve tried timetables too – I did one for managing social media stuff a while back – but it just feels too much like, er, work! Once I think I’ve got to do a particular thing, suddenly I don’t want too – I’m so perverse sometimes.
Or maybe it’s the creative thing again, and the creative brain doesn’t like to be pushed. Funny though – I love writing more than any other activity (except sleeping. And eating Maltesers), so why is it so hard to put it in front of all the other demands? It must be guilt. That the thought of doing something so lovely and indulgent just seems wrong, so we try to justify it by doing all the other stuff first, but by then we’re just too worn out … xxx
September 6, 2012 at 1:28 pm
Ha ha ha, oh, it’s definitely the guilt! 😦
Which is why I took myself off to a coffee shop this morning at 8am and managed to write 21 A5 pages. There is no way I would have done that at home lol 😉
September 6, 2012 at 7:21 pm
Oh, well done Vikki! That’s amazing. Now, how many cups of coffee did you consume in that time? 😉 xxx
September 6, 2012 at 10:56 pm
Lol, only one Jo, we won’t talk about the breakfast panini 😉 lol
September 5, 2012 at 8:52 pm
Hi Joanne. I’m visiting from the IWSG. Yes, I’m also an insecure writer- very very insecure. (Although this is not my first post)
Nice to meet you. “waves”
I think lots of writers are master procrastinators at some stage or the other… “sighs”
(I’m no.#73 on the list.)
September 6, 2012 at 7:30 pm
Hi Michelle, nice to meet you too – sorry didn’t get along to your blog this month (just rescued you from my spam file for some reason), but will visit next month 🙂 Master Procrastinator has a nice ring to it, don’t you think? 🙂
September 5, 2012 at 11:13 pm
Welcome to the IWSG!
Don’t stress yourself out thinking you have to write five hours a day. Can you do one? Start with that and work your way up to more.
September 6, 2012 at 7:27 pm
Hi Alex, thanks for stopping by, and I love the IWSG – well done for starting such an amazing group! I’ve managed an hour and a half today, so I’m feeling very good about that. Thanks for the support – looking forward to next month’s IWSG day already 🙂
September 6, 2012 at 12:24 am
Joanne, I left this nice message, then my computer shot me back to a blank comment window, and now I’m blank as to what I wrote. Maybe that’s a hint that I ramble on too much. Anyway, happy IWSG. Great post. And yes, I’m published and insecure. The insecure part never leaves you.
September 6, 2012 at 7:25 pm
Now I’ll never know! 😉 But thanks for your comment, and happy IWSG day to you too. It’s good – and in some ways not so good – to know that published writers get insecure too!
September 6, 2012 at 6:43 pm
Every time I think I’m going to have more time to write – the kids going to bed earlier for school, fewer vacations, etc. – it never works out that way. I still have to fight for writing time tooth and nail.
Welcome to the IWSG!
September 6, 2012 at 7:20 pm
Hi Ken, great to meet you – I’m loving the IWSG, met so many lovely writers already 🙂
September 18, 2012 at 6:17 pm
Thanks so much for sharing this link. I’ve got more questions than answers about life as a whole at the moment, so I’ll be checking this out!
September 18, 2012 at 10:59 pm
Welcome on board Pauline. As as word count increases, so does my waistline! How I hate gym!