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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Here it is again, the first Wednesday of the month. The Wednesday (hump day) dedicated to writer insecurities and accomplishments. Writers can brag or $#%! complain or offer encouragement to the community. Thanks Alex Cavanaugh for the monthly forum. Click here for the IWSG linky list; and lets give a round of applause and encouragement to November's helpers: CD Cofflet (Spirit Called), Tina Downey (Life Is Good), Isis Rushdan, and Michelle Wallace (Writer In Transit).

My long time insecurity has been that I only had the one story concept in me. Unlike most Writers I've met here in the blogs, writing has not been my life's dream. I had a very brief moment of wanting to be a writer as a career goal that was thoroughly dissuaded as unpractical during high school. I didn't revisit the dream until I was unemployed a good 30 years later. Within about 18 months I wrote a women's fiction trilogy (roughly 300k words).

I submitted the first novel in the trilogy, got some distressing feedback, then edited and resubmitted to different Literary Agents, got picked up by a vanity press and went through all the frustration of rejection and paid partial critiques. During this time I never had new writing concept. I finally got some free advice to join a writing group and eventually found my way into the blogs. Then my dad asked me to write him a fairy tale in true Grimm style. Bing; a new story idea. Not exactly what he asked for, but it was published in Bewildering Stories.

You know that scene in IRON MAN where Tony Stark is testing the potential flight capabilities of the as yet undeveloped super-hero suit? I kinda feel like that with my writing journey.

utube link

Making a long story short (you're welcome!) between writing prompts (offline) and blogfests (online) I have a lot of starter story ideas languishing in my word program. And I gotta say I'm impressed with myself for the variety I've come up with. I know, some of you are thinking "gosh Donna, that's pretty arrogant of you." Especially if you watched the above video and realize what a self-centered, arrogant . . dude . . Tony Stark is. I agree. But sometimes I think over-confidence is called for when taking a leap of faith. Otherwise, how does a person ever step off the edge into greatness, or outside the box and brave the unknown?

For writers, stepping off the edge is called Querying. If the author doesn't love the story and think it will succeed, how will agents/publishers/readers appreciate the auspicious concept. Yeah, I have a few short story publications. But unlike Tony Stark who acknowledged each successful step in his quest to create Iron Man and continued moving forward with each achievement, I've stagnated in my writing to continue creating new experiments that do not further my plot to become the best selling author of this century. Move over and make room Stephen King and Jodi Picoult.

I don't have Tony Stark's single minded dedication (or unlimited wealth) to create-to-finish one project at a time. I'm easily distracted by my day job, family, and - squirrel - anything on the blogs that attracts my attention. Most notably, blogfests with a 300-1000 word flash fiction deadline.

So I'm going away from my largest distraction for the next couple months. While everyone is focusing on NaNo projects, I'm going to be writing too - hopefully - on some unfinished projects. I can't have publications (or at least acceptances) in 2014 unless I complete something and submit. I can't complete a project if I'm writing blogfest entries and book reviews. I'm sslloooow at getting the story idea, writing the draft, editing, revising, editing, re-writing . . . Well, you get the idea. I put way too much time and energy into a blogfest. And then its published on my blog and I wonder if I should expand on the concept and make a short story but hey, there are several more blogfests to participate in and these days "published" can also include blog/twitter/FB/GoodReads/podcast posts.

The advent/popularity of self/indie publishing has changed definitions of "published" within the literary industry.

I need a holiday from this blogging distraction.

Good luck to you NaNo'ers, and to the blogger writing community. Kisses-hugs-sweet things- and wine to all for end of year festivities. I shall miss you all, and hope you miss me just a little. E-mail me if you have special requests or think something interesting deserves my attention. I'm sure to get bored with talking to myself, my muse, and my reluctant characters.

Oh, and score, I've won at least six free novels/short story anthologies over the last month. Congratulate me on my good fortune, and hope these books do not distract me from my own writing adventures.

Be sure to visit the IWSG linky to join the monthly bloghop or read other contributions.

Ah, forgive me Father Dragon, Sir. I do not mean to stir the hearts of your Dwarves into rebellion; I simply need to inspire myself into the epic quest of story fulfillment. Seriously, its a cool song, ya gotta agree . . .


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Donna .. I agree I don't know how everyone writes their stories, blogs, twits and tweets and FBs and exist ... so good luck with your blogging break and finishing off some projects.

See you around I'm sure .. keep at it .. cheers Hilary

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

I think you're on the right track...sometimes we've just got to eliminate all the distractions to get things done!

Lexa Cain said...

I know exactly what you're talking about. I've had lots of ideas since I finished my novel over a year ago, but none high concept enough, or interesting enough, to get me to spill writerly blood like I did before. I hope you find something that inspires you. Good luck! :-)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Donna, I so understand where you are coming from! (Wait until you read my post today.) Limited story ideas? That is me as well. And not wanting to be a writer.
Go write something. It will be all right. Maybe pop in once a month. But otherwise, focus.
Just be sure to come back or you will end up on a lot of people's How I Miss You Blogfest lists.

Simon Kewin said...

It is all too easy to do a bit of blogging rather than knuckle down to the real work. So the very best of luck. I'm sure you'll find you're overwhelmed with ideas. But you will come back won't you? Poke your head round the door to say hi?

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I won't be writing, but I'm also taking a break, my first big one in 8 & 1/2 years. There comes a point we just have to step back.

Pull back and write to your heart's content.

Al Diaz said...

Sweet lady, you bring tears to my dwarves' eyes, but mostly because they don't look like Thorin. The good thing about this dragon, is that I don't take treasures for me alone.
Seriously, yes it is a great song that stirs inspiration and the wish to write great stories. Write them, Donna. There is much more in you than one story (or the initial three.) You have everything you need, just take the time. Do it and come back triumphant, so the inspiration gets going. Best of lucks to you and thanks for your beautiful friendship!

Yolanda Renee said...

And I will jump on the bandwagon of just go and do it! I'm loving the break for NaNo and have never felt so inspired. The story is moving forward and it's just the way I like it - after this week, you'll not hear much from me either. I think last months Halloween blast wore me out, but it is the time of year to pull back and get personal. Besides the cold weather is so conducive to curling up with the laptop and working! Can't wait to hear about your new writing journey when you're ready to share!

Pat Hatt said...

You never know where it will go, sometimes story ideas may just pop in when you least expect them.

Stephen Tremp said...

I was expecting Led Zeppelin's version of Misty Mountain but I like this version to.

You could try your hand at short stories. Lots of inspiration all around for 20-30 page stories.

DEZMOND said...

have a great and creative holiday, Donnzie

Julie Dao said...

Good luck with your writing, Donna! I know you have more stories in you and they will appear when you least expect them to. We all have the same insecurity and so many of us are struggling with this dilemma right now - the balance between writing and networking online. Hope you get a lot done on your break <3

VR Barkowski said...

The demands of blogging can be overwhelming, but the writing must come first. Please check-in occasionally. Once a month, maybe? Please?

Trust me when I say writing and reading FOR YOURSELF will inevitably lead to new ideas. I'm not sure this is true when writing for blogfests or reading to review. The goals are different.

Wishing you a prolific, inventive, successful writer's journey!

VR Barkowski

Wendy Tyler Ryan said...

It can all just get too much. You are right to step back and give yourself some much needed time. Going underground sounds like a very good idea right now. I have many things on the back burner and I'm not getting any younger! I may follow your lead one day very soon. Good luck. We will miss you.

Rachna Chhabria said...

Eliminate the distractions and use the break to get some writing done, Donna.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Sometimes you just have to concentrate on just one thing to get things done.

L.G. Smith said...

Totally get that. I've cut down to blogging one day a week just because I can't keep up with all the online stuff and finishing my latest WIP. This was the first novel I tried to write while blogging, and it has taken me twice as long as usual to write. And yet, it's been worth it in other ways. I've learned a lot about myself and my writing potential through the blog and connected with a couple of great CP's so it seems a fair trade most of the time.

Enjoy your break. Get lots and lots of good writing done.

Tammy Theriault said...

Girl that confidence is something so many lack. Don't muddle it with anything it is a prize to have! I have great faith that you are probably meant to do a lot of things in writing and maybe not just one thing or one style. Very inspiring post!!!

klahanie said...

Hi Donna,

I reckon that variety is the way forward. It's just what is the priority. Right now I think that one has to step back a little, look at the goal and break it down into small, realistic amounts.

Stay with that inspired, positive focus. And NaNo is NoNo as far as I'm concerned.

Gary :)

Donna Hole said...

Thanks Hilary; hope you are feeling better now.

I hope you're right Elizabeth.

Lexa: yes, that all inspiring concepts can de elusive during distractions.

Alex: I'm sure those lists have been completed for the year :)

Simon; yes, I will poke my head up occasionally.

Dianne; first break in 8 years. Wow.

Thanks Al; I will miss you beyond measure.

Yolanda: awesome that you are moving right along with a new novel. I know what you mean about cold days and sitting with a warm computer on your lap :) Best wishes on the writing.

They do indeed Pat :)

Steve: there's a Led Zepplin version? Hmm, I'll look it up, thanks.

Thanks Dezzy :)

Hi Julie; love the new profile picture.

VR: yep, the goals are totally different.

Wendy: I'll miss you too. Perhaps we'll work together on another project someday :)

Hello Rachna.

Susan; I'm sure you're right Su.

LuAnn; The blogs have been a great place to connect with CPs and learn the craft of writing.

Thanks Tammy :)

Gary; I'll pop in on you and Penny for positive thoughts once in a while :)


Shannon Lawrence said...

Sounds like an excellent idea, though I also know you'll be missed. I hope you get a ton accomplished.

Shannon at The Warrior Muse

Debra McKellan said...

Phew, what a whirlwind! I know that feeling, though. I don't want to be a one-trick pony!

(Side note: I just realized why you write .....dhole at the end of all your comments. LOL! I thought it was an inside joke, but duh. It's your name!)

Arlee Bird said...

Funny how unemployment can turn thoughts to writing. That happened o me as well.

Good luck with the break. I keep thinking about it, but I feel like my blog is like sort of a business establishment. I got to keep the doors open at least to keep customers from going elsewhere. I need a store manager while I manage my stories.

Special report today of the "Story Sprouts" book launch in L.A.
Lot's of pictures in this one!

Tossing It Out

E.J. Wesley said...

I never (EVER) judge someone for taking a blogging break, Donna. Too many writers (me included at times) sink too much time into blogging when we should be cultivating our craft.

And I don't say that harshly, just matter-of-factly. I get why we do it (or at least why I do it…): Companionship. Interaction. Creating a work environment for our writing endeavors because everything outside of this doesn't seem to take what we do seriously. All things blogging can give us.

But it can also DESTROY your writing motivation and devour your time. So power down (my lame attempt at an Iron Man joke :), and get some words cranked out! Your blogging will be better for it as well, because you'll return with new stuff to share with us and more enthusiasm. :)

J.L. Campbell said...

Congrats on that,Donna. I got some excellent advice from a writing buddy once and that was to concentrate on my writing first. That's when I was stressed about not being able to return critiques at the speed I would have liked. He said I could do anything else AFTER I fulfilled my obligation to myself.

Enjoy your down time and get your story/stories written.

Pk Hrezo said...

One word for Deecmber: Legolas.

lol... he's got some major scenes in the next Hobbit. *swoon*

Donna, I hear ya and am slapping you a highfive. Take that time off and write. I plan to do the same thing in December--blog as little as possible so I can write a new story. It's the only way.

Perfect Iron Man clip to capture the feeling!

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

That's a great comparison with Tony Stark. He became a great Superhero and so shall you. There's genius in your words, Donna. Never stop.

David P. King said...

I totally get that. It was incredible how many peers said I couldn't write a novel in HS. Finished it my Junior year. How about that!

You're awesome, Donna. Keep writing the good lit. :)

Nicki Elson said...

Have a mahvelous November!

Yeah, I realized that I had to stop entering blogfests that involved writing prompts -- I'm a little one-track creatively and can't risk spinning off on something new before I complete what's in front of me.

Donna Hole said...

Shannon; that's the plan.

Debra: my initials freak people out sometimes, lol.

Lee; blogging is a business tool :)

EJ; I get ya, totally.

Joy; yes, that's advice I'm taking now.

PK: whoop whoop! I can't wait either.

Mike; you're a sweety, thanks.

David: you're still awesome :)

Nicki; have a great great of year.


Tara Tyler said...

i completely feel ya! ditto to everything! i think i will take a step back from blogging too at the new year, but not forever. i love you guys!

keep experimenting & perfecting!!

Cherie Reich said...

We'll miss you while you take a break, but I hope you get lots written and have fun! :)

Carol Riggs said...

Hope you are enjoying your break if you're still on it!! Keep writing and being brave. Be continually inspired by Tony Stark. ;o)

Crystal Collier said...

Off to the writing cave, eh? Enjoy the quiet...unless you have bats--because that could be distracting.

Maurice Mitchell said...

That's my favorite scene in Iron Man Donna. Keep on flying.

Medeia Sharif said...

You can do it. Have a productive season. Yes, writing and submitting is the way to go. I try to avoid as many distractions as possible.

Emily Sovich said...

Good luck! I hope the work is going well!

Words A Day said...

It sounds like a good time to take a blog break, I hope your getting lots of writing done with out all the distractions of the internet and us :)

Words A Day said...

It sounds like a good time to take a blog break, I hope your getting lots of writing done with out all the distractions of the internet and us :)

Jeremy Bates said...

hey donna! yeah, ive wondered that too... if i only had one idea in me etc
sometimes i believe it!
but i found if i keep writing and get something down, that next idea turns into something i never imagined
on and on.... hopefully! lol