That time of the month again (IWSG)

86044-insecurewriterssupportgroupInsecure Writers’ Support Group time – boy has that month gone fast.  With one month until nanowrimo, the plan is to plan; that is, I intend to spend the time between now and 1st November planning my novel in as much detail as I can, so that on November 1st I can start writing and keep going with the minimum of pauses until I reach 30th November/50,000 words/end of the novel/all three.

I find I vary in my attitude towards my novel. Sometimes I’m convinced it’s a great idea and I’m just worried I won’t do it justice. Then other times I lose faith and decide that no-one’s going to be interested. But mainly it’s my writing that I lack faith in. I seem to have a built in speed limiter, that tells my brain just how good I’m allowed to be (not very) and kicks in any time I threaten to get anywhere near approaching that level. As though in anything I do, I have a built in quality level that I’m not allowed to exceed. Just as people supposedly have a programmed weight, and moving beyond that weight in either direction takes a lot of effort, so improving in any way feels a real effort, and something in me rears up and backs away, crying “No, you’re not allowed to do that!”.

It’s like a ball and chain round my ankle, dragging me, so that any challenge is met with “I’ll do what I can but I know it will never be good enough” rather than “I can do that!”. I find it hard to put in more effort than my limiter says I’m allowed to spend, because I’m useless, and so there’s no point putting in more energy because that will just prove just how useless I am.

Or will it?

This is why I’m determined to push through on this novel, so that I have something to show. Novel number 2 is knocking at the door of my brain impatiently demanding some attention, so I don’t have to feel that this is my one idea, my one story, and once this is written there’s nothing else. It’s another issue that means a lot to me, and I would really, really love to put it into words and share it. But I need to get number 1 out of the way first. It’s not going to write itself, no-one else will write it, and it’s up to me. If I don’t feel my characters are well enough written, then I need to figure out how to improve. If I don’t feel my characters are well enough planned, then it’s up to me to think them out better. If I feel the situation at the end is contrived and too convenient, then guess whose problem that is to solve?

But the main problem I have to solve is the one in my head, the one that whispers, “You know you’ll never be worth anything. You know your life is measured only by the happiness of those around you, and not your own happiness. You know how you exist to serve others, not yourself. You know your role is to pull all the crap onto yourself, to free others from it. So why bother?”

So I guess I need to push through that barrier and just trust that I can gradually lift the settings on the limiter and set my limit a little higher, and keep writing. This blog entry has proved that I’ve been skipping my morning pages too much (a week laid low with a cold is the current excuse) and I know that I also need to do more writing exercises, learning more about writing techniques and PUTTING THEM INTO PRACTICE. Once this cold has receded enough I’ll be back swimming regularly, which proves invaluable in terms of thinking time for my novel, and I really need to get on with the planning side so I’m ready for November – I’m planning to interweave three stories, so I really need to be clear how they intersect and what the timeline is.

I have a plan of action for the next month, and I guess it’s time to feel the fear and do it anyway. Get out of the mode of “I’ll try but I know I’m going to fail” and get into the mode of “I’ll never know until I try.”



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  1. I could have written this post, well minus the cold. I share the same fears you do. We can both do it! Good luck with your novel in November. That’s a big task!

  2. Wow. I think you expressed what every writer feels all the time. I know I do. You can do it!

    -Ilima Todd (IWSG co-host)

    • Yet it’s so easy to assume that everyone else is full of confidence 😉 Thanks for dropping by and thanks for the good wishes.

  3. Huge (((((hugs))))) honey 🙂

    Well, you’ve seen my IWSG post, so i hope you now know you are NOT alone 🙂

    I was thinking to myself “you wont know until you try” and then as i read on, you came to that conclusion yourself 🙂 Hold onto that, and remember, most writers admit that their first draft is absolute rubbish…its during the rewriting and editing that you improve it (so i keep being told lol). Good luck honey xx


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