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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

IWSG December: Even Glaciers Move Forward



It's IWSG Day.  The goal of this blog hop is to share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds. The brainchild of Alex Cavanaugh, our brilliant ninja leader.  To read other posts, click here.



It’s been a decent writing month for me.  I finished my fourth revision of my current project, and then finally, picked up the novel I queried last year, to which I received some early promising response, but no takers.  As a result, before I sent it out to hundreds of agents, I made a decision to stop submitting it.  From the feedback I received, it seemed as if the story has potential, but isn’t all the way there yet, and I didn’t want to waste it.  Now, after analyzing the first few chapters, I feel glad to have waited.  Reading it with fresh eyes allows me to see where there’s room for improvement.  It’s so easy to convince ourselves our work is ready because we’re so keen on being published. Holding back is hard, especially since so many writers I follow have had multiple books published in the last five years, and here I am still plugging away.  But this exercise reminds me that everyone has their own pace, and mine is mine, even if it happens to be glacial.

Based on the above, this month’s IWSG question seems appropriate: In terms of my writing career, where do I see myself five years from now, and what is my plan to get there?

Truth-be-told, I’m not a fan of five year goals.  It’s not that I don’t set goals.  I do.  I attain them, too.  I just don’t plan that far in advance.  I plan a month in ahead.  Maybe six months, a year at most, because the fact of the matter is that life always throws a curve, and I don’t want to beat myself up for not accomplishing a thing, when so much of life is out of my control. It’s a coward’s way to move forward and I know it.  If I make plans, what if I fail?  But here’s the other thing I know about myself.  When I’m ready, I get where I want to be.

Okay, that said, where would I like to be in five years?  Writing, of course, only better than I do now, and with more appreciable success.  Golly, I’d sure like to have published a book. In a perfect world, I’d have a dedicated writing partner with similar standards who would challenge me to push myself, not only in my writing, but in my marketing, at which I struggle. 

How am I going to get there?  For now, I’m going to keep getting up early five days a week to write.  I’m going to keep attending my monthly writers group.  When I can afford it from expense and time perspectives, I’ll take more Grub Street courses. I’ll keep my online contacts, knowing that each encouraging writer I encounter helps me become stronger. 

If I look back to where I was five years ago, I feel pretty good.  Since then, I may not have had a grand plan, but I accomplished a lot, one step at a time.  That's something I need to remember.  Even baby steps get there eventually.

17 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I'm not much for planning out five years either.
It's difficult to hold back, but sounds like it was a wise decision.

Nicola said...

I just take the action needed in order to accomplish something. Great post! Have a lovely December.

Pat Garcia said...

I felt the same way about my manuscript and I pulled it back before sending it out. I am glad I did. For some of us, it takes a little longer and I have learned to walk at my own pace.

All the best with editing your book.
Shalom aleichem,
Pat G

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I am totally with you on how hard it is to watch everyone else publish while we keep plugging away.

Great attitude re getting where you need to be when you're ready to do so. Knowing yourself so well is huge!

Em-Musing said...

My journey is a long and winding one, but I'm enjoying every step of the way. Though some steps have been emotionally painful, and I've backtracked more than a few times, I see publication ahead, no matter what means I have to use to get there.

Joanne said...

I think you are plugging along at the right pace. I tend to go in spurts myself. Maybe someday we can help each other on marketing - I'm terrible at it. Slow and steady and stay proud of your work - I think that's key. You have a lot of support in blog world. And you have to enjoy it!!

Leandra Wallace said...

That's something I struggle with, my slow progress. But you're right, it all gets us there eventually! Best of luck to you w/your writing, and that in the next five years, you'll see that agent/book deal!

Victoria Marie Lees said...

You are a doer, as far as I can see. I agree with Leandra. You will get that agent/book deal through sheer persistence. Have a wonderful holiday season.

Tyrean Martinson said...

I think just taking each day, writing each day, taking one step at a time, we can acheive amazing things - like you have and will! Best wishes for 2017!

The Cynical Sailor said...

I love the photo on the top of your blog - so peaceful looking. That must have been a tough decision to stop submitting your manuscript, but it sounds like it was the right thing to do.

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

I used to plan, but no longer. Too often, the best laid plans of mice and men turn to crap. However,when I am feeling brave, I am willing to consider a two week commitment.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Well done Liza - sounds like you're achieving quite a lot - and that's encouraging to help you keep progressing .. all the best and cheers Hilary

Nick Wilford said...

Exactly. All progress is good, and it's definitely good that you're taking the time to make sure your writing is the best it can be before sending it out. I'm an early morning writer, too - I think it's the best time as there are no distractions. Here's to a great next five years!

Diane Burton said...

Comparing ourselves with others is counter-productive. Also, depressing. You recognize that and do things your own way. That's the way to achieve your own goals, whether they are long-term or short. As you say, just keep plugging away.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and your family.

Pixel Peeper said...

If you're heading in the right direction, it doesn't really matter if you have a formal plan or just an idea in your head.

Good luck with it!

Connie said...

Taking a second look with fresh eyes at something written previously has mixed results for me. Sometimes I am happy with what I find and sometimes I disappoint myself. Either way, it is still making progress. I like your last line--so true!

Suzy Quinn said...

I just found your link on the blog hop on IWSG, and I share some of your reservations regarding 5 year plans. Practice and improving are definitely my main goals with my writing in the future. I hope the book you mentioned eventually finds an interested publisher, and thank you for sharing your 2017 writing goals!