Wednesday, December 6, 2017

IWSG: #NoRegrets

Well this year flew by! It's hard to believe that this is the last meeting of the year for the Insecure Writers Support Group. Luckily, you can sign up whenever you want, because this is a year-round event that happens on the first Wednesday of every month. If you are a writer and need support or just want to mingle with like-minded writers, go HERE to sign up. 

Thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh and his co-hosts for hosting this event every month. Today's co-hosts are: Julie Flanders, Shannon Lawrence, Fundy Blue, and Heather Gardner!

Here is this month's optional question: As you look back on 2017, with all its successes and/or failures, if you could backtrack, what would you do differently?

My answer is: No regrets and no backtracking, only moving forward. I've taken it pretty slowly the last two years, and I haven't accomplished as much as I could have. It's because I took a step back in order to regroup and move forward again. I've been studying the craft. Again. Or still. Whatever. Although I know the rules intellectually, it seems like it takes a while to really sink in. That's why writers just have to keep writing. And I found that putting too much emphasis on word count and volume and pushing ahead to publish as quickly as possible simply does not work when you're still a newbie (after 8 years, I still feel like a newbie) learning the craft. I took a good long look at my published works and decided they were lacking--and unpublished my two novels and a 3-novella series on January 1st of this year. 

My writing has improved, because I slowed down, took my time, and paid closer attention to the whole atmosphere of my work. And while I wish that time wasn't passing so quickly, this past year was totally worth it. 

How was your year?
Any regrets?
What would you change if you could?

36 comments:

  1. I'm like you, a long-time writer but a newbie. I don't pressure myself either, though I would like to be more regular in my writing. I found my writing has gotten much better now that I write for a living and had a four year break from my manuscript. I hope that I don't have to take that kind of break again.

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    1. What they say is true, Natalie; the more you write the better you get. But I'm like you, I wish I could be more regular in my habits.

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  2. I'm glad you've learned more. I hope you will republish the trilogy, because I thought the stories were delightful.

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  3. Sometimes we need time to regroup. There's nothing wrong with that, and it can make all the difference too. I do hope you'll be back to publishing again. I've enjoyed what I've read of your work.

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    1. I'm definitely better for taking the time to regroup. And don't worry, I've got some big plans for the future!

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  4. Great attitude! You'll be such a good writer for learning the craft even more.

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    1. I'm never going to be the great American author, but I hope to get really good in my little book niche of the world :)

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  5. I feel like a newbie too. But yay for pushing onward! Writing more is how we get better, and it truly doesn't matter how fast or slow we do it. :)

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    1. I'm just going to keep on doing it, Christine. It's almost like I "have" to. LOL.

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  6. Glad to hear you slowed down and your writing improved. Best wishes for a healthy and wealthy 2018!

    www.stephentremp.com

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    1. Thank you, Steve. I just visited your site and learned about Google Calendar. Best of everything in 2018 to you and your family!

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  7. Taking a step back and regroup can make all the difference and in the end help us to move forward more than if we hadn't taken a step back. Unpublishing your books was a bold move. I don't think I could do that, though I do know I could edit some of my older works better than they are.

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    1. I can still edit these works and republish, but for now, I just want to move forward. Some day...

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  8. I didn't even answer the question because I don't believe in regrets either. I've been taking a writing class online. We can never learn enough about craft, right?

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    1. I'm always studying craft, Elizabeth. It serves to remind me of the details that go into writing fiction. Loved your post today!

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  9. Gwen, you have nailed it! Slowing down is exactly what I am striving for going forward. Also, just focusing on craft and writing. So much energy is sucked up worrying about publishing, marketing, etc. prematurely.

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    1. I'm so glad this is making sense! Stepping back has really helped. Maybe once I have it nailed (I can't imagine ever feeling that way LOL) I can pick up the pace again.

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  10. Do you plan on revising the works you upublished then publishing them again? I think we're all newbies throughout, because you can always learn to write better. Even Cormac McCarthy could have learned to use punctuation. ;)

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    1. I probably will go back one day and take a closer look and rewrite/r-eedit my books, but right now I just want to concentrate on moving forward. One of the great things about being a writer is that you are always growing and improving and learning something. I just love it so much!

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  11. I wish I had gotten healthier, faster, but ... a few of my doctors (it's bad when there's more than one) told me that I should be happy to maintain my weight (what? I wanted to lose it) and start with baby steps of exercise (still?). And, they were right. I am on the slowest track for recovery I've ever been from any surgery, but I am on the right track for me. That's my wisdom gained from the year.

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    1. At least maintaining isn't gaining! If your doctors are happy, then you're doing great. Keep at it, Tyrean.

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  12. Your post makes a lot of sense. When I look back at some of my earlier works, I see where they could be improved. I've learned through the years, and those first books were the beginning.

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    1. I made a good start with those books, but now I consider them sort of a stepping stone. I'm told they're cute and people like them. But I'm going to do better moving forward.

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  13. Sometimes we need to slow down and regroup. I doubt I'll ever stop learning the craft of writing; so much changes with new trends, and technology. All fun stuff, right?

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    1. It's hard to keep up with the trends, but at least I'm noticing them now. LOL. ;)

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  14. There have been years when I do slow down. In hindsight they've been the most productive because of what I've learned. They can't take that away from you.

    Of course, at my age, I want time to stay slow. LOL! Don't want to hurry my conclusion. :)

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    1. Yes, that's it exactly, Maria! Learning is key to moving forward for me. There is that time limit on the other end though. LOL. If the ageing process would only slow down a bit so I'd have more time to write...

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  15. Sometimes you have to take a step backward to move forward. Glad you were able to give yourself the time you needed. Best of luck in the new year! :)

    With Love,
    Mandy

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    1. Thanks, Mandy. Can't wait to hear about your travels :)

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  16. Improvement always feels great even if slow going. Happy Holidays.

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  17. I believe getting to a place of #noregrets is good for the mind and freeing for the soul, which opens the pathways to so much more ability to live, laugh, and love life.

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  18. Sometimes we need to regroup and rethink to become stronger. Here's to a happy and successful 2018!

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  19. No regrets. Personally, 2017 was an amazing year for me. Writing took a backseat, because other things were just more important. Have a happy holidays!

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  20. Love your attitude. Regrouping is so important, for sure. I did a little bit of that this past year, and already know I'll need to do more of it for 2018. Best of luck moving forward some more with your writing in the new year!

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