Wednesday, January 3, 2018

IWSG: A Secret Revealed

It's the first Insecure Writers Support Group event of 2018! On the first Wednesday of every month, we post on our blogs about the current status of our writing journey, then make the rounds to lend support and share experience and knowledge. If you would like to join, go HERE

Many thanks to Alex Cavanaugh and his awesome co-hosts for this month's postings of the IWSG: Tyrean Martinson, Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor, Megan Morgan, Jennifer Lane, and Rachna Chhabria!


Pssst! I have a secret to reveal. But first...

Optional question - What steps have you taken or plan to take to put a schedule in place for your writing and publishing?

I don't have a strict writing schedule, but I do have a basic guideline. I try to write 2500 words per week, give or take. Sometimes the words flow and I write more. Sometimes less. With a full-time day job, that's about all I can manage--during the winter months. During the summer, my writing comes to almost a complete stop. The day job gets too busy, and by the end of the day, I'm too exhausted, and any attempt at writing something creative is futile.

What I'm getting at is that I know my limitations and I've learned to not beat myself up over it. But even if I don't write, I'm planning or working on something writing related in my "spare" time. 

In 2017, I nearly finished another Indigo cozy mystery (in which she's all grown up now!). Then I did some brainstorming about where I was going and changed tactics. I decided I needed an Indigo cozy short story to offer for free in order to build up my newsletter list. So, I set the novel aside and wrote the short story.  AND THEN, I saw the IWSG Anthology Contest announcement which said that this year's theme was mystery. I had to enter! I cut about 5000 words from the short story (ouch!!!), submitted it, and you can GO HERE  or HERE to find out my secret revealed!

EEEP!!! All I can say is that it's going to be a great year!

What are your plans for the writing year?

Are you strict with yourself, or do you cut yourself some slack? 

76 comments:

  1. Congrats on winning the anthology! So excited to see that you won. You so deserve it. And you know I cut myself some slack on writing. I am writing more regularly now. I like your idea of a word count per week.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The writing goes so much more smoothly when you're not so hard on yourself. But do-able goals are key too. Thanks, Natalie!

      Delete
  2. Congrats on winning the anthology contest! What a wonderful way to start off the New Year :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Ellen! I'm feeling so blessed and looking forward to 2018.

      Delete
  3. You know your limits and that's good.
    Big congratulations on being the top story! Aren't you glad you cut those words and entered?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha! Killing your darlings (Stephen King?) is always hard, but it sure paid off this time. Thanks, Alex!

      Delete
  4. Congrats on your big win! Looking forward to reading your story.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Tamara! I'm looking forward to reading all the stories too.

      Delete
  5. Learning not to beat yourself up over a limitation is fantastic. Can't say that's a skill I've ever mastered.

    Congrats on your anthology win!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's such a difficult skill to master and I'm not always successful, but with writing I'm learning. Thank you!

      Delete
  6. Congratulations on placing first in the new Anthology! So awesome! A Great title, too!
    I couldn't believe I placed again, but what a way to start the New Year!
    Looking forward to the process, and then reading all the stories!
    Wishing all success with your goals!
    Happy 2018!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Congratulations to you as well, Yolanda! I love mysteries and can't wait to read the anthology.

      Delete
  7. Congratulations on getting into the anthology! Happy New Year!

    IWSG post: Taking Chances

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Megan, and Happy New year to you!

      Delete
  8. Congratulations on your winning story for the anthology, Gwen!!!! A great start to the New Year!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Cathrina, I'm still in shock, but so honored to be in the anthology.

      Delete
  9. I'm so delighted your story came out on top. It's a great way to kick of the anthology. Plus I think the cover is going to be wonderful.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Woo hoo! Congratulations! Can't wait to read the new anthology. I had to chuckle at the "cut 5,000 words" part. Ouch,indeed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hehe, it was tough to cut my darlings. But if Stephen King can do it ;)

      Delete
  11. Huge congratulations on your story, Gwen! This should be a great anthology.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, C. Lee, and congratulations to you as well!

      Delete
  12. Congratulations, Gwen - I can't wait to read more!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Sylvia, I can't wait to read the other stories too!

      Delete
  13. Congrats on the top honors! How cool is that? Let me offer a box of delish Gum Drop Island chocolate as your reward, heh heh.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Nosey! Hehe, that was kind of fun to say ;)

      Delete
  14. Congrats on the win. Sounds like you have a plan that works for you. Impressive word goal.
    Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Juneta. I have to have a goal, but I'm flexible at the same time :)

      Delete
  15. Congrats on having the top story for the anthology! Looking forward to reading it! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Jemi, and congratulations to you as well!

      Delete
  16. Knowing your limitations and adjusting yourself to them is smart.

    Congrats on winning the contest!

    And Happy New Year!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Chrys! Happy New Year to you as well!

      Delete
  17. Just read that you won and couldn't wait to come over and congratulate you!! Yay!!! That's wonderful!! What a great way to start the new year! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Julie! I'm so thrilled with the way this year is starting.

      Delete
  18. Congratulations on your win!!! I'm excited to read more. :)
    Happy writing in 2018! I think you have some wise goals, knowing your strengths.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Congrats on winning! That is so awesome! Woot!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Congratulations!!! When I heard you were planning to enter, I was sure you'd get in. You write great paranormal cozy mysteries.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aww, thanks, Cherie! I wasn't at all sure I'd get in. LOL.

      Delete
  21. When you're ready to give up and not try, that is the the exact time you must try one more time. At least it was true here. Conrgats, Gwen.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Congrats on your story in the anthology, Gwen. Happy New Year!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Olga, and Happy New Year to you as well!

      Delete
  23. Yay, Gwen! It's exciting to learn your secret and to see you headlining the IWSG Anthology! I can't wait to read your story! All the best in 2018!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Fundy Blue. I was so excited to make it into the anthology and can't wait to read the other stories!

      Delete
  24. Congratulations! And that's a good goal for writing. I try not to beat myself up, either.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Beating yourself does no good and only makes you feel bad. We're all doing the best we can. Thank you, Deb!

      Delete
  25. I used to be super strict but then I read Richard Bausch's (heard/read him?) rules for writing and one of them really stuck with me. It goes, "Never ask yourself more than 'Did I work today'." It got rid of the guilt and even on days where I don't write a thing, I reason that my brain needs a day off and away from my WIP. I love that we all have our own ways of writing... that's why I love this group so much. Have a great 2018!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a great guideline to go by and I'll have to remember it.

      Happy New Year!

      Delete
  26. I cut myself so much slack the pressure is non-existent. Shame . . .

    Congrats on your story acceptance. So nice when when something so unexpected keeps getting better and better.

    Good luck in the year to come.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hehe, I know you'll get back to writing, Donna! We all need a break sometimes to just do nothing.

      Happy New Year!

      Delete
  27. Congratulations on winning the anthology. Sounds like your new year is off to a terrific start!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Huge congratulations on getting the grand prize! That was a nice piece of luck about the theme this year!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It sure was lucky, because I'm all about mystery. LOL. But really, I feel so blessed to make it into the anthology!

      Delete
  29. Congrats--and the big winner too. Yes, that is a good start to the year.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Congrats on your win! I'm so jealous that you have discovered balance that works for you and I still have yet to do so. Maybe 2018 is the year for me. Wishing you even more success in 2018!

    With Love,
    Mandy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just a basic goal, but I know I need to get a little more specific, such as actually completing a project. LOL.

      Delete
  31. Congrats on your win, Gwen. That must have felt fantastic (not the cutting of the 5,000 words). It's so important to know our limitations, but I like to push against them as often as I can so that I don't end up stuck in a rut. As a teacher, my writing tide is the opposite of yours. Summer is my time for abundant writing. Thanks for the post. Happy writing to you, and happy 2018.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wish I had the summer to write. But even if I had a summer off to write, I actually like writing in the winter. It's cozy to me, so helps with writing cozy mysteries.

      Delete
  32. Congratulations! I'm so excited for you. I love your Indigo stories. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Christine! Indigo is becoming quite popular ;)

      Delete
  33. Happy New Year Gwen! I agree, plans are good but it's also good not to be too hard on yourself. There has to be a balance in there, so that way you don't get overwhelmed and give up altogether.
    Anne from annehiga.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's so true. Too much pressure and you lose all creativeness!

      Delete
  34. Congratulations on snagging the top spot, Gwen. A well-deserved win! I love the world of Indigo Eady. Happy 2018!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Michelle! I was so surprised and so happy!

      Delete
  35. Oh, wow, many congrats on your short story win! That's such amazing news!

    ReplyDelete
  36. When I had a day job, I had to learn my limitations so I didn't burn out trying to get everything I wanted done, too. Beating yourself won't get writing done, so why do it?

    ReplyDelete
  37. I love your header. I'm so excited about your victory. Booya! Yeah, I've had to learn my limitations, too. The day job really drags on me many days and I have to allow myself the down time I need. I scaled way back on what I do.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Someday we're going to be full time writers, Mary. Hang in there!

      Delete

Yay! You left a comment! I love comments.