Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Mayday! Mayday! IWSG Post

Where did April go? For me, it was a complete blur. My IWSG post for May centers around my fear of never completing projects. If you've not heard of Alex J. Cavanaugh's Insecure Writers Support Group , and you want to join us for community & support, click away. (Above, there, on his link. :)))

Mayday! Mayday! I need some writerly advice, IWSG!

I knew my plate runneth over, but I didn't realize my plate contents flooded the table and preceded to muck up the floor, too. I met with a writer friend for lunch two weeks ago. She chewed me out (lovingly I may add & much appreciated) for not seeing a project through until the end. Publication or death.


Nope, I have erratic waves of motivation on projects, spectacular starts, fleshing out the contents / plot / characters, and then poof! The crazy-love dies. Dwindles. Disappears. I keep telling myself, maybe they're not the ONE. You know, the love-of-my-life, the one that causes lumps in my throat, butterflies in my stomach, and stutter in my speech.


My writer friend told me I'm doing myself no service in not finishing a project. Really??? Sarcasm riddled my mind when she said that, but I kept my mouth shut, because I knew she was right. The truth hurt.


I'll let the weasel out of the bag. Currently, I have eight (omg, eight!) projects (well-fleshed out projects, all with unique ideas. I've researched.) on my plate. I feel like the monkey chasing the weasel. Yeah, it's fun, but will I ever catch the darned booger!


What about you? Have too many projects and can't seem to catch them, wrap em' with a pretty bow and ship em' off? Anyone have advice, tips, websites, books? I'm sure a few of my followers suffer from this, too. If you have any stick-to-it advice I'd love to hear from you!! (Btw, butt-in-chair only works for me if someone is behind me, looking at me sternly, tapping their foot.)


******

Yesterday was May Day. I live in a hugemungo German community in Central Texas, where Maifest is one heck of a celebration. Check out OUR website Brenham, TX Maifest Celebration . Living in one of the south's bible belt areas, I was shocked to read the origins of this holiday. Since 1881, the small town of Brenham stops to dance around the May Pole. They even let school out on Friday. Moving here almost ten years ago, I found this to be interesting. Note: I do not dance around the May Pole (Dancing around the May Pole...that makes me giggle.). Instead, the girls and I enjoy the day off from school, and I usually wind up in the garden.

 May Day celebrates "Walpurgis Night (in German folklore) the night of 30 April (May Day's eve), when witches meet on the Brocken mountain and hold revels with their gods..." ~Wikipedia

28 comments:

  1. You could hire someone to stand over you. And you've told us, so now we will be watching.
    I'm a one project at a time kind of guy. Wish I had more ideas but I don't.

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  2. WOW on the 8 projects at once. I would get lost and am not sure, but maybe you could devote one week to each project?

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  3. Alex, Yeah, I'd have to pay someone to stand behind me. It's the only way they could put up with me. Please call me out on the floor every time you see me talking about yet another plot Godzilla. For me, they're bigger and worse than bunnies.

    Gossip Girl, *tucks tail* I should be kicked for 8 projects at a time. One project each week, hmm... Thanks for the visit!!

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  4. I'm going to go psychobabble on you: Is it possible you are not finishing and submitting because. . .? I know you know the answer.

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    1. Um...not good enough? Fear of failure? What I write is crap? Am I on the right track? If so, that is a huge part of WHY.

      "Psychobabble" you're hilarious, Angelina!!

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  5. 8? I'm feeling overwhelmed for you! Maybe pick one and finish it, then move on to the next? Or devote a certain amount of time to each? I'm not very helpful, am I? :/

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    1. Jackie, Actually it makes the most sense. Starting with one, finishing and then moving on. Thanks :))

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  6. Pick the two your muse loves the most and switch from the one to the other without stopping for the other 5. Then, go to the next two. Have you seen two kids fight? The blows are all over the place without real force behind any one blow. Fight and write effective with focus, Roland :-)

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    1. My muse...hmm...I rarely let her out to play. It would be interesting to explore her mind. Normally, Candy keeps her behind closed (lead) doors. It's a control thing with me. But, maybe that's my whole problem. I don't let her out enough.

      Good points, Roland.

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  7. Don't really have much advice to offer. I have five finished MS. Three that I'm keeping hidden on my computer :) I also have about four MS started (first chapters and such).

    For me, if I don't have the passion for the one I'm working on, I move onto the next one, the one that is calling my name. That's why I have two MS ready to query. I was passionate about them.

    Maybe you haven't found something you like enough??

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  8. I don't have much advice to give either! I have four finished ms's and I just work on whichever one I'm in the mood for, lol. Good luck figuring it out, sounds like oodles of crazy fun!

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  9. It's a great motivator to have other people hold you accountable, hassling you...I mean, motivating you...on a daily basis. Currently, I'm focused on writing one at a time, but I jot down ideas and notes of other story and series ideas. If you're passionate and excited about a story, I think it becomes harder not to finish it. Even if you're not feeling that right now, one new idea can create that spark, and you're off and running! And if that doesn't work, another motivator is obligation. You have people waiting to read your work. :)

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  10. Kelley, Your work pile sounds like mine! Except, you have two you're querying!!! How exciting. :))

    The thought of not really liking the ideas has crossed my mind. Except, gosh they always start with such a bang. Silly Plot Godzillas, stop distracting me!

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  11. Courtney, I like that, "oodles of fun," makes it not seem so daunting!

    Michael, Hassling, is better for me. I agree with you about obligation. Obligation and deadlines are two things I don't have motivating me.

    Good for you and sticking with one thing at a time. :)

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  12. I do have a lot of projects. What I do is put them in their own folder on the computer. Then I focus on just one at a time, so that I can finish. If an idea pops up about another project, I pull up that file, and type it in, but that's it. I don't work on it until I've finished my current project.

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    1. One at a time, got it! I'm trying really hard to do this. :)

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  13. Okay, so it really IS a small world! I lived in Brenham (on Main Street) for several years and still consider it "home." Attended Maifest and all the other festivals downtown, seeing as they were just a block away from my home. Brenham has a very special place in my heart, as I went through so many Life changes there. Attended yoga at the then Brenham Health Food Store, taught Reiki in my home, volunteered with Brazos Valley Hospice and was part of a drum circle at the health food store. Still have friends in the area and one of these days will get back for a visit. Thanks for visiting my WordPress blog and for your comments. Cheers!

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    1. I bet I know you!!! I teach yoga and started with Jessica years ago at the Brenham Health Food. I actually went to a Reiki session in someone's home...I think on Main St.! How small world is that??? Wow, funny how things travel in circles...

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  14. I have three compilations of shorts/flash to get self-pubbed, three erotic shorts to finish and pub and two novel WIPs. Ever since the A-Z, I seem to get caught up in the blogging world when I should be writing. You are not alone...

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  15. I can sympathize, for sure. I beat myself up over my unfinished stuff all the time. I'm still a one-at-a-time writer, so when I don't finish it means I threw my hands up at some point and put it on the back burner.

    I have two unfinished novels: one that is pretty much trunked, and one that I know will be starting again from ground zero when I go back to it. I also have two unfinished short stories. Those are less guilt-ridden, since a short is obviously not as big an investment of time as a novel. I've vowed to look back at these before the end of this year, but it's so much more exciting to just start a new project!

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  16. "Anyone have advice, tips, websites, books?"

    Maybe set one project as the priority project. Have a certain goal to reach on that project each day (something substantial but not excessively difficult). But other than that, give yourself free reign to write whatever is catching your interest. Let the "erratic waves" of new projects be the reward for progress on the old project.

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  17. "erratic waves of motivation"

    Wow, do I ever identify with that. Only advice I can offer (this works for me sporadically) is to force yourself to write the last scene/chapter as a means of closure. If it fires you up and reminds you of the magic, odds are you'll be back into it.

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  18. Well at least you know that you have a good start with the mastery of multitasking.

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  19. Create a white board or black board for you with dead line for each one. Then make a plan to write how much in an year. Then find out how much you have to do each month to come up with your annual target. Then have a weekly plan, how much you need to do. Now you will know how much you have to do in a day. If you need to make changes for the plan do it. Then keep your board at a very visible place for you.
    Also, have a word or Google doc to journal about how much you accomplished. Mine is a Google doc titled "I did This".
    I am keeping up with some of my goals that way. Hope, you will find a method that works for you.

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  20. 8? *whistles* I would pick the ones most close to being finished or the ones I'm most passionate about so that things get done.

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  21. I'd pick two at the most, and toggle between them. And pick the two that you are most excited by.

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  22. Gosh, where oh where have I been? I have a bone to pick with gmail...it hasn't been alerting me of comments. :( My most humble apologies!

    Thanks, Donna! Blogging does take up quite a bit of time, but I believe it's worth it for the sense of community, don't you?! Wow, you have a lot you're in the middle of too!

    J.W. I adore "new" projects. :) But man are they distracting! I find I'm more guilt-ridden about my larger works than my shorter works.

    I like that idea, Hektor. The one about rewarding myself. Daily goals are good if you stick with them. :)

    Bob, I like the idea of writing the last scene or end of chapter. Kind of ending the day of writing at a "cliff-hanger" so to speak.

    Bindhurani, Wow, that's a completely efficient process you have there. I like the wipe board idea with deadlines!

    Medeia, Yeah, I know. 8 is overwhelming!

    Catherine, Thanks! Two is what I've went with this week. An older picture book (revisions) and one of the newer ideas.

    Wow, you all came up with some fabulous ideas. Thank you to all who visited and commented!!

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