Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Of WIPs, Melodies & Insecurities


Now that school's out, I'm reorganizing myself. I'm going to stomp, scream & threaten to move out if I don’t get plan some writing time for my WIP. I’m half way there, and if I could get a few days of uninterrupted time, I could finish the first draft of Come Back. I’ll probably barricade myself inside a hotel room for a couple of nights soon and do some marathon writing while hubby holds down the fort. (I soooo need a vacation! ...Can you tell? :P) Another goal I have is to make the blog rounds soon, and then visit more regularly in the future. I've failed miserably at that goal lately. *blushes and hangs head in shame*

I've also been dealing with some negative thinking about my writing. I go from feeling like I really have a handle on itthat it's goodto thinking I'm deluding myself and no one will like it. From believing my crit partners' compliments, to thinking they're just being 'nice' and not telling me how bad it really is. 

I did read a blog post on story structure by @KMWeiland the other day that helped a little...particularly this quote: "Many successful authors write without any knowledge of structure, and their stories still work because they’re instinctively following the tenets of structure without even realizing it." Although my first two MSs need work, I'm wondering if I'm one of these.  

Any time I read articles on story structure, plotting, etc., I'm reminded how little I've studied fiction. Heck. I've only been seriously reading it for two years, and only writing it for about a year and a half. I received credit by entrance exam for college Composition & Rhetoric I and II, the only Language Arts credits required for my nursing degree, and have never taken a formal writing course in my life. It's a legitimate question: How could I be good at this? 

I guess the beta reads of Come Back will let me know. Assuming they're honest... 

(Y'all know I'm speaking of the doubts that plague us, right? -not meaning any disrespect to my critters.)


Anyhow, I've decided to take part in Alex J Cavanaugh's Insecure Writer's Support Group, a group of writers who post about their writing insecurities the first Wednesday of every month.  

You can find Alex on Twitter here. The support group uses the hashtag #IWSG. Click on the picture to find out more. There's a linky list you can use to hop around to the participating blogs. (I'm #288.)

On a positive note, I've been spending time on Twitter, interacting and gaining quite a few quality, mutual followers. I've also started using the free version of Hootsuite to schedule tweets and manage my Twitter feeds, or 'streams' as Hootsuite terms them. I even dabbled with Tweepi to purge the dead Twitter weight, catch follows I missed, and learn more about the folks on my list. I'm not sure how much I'll use Tweepi on a regular basis, but it is definitely a time saver when dealing with multiple followers at once.

One last thing...
I'm exploring the use of music to help set the mood pre-writing, and to listen to while writing. I've included a playlist for each of what I've compiled so far. And I might as well admit it. I stole some songs from Carrie's playlist. :P


Pre-writing
While Writing


Music To Write To by Melissa Maygrove on Grooveshark


Now it's your turn to share:
  • Tell us about your WIPs & tell us about your insecurities.
  • Have you achieved any significant accomplishments lately? (awards, deals, pubs) 
  • What music do you listen to while writing or preparing to write? And do you prefer songs with vocals or instrumentals?


Feel free to post links in your commentseven links to your own site.  Oh! And if you're from Alex's support group, include your Linky List # in your post somewhere:)

44 comments:

  1. Music is a great help to my writing. I usually listen to either loud music that drowns out the misc thoughts in my head, or mood music that sets the tone for a particular scene I am writing. I could listen to instrumentals or singing, just depends on the mood I am trying to set. In regards to good writing, I think it is more important to be a good story teller. If you are a good story teller, others can forgive some amount of less than good writing.

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    1. Thanks for visiting, James. It's nice to meet you. :)

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  2. I need to barricade myself too! I've always wanted to retreat into a tree house 100 feet up off the ground to write! lol. I often feel the same way about positive comments, telling myself people are just trying to be nice. But then I remind myself that I respect my cp's critiques and therefore must respect their compliments too. (:

    And thanks for the twitter tips, I'm still a noob on twitter. :P

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    1. Good point. And I do respect my crit partners' opinions. I was pointing out the way our insecurities eat at us with the comments about not believing them, you know, making us doubt.

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  3. Hi Melissa. I found your blog from the IWSG list. I love it. I have had writing reality hit me over the head this month and I am just trying to take it all in. I find that the more I learn about writing and my own process the more questions I have. But, the challenge is fun and for now that is all that matters.
    I outlined my current WIP for JuNoWriMo using K.M Weiland's book. I am a devotee for sure. I truly am a planner, so it really helped me to get to that point I can just sit down and write.
    Playlist for writing, very important. I created a playlist for my current project with a lot of New Orleans Jazz music and other song that remind me of New Orleans. That is where the story takes place. Keep it up Melissa, can't wait to read more.

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    1. Wow, what nice comments. Thanks. And good luck with your writing. :)

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  4. Boy, that negative talk sure is nasty, isn't it? Music helps yank me out of that nasty negative spiral a lot. Mostly Skillet and Firelight. Their music juts touches my soul. Encourages me. Gives me energy .

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  5. Just stopping by from the IWSG :)

    Ha ha ha, you sounded so like me!!!!! My husband does most of my critiquing and I'm constantly disbelieving him when he says something is good, because I think he's just being nice ;)

    Im sure your crit partner would be honest with you if he/she thought it was rubbish :)

    As for me? Maybe I need a new crit partner ;)

    Xx

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    1. LOL - Other than my mom, who's a crackerjack proofreader, I avoid putting too much stock in the opinions of family and friends. Mostly it's crit partners doing the commenting.

      Thanks for stopping by. :)

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  6. Every writer has those fears you speak of. Don't worry, they mostly go away - mostly.

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    1. Mostly... until one goes to write the next book, huh. LOL Thanks for stopping by. :)

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  7. I've had those same fears. I think we all do. And I can't listen to music while I write, I end up singing along. Not very helpful when word count matters.

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    1. I guess so. Re music: The jury's still out for me. I definitely can't listen to music with vocals when I'm actually writing, and I'm not sure familiar instrumentals will work either, unless they're the kind that never had words. I'm still experimenting with this...

      Thanks for stopping by. :)

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  8. Hello Melissa! I'm number 201 :)

    I think it's funny how much of your post overlaps with mine for this IWSG day... I guess that just goes to show we are never as alone in this as we think :)

    Sometimes I find it helpful to step away from the critiques for a while. For some people it's a wonderful learning experience, but sometimes it can do more harm than good. Nothing against the groups, it's more about where the writer is personally at the time, I think. For me it's a confidence thing.

    Best of luck with your WIP. I hope you get the time you need :) For me, I think I'm needing some positive energy around me sometimes life sucks that right out of ya!

    My Blog: http://kayedraper-writeme.blogspot.com/

    Happy blogging!

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    1. I agree with you on the crits. They can uplift, but they can also plan seeds (or trees!) of doubt, even if they're well-intended and kindly-worded. When I crit a newbie, I sometimes worry I'm gonna overwhelm them, even though I take a kind, teaching approach.

      Thanks for visiting. :)

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  9. I love that quote, Melissa. I had no knowledge of structure for my first novel but it seemed to turn out okay, despite being a bit too long. Good luck getting some writing done with the distractions of summer!

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    1. It IS a great quote, isn't it?
      Thanks for stopping by. :)

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  10. 1) Oo, does this mean I'll get to read soon? :D
    2) ...What are you talking about? I'm never nice. :P
    3) Good choices! You know I love Skillet. <3

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    1. 1. If I can get away and write, yes.
      2. This is true. :P
      3. Thanks. It's growing on me... :)

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  11. That inner critic can be a brutal creature! I just had a pretty nasty bout with mine last week. However, I found the duct tape and that should shut her up for a while. ;-)

    I'm in the middle of a massive experiment inspired by my latest critique. She touched upon a question I've been asking myself since finishing the last draft. So far, I'm liking the results (even though its going to probably mean a massive overhaul).

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    1. LOL - Don't you just love duct tape? :D Good for so many things...

      Sometimes massive overhauls are a good thing. When I look back at my first MS (AHM) and how far it has come, I'm glad, but I also shudder. If I ever sat and told you all the changes it's been through, you would, too. But it's waaaaay better for it.

      Thanks for visiting. :)

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  12. Welcome to the world of first Wednesday writing :)

    As you can see, it appears most of us suffer from a fe insecurities, but isn't it fun venting and sharing a little... I love it :)

    I'm like you... I didn't go to skool for writing, but have picked everything up through experience and learning from past mistakes.

    Not sure if you have the time/want the added hastle, but I worked for several years in the newspaper industry... they're always looking for good freelancers... and it's a way to have your work regularly edited and reviewed :)

    ps: Thanks for your comments :)

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    1. 'Skool' -LOL You're too funny.
      Thanks for stopping by, Mark. :)

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  13. So many insecurities, so little time. I think these are symptoms of being a passionate writer. Or, so I keep telling myself. ; )
    As for music--love it and find it incredibly inspirational. However, often I can not listen to music and write. Like when I am revising.

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  14. Hi Melissa! I'm so glad to meet you through the IWSG. I can definitely relate to the see-saw thinking, I go back and forth with liking my work and then deciding it's the worst thing ever and I'm hallucinating thinking anyone will like it. Sometimes it's hard to shut those negative voices up! Best of luck on your writing goals for the summer! :)

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  15. This is why the IWSG is so awesome! It's so great to see that others feel this way, too. I'm always worried people are just 'being nice.' At some point you have to just believe. :)

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    1. Thanks for visiting, Rachel. I'm glad 'hearing' me grumble helped you. :)

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  16. Welcome to the IWSG! I'm sure your test readers will like it. And be gentle telling you what didn't work.
    (And it's #IWSG - just so you know!)

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    1. Thanks. And Thank GOODNESS about the hashtag! I was getting all kinds of crazy things in my keyword stream!!! :D I'll correct it right away.

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  17. I do like listening to music when I write for two reasons--to cut out other disrtactions and/or to create a mood I want to capture in my writing. So the music changes depending on the mood.

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    1. I can tune out just about anything by multiple TVs and the kids. LOL Thanks for stopping by. :)

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  18. I listen to music to get me in the mood to write. I chose not to write about an insecurity for this month's IWSG. I wanted to offer support this time around, especially since I've experienced such wonderful luck in the last couple of months. I don't feel I have the right to whine this month!

    As for Twitter, my publisher made me take social media classes where I learned the best ways to use Twitter and Facebook using Hootsuite & ManageFlitter. Makes it so much easier to deal with, especially for me, as I don't enjoy Twitter much.

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    1. Good for you! Glad things are going well. :)

      I didn't like Twitter at first either, but it's growing on me. Esp. now that I'm finding tools to manage it.

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  19. My ISWG insecurity this month is the fact that I'm teaching myself how to write by writing fan fiction. As I mentioned on my blog, I can't help but feel a little embarrassed whenever I tell other writers I'm writing fan fiction.

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    1. Hey - if you're learning and growing as a writer, good for you. Thanks for stopping by. :)

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  20. My current WIP is about a baseball player who is trying to make the Texas Rangers' team at Spring Training tryouts in Surprise, AZ and a former women's Rodeo queen who teaches riding lessons due to a little PTSD she has that took her out of the competition. She learns to overcome her fears and he learns to make his own choices and not just play ball because he's pressured into it by his father. He just finished college so he's a young guy.

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    1. Ooo. Sounds interesting! Thanks for stopping by. :)

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  21. Wow--I deal with that whole deluding myself thing all the time! I think "Why are you wasting SO much time writing?" You know when i could be doing productive things like folding and putting away EACH piece of laundry moments after the dryer beeps. Then my next thought is "oh, how I want to lock myself away and write uninterrupted!" Trying to immerse myself in the second book of my YA 3 book series while I wait to hear from an editor who's reviewing the full manuscript for the first book. I'm dragging my feet because you know what? WRITING is hard work! :)

    BTW,I love your music!

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    1. Well, tell your inner critic to stuff it. You write very well. ;) Glad you liked the music, and thanks for stopping by. :)

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  22. I'm a little late to the party and unfortunately it isn't because I have been hard at work on my manuscript. Your post rings so true for me. Although I have accomplished a number of short writing assignments and articles, my main WIP sits neglected all too often. I actually became so frustrated with the lack of time (and progress) that I actually quit writing for a while. Although I was dealing with a ton of real life issues, I just couldn't muster up the courage to fire up the word processor when rare opportunities arose. I am trying now to remedy that and am almost half way through my first draft :) Music is definitely a huge boon to my creative energy!

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    1. I can relate. When it's not interruptions keeping me from digging into my WIP, insecurities sometimes keep me from it. And then I struggle with a combination - the fact that getting interrupted every 15-20 minutes when I'm writing keeps me from doing my best work. I get some words on the page, but I find myself thinking how much better they could have been had I been left alone. Ugh.

      Anyhow, glad to hear you're writing again and glad you stopped by. :)

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