Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Insecure Writers Support Group Post - July

Another month, another chance to air our insecurities and offer encouragement to those in the writing realm. We all pay homage on this day to our fearless leader, Captain Ninja Alex (it was his idea to begin with!). Wander by the Insecure Writers Support Group page and get caught up, signed up, or just to find out what this marvelous group is all about :D Let the insecurities commence!


I'm not sure if what I'm currently dealing with is an insecurity or just good, old fashioned panic. I've been rather erratic in my writing since the start of summer. My work schedule went crazy and I'm still trying to settle into it. The lack of writing has nothing to do with a lack of ideas: there are two suitcases (literal, physical suitcases) filled with files and papers that hold outlines, ideas, and story notes. Frightening, I know. I could begin world domination tomorrow if any amount of paper and adjectives were required. No, lack of ideas is not the problem.

My biggest problem is time, or rather, time management. I'm in the midst of one personal project that requires a lot of time an energy. I have one manuscript that needs editing and one that needs starting. Then, of course, there are the usuals: work, family, home, life. I can't seem to get my time around them all. My off days consist of me walking in circles, flitting from one project to another, feeling guilty that I'm writing when I should be  ____ (fill in the blank) and vice-a-verse. Relaxing consists of a cup of tea and my brain telling me that there are countless people in the world who find time to do it ALL: write, blog, run small businesses, manage 15 kids, two dogs and an army of cats. Seriously, folks, I find it a miracle if I can remember to water my tomatoes and keep the kitchen sink emptied on a daily basis!

So I have a question: HOW do you do it? You know who you are, those amazing creatures who seem to have it all together. I'm not stupid; I realize that no one has an ideal life and that writing does have to take a back seat some days. My frustration is that instead of hunkering down (there's a Southern term for you) and just digging into one project at a time, giving myself a good, old fashioned time limit for each one and, therefore, completing bits and chunks of multiple projects in a day, I fuss and fury over what I'm not doing while I'm doing something else. (Did that even make sense?)

Maybe I just answered my own question. Who knows. Bottom line: I freeze and don't do anything when I'm constantly worried about doing many things. No, I can't do it all, but I should be able to do SOMETHING, right?

Argh. There I go, over thinking again. Thanks for letting me vent this morning! Hope I'm not too depressing. Stress is a wonderful think, isn't it? (ha...ha...ha...)



  1. Hi Jen. Don't apologise, everyone will know where you're coming from. Being able to find time to write is a real mental procrastinate is too easy. I have too many projects, so I'm concentrating on getting one of those novels finished at a time. I'll need a few lifetimes to get it all done as life has a way of interfering, doesn't it?

    All the best Jen.


  2. Sounds like you've got a case of the guilt monkeys. I struggle with writing consistantly too. But the thing that got me off my duff and trying to squeeze it into my days was the book "No Plot, No Problem". Its written by the guy who created NaNoWriMo and he talks all about squeezing in writing time in a hectic schedule and shows you (irreverently) how to look at your schedule and find the spaces to put writing. It's a great book.

    Good luck!

  3. Instead of offering advice, I'll offer you a hug instead. Venting is good. Think of a pressure cooker with the little valve on top. If it doesn't release some steam, the cooker explodes (as my niece found out the hard way). Best wishes for finding balance.

  4. I often suffer from "too many projects"...which makes it easy to feel like I'm productive, but really I'm just hiding behind the "frenzy" of all that "work."

    Sometimes we must accept the world will have to wait for our wonderful work. Also, take a 2 day, or 5 day break from writing (guilt free, of course.) Give yourself a break and see how you feel when you return to the writing desk.

    Good luck!

  5. Finding time for focused writing is a constant struggle. You are not alone in wondering how some people produce so much work in such short periods of time. I have decided they either don't sleep or are manipulating time. Maybe just pick one project, set some completely doable goals, and revel in the process of checking off things as you complete them. That might make you feel better. Good luck.
    Elizabeth Hein - Scribbling in the Storage Room

  6. As others have said, there isn't a magic formula. What started to work for me, juggling kids, teaching and life in general, was to commit to a minimum number of words I would write every day. Come hell or high water, no matter what.

  7. I seriously need to work on organization.

    I remember reading on a blog of a well organized person a while back that they literally break down their day by the hour or half hour for the week. That way they never feel guilty when they are adhering to their schedule. They are right where they should be! Maybe that will work for you...

  8. I don't know how folks do it who work full time. I guess it takes discipline to map out a schedule and carve a 1/2 hour here and there. Good luck, Jen.

  9. Time management -- I'm not good with that, too. :-)

    Patting your back for your manuscript that needs editing. That's good news! The one that needs starting? Oh, don't worry about that. I'm sure you'll be able to create a good plot soon. Good luck! And thanks for visiting my blog, by the way!

  10. It is a curse to be doing one thing and thinking about the "shoulds" of doing another. Do what you're doing. Be present, AND schedule some writing time. You might need to go to the library or coffee/tea shop, and when you do that will be intentional. Maybe that could be your word. Intentional. Best wishes. I'm looking forward to reading your stories!!!

    PS: Thanks for posting early for this IWSG. It reminded me that it was TODAY!
    Go. Create. Inspire!

    Play off the Page

  11. I get really frustrated with time management, but sometimes I have lots of time and then the words just don't come, whereas other times work, family, life, it all happens at once and that's when the words start pouring. So I decided not to stress about time, things happen when they want to happen. :-)

  12. Some things just fall by wayside. Only so many hours in a day. I know when I'm writing, I take large chunks of time every night to get it done, and during that time some things get ignored. (Not my wife - she wouldn't allow it.)

  13. Your life sounds a lot like mine. I seem to run in circles doing a little here and a little there.
    I find weekly writing goals work well for me. So much less stress than trying and failing daily. It also helps me to make the most of my 'free time.'
    new blog is

  14. Sometimes if life is too busy, writing gets put aside. But it's important to define "busy." I know someone personally who is always busy. She's the busiest person on the planet who doesn't work full time or have kids at home. She's constantly overwhelmed or sick or about to catch something.

    Busy means different things to different people. I'm worked on some critique pages with someone I only know online. She has 5 kids and homeschools them. That sounds busy to me, but she carves out writing time for herself every day, even if it's 30 minutes. She has goals and is dedicated.

    I think it's OK if you can't write every day. I don't. But I schedule my busy days so I can clear time another day to do what I need.

  15. I think this happens to a lot of writers--a lot of people, in general. When faced with too much to do, we panic and shut down.

    I used to always put my own writing and marketing last because I was so busy with my freelance work. One thing that made all the difference for me was the Seinfeld Productivity Secret. I hate it when people link to their own blogs in the comments of someone else's, but maybe you'll find this helpful. It made all the difference for me.

  16. Great question, but I don't have an answer for you. I just manage to muddle through :-)

    Anna from Shout with Emaginette

  17. As much as I want to finish my WIP, I have to make sure my finished manuscript (MG mystery) is perfectly polished and agent ready. I just keep reminding myself it can wait. One thing at a time!

  18. Denise: Thanks a bunch! Yes, people DO understand...I tend to be my toughest critic especially where "getting things accomplished" comes in. Thanks for the encouragement!

    Christina: Thank you so much! Guilt monkeys...ha! I've always disliked monkeys. Now I have an actual excuse to do so! I will definitely check that book out. Thanks for stopping by and commenting :)

    Diane: Thank you and thank you for following :)

    Dean: Thank you! Taking a break without guilt is the tough part but I KNOW that it's important. Sometimes, NOT writing gives me my best ideas!

    Elizabeth: Yes, manipulating time. That's it! Now to find The Doctor and commandeer the TARDIS! Thank you for stopping by :)

    Samantha: Thank you. I haven't thought of coming up for a word count as a daily goal. Thanks for stopping by!

    Robin: SO funny that you mention that. Once upon a time, I broke my day into hour increments and it really worked! Perhaps I should try it again! Thanks :)

    Karen: Thanks! Time for me to get to map-making :)

    Sittie: Thanks, for the encouragement and the pat on the back :) And you're welcome! I enjoyed the visit!

    Mary: You're amazing. That's IT! Thank you for that word :) And you're welcome...I have to write it on my calendar or I'll forget! Glad you remembered. I'll stop by soon to check out your post!

    E.E.: That's so true! WHen I'm busiest or when I'm somewhere where I can't write, that's when the words come. It's very wise what you said: things will happen when they happen. Indeed!

    Alex: Glad you're not ignoring your wife :D Yes, there are things that must fall to the side. I'm just trying to figure out what needs to do the falling! Maybe my cat will learn to wash clothes...

    Doreen: thanks so much for stopping by! Weekly goals sounds like a good idea...That's what I had to do when I was at University. Of course, I had a professor hovering over my shoulder AND the prospect of bad grades. Hmm, maybe I should hire a drill sergeant!

    Steph: Thanks for that! You're right: BUSY is relative. Thanks for the reminder!

    Holli: Thank you! I'll definitely check it out! Thanks for stopping by :D

    Anna: No worries! Muddling is something I'm great at. Is there an Olympic Muddling Team? Perhaps we should join?

    Jennifer: Thanks for stopping by. Yes, one thing at at time! Boy do I have such a hard time with that one! Cheers! And good luck with your edits.

  19. I completely understand where you are coming from! I've been having a few mini freak outs myself ;). I've noticed sometimes I need to switch- I'm a serious multitasker- especially at the evil day job- but when it gets too intense I find just getting one thing done, helps. So maybe take one tiny task of the writing- and for this week, do it. Then another and so on- might work!

  20. It's so tough to balance it all! I get overwhelmed and fear getting started. But I've learned to just dive in and go for it.

  21. I always say that I really admire those who write, juggle a family and sometimes a part-time job... or even a full-time job for that matter.
    I have NO IDEA how they manage. But they do!
    I think writing in small manageable bursts is a way to go...

  22. I say take it one day at a time and a goal that is obtainable for you! This is how you will stay sane. I am doing Nano right now so that is helping me a lot.

  23. I wonder the same thing about people who seem to juggle so many things and get writing done. Especially moms. Seriously, how do they do it with kids which can require so much attention??????

  24. Balance your spiritual energy and get in harmony with your soul by practicing these Radha-Krishna meditations.

    Sri Gita Govinda
    -A book written in the 12th century, this is a description of the intimate loving affairs of Radha and Krishna

    Govinda Lilamrta
    -An 400 year old book which poetically describes the eternal daily pastimes of Radha and Krishna

    Ananda Vrindavan Campu
    -This is probably the most poetic and intimate portrayal of Sri Krsna’s life in Vrndavana that has ever been written.

    Prayers of Service to Radha and Krishna (Sankalpa Kalpadruma)

    Prema Samputa The Treasure Chest of Love

    And the following four are taken from Visvanath Cakravarti's Camatkara Candrika, a 300 year old scripture that talks about the love meeting of Radha and Krishna:

    The Meeting in the Box

    The Meeting of Sri Krishna Disguised as a Female Doctor

    The Meeting of Sri Krishna Disguised as a Female Singer

    The Meeting of Sri Krishna Disguised as Abhimanyu

    And lastly, we have a very amazing scripture which describes the 24 hour daily loving affairs of Radha and Krishna in Vrindavan, called Bhavanasara Sangraha. This book is now available on Amazon for Kindle, for only $3.49

    Here is a 41 page sample of Bhavanasara Sangraha:

    The above book can also be read on your PC using Amazon Kindle for PC, download here for free:

    Disclaimer: We are not affiliated with ISKCON in any way whatsoever. ISKCON, or "The Hare Krishna Movement" as it's popularily known, is a radical and extremist distortion of the original Radha and Krishna dharma from ancient India. The author of the above book Bhavanasara Sangraha is no longer affiliated with ISKCON either, having cut all ties to ISKCON a few years ago.


Thank you for taking the time out of your busy, fantastic life to pay a visit! I appreciate every, single comment and I'll continue the conversation here :) It makes this big blog-verse of ours feel a little more like home.

Cheers! ~J