Wednesday, 7 October 2015

What's next?

It's the first Wednesday of the month, so time for the Insecure Writer's Support Group. If you're a writer who's insecure, do join up. (If you're a totally secure writer, please tell us how you managed that)

My current insecurities are over what to do next. My new novel is finished and waiting for its official launch. All that's left for me to do now is some promotion. Then what?

Do I start a new one? NaNo is coming up, so I could do that again. Or maybe I should try to finish one of those I've stalled on? Perhaps I'd be better off taking a break from longer works and concentrating on articles, or short stories or competitions?

I could even try some poetry. I won't, but I could.

How do you decide what to focus your time and attention on?

42 comments:

  1. It depends on how I feel as to setting my plan of action. I had a great plan for September and stuck to the rigid targets - that was fun and productive. I was focused. October on the other hand, seems to a bit of dabbling here and there. That will soon become unproductive so I will have to sit down and set targets. In the past when my mind has been full of different projects, I wrote them all down, put them in a hat (well a pot of somesort as I don't own a hat:)) and just picked out two to focus on. Like you, I'm not sure whether or not to try my first NaNo which would focus my November writing. I think the hesitation is down to the fear of failing. Have a great month!

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    1. Thanks, Nicola.

      I think not having set targets could be my problem. I allowed more time than I needed to finish off the book and am now at a lose end.

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  2. For me, a relative newbie, I have to focus on producing something. My most recent discovery is that if I can force myself to write ten words - then I'm off and running. If I miss a couple of days, then before I know it, its a couple of weeks, then months....

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    1. That's what's worrying me, Stuart - I don't want to get into the habit of not doing much writing.

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  3. For me, the story that I can't stop thinking about is the one that draws me - I never consider whether it'll be a novel, short story or something else entirely. Good luck finding the right project :-)

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    1. Thanks, Annalisa. Maybe I should just do 'little' stuff for a bit, until something demands my attention?

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  4. That's always my challenge - what to do next? I look for opportunities, set deadlines accordingly, and then work towards that specific goal.

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    1. I sort of do that, Bob. Just need to push myself a little, perhaps?

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  5. I usually overlap what I'm working on. I'm editing one piece while I start another.

    I have extra time because I usually just hide the manuscript or send it out to a few agents before giving up.

    I'm even more insecure than most writers.

    For me, finding an idea is the most important thing. I need a problem, a character, a setting. Then I start free writing around it to get started on the next piece. Sometimes I give up if it doesn't go anywhere. Sometimes it takes off.

    Dave Emanuel

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    1. Thanks, Dave. I'm probably over thinking and should just write.

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  6. I have as much problem as you deciding at times, Patsy! However, I am now trying to finish things I started too long ago.

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    1. I've got some started long ago things, Rosemary. Maybe one will get closer to finished?

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  7. Hi Patsy - always so difficult to put down the comfort zone .. and set off on another route .. but you'll do fine - I love your stories ... cheers Hilary

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    1. Thanks, Hilary.

      Think that could be it - one potential project would be a little outside my comfort zone. Maybe it'll be OK when I get started? Only one way to find out.

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  8. Whatever drops into my lap next is what I focus on. Which would be two short stories now.
    When is the launch of your next book?

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    1. Launch is Nov 5th, Alex. Perhaps I'm just waiting for that and will be off again afterwards?

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  9. I usually try to work on whatever piece is inspiring me the most. That way the chances of me actually spending time on it are a lot higher than something I'm trying to force myself to write.

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    1. Very sensible, Sarah. I'm definitely going to opt for something I think I'll enjoy.

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  10. I've tried working on more than one project at the same time and found that it really doesn't work for me. If I stop on a project I most likely won't pick it up again. So I try to pick which idea I have the most passion for and go with that.

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    1. I like to have one big project and a few short ones on the go at once, Rachel. Maybe I'll just keep on with the short ones and not worry about a big one just yet?

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  11. Promotion is my bane, and I wish you much luck with that. After that's done (and it never seems to get done) I would concentrate on a new story. Good Luck. And Congrats on getting your new novel finished!!!!

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    1. Thanks, Cathrina. You're right about promotion.

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  12. I think Sarah has got it right. What is burning in your soul to be written? Write it!

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    1. Ah, but that one will be hard to do, Charlie!

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  13. I'm with many of the other commenters - it's whatever drops in my lap or inspires me the most - that's what I work on next, It could be short stories, or non-fiction, or the next big novel project. I do think it's important to keep on writing and not let promoting eat all of my time.

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  14. That inbetween time is always difficult. Sometimes it's what calls loudest in my heart that gets the winning ticket to the next project.

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    1. I've never really felt inbetween before, Lynda. Don't suppose it will last much longer.

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  15. I find that it doesn't take long to decide what next, because one particular project will start popping into my mind as soon as the completed project is out of the way.

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    1. Maybe I just needed a little bit of a break, so I'm ready to get started on something different, Carol?

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    2. A break is always good for recharging the creative batteries, Patsy. :-)

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  16. I often feel that I'm only as good as the last piece of writing I've done. The elation comes with the achievement and then it's a hard slog until the next time. It happens with my drawing too. I guess all creative people must feel the same.

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    1. I think that's part of my doubts, Maggie. I'm pleased with Firestarter and know it'll be a long, long time until I'm at this stage with another book.

      Come sooner if I get started, won't it?

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  17. Only you can answer those questions. Which one of those projects beacons to you the most? That's the one to do.

    After I finish one project, I move onto the one I know I need to do next. Sometimes I take a break to work on another that calls out to me but I always return to the one that's more important.

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    1. Maybe working on smaller projects is what's important to me now? I hadn't considered that possibility, Chrys.

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  18. Just dabble... Let your mind wander, try several projects. It's ok, not finish them. Follow whatever grabs you for the moment.

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    1. Thanks, Sylvia. Dabbling is just what I'm going to do for a while.

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  19. My next project when I get around to it will be to compile my short stories into book form.

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  20. Patsy, I sympathise. My problem is that since writing novels, I've pretty well lost my short story mojo. Short stories (magazine ones) don't give the freedom of novel writing - the vocabulary, subject matter. length...all mine to choose in a novel. I do write the odd short story, but my heart's no long in it, and I miss that.

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    1. I can see how a short story might feel restrictive, Frances. I still enjoy writing them - my latest couple have been very odd though, so maybe I'm rebelling?

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  21. I deal with whatever's speaking to me most, unless I'm being irresponsible about it or have something that is pressing for one reason or another. Good luck figuring it out!

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Thanks so much for commenting!