Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Insecure Writers: Choosing Your Life, and Cover Reveal for 25 Roses!

NOTE: It's the first Wednesday of the month, so it's time for The Insecure Writers! For those who don't remember, it's an online group created by Alex J. Cavanaugh for writers. You, too, can join us anytime!

Hey, look - I MADE IT! The A to Z Challenge is over, and I'm alive!! I know that sounds a bit melodramatic, but frankly, I had my doubts. When we hit the letter 'N', and I realized we had only just made it past the halfway point, I did fear for my sanity. That was a dark day...

BUT, I made it - we made it! It was a fantastic experience, and truthfully, the only reason I wouldn't do it again is that my writing time did suffer.

And that, of course, is what my ISWG post is about today. I've learned, very much the hard way, that I constantly have to fight to protect that precious writing time. Yes, there are demands from family and friends and work, but in all honesty, there's one person who is constantly trying to take that time away, who drives me crazy with too many demands, and who seems to think I'm a superhero who can manage everything with grace and perfection and good cheer and never ever need to sleep:

ME.

Dastardly, aren't I? Indeed, I'm my own worst enemy, and boy am I clever at it. I'm constantly finding new, ingenious ways to take away from the time I value the most. I might even say that I'm a bit of an evil genius about it.

Why, you ask, do I do this to myself, when I need and value my writing time so highly?

Good question. REALLY good question, actually. And I'm trying to stop. Really, truly, all joking aside for a moment, trying to stop. I am, as I told my friend the New Messiah a couple of weeks ago, constantly reminding myself that I have to choose my life.

It's that simple: choosing my life, rather than letting it choose me. Choosing to pursue writing, and protecting that time fiercely, tirelessly; choosing my passion and my ambition and my love, and not letting all of life's small details and demands and obligations drown me. I believe it's a constant, conscious act. It's hard sometimes, but it's well worth it.

So, that's what I want to offer today, IWSG-ers: choose your life. Choose your writing. Protect it, make time for it, believe in its value. I can't wait to see what you create.

And now, without further ado...

May I insist that you all go over to Stephanie Faris's blog, and check out her gorgeous new COVER? Here's a little info on the book, 25 Roses, just to get you revved up for your visit:
Valentine's Day means one thing at Stanton Middle School: students will send each other chocolate roses. Each year, Mia Hartley watches while the same group of students gets roses and everyone else is left out. This year, she decides things will be different. As the student assigned to write names on the cards, Mia purchases 25 roses and writes her own cards, designating them to 25 people she's personally chosen. But she soon learns that playing matchmaker is much more complicated than she thought it would be.

Seriously, go check it out!!

64 comments:

  1. Choosing your life - what a great way to look at it. I am taking the rest of May off from blogging because my writing time suffered so much in April. Now if I feel guilty about that break I will remember it's about choosing my life! :)

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    1. No guilt - take the month off, and ENJOY it!!! Good for you! Maybe I'll do the same...

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  2. I definitely grabbed mine with both hands and tossed it out there. Time will tell if that was a good decision or not. LOL

    So, Liz... I hear you gave a certain writing buddy of ours some public speaking advice. Care to share that with the rest of the group? :P

    Seriously. Would you do a post on that or something? We introverts who tremble with fear and trepidation of post-pub public appearances could sure use it. :)

    IWSG #224 until Alex culls the list again.

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    1. Ah, yes! I will do a post on pubic speaking. I actually intended to do one for this month's IWSG, but I got sidetracked ;) Next week!

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  3. Great way to look at things--it's so easy to blame circumstances when we don't write, but it really is our choice to put other things first.

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    1. Yup, it is. It helps to remember that - but also to be gentle with ourselves, too!

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  4. Yeahhhhh, I'm getting close to having to carve out sacred writing time again---I go in bouts and haven't done any hard-core writing for a while so I'm starting to get twitchy. Thanks for the encouragement and permission to chuck other lifely things aside to do it. .

    Stephanie's cover is adorable.

    And I second Melissa's suggestion about a post w/ public speaking wisdoms..

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    1. LOL, 'twitchy' is a perfect word for it. That's how I started to feel at the end of April.

      Next week, public speaking, I promise!

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  5. Thank you for the mention! Any time I catch myself putting off writing I tell myself exactly what it is: fear. That deep-down insecurity never really goes away, no matter how long we write. We fear this will be the day when everything we write is pure crap! I've found just making myself sit down and shut out all the noise helps, but the fear is always there.

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    1. Of course! My pleasure :) You're so right about the fear being a big part of it, and I agree - sitting and writing helps shut it up.

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  6. Great post, Liz! I felt the same way towards the end of A to Z--it was eating away at my time to do anything else and my writing and querying suffered. While it was a great experience, I'm glad to be back to writing. It is such a great feeling! I choose writing!!

    Also, I tagged you in a writing process post (sorry to add one more thing!). It is basically like a blog hop where you post about your writing process, what you're working on, how you receive inspiration, etc. If you visit my blog, you'll see what I mean. :)

    Good luck with the renewed sense of writing! :)

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    1. Yay! Me, too!!

      Thanks for the tag! I promise I will get to it... but it might take a little while :)

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  7. Yes! Take charge!

    It comes down to priorities. Like those people who say they'd write a novel if they had time...well, really they have the same amount of time as you and I. It's just how we choose to spend it.

    I've noticed "writing prompts" creeping into my life, ones that I will help me, but I don't want to do. I'd rather be writing on my novel, not a flash fiction piece developing character. I think to myself, "stop taking away my writing time with this writing."

    And really, I still think you're a super hero.

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    1. Good point - we've written novels because we prioritized. You're right; and we just have to keep on prioritizing, LOL.

      Hey, thanks! You're a superhero, too!

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  8. That's a great way to look at things. I usually feel like it's other things keeping me from writing, when most of the time it's actually myself.

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    1. Yup. Other things do get in the way, of course, but we almost always get to choose whether or not we let them - and how often.

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  9. Sometimes I blame my family and work for slowing down my writing, but eventually II realize it all comes down to me and the choices I make. I am getting better about writing these days.

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  10. Oh, yes. So true. We need to make time for the writing.

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  11. We can only blame ourselves! Insert maniacal laughter here.
    We can chose to focus or choose to go crazy.

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    1. LOL, sometimes we do both - she says with maniacal laughter... ;)

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  12. Good for you that you choose your life and decide to spend it how you want to. Too many people go by what others want and at one's own detriment. I love stephanie's book cover too and nice that you detailed it here too. Happy writing!

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  13. What a great bit of advice. I have an evil genius living here too.

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  14. Great post! I've been realizing too that it's only me that gets in the way of my writing. It's so much easier to do all the things I do to procrastinate than to do the hard work of writing.

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    1. Unfortunately, too true. Why is procrastination always easier, darn it?

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  15. I definitely hear you about securing writing time, and that makes me glad I have few outside obligations. I have had to explain to people that I don't pick up the phone when I'm writing, though. Not everyone understood or appreciated that. >_<

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    1. Oh heck yes. I've had to teach my loved ones that just because I'm not t my day job doesn't mean I'm not working. It took a while...

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  16. Yes! We have to protect our writing time, even if it means telling people no sometimes. And that cover is just too darling!

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  17. I did the challenge once, ONCE. I vowed to never do it again (and I didn't even follow the rules of posting every day -- yeah, I cheated).

    Congrats for finishing, but I'm with you, my writing time declined and I was exhausted. I haven't touched my WIP for several months now.

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    1. Yeah...I may follow in your footsteps and not do it again, either . We'll see - I say that now...

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  18. Congrats on the challenge. It looks very intense.

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  19. I love Stephanie's cover.

    I guard my writing time and I'll become a snarling beast if anyone gets between me and my writing, lol.

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    1. LOL, yes! That's what I need to do.

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  20. Since I prepared, I actually enjoyed the Challenge. And thanks for the tidbit about choosing life in your own pursuits...

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  21. Ahh, so many times you take the words right out of my mouth. I say these things, but then I don't follow through. That truly is the devastatingly hard part about it. I'm glad you're taking your writing seriously. You should, since you're very good at it!

    (And thanks for the link back!)

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    1. Thanks, Ava - and so are you!! And of course; I'm glad you noticed that little hidden link :)

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  22. SUCH a good thing to remember! (Because I totally know about how creative I can get to not get any writing time in. I don't even want to look at see when the last time I opened my WIP was.... :).

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    1. Ugh, I hate that! I hope you have time to work on it soon!

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  23. I have to agree, writing time is hard to protect.

    And the girl in that book sounds like trouble!

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  24. OK I had to find it! What am I talking about? The El Dorado episode that I mentioned in the A to Z challenge! It is from an episode from "Treasures Decoded". One can find the episode right at their sight and they talked about El Dorado and that is what I watched:)

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  25. You're absolutely right. We have to protect our writing time. If it was easy, everybody would do it. May seem like everybody's already doing it, but those of us in it for the long haul will succeed because we take it seriously and make time for it. Choose well, Jedi Liz.

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    1. Thank you, Jedi Milo :) You're so right though; it's that choice over the long term that will help us succeed.

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  26. It's definitely important to keep finding time to write. It gets challenging with all the things that go on in life.

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  27. I just have no idea where to carve out the time for writing at the moment. Great post.

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    1. I hate it when that happens. It's hard!

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  28. I felt I was losing my sanity, too, Liz.
    I don't think I'd do it again, and it's true that the writing does suffer. It's not easy to find the time when there's so much to do, yet the writing is one of the important things - and it keeps us sane!

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    1. I'm with you. It's good to know I'm not the only one!

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  29. I am right there with you dude. The queen of self-sabotage. I'm working on it and getting better at prioritizing writing time, but sometimes it's still a struggle. Which is weird, really, because I always feel better after I've written so you'd think it would be easy to make it a priority... You'd think...

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    1. That IS the weird part, isn't it? Exercise seems to work the same way...

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  30. Oh, yes, controlling our lives rather than having it control us is very important. Great post!

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  31. Congrats on finishing A-Z, Liz! :D

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  32. Sorry I'm so late visiting your IWSG post. I can totally relate to this because I almost gave up blogging entirely after last years A-Z. It wasn't my own posts that drove me mad, but trying to keep up with all the comments and reading other blogs. Scale back the blog a bit and write, write, write.

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    1. I am SO with you - I felt exactly the same. I loved finding so many great blogs, but it was way too much to keep up with.

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