Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Insecure Writers: Saying No and Cheering Anyway

It's the first Wednesday of the month, so it's time for The Insecure Writers! The IWSG is an online group created by Alex J. Cavanaugh for writers. You, too, can join us anytime!


Happy IWSG, everyone, but also, happy first day of the A-Z Challenge! To use last week's metaphor, this is the starting line of one very long, challenging, amazing, inspiring, and exhausting marathon of a month. For the uninitiated (and are there any people who don't know what this is anymore?), bloggers who pick up the thrown gauntlet of the challenge must post every day for the month of April (except Sundays), with each post corresponding to a sequential letter of the alphabet, and revolving around a theme.

To all of you brave participants out there, I send my heartfelt congratulations and best wishes. You're all going to kill it, I know it, and I'll be here cheering you on from the sidelines.

Yes, from the sidelines. I feel a little wimpy saying that, but here's the deal: I did the challenge last year, and while I had fun, and learned a lot, and loved meeting so many other new bloggers, it took up a ton of time. And that's the problem.

Time, you see, is one commodity I never have enough of. And when my time gets cut short, one of the first things to suffer is my writing - because unfortunately, the day job pays the bills, and it doesn't do that so well when I take time off to blog or write.

When I signed up for the challenge last year, I was naive enough to think that as long as I planned it all in advance, it wouldn't take up too much of my time, and I'd still be able to write. After about two days I realized how ridiculous that thought was. It wasn't the posts that ate up my time - it was all of the visits! Every day! And I loved those visits, and couldn't bring myself to cut them short, and as a result I got very little actual writing done. So this year, I'm a little older, and a little wiser, and I know just can't do that again for another whole month. So this year, I am bowing out - gracefully or not - to devote more time to writing.

Do I feel insecure, and wimpy and sad and a little pathetic about that? YOU BET I DO. Is it going to stop me? Well, no, it's not.

So, my brave A-Z friends, I really do salute you - but I also want to salute anyone who, like me, is deciding that it's OK to miss the fun, and to prioritize other things. Because saying no is hard, darn it. I'm still learning how to do it.

Are you A-Zing it this year? If not, why not?

33 comments:

  1. This is my second time on the A-Z challenge - the first was 2012, and it took me that long to steal myself for it again. It does take a lot of time! You won't be short of blog posts to read this month :-)

    ReplyDelete
  2. It is definitely an endeavor, as I learned from last year! You shouldn't feel bad or insecure at all! I bowed out, and feel fine about it. There's always next year...or the year after... when you DO have time!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Congrats to you to focus on your writing. You are right about visiting and it does take up allot of time. I am doing the A to Z but I am not writing anything. I just have to put cleaning the house and chores on the back burner-oh well:) I will have to have deaf ears regarding my hubby saying "You on the computer again?" "Yes I am, now go away" will be my reply:) Enjoy your writing and hopefully the snow has been slowly disappearing but not in anyone's basement

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Darn, it's so sad when I can't clean my house... ;) Nope, no snow in the basement! Fingers crossed.

      Delete
  4. I'm with you -- I get every single word of this. I think a lot of us are coming to this conclusion, actually.

    A couple weekends ago I saw a girl I know who's going to school in Boston. Thinking of your blogposts, I asked her about the winter. She waved her hand, and at first I thought she meant to indicate that it was no big deal (she grew up in tough Midwest winters, after all) but then she said "No! I did that because it was so bad I can't even talk about it!" Then she went on to talk about it quite hilariously (complete with visuals) for several minutes. I hope you're enjoying the thaw!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL, that's awesome. Yes, we are all enjoying the thaw!! It's slow - we're still having way below average temperatures - but it's happening!

      Delete
  5. I'm doing the Challenge, but this isn't a very idle time for me to do it. I just moved this Sunday. I have two ebooks coming out in April/May and a blog tour coming up. But I;m going to muscle on. :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. I can understand this totally, you shouldn't feel bad about it. I am not doing A-Z either, one of the main reasons is time constraints. If I am signing up to something I want to do it well and I just know I could never keep up with the daily posting and visits that I would need to fit around work/home. I do try and dip into posts and support my blogger buddies though.

    Best wishes
    Suzanne (IWSG co-host)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Good for you figuring out your limits, Liz! I have never done A to Z, and while I am tempted to at times, I just can't juggle it time-wise. Like you, I wouldn't be able to write (or do much of anything else), and writing feeds my soul.
    I hope you have a very productive month writing!

    ReplyDelete
  8. That's very true--even if you plan all of your posts ahead, there are so much time used up with visiting other blogs! It's probably going to be an exhausting month! I think I mostly wanted to do it this year because I completely winged the whole thing last year and wanted to have a theme and plan ahead this time. Plus it's a lot of fun :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. I was going to call you all those names for not joining this year but you beat me to it. Seriously, it is a lot of work even when prepared ahead of time. And your posts last year were really great and I'm sure time consuming. I'll miss you this year but I'm pretty sure A to Z what how I met you and added you to my favorite blogger list.

    ReplyDelete
  10. You are correct - it's the visiting that takes the time. (Although I did pour a lot of time into my posts before it began.) I don't even want to scare people with how much time I will be online today...

    ReplyDelete
  11. I'm right there with you! Need to post my ISWG - will do so soon. I'm going to bow out of A-Z'ing again this year because wooooo, is it a doozy and I'm not mentally prepared for it. LOL So I'll be visiting everyone else's blog along with you!

    ReplyDelete
  12. No way would I survive the A to Z challenge right now. I'm a slow enough writer as it is. Perhaps one day, after I've published something. In the meantime, you and I can keep working on our books.

    ReplyDelete
  13. This is my second A to Z. I did one, then bowed out for two years. I just finished a manuscript, so I am giving myself a tiny writer break during this challenge. Maybe that will keep it fun and manageable.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I'm actually a little sad to be sitting out the challenge this year, but I've done the past 2 years and I'm just too busy right now with other projects. The challenge is a lot of fun, but also a lot of work! And I didn't always feel I was getting as much out of it as I was putting in. Maybe next year . . .

    ReplyDelete
  15. Yep, I did it two years in a row and loved it, but I just haven't had the time to commit to it again. You pretty much have to blow off the entire month of April to participate. And not just because YOU'RE blogging everyday, but also because you really do have to go and visit EVERYONE ELSE too if you don't want to be a dick. So…yeah, it's a big commitment.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly. I didn't want to be a dick, so I visited and didn't have time to write. (And I do love that you just used that word, and gave me a chance to use it back!)

      Delete
  16. Hey Liz: ditto.

    I really thought about doing the challenge (I have never done it) but then I was like "well that sounds like it would eat up a lot of time. My writing can't suffer. No, no." And that was the end of that. But for people who go for it, I think it's awesome and definitely *quite* the feat.

    Anyway, I'm hanging back on the sidelines with you. It's cool. We can hand out cups of water when they pass by.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Thanks for the backing out salute, my friend. I too, don't have the time this year. I plan on doing some visiting, but just couldn't spare the time to really apply myself fully to the atoz.

    I even reverted back to a re-run (one of your favorites) for today to try and ease me back in. We'll see how far I get.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I did the same thing last year, bowed out, and it was awesome. I started my sequel, which I finished during Nanowrimo, and it was exactly what I needed. Don't feel bad. This year, I am only doing A-Z 'cuz I am not really doing any writing anyway, so at least it forces me to write something, even if it's only blog posts. I know you are going to do something awesome this April and I can't wait to hear about it.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I'll certainly miss you in the Challenge :). Of course real life and writing have to come before blogging. And for the record, I think it's really smart to know when you can't sacrifice the first two for the third.

    ReplyDelete
  20. You're not wimping out. Time is precious. The only way I can do it is by doing it as a group.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Same here! I did it once and it was fantastic. The visiting, which is grand as you said, takes all the time and squat gets done elsewhere. Every year now, I take April off and try to focus on writing.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Don't feel bad, Liz! You have to do what you feel is best. I'm one of those crazy people who gets up before work to write (5 am), so the challenge isn't interfering with my writing time. I'll visit when I can and other than that, I just want to have fun blogging about stuff other than writing for a change and meeting new people. We'll see if I last, lol.

    ReplyDelete
  23. There's something to be said for cheering other people on from the sidelines while you focus on your own priorities! I'm doing the same thing; my books have to come first, before challenges like this, but it's still a whole lot of fun to see what everyone else is doing.

    Happy April!

    ReplyDelete
  24. I'm with you on this one; I'm not doing the challenge, mostly because I don't know if I could have something for every single day. >_< And while I do have plenty of time nowadays, I still never seem to have enough to do everything I want to do. Gah!

    ReplyDelete
  25. I'm not doing the challenge, but this post is tempting me to try it next year if the powers that be allow.

    Ha ha ha. Just say no! Love.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I just tweeted something similar today for all those brave bloggers.

    I'm not A-Zing. I couldn't possibly blog every single day. Totally agree with this whole post. I'll visit as many blogs as I can this month but I know I won't get to them all. Still...cheering with pom-poms over here. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  27. Yes, time is hard to come by (especially in April for me). I enjoy the challenge, but have ducked out this year and last year. Maybe next year will be different, but I'm not sure.

    ReplyDelete
  28. wanted to do it so badly, but this was the exact reason I couldn't :( just don't have the time! it sucks though, because it seems so fun.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Yes, need to take time to write too.

    ReplyDelete