Day 2: Insecure Writer’s Support Group day

Today was one of those days where you acknowledge early on that writing simply cannot be your primary focus, and you just roll with it. I slept late, was out running errands for a couple of hours, and now that I’m home still have yet to eat or do other non-writing essentials that have to take priority. I’ll try to get my writing in later tonight, after I have an at-home date. 🙂

However, today also happens to be the first Wednesday of the month. In addition to being a date night and our cat Kinnie’s birthday, it is also “Insecure Writer’s Support Group” day, I very recently learned, a day when “Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak.” I added myself to the list and will visit other participants later today.

Today, I’d like to talk about thinking. My brain does not shut off. Ever. I have trouble sleeping because it doesn’t power down, or even relax…it just keeps going, and my only real choice is to attempt to direct it towards topics that distract me just enough that I can fall asleep without realizing it. Like long division, or character names.

Besides sleeping, though, it also causes problems with my writing. I don’t write well when I over-think it, but I don’t know how to think just the right amount. So when I wrote yesterday, and far exceeded my own goal for the day, I did so by not thinking about it. I mean, obviously I thought about what I was writing, but I refused to allow myself to think about what I was writing in any larger context.

I didn’t plan the next scene. I didn’t even consider the next scene until I was staring at the blank space where it needed to begin. And I tried not to look back at what I’d written before, because I don’t need to second-guess myself so soon. I feel like I can only do this if I trick myself into writing. It’s the writing version, I suppose, of putting your sneakers on while reassuring yourself that you don’t have to go for a jog, you’re just putting your sneakers on in case you decide to do so.

My worry now is that if I miraculously manage to keep up this strategy, I may have an actual draft by the time I am done. This will be a first, and an amazing one at that. But if the only way I can write is without facing it head on and deciding what should happen, then how can what I write be any good at all? What if I finish my first draft ever and can’t imagine making anything good out of it because I can’t write and think at the same time?

That’s my concern at this moment. Thanks for reading!

Today’s word count: 2,116

Total word count: 6,247

Today’s excerpt: When Audrey met Mel, the connection was immediate. Their power simply wanted to meld together, as though they weren’t people of their own who could choose for themselves. She had never felt at ease with someone so quickly. 

IWSG badge 2

You can read more about the IWSG, which I found through my Camp NaNo cabin, by clicking the banner above.

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Day 2: Insecure Writer’s Support Group day

18 thoughts on “Day 2: Insecure Writer’s Support Group day

  1. I am feeling just like you today about writing. Word count definitely TBD, though I’ve been blogging a lot, somehow I don’t feel that counts towards meeting my other writing goals. I too joined the IWSG today. What a great idea!

    1. Toni Travis says:

      I’m really happy to have found it today, it is a great idea. 🙂 I often wish that blogging did count, because if I work on a blog too much, I feel like I have used up all my writing energy but can’t count it. Thanks for your comment!

  2. I struggle with an overactive brain as well and it’s driving me crazy. I never seem to stop thinking and it’s only when I get to the point of complete exhaustion that I fall asleep. Over thinking can be a breeding ground for insecurities can’t it? The first NaNo that I did I had to try not to think about and just write. That’s how I ended up being able to write 5000 words a day and catching up after a week of sickness. It actually felt really good to eventually win and the funny thing is that when I looked back over what I’d written it wasn’t all bad. Sure there were things I needed to change but sometimes you do your best work when you silence your inner critic. What is good writing really? Now I just try to do the best writing that I can and that usually involves getting a critique partner to look at my writing so that I can take a step back from the work I’m so close to. Type away with abandon this month and let’s stick together next month for edits!

    1. Toni Travis says:

      That is probably the best strategy for me as well. I may be worried about what I’ll be left with at the end (what if it’s 60,000 words where nothing actually happens?!?!) but it’s better that I write it than give up. 🙂 We can do it!

  3. Hi Toni, I’m in the group too, and always try to visit new participants. Welcome to the group! I’m a bit of a ‘head’ person too. When I’m writing rough draft for a story, it becomes especially hard to sleep. I’ve had to learn a bunch of relaxation techniques in order to overcome it, because as you say, it becomes harder to write when you’re weary. Good luck with your book!

    1. Toni Travis says:

      Thank you for visiting! It is really comforting to feel less alone in the vast expanse of blogging. 🙂

  4. Best of Success with your writing project for July. I have been doing a personal NaNoWriMo for June/July. I just completed the third week (one more to go) and exceeded my 3/4 way quota by 1700 words.
    What I did different this time is the index card outline (a quick note for each scene.) I write one scene, file the card and move to the next scene. It’s working for me.
    Happy 4th of July

    1. Toni Travis says:

      Thank you! I’m feeling optimistic about this try. I hope to be able to utilize the index card method myself, once I have a better idea of what my story is. 🙂

  5. I feel for you. I have overactive thinking processes too. It’s hard to focus on one thing at a time.

    The best writing advice I ever heard was just to do it everyday. So that’s what I try to do. I’m not a fast writer – I wish I could just pull out of my head what I see there and put it all down in words, but it doesn’t work that way. Words are tough.

    1. Toni Travis says:

      That is really good advice that has always been the hardest for me to stick to. 🙂 I do believe that we get better with more practice, so I’ll keep at it until it gets easier. Thanks for your comment!

  6. I love the idea of NaNo in July. I hope your writing continues to flow as smoothly as it did yesterday. (Also saw your newest post. Love Rainbow Rowell. Fangirl really spoke to me, too.)

    1. Toni Travis says:

      It’s really working well for me so far, which is odd because I’ve never made it far in November. I love the cabins feature for Camp, though, it’s made me so much more engaged. And, thanks for mentioning that. I love that a new book exists that feels like it gets you, even if you don’t have much in common. 🙂

  7. First, welcome to the IWSG! You are in the right place.
    Obviously you aren’t a planner – pantsing it works best for you. If that’s working, run with it. Editing is different, so I don’t think that overthinking will hinder you there like it does during the first draft.

    1. Toni Travis says:

      Thanks! 🙂 We’re up to day 4 now and I’m about to hit 12k so I’m definitely sticking with pantsing it. I love the IWSG already, so thanks for helping it exist!

  8. You know what’s worse than thinking? Thinking about thinking. lol That’s an issue I actually had yesterday while in a rehearsal. I feel like more writing ideas do come to me when I’m not thinking about what story I can write next.

    You make a good point! And with draft 2, try to FEEL more than think, in my opinion. 🙂

    1. Toni Travis says:

      Thinking about thinking can put you in a vicious cycle, definitely. Thanks for the second draft advice! I think I’ll be much more capable of that once I have a story written, and then it’ll be a really good plan. 🙂

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