Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Strange Things Are Happening (An IWSG Post)

It's the first Wednesday of the month, which means it's time for another action-packed installment of the Insecure Writer's Support Group.

I'm assuming that, by now, you're already familiar with the IWSG, but if you happen to be new here (and welcome! if you are) or would just like more information and/or a complete list of participants, please click on the above link.

This month's co-hosts are: Tonja Drecker, Diane Burton, Rebecca Douglass, and some weirdo named M.J. Fifield.

Oh wait.

This month's (optional) question asks, "Win or not, do you usually finish your NaNo project? Have any of them gone on to be published?"

My answer: No, and no. As you can see on the sidebar, I've managed a few NaNo wins, but I have yet to actually complete a NaNo manuscript. I always seem to need a lot more than 50,000 words to do that. One of these days, I hope to both finish and publish one or two of them, but that day has yet to come.

Anyway, there's something else I wanted to talk/ramble about today—an exceptionally strange phenomenon that's only occurred one other time in recorded history (of this blog, anyway)...

I'm not feeling particularly insecure.

I know at this moment you're probably checking to see if hell has frozen over (insert M.J.-thinks-Florida-is-hell joke here), and I've certainly checked a time or two myself because it's just so damn odd. I am chronically insecure. I am chronically insecure about being insecure, and yet...here I am, not particularly insecure.

The last time this happened was about a month before my debut novel (fine, only novel), Effigy, was released. How I ever managed to be not insecure at any point leading up to that is absolutely beyond me, but it did happen. And here it is, happening again just as I am getting close(r) to releasing Novel #2.

But wait...it gets stranger.

As some of you may have seen on social media over the weekend, I had a moment while working on my "final" edits where I actually liked my book. And when I got to the end of that initial read-through—all 842 pages—there was only one scene (a short one, too!) that I deemed truly terrible and in need of some work. One. That's it. Just one.

And I don't know how to feel about that. (Besides, you know, suspicious...)

But I'm not particularly insecure. Sure, it's now November, and I will very likely being going yet another year without releasing this novel (Note to self: when you think you're ready to publish Novel #3, just go ahead and add two years to your estimate because that's how the first two went.), but that doesn't even seem to be bothering me as much as it normally would. It's almost like I've just accepted that this book will be done when it's done—and it (almost) doesn't matter how long it takes.

Curiouser and curiouser.

Who know how long this zen-like state will last (I'm honestly surprised it lasted long enough for me to write this post), but let's hope I can enjoy it a little while it's here.


All right, so that will do it for me. I'm off to be insecure about not being insecure...I mean, edit.

If you're taking part in NaNoWriMo, this month, best of luck to you!!

Thanks for stopping by today!

130 comments:

  1. Hooray for your zen!! I have a feeling it's going to last. Don't let the editing take it away. Good luck!!

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    1. Thank you, Julie! And honestly, I'm surprised the editing hasn't taken it away already. And now I'm knocking on wood so that I don't jinx anything. :)

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  2. Maybe you finally have peace with it, like you did with the first book. Just enjoy.

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    1. I'm trying to enjoy it, but...it's just so weird.

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  3. Yay for not feeling insecure and being in such a great spot with your writing!

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  4. Hey, what a great attitude. Keep it going. Smooth sailing ahead. Cherish these moments. Thank you for co-hosting.

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    1. I think you may be the very first person to say that I have a great attitude. Thanks for that!

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  5. I'm always suspicious when I feel anything but insecure about my own work, too. LOL. Your current state of zen seems very much deserved, though. Hope the feeling lasts a good long while for you!

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  6. I get suspicious as well, but just kick that feeling to the curb and run with security.
    Thanks for co-hosting today!

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    1. Do I actually have to run, though? Could I maybe just walk at a brisk pace? :)

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  7. Wow. Zen-like tranquility. That's wonderful! I understand your suspicion, I would be suspicious if I felt that way, too.
    Happy editing (if such a thing can be happy, this is just my way of saying best wishes).

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    1. I definitely think editing can be happy. It can be a great feeling to improve a story you really love. When they drag on and on and on, then maybe they become less happy and more tedious. :)

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  8. Thanks for co-hosting. It's great that you like this book. By the time I'm done with revising, editing, proofing, (rinse-repeat), I'm almost sick of the book. But then months/years later when I reread it, I enjoy it. And that's a wonderful feeling. Enjoy what you're doing, kick your insecurity to the curb (as Alex says) and get that book out there.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I am slightly sick of working on this book, which I think helps a little. I have yet to look at my first book, except for quick peeks once in a while when I have to double check some continuity thing for the sequel. I know if I do, I'll want to rewrite everything. :)

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    1. Thanks! It's proof that miracles do happen. :)

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  10. I envy your lack on insecurity. I have plenty right now.

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    1. I'll be sure to send it your way when I'm done with it. :)

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  11. Enjoy it. Revel in it! I go up and down about every single project I work on, and even after it's published. Thanks for co-hosting this month. :)

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    1. I've been going up and down on this project a lot lately. Usually the 'liking it' part doesn't last this long. We're in uncharted territory now!

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  12. You made me smile. Happy IWSG and thanks for hosting. Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

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  13. Wow, zen like tranquility is super. I wish I could channel that. Btw..Isnt 842 pages too big for one book? Or is it 2 books?

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    1. It's one book. One long book. And if it's too long for readers, that's their prerogative. I still wrote the book I wanted to write. And I think George R.R. Martin's last book was over 1000 pages, so at least I'm not breaking any records. :)

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  14. Enjoy the peace within you! And trust it. I'll bet that extra time to publication is what's causing it - because that time has made the books ready.

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    1. That is a nice way of looking at it. It may help me trust this feeling a little more.

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  15. I hope you hang onto that feeling forever. Way to go. I think it's just all your hard work is paying off.

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    1. This feeling is way too weird to hold onto forever! If it just lasts through publication, that would be okay. :)

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  16. Yay - eat that confidence with a spoon! Enjoy it even if it does turn out to be fleeting. Why does insecure get all the press - yippeeeeee for secure!

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    1. Yeah, eventually this feeling will flee. But it's nice while it lasts.

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  17. I love this post. Haven't we all worried because we weren't worried? I had the opposite experience of yours--where you read your story and found almost nothing wrong? I read mine that I've been working on for a score of years and hated every part of it.

    Sigh. Luckily, there's no give-up in me.

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    1. That hating every part of your story? That was me the first 10 months of the year and a good portion of last year, too. This liking it thing is super unusual for me.

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  18. I'm glad you're enjoying one of those rare events in a writer's life where everything is going well and you're not filled with anxiety over your writing. Shhh...don't talk too loud, or you'll scare it away! ;)

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  19. Thanks for co-hosting today, and may that feeling last forever! I don't always feel insecure, and sometimes on IWSG Day I like to focus on the positive. Have a good one!

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  20. Bask in this zen-like state for as long as you can!
    If it's any help, I'd like to remind you that Effigy is a wonderful story... and remember, I'm not really a reader of high fantasy...so there you have it.
    Thank you for co-hosting the IWSG blog hop today!
    Happy IWSG Day!

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    1. Thank you, Michelle. That's very kind!

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  21. 842 pages!! OH MY. I am such an under writer. I'm always going back to add more detail. It's okay to like your book. I love some of the ones I'm working on.

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    1. The potentially scary thing is, I had to go back and add more detail to this book. I'm always lite on that in the first draft.

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  22. Enjoy it while it lasts! And, congrats on finishing your novel. I hope you send it out sooner, rather than later, and that it gets a full acceptance!
    Thanks for co-hosting IWSG this month.
    Mary at Play off the Page

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    1. Well, considering that I am my publisher, there's a decent chance that I'll accept it...but I suppose stranger things have happened. :)

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  23. No kidding, 842 pages? More power to you, and good luck with the editing. That's great--only one small scene. Gosh! I wish I could get that far.

    Thanks for co-hosting IWSG this month!

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    1. Yes, 842 pages. And I lost quite a few pages in between drafts, too.

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  24. "And I don't know how to feel about that. (Besides, you know, suspicious...)" LOL. I totally get that -- when the final round of edits come around and I've gotten over almost-hating my book to actually liking it, it always feels weird. Good luck with finishing it and getting it published :-)

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  25. LOL...insecure about not being insecure... Take it and run with it, eh? You know, without my developmental editor, my writing process takes for ever. When he's on board, it's not so bad. Maybe you're still figuring out your dream configuration for writing. Still 842 pages is like two to three books in one, so... Twice to three times that of an average novel?

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    1. Which makes sense, and I tell myself that. I still hate that it's taken so long, though.

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  26. Woot woot! Hooray for not feeling insecure!

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  27. I love the fact that you're not insecure anymore. There's something about working through our fears that give us confidence.
    Thank you so much for co-hosting and all the best.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

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    1. I'm not insecure at the moment. I'm sure it'll come around again soon enough. :)

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  28. Reading this post gave me just the warmest feeling. Keep spreading that around, would ya? Write on, in your own time ;-)

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  29. I'd say you are in one fine place right now! Enjoy the heck out of it and I'll just slink away and be jealous of your Zen security.

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    1. No, no—don't be jealous! Man, now I feel bad!

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  30. Enjoy it! Bask in it. Set up a snow cone stand in Hell and stick around until you get squatters rights and the imps want to franchise. I hope that's how long the feeling lasts for you. And congrats on the imminent release of your second book, that's awesome. Thanks for co-hosting this month!

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    1. I bet I could do well with a snow cone stand in Hell. Well, so long as it doesn't actually freeze over...

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  31. Keep thinking zen thoughts! It sounds like you're doing awesome. Love it :)

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  32. Congratulations of achieving alignment with security. Rare as it is, it's important you chose this opportunity to document the event by sharing with fellow writers. Life is curious, I agree. Thank you for co-hosting 1 Nov. IWSG. Your contribution is very much appreciated.

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    1. It happens so rarely that I figured I should definitely document it. I'm sure things will be back to normal next month. :)

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  33. I love that your confidence is bubbling over. It's a sign that you've made it as an author.

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    1. 'Bubbling over' feels like too strong a phrase, but there was at least a mild rise in the sea levels. :)

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  34. You're not MJ...you're a pod person!!! lol Yay for not being insecure. I'll ask you how you'll feeling on November 18th for the book event. :P

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    1. *you're feeling...you know what I mean.

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    2. I AM a pod person! That's what I've been saying!

      And on the 18th, I'll probably be hiding under my table, so look for me there. :)

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    1. I've always thought of it as being stubborn. I like the sound of patience.

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  36. This is good. Apparently this is how you get before sending a book into the world. And don't worry, I'm sure you'll be feeling insecure again once you've got the thing released. (I mean that to be comforting, but it's not sounding that way...)

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    1. Hahaha—it was taken as comforting. :)

      Thank you!

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  37. Here's to continuing the zen! Books like to have their own timeline and don't particularly pay much attention to what we mere writers want. Heh.

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    1. You'd think that by now I would know and accept that books don't care what their authors want, or when they want it.

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  38. Yay! May your non-insecurity last and last!

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  39. It's good to feel content once in a while. Positive feelings boost your health. Cling to them. We all need to cultivate zen in our lives. Unfortunately, insecurities keep intruding on our happiness. Questions plague us. So we write to answer them, right?

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    1. I think we all need a little zen in our lives, especially these days!

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  40. Yay for this strange phenomenon! It must mean that the book is getting really good. You've worked so hard on it after all.

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    1. I am working hard. Don't know if that means the book is any good, though. (I am me, after all...)

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  41. Wow!! Wallow in this being secure about insecurity. I mean really enjoy that feeling. Is it because you already have Novel #1 under your belt and know you can do it? Because, you can, you know. Best of luck getting #2 ready and published!
    JQ Rose

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    1. I didn't think of that. I just keep thinking that it's been so long since the first book came out that I don't remember anything about the actual process. This time, I shall take copious notes.

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  42. Yay for not being insecure this month! That is always a good thing. I'm the exact opposite right now as I get ready to release my second novel. Strange days ahead for me.

    Good luck with NaNo. I'm a wordy person, so I doubt my novel will be complete in 50k if I even hit 50k this month. We shall see.

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    1. I'm sure that as I get closer to actually hitting that 'publish' button that I will become less and less secure about things. This is the calm before the storm, I think.

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  43. Take the Zen where you can find it!!! :)
    Yay for you and I bet it means the book is working!

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  44. I gather strength in the fall and winter and am right there with you on the Zen of the season. Great that you moving right along with edits of your next not debut book! Thanks for hosting today. Somehow your link fell off my post, but it's there now.

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    1. I'm much more comfortable in fall and winter. I should definitely be gathering whatever zen I can this time of year.

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  45. That's wonderful and I hope that zen-like state stays with you! I'm so insecure right now, I'm actually thinking of hibernating. ;) Thanks for co-hosting this month. Best of luck with the book!

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    1. Insecure to the point of hibernation...I've been there. Hope you find your way out soon!

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  46. Thank you for the smile. I enjoyed your post very much and I wish you the best in your writing endeavors. Thank you also for being a host this month :)

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  47. Replies
    1. I'm pretty sure that's the first time anyone has ever said that to me. :)

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  48. Congrats on your secure feelings. Not so much for me this month.

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    1. Sorry to hear that, Susan. Hope you find your own zen-like state soon!

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  49. Enjoy the moment of peace and see if you keep those demons under wraps! Congrats! @mirymom1 from
    Balancing Act

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  50. Strange things are afoot at the Circle-K!

    Okay...let's not panic. And don't worry about the time. I can't even tell you how long I've been working on Book 3 now. It's crazy stupid. It's like..forever!

    Best wishes on all that comes next!
    Heather

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    1. I do love a good Bill & Ted reference!

      And I am trying not to panic or worry about time. It's just hard not to dwell on that some times.

      Best wishes to you, too—I'm looking forward to reading Book 3 when it's released!

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  51. Congrats on your NaNo wins! I'm looking forward to participating some day. Thank you for co-hosting.
    Best,
    Adrienne

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    1. NaNo is a crazy thrill ride. I can't wait until I can participate again. Maybe next year.

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  52. You make an important distinction between "winning" NaNo and actually finishing the manuscript. I've got two NaNo wins with two novels that I might finish some day.

    Sounds like you're in a happy writing place. I wish I could say something similar. Keep up the good work.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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    1. I'm holding out hope that I'll finish two of my NaNo projects someday. There was another that was an interesting idea/experiment, but I don't think it'll ever go anywhere else.

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  53. Woo-hoo for not being insecure! There are times where I just let it all wash over me and know it's going to be fine, and then days I obsess over all the details.

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    1. Yeah, I'm usually obsessing over all the details—real or imagined—but every now and then, this happens. *shrugs*

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  54. Congrats on a momentary lapse of writer insecurity! I hope it lasts a good while. I could use one of those for a good... rest of my life. ;)

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  55. Sounds like you're in a great place, both in your career and in your mind. May the words flow freely onto the page for you. Happy writing during this NaNoWriMo, and if you're looking for another writing buddy, you can find me over there as KassyMarin. Thanks for the post! :)

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    1. Thanks, Kathy. Best of luck to you this NaNo season!

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  56. A lot of writers finish one book, then never get around to writing another. The fact that you have a second book that you actually like is just telling you that you've arrived. Enjoy it while it lasts. The third book will probably feel like such a hurdle you'll be able to swim in your insecurities again.

    Thanks for co-hosting this month's IWSG post.

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    1. Oh yeah, the third book is already a problem, and I'm only 200 pages into it. Lots of insecurity potential to be found there. :)

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  57. I can assure you that Hell hasn't frozen over. That doesn't happen until December. It depends on the weather here in Michigan. (For those of you who don't know, there is literally a town in MI called Hell. I've been there. Twice.)

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    1. Oh! I did actually know that. I've never been there, but I have heard of it. Good to know that it hasn't frozen over. Yet, anyway... :)

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  58. What this means is it's time for you to publish the dang thing already!! I need to read it!

    Next time we plan a trip to FL, we WILL do lunch! which coast are you on?? I went to HS in WPB

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    1. Yes! Let's do lunch when you're in Florida again! I'm on the East Coast, north of WPB, but not too terribly far. :)

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  59. Yay for no insecurity! Enjoy it while it lasts and congrats on the upcoming release!

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  60. Zen-like-states are the best. Heres to it being long-lasting! :)

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    1. It's already lasted a pretty long time. Would it be selfish to wish it to last even longer? :)

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  61. Don't question it. Just enjoy it. lol Thanks for co-hosting!

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  62. Not being insecure is a good thing! I'm not feeling particularly insecure this month either. Probably because I'm excited about starting a new novel and series. :-D

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    1. I love the feeling I get when I'm starting a new novel/series. So much excitement, so little time!

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  63. Enjoy your zen. I'm impressed that your edits are going so well. I usually am so sick of my book by that point that I don't want to see it ever again.

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  64. Thank you for co-hosting this month. I'm glad to hear that you are feeling pretty good right now. It's nice to see others not being insecure; it gives the rest of us some hope. I like your thinking. The third in my series will be done when it's done.

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  65. At least it's a little more exciting than mine. I'm generally always neck deep in self-inflicted projects, both writing and not writing related, and whenever November rolls around I look at the prospect of NaNoWriMo and just start laughing in hysterical terror at trying to add one more full plate to the mix.

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  66. It's good to be at a zen place.
    I too have "won" NaNo before but haven't finished my book yet. *Fist pump!*

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  67. I remember writing a similar post while I was taking pat in IWSG, once. It felt strange, and liberating, to admit it. But it's a really good place to be, accept it and revel in it. And good luck with that scene!

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