Wednesday, June 28, 2017

The Plan

As you have perhaps deduced from this post's title, I have a plan.

I know I don't exactly have the best track record with plans, or following through with them, or sometimes even starting them, but this time shall be different.

I know there's no real reason to think that this time shall be different from any other time because this blog is nothing if not a well-documented account of each and every one of my failed plans, but somehow that never seems to stop me from creating a new one.

I have only failed on the day I stop trying. Right, Nathan Fillion?


So. The Plan. Next week, maybe, I shall tell you the inspiration behind The Plan (it'll depend on my mood), but today is all about The Plan itself. It's probably going to look just like one of my monthly goal lists, but here we go:

The Plan

1. Stick Full Circle (Book #3 in my fantasy series) on the shelf.

After a fast and furious start, I've kind of stalled out on this project. I'm disappointed, but not surprised. I have to do some thinking and revising of the plot to try to reconcile a few issues I've been having with it, and I believe I shall have greater luck with this if this project is not my main focus (And if you're currently thinking, "Gee, M.J., you know you haven't published Book #2 yet, right?" the answer is yes, I do know this, and I am working on it. It may not be reflected in this particular plan, but I am working on it. I swear.). So it's going on the shelf. For now. It won't stay there indefinitely. There are two characters with whose story line I'm pretty obsessed. This book will be finished if for no other reason than those two.

2. Find an illustrator.

I've mentioned before my desire to one day publish a book of the work-themed, somewhat sarcastic haiku I wrote during my job at The Store. And I am currently inspired to try to accomplish this goal sooner rather than later. So, I have half a plan for it (a plan within the plan, if you will), and that half a plan requires an illustrator. I've started to do some preliminary research for this, and I'm excited by the prospect. I think it could be fun.

3. Write a new novel.

As I mentioned in part one of The Plan, Full Circle can't be my main focus, which means I need something else on which to focus, and that is a new novel. Well, an old half-finished project that I've been essentially ignoring since 2009. Essentially the same thing, right? Anyway, I've pulled it out of the archives and will be attempting to whip it into shape. It was supposed to be a romance novel, but it turned out that I am about as good as writing a happy love story as I am on following through with plans. One of my critique partners said she didn't want my hero and heroine to spend anymore time together, which (and correct me if I'm wrong) is probably not the feedback one wants when one is striving to write a romance. But I still really like the characters, so I'm going to give their story another go.

4. Write this new novel in a month.

Which means it's time for another action-packed installment of...

That's right—in order to help me reach my new-novel goal (or at least give it a nice kick-start), I shall be participating in next month's Camp NaNoWriMo session. It's been a while since I've done NaNoWriMo in any way, shape, or form, and it's always a good time. (Almost always...) I'm really looking forward to giving it another go.

So that's The Plan. We'll see how long it lasts. Let's just hope that this:

doesn't turn into any kind of Jessie Spano-type meltdown.

But I'm sure that'll be fun too.

So, what's going on in your neck of the woods? Any romance authors out there have any tips for me?

Have a great Wednesday, everyone. See y'all next time.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

You Call It Quitting, I Call It Stopping (An IWSG Post)

Hello, all!

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

Once again, I am assuming that all who visit this blog are already familiar with the IWSG and all that it does, but for anyone needing or wanting for information, including a complete list of participants, please click on the above link.

This month's amazing co-hosts are: JH Moncrieff, Madeline Mora-Summonte, Jen Chandler, Megan Morgan, and Heather Gardner.

This month's (optional) question asks, "Did you ever say 'I quit'? If so, what happened to make you come back to writing?"

I quit a lot. Yearly. Monthly. Weekly. Daily. Even hourly, on occasion.

Because there are days when I can't remember how to construct a sentence. There are days when any sentence I do construct would make a Dick and Jane story look sophisticated. Yesterday, it took me eight hours to write a single paragraph that was only two lines long. There are days when I can't even manage that much. And there are a lot of days when I can't stop thinking that I simply cannot do this writing thing.

So I quit.

I plan to run away and join the circus (even though I have absolutely no skills that could be useful in a circus environment). I plan to be a tap dancer (even though I can't dance). I plan to go back to retail. I plan to do anything other than be a writer (even if my only even remotely marketable skill involves precision folding).

But then—and this is the most important part, I think—I pick up my pen and go back to work.

Because, love it or hate it, writing is what I do.

For anyone who wondered, the title of today's post came from an episode of Survivor. I don't remember the season, but there was this one contestant who decided to quit the game. I think he was the first contestant to just outright quit the game. When pressed by Jeff Probst about his decision, the contestant replied, "You call it quitting, I call it stopping." Which, for some reason, became an oft-quoted line in our household. It just seemed to fit this post.

Of course, it's possible that no one wondered where the title of today's post came from. If that's the case, sorry—my bad.

So what about you? Are you a quitter (or a stopper)? What do you do afterward?

Thanks for stopping by today!