I’m still posting my writing production there in the left sidebar. How am I doing at the half-year mark? Not as well as I’d like.
At the end of 2015, my writing broke down like this:
- 83% Blog
- 39% Fiction
- 78% Non-Fiction
At this point in 2016, the numbers are decidedly skewed toward non-fiction.
- 46% Blog
- 79% Fiction
- 74% Work in progress
- 01% Non-Fiction
My blog postcount is sort-of up, but my word production is down. Last year, I averaged 4 posts per month for the year, but 6 for the second half of the year, when I was actively participating in #MondayBlogs. This year I’m averaging 6.8 posts per month now, but my wordcount as a percentage of my total is down.
The Fiction category includes any short fiction I’m writing, like short stories for contests or submission or whatever. It also includes the shorts that I’m writing around my novels. I’ve planned four short stories for The Sad Girl universe, and one done and another planned for Red Dirt Justice. But I haven’t written anything on any of those since early May, and I’ve only done about 3,200 words in that category for the year. That’s realistically only about one story. The original Sad Girl short was 2,800, and I did that in a few weeks.
The Work In Progress category (we “writers” say WIP to sound fancy) isn’t looking much better. I’m at 6,600 words there, and that’s bits and pieces of writing, mostly in Book 3 of The Sad Girl. None of my writing sessions there have been really stunning. The most I’ve written in any week was 1,600, and that was back in January. When I was at speed with The Sad Girl and Don’t Stop Believing, I’d hit that on a daily basis regularly.
It would appear that I’ve been doing a lot of writing somewhere though, given that I’m over 136k words in the Non-Fiction category. Sadly, that’s true. I’ve been making lots of posts on Facebook, and more than a few at Absolute Write. Granted, AW is a writing forum, and you’d think that would be a good thing, right? I should be learning about my craft there, and helping others in their craft. But it turns out that I’m writing about two posts a day over there, and the overwhelming majority of them are in the Politics & Current Events board. So while I might be honing my debate and logic skills (and I’m sure that many regulars in PC&E would argue that), I’m not exactly doing anything for my craft.
What Am I Afraid Of?
I’m 13k words into In Plain Sight, AKA Sad Girl book 3, and I’m stuck. I’m at a chapter break, and transitioning from one viewpoint to another. It feels to some extent like I’m scared to go one from where I am. It’s taken me just over thirty writing days to get that far, and I’m only averaging a few hundred words per session.
I had the thought the other day that it feels like I’m holding back from the fiction, almost as though I’m afraid of something.
I don’t do fear well. It can easily paralyze me, regardless if the fear is realistic or not. Imagined fears are often more painful and crippling than real ones, and sometimes the imagined ones intertwine themselves so well with the real ones that you can’t tell the difference.
For example, I’m terrified of being a failure as a writer, of being found out to be a fraud. That’s not necessarily a realistic fear. What it represents is very realistic: the waste of hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars spent in a useless endeavor.
Is it really useless though? Sure, if you look at it strictly from an accounting standpoint, right now it’s wasted effort. I’ve only sold a few hundred copies of The Sad Girl, and given away a couple of thousand. But quite a few people have liked it enough to post favorable reviews of it, so that hasn’t exactly been wasted time or effort. I’ve enjoyed telling the stories so far, and I’m looking forward to getting in to Red Dirt Justice.
The more I think about it, the more I wonder if this may be pre-release jitters associated with Don’t Stop Believing. I’ve tentatively planned on releasing that on September 2, so I should be working on getting promotional materials ready for that, and reaching out to book bloggers and so forth. But I’m not, yet. I’ve done a couple of promo graphics, and scheduled a few tweets, but that’s pretty much the extent of it. I remember this same sort of feeling before I released TSG back in 2014, and that didn’t go well. That whole fear of failure led me to not do any pre-release work at all. I just clicked “Publish” and waited for the readers to roll in.
Yeah, I know.
I’m slowly working my way through a very long TBR list these days, in an effort to prime the creative pump just a bit. I’ve also tried to cut down on the time I’m spending in online forums that doesn’t help me write. Time management has never been a strong point of mine though.
But mostly, I need to work on the fear.
Sometimes it feels like I’m trying to swim through molasses, or run with cinderblocks on my feet. I suppose I really need to listen to my own advice about imposter syndrome. Apparently I’m much better at giving advice than I am at taking it.
On the brighter side, the family drove out to the lake Saturday for a birthday swim for one of my boys, and I had a few literary flashes that felt good enough to write down.
And I feel like I’m doing way too much whining here lately. I should work on that. What would my two readers like to see more of here?