Renee Writes

Posts in category IWSG

#ISWG – Happy New Year!

For those who don’t know, the Insecure Writers Support Group is open to all writers to share their fears, doubts, and concerns, as well as your triumphs. So if you have something to share, visit the link at the end of this post!


Happy New Year!

I love starting a new year. It’s a chance to plan and start new things. It’s also a chance to look at everything you’ve accomplished in the last year and figure out what you can do to make the new year even better. My biggest accomplishment in the last year has to be learning to accept my limitations (as weird as that may sound).

I have Hashimoto’s Disease (an autoimmune disease that affects the thyroid) and a daughter with ASD and ADHD. My daughter, even though she is twelve now, needs a lot more attention than other kids her age. There are some things she’s not able to do for herself and she needs help coping with her erratic emotions (especially now that she’s hit puberty). On top of that, I have to deal with being in constant pain and feeling like I haven’t slept in weeks, even after a full night sleep.

At the start of 2017, I set some lofty goals for myself as far as writing is concerned. Other indie authors are out there finishing a new book or story every couple of months, and I thought I should be able to do the same. When I couldn’t keep up, I became depressed and beat myself up over it, until I realized those people are healthy and likely have no other responsibility other than their writing. Even those who have kids don’t have kids with special needs. I can’t expect myself to keep up with people like that.

So as the year wore on, I paid more attention to my limits and reorganized my goals to fit me. Surprisingly, it’s helped me to accomplish more than I expected I could do since I wasn’t stressing myself out and making my health go downhill anymore.

This year, I plan to focus on my strengths and learn how I can use them to overcome my limitations. I also plan to set more reasonable goals for myself as far as writing is concerned. This year I plan to:

  • Finish my Shadow Stalker serial
  • Write and edit my A God’s Deception series (and hopefully publish the first book before the end of the year)
  • And write and publish about 3 to 5 short stories or novellas.

I also want to start writing more flash fiction that I’ll post here on my blog and in my newsletter.

So what are your new year goals and/or resolutions? Let me know in the comments below!

This month’s ISWG question is:

What steps have you taken to put a schedule in place for your writing and publishing?

I don’t like using schedules, at least to the extent of setting specific times to accomplish things during the day. It’s never worked for me because I can never tell what my health will be each day or when my daughter will have a bad day and I’ll be dealing with meltdowns all day. I have to play things by ear, but at the same time, I need to have some kind of schedule set or I won’t accomplish anything at all.

So, what I do is I use Evernote to keep track of everything I need to do, and everything I’ve already accomplished. I created a few calendars on Evernote. One has all of my weekly objectives on it. While I do set daily objectives, I generally will just do what I can during the week, following the schedule. Priority jobs are at the top, so if I don’t have time to finish something that isn’t a priority, it can be moved to the following week. So far, this has been working well for me. I can work when I’m feeling up to it, and I still accomplish everything I need to. I can even keep up with some things when I’m sick by working on my phone or tablet.

My other calendars are to help me with organizing releases, blog posts (like this one and my spotlights), and I even have one for sharing posts.

I don’t actually have a schedule for writing anymore. Each time I sit down to write, I have a goal of writing 2k to 2.5k words each sitting. I try to write Monday through Friday, but sometimes it doesn’t work out that way, especially when my daughter is out of school. When I’m editing, I spend about 3 hours a day doing that. Then the rest of the day is spent on doing promotional stuff and social media work (answering emails… and all that fun stuff). I try to spend about 6 hours a day working (Monday through Friday). If I work on the weekend, it’s to catch up on what I couldn’t accomplish during the week or writing if I’m in a really creative mood.

So my schedule is loose, but it’s effective for me. Unless I get really sick, I have no trouble keeping up with it.


Insecure Writer’s Support Group

A database resource site and support group for writers and authors. Featuring weekly guests and tips, a monthly blogfest gathering, a Facebook group, a book club, and thousands of links – all to benefit writers! #IWSG

Website / Facebook Group / Twitter / Book Club
Reedsy Discount / Past Issues

Co-hosts this month are Tyrean MartinsonThe Cynical SailorMegan MorganRachna Chhabria, and Jennifer Lane. Please visit their blogs and show your support!

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#ISWG: A Look Back!

For those who don’t know, the Insecure Writers Support Group is open to all writers to share their fears, doubts, and concerns, as well as your triumphs. So if you have something to share, visit the link at the end of this post!


First, I have to say that I didn’t finish NaNoWriMo this year. I was really sick for nearly two weeks and couldn’t get any writing done, but I did write over 32k words, so that’s pretty awesome, I think. It’s more writing than I’ve done in months. I’m not sure how much more writing I’ll get done in December since Christmas is coming up and my daughter will be out of school after this week, but I intend to keep my 2500 word daily goal. This way I’ll be guaranteed to write at least that much on the days I do have time to write.

 

Also, on a random note, I’m soooooooooooooo excited to see the new Star Wars movie this month! The wait has been driving me nuts! There are just certain questions I need answered… of course, I know this one will likely leave me with more questions, which will result in another agonizing 2-year wait, but for a moment, my curiosity will be satisfied.

Now for this month’s question:

As you look back on 2017, with all its successes/failures, if you could backtrack, what would you do differently?

I honestly can’t think of anything I’d do differently. The one thing I would like to change was really out of my control anyway. Finding BeemGee and discovering a new way to plan my stories that fits with my style of writing was amazing. I wish I’d had that at the start of the year, but BeemGee is fairly new.

At least I’ll have a good writing start to the new year! I can’t wait! What are you excited about in the new year?


Co-hosts for this month are Julie Flanders,Shannon Lawrence, Fundy Blue, and Heather Gardner!

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Thanks for signing up! You'll get an email shortly with your free book. If it doesn't arrive, check your spam folder then email me at reneescatts@gmail.com.

#ISWG: #NaNoWriMo Has Begun!

For those who don’t know, the Insecure Writers Support Group is open to all writers to share their fears, doubts, and concerns, as well as your triumphs. So if you have something to share, visit the link at the end of this post!


 

Since the November question is about NaNoWriMo and I’m participating this year, I decided to focus on that for my ISWG post this month.

Win or not, do you usually finish your NaNo project? Have any of them gone on to be published?

This is the third year (of on and off participation) that I’ve taken part in NaNoWriMo.

I won in 2014 with my novella, Demon Hunt. I definitely finished that one and published it before the end of that year. It was a rush (pull-your-hair-out) kind of job with that one because I wanted to give it away free as a Christmas gift to all my new readers. For a rush job, it turned out pretty well, but I’m doing re-edits on it. I might even re-release it with a new cover and print version as well in the coming year.

I missed 2015, but I did both Camp NaNo’s and the big event in November of 2016. I won both Camps, but not the big one. That year I mainly worked on my Shadow Stalker serial, which is still ongoing. I’m up to Episode 21 now, but I’ve put it on hold while I work on my new novel series.

Which brings us to this year. I did Camp NaNo in April this year, but brain fog kept me from winning. I worked on Shadow Stalker then as well, and never finished the episode I was working on until after April.

Now is the big event. I’m working on the first book in my A God’s Deception series, Defender of the Chosen. Since I only write Monday through Friday, I’m setting my goal at 2500 words a day. Today was my first writing day, and I wrote 2588 words, so I’m off to a good start. Wish me luck!

How about you? Are you participating this year? If so, feel free to add me as a buddy: RScatts and I’ll add you back. We can help each other through the craziness! 😀


Co-Hosts for the November 1 posting of the IWSG are Tonja Drecker, Diane Burton, MJ Fifield, and Rebecca Douglass!

Join the fun!

 

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