Quarterly Update: An IWSG Post

Good day, my writing/blogging friends.

It’s Wednesday, which means it’s time for this month’s Insecure Writer’s Support Group entry. We’ve reached the end of the first three months of the year, going into the second three. There’s a lot going on in the writing/blogging community. There’s Camp NaNoWriMo, the A to Z Blogging Challenge, and National Poetry Writing Month, or NaPoWriMo. Writers and bloggers are certainly keeping themselves busy. However, I’m not taking part in any of them. But I will be patrolling the blogs and following progresses on social media, cheering on my writing friends.

Today, I’m reflecting on my writing goals thus far and sharing my new goals for this quarter. A long time ago, I gave monthly updates. And honestly, I felt ashamed that I missed out on some goals and repeated myself, even when I didn’t share them on this blog. Recently, I watched some YouTube videos where other writers make quarterly goals and share them to the world. They say it keeps them from getting overwhelmed. After thinking about it, I’m deciding to make quarterly goals and share them with you, my writing and blogging friends.

Now, I didn’t have any quarterly goals for the first three months, but I’m going to share how my goals are going up to this point.

  • Write a short story a month. This was my loftiest goal. I thought I had a plan for this goal. The biggest problem was execution. I didn’t set deadlines and stick to them. I got easily discouraged with the big picture. This was an epic fail from the get-go, but I was determined to write some new stories. As such, I modified this goal to something more manageable. I’m going to write four stories in twelve months, which breaks down to a story every three months. And I did succeed in meeting this goal.
  • Submit a story to a contest/publication. This is an ongoing goal. I did succeed in this goal as well. I submitted a flash fiction story to a writing blog, Who Writes Short Shorts. And it got published. I’m very excited. However, I didn’t submit any stories to a contest. I wanted to enter one, but I had some personal issues that needed my attention. And I was nervous about entering a story. I ended up not entering, but I did write the story. So it was kind of 50-50.

Now, on to the new quarterly goals.

  • Write one new short story in a different genre. Writing new stories will be an ongoing goal. For this quarter, I want to try writing in a different genre. I made attempts in writing in different genres. But I stopped after reaching the end of the first draft. I thought what I wrote on paper didn’t translate onto the computer. So I gave up on it. For this quarter, I aim to see this project through. It will take some outlining and character mapping before I even start drafting. But I am determined to see this project through.
  • Submit a story to a contest. I strive to make great strides in my writing. The best way to do so is to get my work out there. I said on numerous occasiond I will submit stories to contests and publications, but fail to. Chalk it up to a fear of failure. Chalk it up to being lazy and putting it off. In any case, I want to push past the uncertain and get my work out there. And if it doesn’t get published, so be it. That’s how I learn, right?
  • Write a flash fiction piece a month to post on my blog. This may be a case where I’m biting off more than I can chew. However, I think flash fiction is easier to write. It can serve as a break from a bigger project. And it’s a good way to exercise those creative muscles and keep them sharp. I follow some writing friends and communities on Twitter and Facebook. Just about every day, they post prompt or challenges. This goes along with the submission goal, but it’s more for fun. And while it may not attract the attention I hope for, it’s a good way to showcase my writing skills.
  • Update my blog. On a recent post, I announced changes coming to my blog. I’m in the process of making those changes. I’m researching free WordPress themes. I’m contemplating adding a logo or header graphic. The content will relatively stay the same. I might add some new content, like excerpts from current WIPs. I read blogs where the writers share pieces of what they’re working on. This is something I’m considering. Nothing’s set in stone.
  • Read a book a month and write a review. Reading is something I don’t make time for. I had a discussion about this on Twitter recently; about how I didn’t read a lot of books outside of required reading. I didn’t read books in other genres. As such, I didn’t give a lot of books a chance. I gave up on them the moment I lost interest. But there are a plethora of possibilities. I like going to the library and finding books I may not see at bookstores, and vice versa. In any case, I want to get back to reading books. Try reading in different genres. And I want to post reviews on my blog. Some books might be older, but it’s a good way to support my fellow writers.

So those are my goals for the next three months. Sounds pretty reasonable and attainable. How successful I will be boils down to discipline. Having a plan helps. Finding people to hold me accountable also works. But discipline will be the deciding factor. I hope to write the next quarterly update saying I accomplished these goals.

What about you? Do you set quarterly goals? Care to share them? Comment and let me know if there’s any way I can encourage and support you.

Until next time, take care and keep plugging away.

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The 365 Writing Club: Reflections on an “Awesome” Year

The 365 Writing Club on Facebook gave me an “Awesomeness” badge for the strides I made in my writing this year. For overcoming doubts and gaining confidence through the encouragement of fellow writers. Today, I share what I’ve learned through this group and the challenges I faced.

This past week, I strolled through my Facebook notifications when I happened to see this…

…a badge the administrators of the 365 Writing Club on Facebook awarded to me. According to the status, Continue reading “The 365 Writing Club: Reflections on an “Awesome” Year”

Quitting Time: An IWSG Post


Good afternoon.

It’s the first Wednesday of the month, which means it’s time for another post for Insecure Writers Support Group. Bloggers like me write a little something to inspire and encourage fellow writers. We either write an original post, or answer a question provided to us by the group. If you want to know more about the IWSG, click here.

For today’s post, I am going to answer this month’s question:

Did you ever say “I quit”? If so, what happened to make you come back to writing?

This is a topic I covered before on my blog, as well as read on others. It’s one of those things that never gets old in the sense that we’ve all felt like giving up on our writing. The reasons are different, but it doesn’t change the fact that at some point in our writing journey, we wanted to throw in the towel. 

I wanted to quit–and have–on several occasions. One time, I quit because I wasn’t doing anything with my degree. I wasn’t taking that next step in writing a novel. Another time, I quit because I wasn’t writing as often as I “should have.” I took it as I wasn’t serious about writing, even though I had a degree. And even when I decided to take my writing more seriously, I felt like giving up for the reasons I just mentioned. 

I jumped off the wagon too many times to count. Just recently, I wanted to quit because I felt like I wasn’t getting the support I hoped for on social media. It sounds silly, like the afore mentioned “reasons,” but allow me to elaborate.

I’m a member of a few Facebook groups and I follow a lot of writers on Twitter. I say about 90% of the members and writers I follow are writing novels in either science fiction or fantasy. And most of them are geared for young adults. The hashtag games I follow on Twitter feel like it’s skewered toward those genres. Nothing wrong with it, but those are not my interests. I’m set in writing short stories in contemporary fiction. That’s what I know. And it’s been hard finding writers who share my interests in the format and genre of my choice.

To move this subject more towards writing, I dreamed up of writing numerous series of short stories to post on my blog. Recently, I had an idea of writing stories set in a barbershop. But I gave them up because I felt there were too many issues that couldn’t be ignored. I chalked them up to a number of reasons. Not having enough experience in the matter. Not having enough conflict in the stories. Too many characters in the stories. The list can go on and on.

So, as you can see, I have a history on giving up on writing. And until now, I spouted a lot of reasons. But the more I think about it, I’m coming to understand a single trend. Writing, no matter the endeavor, requires two things: passion and commitment. It’s one thing if you’re burnt out. It’s another if you aren’t passionate or committed to push through when the times get tough; when you feel like no one supports you. I haven’t been either committed or passionate. I gave up on my projects way too easy. I wasn’t willing to stick with it. 

So, I have a commitment issue. I have a passion issue. But…I still write. So the question is, what keeps me going, knowing the issues I have? The answer: I love to write. I can’t imagine not writing. I believe it’s in my blood. And no matter how many times I’ve fallen off the horse, I get back on. Why? Because I love it. So maybe it’s not a passion issue in terms of the whole spectrum; just a specific area. And, contrary to my beliefs, I have support. Support from many writing friends on social media. Support from my family. And I have hope. Hope that regardless of what I write, I will find someone who shares my passion and will spur me to write the best damn story I can. That’s what keeps me going. 

I want to hear from you. Have you wanted to quit? Be honest. What keeps you going when you feel the urge? Let me know in the comments, and let’s talk.

Until then, take care…

Weekend Coffee Share: Celebration of Me

Good morning.

Let me first off say that it’s not easy being a morning person when you have to be. It might have been slightly easier in your younger years, but it’s different when you have to force yourself to get up before everybody else.

Now that I’ve vented, let’s drink some coffee and talk.

If we were having coffee, you might have noticed something different in me. Then again, maybe not. I celebrated my birthday this week. Technically, it was Monday, but I had to work, so I celebrated the day after. I didn’t get what I wanted, but I was surprised at what I got. I got a new journal, for starters. It’s a nice one with some encouraging advice. I filled a few pages the day after I received it, but haven’t done much writing since. (We’ll get to that in a moment.) I got some other nifty stuff like a check and some gaming socks. But perhaps the best present I got happened before my birthday: the Atlanta Falcons beating the Green Bay Packers and going to the Super Bowl. I was so ecstatic. I can’t wait until February 5th.


This past Friday, another celebration took place–at my daughter’s school. Friday was Dad’s Day. Dads played dodgeball, ate donuts, and received presents from their kids. It was awesome. I felt bad, though, for hitting my daughter. I was hoping she would catch my pass. But I did get hit and had to do exercises before coming back in. I apologized to her before we ate donuts.

If we were having coffee, I’d talk a little bit about my writing. Or lack of, recently. Trying to develop a habit of anything healthy is not easy. Writing is no different. Especially this week. I posted zeroes on the 365 Monthly Club three days this week, including back-to-back at the end of the week. I feel so disappointed in myself. Here I am saying that I’m making more of an effort to find writing time and I slacked off this past week. It’s not worth beating myself over it; I just need to get back on the horse. 

I will say that on one of the days I did write, I started a new story. A Valentine-themed tale, pulling characters from a previous story I posted on my blog last year. In addition, I took some time to outline new stories. Time will tell if and when I’ll get to write them. It is possible that I’ll lose interest in them beforehand. But I’ll worry about that later. 

Well, that is all for this weekend. If you’re a regular reader of my blog, my next IWSG post is coming soon. So keep an eye out for it. In the meantime, take care and God bless. 

Writing Hiatus

Last week, I posted about why I don’t meet deadlines. Specifically for this writing “contest” I entered. (Ironically, I met the goal about a week ahead of time. I felt bad, though, that I couldn’t send a completed story.)

Anyway, after I sent the scene, I decided to take a break from writing. This wasn’t a hare trigger decision. I thought about this a good few days, wrote about it in my journal. Long story short, I wasn’t enjoying the writing process. I wasn’t getting much satisfaction in writing. I felt creatively drained. Continue reading “Writing Hiatus”

Deadlines

Earlier this month, I commented on a 4am Writer post about writing something new. The piece would then be submitted and the winner earned a coaching session or a free copy of one of two writing handbooks. I signed up because I wanted a challenge. And I thought surely I could come up with something and submit it by the end of the month. Continue reading “Deadlines”

Teacher Appreciation Week

Good day, everyone. Hope everyone had a good April. The A to Z Challenge is done for the year. I had a blast doing it, but I’ll share more about it next week in the Reflection post.

In the meantime…

I went through the Twitter feed and learned this week is Teacher Appreciation Week. Continue reading “Teacher Appreciation Week”