September 5, 2012

Books that Make You Go Hmmmm: #IWSG and ROW80

It's the first Wednesday of the month. Just in time for a much-needed writing therapy session in the form of an Insecure Writer's Support Group (#IWSG) post.

After a summer full of reading but short on writing, I realized something. (Okay, two things, but finding out it's hard to write when kids are running around is less shocking!) It's the books I read that I don't like that intimidate my writing process more than the ones I love.

Doesn't make sense, does it? You would think the off-the-charts amazing books, like The Book Thief, would leave me wondering if I should write or can write. But those books actually leave me inspired to write a book that leaves a lasting impression on a reader. I feel a writer's high, if you will.

Instead, it's the books I think will be good and aren't that leave me feeling unsure. As I sit and pick apart why I think the book failed, my mind wanders off to what in my current WIP might or might not be working. I'm left feeling unsure and insecure.

If I think it's pacing, I become obssess with the structure of my storyline. If I don't care about a character, I wonder if my own characters are likeable or memorable? And so on.

Please tell me I'm not the only one!


My A Round of Words in 80 Days (ROW80) Update

Wednesdays are also ROW80 check in days.

Writing: My test mile of one hour is going well so far. I'm finding a time focus versus a total words focus is better for me.

Editing: A time focus is working best here, too. I have three novel-length projects right now, and I am finding it difficult to balance them fairly. I can't decide if it's better to finish one then another, or work on them alternating days to give each author a fair amount of time. Suggestions?

Blogging: I really need to focus on pre-writing posts. I am back to frantically writing them the day of, and that always leaves me stressed.

Reading: Loving reading lately. Please stop over to my Mom in Love with Fiction blog from time to time to check out my latest reviews. And to my ROW80 (and other writing friends), I'm always happy to promote books (through reviews or spotlights, etc) on my blog. It's my way of giving back.

Social Media: Catching up. Why do I always feel like I'm never able to get my head above water on this goal?

How's everybody else doing? I'm not even sure when this round officially ends, but I know it's coming up. Off to write...


Ruth Nestvold said...

I fear I don't even finish books I don't like anymore, so they can't have that effect on me! :) Sorry to hear you're feeling insecure, and I hope it gets better soon. But congrats on the good work on the test mile!

Have a great rest of the week. :)

Melissa said...

I'm not sure I have the same experience you do with reading - maybe somewhat. The problem I've been having lately is that it makes me angry, not insecure.

I've gotten my hands on several books that ranged from mediocre to downright bad, and they weren't self-published. In fact, some where from well-known publishers and were part of a series! Grrrrr. And they're turning away MSs I *know* are better?! GRRRRRRR!

Okay. I'm calm now. :P

About your goals, good for you. And I feel the same way about social media. I never feel caught up. I still haven't gotten back to my Google reader. :\

Anyhow, it's good to touch base again. I enjoy my visits here, even if I don't get to come as often as I'd like. :)

Donna B. McNicol said...

I'm with Ruth, I don't finish books that I'm not enjoying. Too many books to enjoy, too little time. ;-)

I think this must be the month for major insecurities....finding a lot of us being REALLY insecure this time around.

stu said...

I tend to be more of the school that says 'well, I know I'm writing better than that'.

alberta ross said...

You're not the only one:) however it was by reading books I didn't like that inspired me to give it a go - sure my book was better even if never coming up to ones like Book Thief and Night Circus- (I do always finish a book once I have started:) there may be a gem nestled in there somewhere!)

keep smiling:)

Jo Michaels said...

You are not the only one! I find myself watching for those errors in my own writing and praying I can do a better job. So, yes, reading excellent fiction has an effect on me but reading poorly written fictions has a much more profound impact. Could it be in a good way though? Are we growing and learning what not to do as writers? I have no answers to that...

On a happier note, if there's a book of mine you think you'd like to read/review, let me know. You know where to find me, hon!!


Winnie said...

I am also of the "stop reading" when the book is really not good, or holding my attention. I like to tell myself that the book may just not be my "cup of tea", and let it go at that. I really need good characters and plot and a rather steady or building pace. My interest seems to disappear or become lost if they are missing.

Notes from Maggie's Farm said...

I get this!

The not-so-well-written books make me fear that I'm no better a writer than what I may be reading.

I admire your discipline and tenacity.

And is there ever an above-water feeling with social media? Geeze. It takes all of my time!

Tia Bach said...

I love it when the comments make me want to write another post. I have a hard time not giving a book a fair shake, and sometimes I don't feel I've done that unless I finish it and look at it as a whole. I had a hard time getting into the Book Thief initially, and now it's one of my all-time favorite reads.

Loved all your comments. Thanks!!