Time and Uncertainty - IWSG September

Today is the first Wednesday of the month:  Insecure Writer's Support Group blog! The IWSG is a safe place for writers to express their fears and insecurities in a supportive environment. Join us at  www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com And don't forget to sign up for the IWSG Newsletter - it's filled with great advice written by writers for writers.  

 This month's reflective question: How do you find the time to write in your busy day?

Writing is always part of my day, in some form or another. I have notepads and pens placed around the house and in my handbags, and my mobile phone is close at hand, so any ideas that pop into my head are quickly written down or recorded. For actual sitting down at my computer and writing, I plan!! Normally on a Sunday evening or a Saturday when my husband is watching Bayern München play football, I plan my writing week. My best time for actually writing is first thing in the morning before the day starts to interfere with my routine. I retreat to my office space (the spare bedroom), close the door and don't allow anything to disturb me until I've accomplished what I set out to do. Naturally, as with us all, if I hit a stumbling block on a particular day, I either leave that piece and come back to it, go onto something different, or take a break - without beating myself up.

My main insecurity this month has been 'uncertainty'. 

I used to have a top job that gave me financial independence, confidence because I was extremely good at it, self-worth and daily doses of motivation and adrenaline. It did come hand in hand with truck loads of stress and I was working 14 hour days - sometimes including weekends. Three years ago, I decided to leave that job in order to concentrate on my writing, as well as finally having time for my family. But I do miss the financial independance - I thought I would have at least earned some money from my writing by now. My confidence has dipped due to the lack of results - hard work is supposed to pay off but I'm not seeing that just yet and my motivation to continue down this lonely track is dwindling. Do you have these feelings of uncertainty at times? How do you manage them?

Wishing you all a super September! Thanks to our IWSG co-hosts this month: C. Lee McKenzie, Rachel Pattison, Elizabeth Seckman, Stephanie Faris, Lori L MacLaughlin, and Elsie Amata.

Comments

  1. Hi,
    First, I love Bayern Munchen. That's my team and there isn't a game that I miss on television. That's the only time I look at television. :-)

    To your question, I can say for myself that I have had those moments, and especially when I quit my job and started devoting my time to my writing and singing. It seemed as if the doors of heaven closed, and I felt like the Lone Ranger. That was twenty years ago. Sometime among all the stress and disappointment in 2004, I made the decision to never give up. I will never forget it. It was one of my dark nights of the soul when I questioned my decisions and begin to doubt myself. As I look back today over those last twenty years, I am so glad I didn't give up. I am not saying it is going to take you twenty years because I have no idea how long it will take you. However, I am saying you have to weigh all the positives and negatives. You have to ask yourself questions and put What-If scenarios before your eyes and examine them carefully. During the process, you will come up with your own answer, and you will have peace within soul about whatever you decide.
    All the best and I'm thinking of you.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat Garcia

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for your kind words and wisdom, Pat. It means a lot!! I will take your advice and try my best to get rid of this dark gloom that seems to be all-consuming at the moment. Take good care and thanks again!!

      Delete
  2. Uncertainty usually pulls up a chair next to me when I'm writing. I think, for a lot of us, for a lot of creative people, it's just part of the process. Something we have to work on, work with, work through. But having wonderful support, like the IWSG group, helps with that. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd have gone under by now without the lovely people at IWSG and other writers in the blogging world. Glad it's not only me :)Thank you for popping by, Madeline.

      Delete
  3. Ah, yes. Financial independence. That's why I'm still working. Too bad we have to eat. It (and medical insurance) is why I have to work 3 1/2 more years. Then I can retire and just do the writing gig.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh, Nicola, I so relate to this post. When I quit my job to write full-time, I had the same dream. After several years, I decided to call myself "retired" rather than feel bad about not earning money at writing. It helped some, but it's still hard to put so much time and effort into something and not earn any money to speak of.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for sharing, Karen. Always lovely to see you. I hope you are enjoying your writing again.

      Delete
  5. I think I need to start planning more.
    Making money from writing is tough. If you're writing novels, it will take a while and not make much. But there are other ways to make money as a writer - look at Stephanie Faris or Sean at Midlist Writer. They are both full time writers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for the tip, Alex. I do need to widen my horizons. I'll look into that.

      Delete
  6. I can relate to the lack of financial independence. I got sick a few years ago so my full-time job became a thing of the past. Now I can only work part-time. My self-esteem took a hit for awhile. On the flip side, it was then that I rediscovered my love of writing. :)

    Elsie
    co-host IWSG

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for sharing your experience, Elsie. I hope you are in good health and enjoying life. All the best.

      Delete
  7. Oh yeah, it would be grand to pay the bills with writing, but only a normal 9-5 seems to be able to do that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmmm. If I find another way Pat, I'll let you know :)

      Delete
  8. I actually look forward to football season, even though I'm not a fan. Hubs is. I can shut out the game(s) and write or work on promotion. Can't do that when the TV is on normally. Best wishes on your writing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's exactly what I do, Diane :) Thank you for popping by.

      Delete
  9. Life is anything but certain, and that applies to everything (death and taxes, of course the exceptions). I think uncertainty was created to keep us on our toes and make us continually test how brave we really are.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like your thinking, Lee. Thank you for popping over. Have a lovely week.

      Delete
  10. I think I've hit that same wall a time or two. It's so annoying. I'll break a good run with self-doubt and exhaustion.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's reassuring to know that others have felt it and conquered it. Thank you, Elizabeth!! Hope all is well with the family.

      Delete
  11. There's a point, after the initial rush of making the decision, when the doubt sets in. Why did I choose this? Did I make a massive mistake? What should I do? If you push through it, it'll pass. Eventually.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the words of encouragement, Liz.

      Delete
  12. Sounds like you've got a great attitude to writing as you are able to switch between projects to keep things flowing. It's a good skill to have!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Nick. Hope all is well with you.

      Delete
  13. I'm having computer problems. My comment didn't stick. Darn. What I said was: I wonder if the doubt ever leaves. I worried I'd never get published. Then I worried that I lucked out the first time. Then I worried my 3rd book would be boring. And so on and so forth. You have to wonder why are we writers? What's the point unless we're met to be. When I answered that question, it took a lot pressure off me. Happy Writing, Nicola. Thanks for visiting my blog.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I guess the worry factor will always be with us and we have to learn how to handle it so that our writing isn't hindered. Thank you for your comment, Joylene. It's always lovely to see you.

      Delete
  14. I'd love huge royalty checks, but the reality is most writers have day jobs. Who knows, maybe one of my books will be turned into a movie. I do have feelings of uncertainty. Sometimes I think I should scale back from writing and do extra things at my day job for more earnings, but I love writing too much.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is the passion for writing that keeps us going. Thank you for commenting, Medeia. Have a lovely week.

      Delete
  15. I get discouraged frequently. With short stories, I may get a bunch of acceptances all in a row, and then go months and months with no story sales. I'm in one of those periods now, where it's been months since I sold a story, and I'm getting more and more depressed and insecure about it. I hope both of us get a positive boost soon! I've found I can float on a positive experience far longer than a bad one can keep me down.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope so too, Shannon. Thanks so much for sharing your experience. Wishing you a September filled with acceptances. Take care.

      Delete
  16. Like you, I'm fortunate to have enough time for writing. I share the uncertainty too at times. Partly that's due to the unpredictability of what we do. I do believe hard work does pay off eventually - but we never know when or how that'll happen.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your comment, Patsy. I hope it'll happen soon :)

      Delete
  17. Nothing wrong with uncertainty:) In fact, it's a trait I like to add to my characters, because it's so crucial to the human experience. Food for thought:)

    ReplyDelete
  18. I think uncertainty comes as part of the package of being a writer. I've learnt to live with mine and I think it can keep us motivated.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do hope so, Teresa. I'll give you a shout if I find I can't cope with it :) Take good care!

      Delete
  19. Hi Nicola, I think most of us fight insecurity because of sales not being where we'd like them. But with the advent of Indie our books are up against 'millions' of others. So every sale is a good sale.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for the words of encouragement, Sandra. Have a lovely September.

      Delete
  20. I like your writing planning, Nicola! Uncertainty definitely goes with the nature of the job. I fluctuate between loving writing and wanting to give up, though fortunately the latter happens fewer times than the former.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Rosemary. Knowing I'm not alone helps a lot :)

      Delete
  21. Hi Nicola - it's tough this lack of finance lark ... but the peace and quiet of being able to do your thing and write and research brings pleasure ... it'll work out - I'm sure... take care and cheers Hilary

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for your words of encouragement, Hilary. Means a lot!

      Delete
  22. Today I write novel drafts for authors who just can't get their stories off the ground. It's in the style of Nanowrimo though so not much editing and I make it clear that it's draft work. I see some profiles promising these perfect books in such a short time and I just shake my head. They're often robbing people blind. I was so glad to hear from a customer from over a year ago when I checked in on her. She's still working on the draft I did for her and thanked me for helping her with her writing voice. That was so rewarding and when I started this writing journey I never knew my job would become more than just writing stories for myself and readers. I help other writers create 'good art'. Neil Gaiman would be proud. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What a lovely and rewarding way to help other writers, Sheena. Thank you for sharing your experience. I used to love helping my students get their ideas down :)

      Delete
  23. Creative types are wired with the "uncertainty gene". It's an integral part of who we are.
    I think it's meant to keep us focused lest complacency creeps in...and it helps push our skills to the next level. All-in-all, not a bad thing?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a new experience for me, Michelle so thank you for letting me know it's okay to feel that way. I'll keep it in check so that it doesn't hinder my progress.

      Delete
  24. I admire your diligence at writing.

    Your uncertainty is something I can relate to well since I lost my job seven years ago and not finding another adequate replacement I took retirement. I'd rather still be working with my old paycheck coming in on a regular basis. But I count my blessings every day. Uncertainty is a fact of life no matter what our circumstance is so I accept that knowledge and strive to make things for the best.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your words of wisdom, Arlee. Means a lot!

      Delete
  25. I started focusing on other, non-writing related things and that has actually helped me not stress so much about where my writing career is headed. And I used to stress a lot! Networking with other authors and realizing that I'm not alone has also helped as well. Better days are coming!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your words of encouragement, Quanie :)

      Delete
  26. When it comes to the publishing industry, this is a much slower business than the others. Typically 10 years is when an author makes it, or 7 to 10 works published. But, that's not necessarily the case. Keep producing and promoting, and it eventually takes off. If you're in it for the immediate money, you really have to ghost write, write articles for websites, or offer services to other writers.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Hi Nicola,

    A very thought provoking question. No magic remedies, just 'keep swimming' I guess :-) But have to say I feel lucky to be free of the 9-5 routine.
    Best always,
    Nilanjana.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Nila. I'll keep swimming but my goodness, it's one very big ocean :)

      Delete
  28. Because i was out of town, i'm late to the party this month. Is there a way for you to work part time while you pursue your writing? It might boost your confidence to be bringing a bit of money in, and that might bring fresh life to your writing endeavors. Even if that's not possible, i'm glad you are pursuing your dreams.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've been looking and will continue to do so. I think I need the confidence boost. Thank you for popping over and for your words of encouragement. Greatly appreciated.

      Delete
  29. Even have having many books published, I still have those insecurities. Some quarters I earn a decent amount and others I realize I'm working for pennies per hour. But I still love it.

    ReplyDelete
  30. This is tricky. I'm starting to make some serious decisions that might lead me to writing full-time, but man it's scary.

    Especially because I don't have any resources to fall back on.

    That said, I'm hoping that I'll come to a place where I can spend more hours writing and creating stories for people to read (and buy.)

    It might take a while, though.

    As for your situation, I don't really have advice. Maybe if I've sorted my life out, I can be of more use. ;-)

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Hello! So pleased you've popped by. I love to read your comments, so do leave one - even if it's just to say 'hi'!