Monthly Writing Check in

The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.

Sylvia Plath

March is always an interesting month for me. I’ve had some really tough Marches. But some have been better. Last March I committed myself to writing regularly again, and I’ve stuck with it for a year, so I’m really proud of that. This year, I feel a little bit…adrift with regard to my writing. I know that I was really productive when I look at page counts and word counts, but I think I lost a little bit of the drive and motivation that tends to lead to an empty page becoming a story I am proud of.

I faced some struggles with my job this month, but I’m excited that I ended the month with a new position which I will be starting next week. I hope that I can embrace this new job while also beginning to balance the act of writing. I have a week off between jobs which I am going to use to relax, rest and do some more writing. I am going to spend time with my family and rejuvenate! Spring has arrived, and I’m ready to embrace the newness that embodies this time of year. Trees are turning green, flowers are pushing themselves up, and I want to continue to push myself up to.

So what did I do writing wise in March?

It doesn’t feel like much even though I know it’s a good amount. I’m feeling a little bit disappointed in my progress, but when I look back at the month and how busy and stressful it was, I know I did my best with the time that I had. Balancing writing with motherhood and a career is really challenging, and I learn how to do it better all the time, but I’m definitely not having an easy time of it.

In March I edited the first 117 pages of my novel. That’s not even the halfway mark, unfortunately, and I don’t know if the edits are ‘good’. It’s my first round of editing, and I’m trying to identify huge issues and clean up the writing as much as I can. But it’s been about ten days since I actually opened the file because I know I’m getting to the rough bits. The middle of my book is a mess, and when you get to the end, the middle as it stands doesn’t make sense. So I’m filled with a lot of doubt, and as the quote I shared in this post indicates, doubt is my worst enemy. I know I can fix it. I can edit anything, eventually. But it’s getting over that fear, that lingering voice in my head that knows how hard it is going to be, that I am struggling with.

My husband is going to help my edit the first round of my book. He is really talented with world-building, and I know I need to flesh certain things out. My goal was to send him four chapters a week, but he is busy too, and it’s been hard for him to make the time to read my book and give me the feedback I’m looking for. Hopefully in April I can make more progress. Or better progress. It’s getting there, it just takes time, and I have to keep acknowledging the fact that just because I’m taking it slow doesn’t mean it won’t eventually be finished.

Other than working on my book and writing for my blog (which I didn’t do as much as I wanted to either), I rewrote a short story of approximately 5,000 words. I’m actually really proud of it. I did a first pass of editing on it too. It’s currently out with one beta reader before I send it to more beta readers/editors. I also did some additional work on a novella I’m working on, so in total I wrote or rewrote about 8000 words of short/novella fiction. Not a ton, not the worst. I’ve done better, but it’s steady progress.

My goal for April is to keep working on my novel and edit at least two more short stories. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it before, but I am planning on self-publishing my novel. I don’t have a timeline on this yet. I feel like it’s hard to put a date on it when I’m still in the early throes (and woes) of editing. But I also decided to work on a short story collection. I have so much fiction collected that I’ve written over the years, and I really want to share those with the world. So I’m going to kind of juggle the two for right now and work toward getting them both published. I have a lot of work to do and a lot to learn!

I’m definitely daunted and feeling out of sorts with my writing, but I’m going to keep going because even on my worst days, when I’m feeling the most doubt and ‘imposter’ syndrome, I find moments of happiness. I re-read sections or write something that I’m really proud of, that I love, and that I hope one day other people will love to. I can keep doubting, keep worrying about if I will ever have what it takes. And those are valid feelings that I have to acknowledge sometimes, but I also know I’m not going to stop trying because I believe in myself, and I hope I have what it takes.

What brings me the most joy lately as a writer is how many people reach out to me to beta read their stories. It means a lot that people trust me enough to offer feedback and edits on their work, and for everyone out there who has shared a story with me, I hope you know how much I am rooting for all of you too!

3 thoughts on “Monthly Writing Check in

Add yours

  1. I believe in you so much, Nicole! I know you can do this and, even if it takes a little longer because life is getting in the way, it’s okay! You got this and I’m so excited to see your stories out in the world.

    Liked by 1 person

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