Thursday, 2 March 2017

IWSG: Better Late Than Never (Again)

Founded by Alex J. Cavanaugh, the IWSG's purpose is to share and encourage. A place where writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds. 

The awesome co-hosts for this month's post are Tamara Narayan, Patsy Collins, M.J. Fifield, and Nicohle Christopherson. Please pop by and thank them.

The 'Better Late Than Never' part of the post title has a double meaning - I forgot about this month's post (apologies for anyone who visited yesterday) and it's never too late to rework an old story. But before I answer this month's question, I need to discuss my current insecurities.

I've been trying to put together a writing master plan to cover the next five years. A sort of road map for my various projects. It's not been going well. Every time I sit down to do it, I scare myself silly with just how much I want to achieve and convince myself that whatever book series I go with first (I have several), it will be the wrong decision. Does anyone else have this problem and then become paralyzed with fear?

I would have stayed paralyzed where it not for my other half. While he does tend to race forward with any idea he has almost immediately, he achieves so much more than I because he just gets on with it one task at a time. This made me realise that while having a plan is a great idea, it isn't as important as getting the day-to-day tasks done and that the plan itself is made up of thousands of smaller, achieveable steps. It's the smaller steps I need to concentrate on to make real progress. The long term plan will write itself.

Now for March's IWSG question:

Have you ever pulled out a really old story and reworked it? Did it work out?

Yes. On more than one occasion. I tend to squirrel away any idea I have, including first drafts of stories I decided weren't good enough to progress further. I'm a natural story hoarder. Some of those stories, after major rewrites, ended up in my short story collections. I turned them into stories I loved. I know we've all heard this advice hundreds of times, but never throw anything you write away. Ever

That's it for this month's IWSG post. Does concentrating on smaller steps work for you? Have you reworked an old story and made it work?


  1. Between the two of you is the perfect balance. Now you can race forward with a plan.
    I certainly believe in saving everything.
    Little late, but you made it!

  2. Oh, I totally get that paralyzing fear. That's why I try not to think too far ahead in what projects I want to get done. When I do, then my anxiety goes up and I lose a day or two (sometimes more) of productivity. That said, I do have a tentative five year production plan, but I'm trying to focus one month at a time and adjusting it as needed.

  3. I can't think that far ahead to write a master plan. I get some vague idea about characters, or an ending. Beginnings are hard for me. I'm a pantster writer. It works out or it doesn't. Its what revision is for :)

  4. I would love to come up with a master plan, but it never gets done. :)

  5. I totally agree! I need to write even more of my ideas down. My memory isn't as sharp as it once was. :)

  6. Oh yes, I scare myself silly with things I want to achieve and become paralysed. So I can empathise with you. I need accountability ; something to write towards, or I end up procrastinating because I'm terrified of starting wrong. Good luck.


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