Welcome to the monthly Insecure Writer’s Support Group blog post discussing all things writing-related, especially our insecurities. Because yes, we all have them, and no, you don’t have to suffer alone.
The IWSG Question for December 2:
Are there months or times of the year that you are more productive with your writing than other months, and why?
Readers, I don’t know.
Or rather, I do know that there have been some more productive months this year than others, but I am uncertain of whether this will become a future trend. Why is that? Because this year, 2020, is going down as the year that I truly started writing again.
I began the year with an intense Creative Writing Bootcamp throughout January, which led to 30,000 words of a first draft. Continuing the momentum, I typed The End on 29th February (yay for a leap year!), and kept writing since then.
I’ve participated in Zoom, in-person, and self-study writing courses, which usually led to a creative post-course burst. I became involved with writing communities on Reddit and Twitter, which spurred me to enter a pitching contest and polish that draft to a reasonable level. I wrote and edited frantically for The IWSG Anthology Competition when I learned about it four weeks before the due date… And I wrote anther 30,000 words in November for NaNoWriMo (more on that in a moment).
So overall, I’d say that writing has been constant this year, with periods of higher activity related to things happening in the writing world. I wrote in freezing weather, I wrote when the sun beamed down. As a mostly stay-at-home mum, I wrote when I could–and that includes weekends, holidays, weekday afternoons before school pick-up, and sometimes even on lunch breaks at work. Low periods, for me, were during mental health slumps.
And those don’t conform to a time of year.
On that note, I will circle back to NaNoWriMo. Super excited for the challenge of writing 50,000 words in one month, I also set myself an early target of 30k because ‘we all know life happens’. But what did I do? I started a new book, ploughed through 20,000 words in the first week-and-a-half, and thought, you know what, I can do this! I can reach 50,000!
Except, of course, I couldn’t. Because life happened.
A combination of health, family, and manuscript pressures (that first ‘slump’ where you lose the plot) put me behind. Then my daughter caught an infection, I lost motivation, stressed that I would fail NaNo… And didn’t write for a week.
The thing is, you can’t fail by writing. One page, ten pages, five hundred. Every word you write is a win. I had to let go of the arbitrary idea that I had to write a certain number of words in a specified amount of time. Everyone writes differently: plotting or pantsing, pacing or racing, edit-as-you-go or pour-it-all-out-then-leave-it-for-a-year.
For those that ‘won’ NaNo: congratulations. That’s amazing work and you should be proud. For those who tried and didn’t quite reach it: congratulations. That’s an amazing effort and you should be proud. For those who wrote last month, with or without a goal, meeting it or not: congratulations.
You are amazing. You should be proud.
There may be times when you are more or less productive. These may be days, weeks, or even years. I’m looking forward to reading our other IWSG member responses to this month’s question. And I’d love to hear your thoughts about your most productive times of the year in the comments below. But I urge you to remember this: no matter when, no matter why, every word counts. Every word is a win.
Because you can’t edit a blank page. And one day, that page will be full.
The IWSG Blog Hop
Click here to view the list of IWSG bloggers and check out what everyone else is saying this month!
Note: Winners of last week’s competitions will be announced next week so as not to conflict with IWSG Day rules. Thanks for all your entries!