#IWSG – Focus

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Yesterday at work I saw a poster hanging up on the wall. The word focus was in green and beneath it this quote:

Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal. 

I thought about that for a moment, and about all the goals I’ve set for myself for the next year or so:

1. Publish a novel (this year).

2. Write another one (this year!).

3. Prepare for the release of another novel (already written) sometime during next year.

Okay. So I’ve pretty much done all the preparation for number one, and number three won’t be so bad since that novel is already finished, but number two? Yikes! I’ve given myself all kinds of reasons about why I can’t finish the outline and start writing the book this year during NaNoWrioMo:

1. I’m about to release a novel and can’t possibly spare any more space in my brain for writing another one right now.

2. The holidays are coming up! How can I make pralines and sweet potato pie when I’m writing a novel?

3. I need to start preparing for next year’s release; beta readers, proofreading, a book cover, ebook formatting, promotion, blog tours; how can I write another novel? I’m too distracted!

4. My muse is in Bermuda.

Truth? I think that underneath all those excuses is the fear that I somehow won’t be able to pull the novel off, which is something I need to confront head on. And the only way to confront it? Plant my behind in a chair and write.

To find out more about Alex J. Cavanaugh’s Insecure Writer’s Support Group and to see other participants,click here.


40 thoughts on “#IWSG – Focus

  1. I definitely hear you on wondering if you’ll be able to write another book in any specified amount of time. I’d love to be able to plot and start on another novel before the year’s end, but it’s hard for me to work on more than one thing at once, and my current book’s rewrites… ulp. @_@ You’re right, though; the only way to deal with it is to sit down and go to it. If it works, awesome, if somehow it doesn’t, at least you’re not wondering how it would have gone.

    Good luck to you. ^_^
    Mason T. Matchak recently posted..How Happy an Ending?My Profile

  2. First off congrats on the multiple novels and your upcoming release!!!

    And, oh man, do I hear you! When you’re writing just to write and the idea of your story ‘being out there’ isn’t really a thing, the pressure is minimal. BUT, when things get real, they get REAL!

    Good luck, you’ll totally pull it off 😉

  3. Maybe you need to join your muse in Bermuda? I bet you could write there.
    If you really want it to happen, you’ll find the time. But if there still isn’t time with your upcoming release, don’t beat yourself up. Trust me, I know what it’s like to juggle too many projects!
    Alex J. Cavanaugh recently posted..Insecure Writer’s Support Group – and the Big Announcement! Plus Conan O’Brien and Clueless Gamer, Editing Services, Ninja News, and Movie Trivia AnswersMy Profile

  4. I love this post, Quanie! I can so identify with it. Whenever I think about all the things on my to-do list, inertia sets in and I just want to turtle. (Actually, I usually do turtle.) But one thing I learned from a recent writing retreat is there’s such a thing as too much writing time. Seriously! Work on your new book until you need a break, and use those breaks to tackle your marketing, ebook formatting and all the mundane stuff that needs to get done. You can totally do it!

    I’ve never tried sweet potato pie, but it sounds delicious. I hope you get time to make that, too.

    And totally off-topic, but you have a beautiful smile. It lights up your face. I’m sure you hear that all the time. 🙂

    • Never tried sweet potato pie? I’m picking myself up from off the floor! I’ll have to send you some:) And there’s nothing too off topic here at my blog. My smile, my sweet potato pie. We can talk about it all!
      Quanie recently posted..#IWSG – FocusMy Profile

    • I wasn’t even thinking about it in terms of the sooner I start the quicker I’ll be done, but you’re right. Then I’ll be done with that project and I’ll have another project to start obsessing about!
      Quanie recently posted..#IWSG – FocusMy Profile

  5. Oh man, I think I need that poster right in front of my computer. I can imagine that with everything coming up for the book launch that starting anything new must seem completely overwhelming, even if all fears of failure are pushed to the side. I have a difficult time multi-tasking a few things during the day, juggling all of that has to take quite a bit. Good luck with your decision! I hope you do what makes you happy. 🙂
    Caitlin recently posted..Insecure Writer’s Support GroupMy Profile

  6. Take a moment to reflect on what you’ve already done, Quanie! You’ve accomplished a great deal. Tackle your next project a little at a time so you’re not overwhelmed. You’ll surprise yourself on what can be done. Starting is the hardest part.

  7. Congratulations, Quanie, on all you have accomplished. Take a deep breath then keep it going. Best wishes on your career. And thanks for stopping by my blog this morning.

  8. Oh! Pralines! Sweet potato pie! I totally get the allure. It’s pretty hard to keep that butt in that chair when so many distractions call our names, isn’t it? I know you can do it. You’re dedicated! You’re focused! (Or just keep telling yourself that. I’m happy to help.)

    I’ll be doing Nano this year, too. Do it with me! It’ll be great fun. I promise.

  9. I completely understand what you are going through, Quanie. But don’t forget about how far you have come. When my first children’s book was published, I already had my 2nd and 3rd stories finished. I was hoping to release another one next Spring but because I have so much going on with my mother and adult writing, I decided to wait until that book’s birth was ready.

    Don’t force yourself to sit down and write something if your mindset isn’t there. However, if you think you are just coming up with excuses and deep down, you know that you can make the time, then go for it! Things happen when they are supposed to but sometimes, we need that extra push to really get things going. All in all, your doing great.
    Gina Stoneheart recently posted..Be Not Fearful Because I am With YouMy Profile

  10. It is difficult to focus on writing a brand new book when you’re also trying to promote another novel. I’ve learned, as a writer, we sometimes set too big of goals for us to complete, so if you’re not able to write a novel this year, it’s okay. Look at all you’ve accomplished this year. That is certainly something to be proud of, and then next year you can focus on tackling another book. But if you do participate in NaNoWriMo I definitely think you will meet your goal, or at least come pretty close and pretty close is awesome! Good luck!! 🙂
    Chrys Fey recently posted..Tasty Cure for Writing InsecurityMy Profile

  11. You can do it! Most things worth doing come with a set of excuses. Why we can’t… Why we shouldn’t… What if… These things creep in to steal our creativity, time, and hope. Don’t let it happen! Good luck with accomplishing your goals!
    Dawn brazil recently posted..BANNED BOOKS WEEKMy Profile

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