Time Troubles (An IWSG Post)

It’s the first second Wednesday of the month, which means it’s time for another action-packed installment of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group.

(I’m assuming that anyone reading this post is already well-versed in the IWSG, but if you’re new and/or just interested in more information and/or a complete list of participants, please click on the above link.)

This month’s awesome co-hosts are T. Powell Coltrin, Victoria Marie Lees, Stephen Tremp, Renee Scattergood, and J.H. Moncrieff.

This month’s (optional) question asks, “What started you on your writing journey? Was it a particular book, movie, story, or series? Was it a teacher/coach/spouse/friend/parent? Did you just “know” suddenly you wanted to write?”

As best I can recall, I just always was a writer from the moment I figured out how to do that whole words-putting-into-sentence-doing thing (Name! That! Reference!) You know, so like a whole year or two now…

Kidding. It’s been slightly longer than that. But just slightly.

Though, these days, it doesn’t feel as though I’ve been writing for most of my life. The timeline problem I mentioned in my previous post continues to be a problem. None of the solutions I’ve devised thus far hold up for more than a day or two.

Eventually, I assume, I’ll hit upon the correct configuration of story, but until that magical day arrives, I’ll be a little stressed. All right, a lot stressed. I like having a plan in place. I like having a map to follow, even though I usually end up on a detour or two or twenty before it’s all said and done. I enjoy the detours. I enjoy puzzling out stories.

What I don’t particularly enjoy is bushwhacking my way through the Everglades or whatever jungle swamp form my WIP has decided to take on this week.

Thank goodness it’s a first draft, right?

Though I’ll keep devising new plans and trying them out until I find the one that works, I can’t help but worry that this time will be the time I don’t find the one that works.

But it probably won’t be. Right?

RIGHT?!?!?!?


Thanks for stopping by todayβ€”I’ll try to do better next month.

42 Commentsto Time Troubles (An IWSG Post)

  1. Just a first draft. You’ll figure it out by the end!

  2. You just need to believe in yourself and that the answer will come.

  3. You’ll find it. You always do. Just pick your head up now and then to see where you are so you can adjust direction accordingly.

    (Easier said than done, I know. I’m wandering around a dark cave with no flashlight as we speak…..)

  4. Jemi Fraser says:

    You’ll figure it out! Your subconscious is working on it πŸ™‚
    Hoping 2020 brings you all kinds of joy & success!

    • M.J. Fifield says:

      It really doesn’t feel like my subconscious is working on much of anything these days, but I could be wrong. πŸ™‚

  5. It won’t be! I know you will figure it out. I understand how frustrating it is though.
    Your site looks great!

  6. Chrys Fey says:

    Step away from it for a while. Don’t think about it. And then BAM! the answer will come. πŸ™‚

    • M.J. Fifield says:

      That is my go-to technique. It’s not serving me as well this time around, but I’m sure it’ll come around again. I hope…

  7. Christine Rains says:

    Right! As everyone is saying, it’s the first draft. It’s going to be messy. Happy New Year! πŸ™‚

  8. An all-too common dilemma, but you’ll figure it out. You have before. πŸ™‚

    • M.J. Fifield says:

      True. But there’s something about this particular issue in this particular WIP that just feels…different. I’m not sure what to do about it yet. Maybe just need to have a little patience with both it and myself (fear that…)

  9. Oh I like the beautiful website. Best of luck on your writing endeavors. I like to call the first draft the fun draft. Everything after you get the story done just feels like work.

    • M.J. Fifield says:

      There’s some quote by some writer (Neil Gaiman, maybe?) that says something like “The first draft is telling yourself the story. The second draft is making it look like you knew that’s what would happen all along.”

      I have never more identified with that quote than I have with this particular project.

  10. You’ll get it figured out. We all have faith in you.

  11. J E Oneil says:

    If you never stop working on it, then it can’t be the first time it doesn’t work, right?

    [Insert meme of guy pointing at his head like he’s really smart and figured out the riddle]

  12. I’m sure you’ll figure it out. New blog looks good.

  13. Liz A. says:

    That’s a Buffy reference, isn’t it? I can picture it as something Willow said. Maybe. (Or it could be Mandela effect…)

    You’ll get the timeline worked out, and it’ll come to you in a flash, but only when you’re not thinking about it. You’ll be thinking about something completely different. Good luck.

    • M.J. Fifield says:

      It’s from Gilmore Girls, actually. But I agreeβ€”it does sound like something Willow would say.

      And you’re probably right about the timeline solution only showing up when I’m thinking about something completely different. I hate that my brain works that way. It’s so inconvenient.

  14. C. Lee McKenzie says:

    I love first drafts as rotten as they can be. At least I’ve wrestled that plot into place and the character are beginning to take shape.

    • M.J. Fifield says:

      I don’t mind a bad first draft. It’s always a good challenge to try to turn it into something better. It’s when I can’t even get a WIP into bad first draft territory that I start to worry.

  15. Andrew Leon says:

    hmm…
    I have no thoughts.
    Seriously.
    I’ve been on the phone with the USPS for… 3+ hours now and, though I read this, I have brainmush.

    • M.J. Fifield says:

      After being on the phone for three hours with USPS, I don’t doubt that you have brainmush. Hope you recover soon!

  16. mshatch says:

    Sometimes stepping away for a while helps, working on something else, walking, or binge watching Buffy. Sometimes I’ve had to retrace my steps and figure out where things went off the rails in order to fix it all. I’m hoping solution #1 works for you cuz #2 is a pain in the ass.

    • M.J. Fifield says:

      Yes, #2 is mostly certainly a pain in the ass. I’ve done it before. I actually did it with this particular WIP at the end of last year (before NaNoWriMo), but I think I may need to walk it back a little more. It’ll suck because I’m coming dangerously close to cutting a storyline I really don’t want to lose. But if that’s what the story needs, then that’s what I’ll do. πŸ™‚

      But maybe I’ll binge watch Buffy again first…

  17. Tara Tyler says:

    read both the posts – Love and Other Lies, eh? Great title–trying to be patient for its release…

    and time-line trouble? have you laid out your post-its? I know you’ll figure it out-all part of the process, just not the fun part!

    Here’s to meeting our goals in 2020!

    • M.J. Fifield says:

      Actually, all the post-its are off the wall at the moment because I’ve been so unhappy with this timeline. All my usual tricks are failing me. I’ll just have to come up with something new for this book, I guess. πŸ™‚

  18. Toi Thomas says:

    I’m late making the rounds, but thanks for stopping by my blog.
    A life long writing journey sounds nice. I had that, sort of, but I didn’t know it. I wish I had known sooner how important writing was to me.
    Hope things work out with your first draft. They are always the most fun, and most challenging.

    • M.J. Fifield says:

      It took me entirely too long to figure out that I was supposed to be a writer. Because, apparently, years and years of writing wasn’t enough of a clue for me. πŸ™‚

  19. Good luck! Know what you mean about liking a plan to follow. (I always hit waaaay too many dead ends whenever I don’t have something like that in place.) Hope you’re not left feeling stressed for too long!

    • M.J. Fifield says:

      Considering the number of dead ends I hit when I do have a plan in place, I can only imagine what would happen if I didn’t attempt to plan it out. I’m a plotter, and I cannot lie.

  20. I admire your tenacity. Keep up taming those words and timelines.

  21. Man, I am so far behind. It’s almost February and I’m just now getting around to January’s IWSG posts!

    Ugh, do I know about timeline issues. And ah, the plan and the map. It’s like you’re speaking to my heart with your likes. I hope you’ve managed to figure out something by now, and that the stress has abated.

    • M.J. Fifield says:

      It took almost the entire month of January, but I think I may have hit upon something that may work. For now, anyway…

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