IWSG: NaNo clean-up and the Holiday Season.


Purpose: To share and encourage. 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!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time - and return comments. This group is all about connecting!

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG.

The awesome co-hosts for the October 5 posting of the IWSG are Joylene Nowell Butler, Chemist Ken, Natalie Aguirre, Nancy Gideon, and Cathrina Constantine! Be sure you drop in on them and see what they have to say!

Every month, the IWSG poses an optional question that members can answer in their IWSG post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story, and can offer something to get you started!

The December question: It's holiday time! Are the holidays a time to catch up or fall behind on writer goals?


I'll get to the question in a minute, but first--time to report out on NaNo and the new novel in the Seffi Wardwell Investigates series, titled (at this point) Washed Up With the Tide. 

I'm really proud of myself with this NaNo project. I set my target really high--to actually finish the whole 80K draft in one month. I missed that target by about 8000 words, but more to the point, I finished the draft on the 4th, aside from a few bits I'm still fixing--scenes I decided along the way needed to be added in here and there, but didn't want to go do just then. And 72,000 words in 30 days, while also taking plenty of time to enjoy my family over the Thanksgiving holiday--I call it a triumph.

I learned two big things from NaNo this time: First, that I can produce a lot when I put my mind to it, and second, that it's not necessarily a good idea. To be honest, writing upwards of 3000 words/day became an obsession and a bit of a burden. I feel like I came to the hairy edge of burning out. But it was important to me to try, because my writing has struggled so much since losing my husband in 2020. I needed to know I could really do it, and not in little dribs and drabs here and there, but with focus and determination.

For more about what I learned, see last week's post.

So--if you don't want to talk about the holidays, talk to me about your NaNo, if you participated. Or your cats. I like cats, especially on the internet where they don't trigger my allergies.

Now, as for the question: I push writing aside a bit for the holidays, so I can focus on other things. It's convenient that if I draft a novel during and after NaNo, it's in the right place to be set aside when the Solstice looms on the horizon and lights need to be strung, gifts bought, and the house cleaned for company. Of course, it does mean I have to power through the start of the season, the Thanksgiving food-and-family festival.

And don't forget... Books make the best gifts!

(Apropos of that, I might just mention, ahem, that I have a couple of 99-cent holiday themed e-books. The Christmas Question is a sweet romantic novella that falls between books 4 and 5 of the Pismawallops PTA mystery series. And Missing Snow collects seven of my best midwinter tales, from heartwarming to chilling. All my books are available at all the usual outlets, if you don't like Amazon.)


©Rebecca M. Douglass, 2022
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  1. I agree with you that you triumphed at NaNo. Congrats on getting so much writing done.

    1. Thanks. I'm feeling pretty proud of myself, though of course the immediate insecurity sets it! (i.e., it's a horrible mess and the story doesn't work and my characters are dead and...)

  2. 72,000 words in 30 days is amazing! Congratulations!!!

  3. You're a NaNo heroine. So many words. You deserve a break. Take it easy during the holidays.

    1. Aww, thanks! I think I'll be taking a break whether I want it or not. For the moment, the well is dry and the focus is... gone.

  4. How great that you got so much written! Hats off to you, Rebecca! Now kick back and enjoy your triumph.

  5. Thanks for stopping by my blog. That's awesome you were able to write so much even if you got a bit overwhelmed. It seems like you even learned something about yourself as a writer.

  6. Way to go, Rebecca! Now you can enjoy the holiday season and come back refreshed to your manuscript in the new year! Have a wonderful holiday season!


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