Wednesday, February 3, 2016

IWSG & Ringing Out the Old



Today's the day for the February meeting of the Insecure Writer's Support Group, hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh. Visit here to see this month's co-hosts, a list of group participants, or to join the group yourself. The IWSG is a welcoming and supportive community and if you decide to join I know you won't regret it.

I know New Year's is generally the time we "ring out the old and ring in the new," but I am doing that a month late this year.

I've whined for probably six or eight months about the story I've been working on and finishing, then starting again, then finishing again, and then oops, still not really finished. I wrote about throwing in the towel on it more than once and also wrote about finishing it more than once. But last week I realized that it's not only not finished, it simply isn't a good story. IT. DOES. NOT. WORK.

I came to this realization while I was lying in bed enjoying the fact that I did not have to get up for work that day. For whatever reason, it became crystal clear to me that I was not going to finish that story and that was okay. Sometimes you just have to accept that something doesn't work and all the revisions in the world aren't going to change that.

It sounds crazy, but this simple realization caused me to breath a huge sigh of relief. For almost a year now I've been putting everything else on hold saying I needed to finish this story before I started on anything else. I stopped nearly all blogging and social media insisting that I needed to simply focus on this story. The story had become an albatross around my neck. So being able to give myself permission to let it go and move on was just what I needed!


Now I'm excited to be back to blogging again and giving other forms of social media another try. I've got some ideas for blog topics lined up and I even signed up for a blogfest, (see above) which I was fairly sure I'd never do again.


Source: publicdomainpictures

I'm even more excited to be working on a new story, something totally out of my comfort zone. I've had an idea for a children's book based on the farm animals I met at Sunrise Sanctuary last year and I actually started working on it now! I have no idea where it will lead but it's fun to try something totally different. My main characters are an ambitious but naive cow, an anxiety-plagued dog, and a streetwise but compassionate cat. My goal is to write a book I would have loved reading as a child.

I hope your month is off to a good start and I look forward to visiting and getting caught up with everyone!

49 comments:

  1. Way to go on letting that story go. Letting go of a story is always tough. I can relate. I love your new book idea. A streetwise cat and other farm animals definitely sounds like a story I would like. Wishing you the best!

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  2. Knowing when to let things go is a hard thing to do, a hard skill to master. I've had to teach myself that it really is okay, that it's NOT quitting or failing or whatever. So good for you for figuring that out here! :)

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  3. I've been pondering of late whether my current project is a story of which I need to let go. Like the others have said, it's so hard to do that. I salute you for knowing when it's time.

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  4. Awesome insight, Julie. Letting go of something we've worked so hard on is not easy, but so so freeing. Congrats. And good luck with your new project. It sounds wonderful..

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  5. @Murees, thanks! I really hope I can get the story done. It is something so new for me it's a little intimidating but fun as well.

    @Madeline, I never would have expected it to be as hard as it was but I really did struggle with it. I may still resurrect one of the characters in a different story but I'm not going to even think about that for a while.

    @MJ, I hope you are able to figure out what is best for you and your project. Good luck!

    @Karen, thanks! Freeing is the best way to describe it, something I wouldn't have expected.

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  6. Oh yes, move on to the story you really feel, that's where your creative heart is.
    I've run into the same with the book I worked on during NaNo, I'm not sure it'll ever come to be, but things are happening now that need my attention. Maybe later, maybe never?

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  7. Letting go of a story is hard. Grieve but move on. Your heart is telling you what to do.

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  8. I don't think it's crazy at all to be relieved about this - sometimes we can't see what's in plain sight. You must be excited about being able to start new things!

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  9. Sometimes it is really hard to let go of a story, but it's the best thing we can do for ourselves when we're in such a spot. Yay for new things!

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  10. @Yolanda, that's exactly how I feel about this.

    @Diane, it definitely was and I should have listened sooner LOL.

    @Laura, I am!

    @Christine, thanks! :)

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  11. Hi,
    Happy that you came to the realization that you needed to let it go. It is always good when we do that out of our conviction that it is the right thing to do.
    All the best.
    Shalom,
    Patricia

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  12. It's hard enough to "kill our babies" when editing a piece of writing, so I know how hard it must have been for you to kill the whole darned piece after you'd put so much time and energy into it. Still, sometimes you've just gotta dump those albatrosses into the ocean where they belong. If you're feeling relief, you made the right decision.

    A children's book? Super! Don't make any of those sweet animals blood-thirsty killers, now, okay? :)

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  13. @Pat, thank you! Nice to meet you. :)

    @Susan, oh, you definitely don't have to worry about that LOL. My bloodthirsty streak does not extend to animals. :D I can't even handle an animal dying a peaceful death in a story. Marley & Me nearly killed me LOL.

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  14. Hi Julie - well that was a brave realisation .. but sometimes we just need to let go. Good for you and then your new project is up and running and an idea waiting to happen. A great new start to the year ... great to have you back .. cheers Hilary

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  15. Good for you to come to that realization and be able to accept it and move on. I don't know if I'd be able to do that. I don't let go of things very easily. Your new project sounds like something I would have loved to have read as a child. Animal stories were some of my favorites. Good luck with it!

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  16. Your children's story ideas sounds wonderful! Sometimes, we need to let go of something to work on something even better.
    It's good to have you back!!!

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  17. @Hilary, great to be back, thanks!

    @Lori, I always loved animal stories - still do. Thanks for your good luck wishes.

    @Tyrean, thank you!!

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  18. Sometimes stepping back and getting a different perspective is all it takes. Glad you found out what to do about that story and glad you've returned to blogging. You were missed.

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  19. Glad you made the decision to do something different. Yup, we should do the things that makes us happy.

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  20. I have 2 or 3 half-finished novels that I worked on for 6+ months before deciding they just weren't working. Sometimes that happens. You made the right decision to just let it go and move on to something that inspires you more. I love the idea of a children's book! Since it's out of your comfort zone, it'll be an exciting challenge! Good luck! :)

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  21. Sometimes the hardest thing is letting go. I am glad you found your answer and it often is something we are surprised by. I like your idea of a children's book. You can name your dog after mine-Wallace-he has major anxieties and is still phobic (and always will be) of the outside

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  22. I'm glad to hear you had an epiphany, even if it came at the cost of a story. Your next venture sounds like tons of fun! Woot!

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  23. @Lee, that's very kind of you to say, thanks!

    @JL, definitely.

    @Lexa, I am excited about it, thank you.

    @Birgit, aww, poor Wallace. Clancy has lots of anxieties too and I sometimes blame myself since they say dogs can take on qualities their people have LOL.

    @Loni, thank you!

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  24. Sometimes you have to let go to move on. Weird how that works. Your new project sounds fab. I found new life by doing something new too.

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  25. An albatross around the neck sounds awful!!! So glad you were able to detach it and move on!!! A children's story sounds really awesome!!!

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  26. I resemble some of those barnyard characters. :) If you're not having fun, let it go. At some point when you least expect it the answer of how to make it work will come. It happens.

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  27. I'm sorry about the story and I'm glad you've decided to try something else. Sometimes transitions can be tough. :-)

    Anna from elements of emaginette

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  28. Yep, sometimes a story just needs to be laid to rest. It can take some time to realise this, but it's good when we do. It frees us up for more creativity.

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  29. Feb. did start well for me, as well.

    A few years ago, it occurred to me that my hoped for book was not in my future. It was "ah ha" moment, a big relief. From then I write for the sheer joy of it. I understand.

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  30. It's so hard to let those stories go! Yet you seem relieved and free, so it's right. Good for you for listening to your personal truth!

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  31. Hey, if the story isn't working, it's best to let it go. You'll find yourself more charged for projects you do want to finish. Good luck with the new story idea.

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  32. I know that had to be hard to do, but that sigh of relief you felt tells you, you made the right decision. It may not be what you hoped, but it probably means better things are coming in your writing world. Best of luck to you and good luck with new story. Have fun.
    Juneta Writer's Gambit

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  33. That is awesome.
    And you never know! You may use pieces of the unworkable story other places!

    Best of luck on your new story!

    Heather

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  34. Yay! Sometimes it's hard to let go but when you do there is often something better just around the corner.

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  35. i am so excited for you!!! this sounds like a wonderful project! way to change it up for the better!
    and i think i'll join you on that blogfest, i don't have enough on my plate - ha!
    happy february!

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  36. Yay you! It can be so hard to let a project go sometimes--this is something I've struggled with many times in the past--so I'm glad this one isn't dragging you down anymore. And how exciting about that children's book! It sounds like it'll be such a cute read. (I already feel like me and that anxiety-plagued dog will be kindred spirits, LOL.) Best of luck with it!

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  37. I'm glad you found your peace with the story. It's tough to let go, but I think the limbo is tougher. Your new idea sounds interesting and it's great to stretch your comfort zone. Best of luck with developing the new story! :)

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  38. I have a story I shelved. Every now and then I pull it out and take a look, then sigh when I realize it's a total mess.

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  39. It's great you came to that realization with your current WIP. Now you're free to start the next one and make it ten times better:)

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  40. @Mary, I'm looking forward to your new project!

    @Cathrina, I hope it will be!

    @Tabitha, haha I resemble some of them as well. :D

    @Anna, definitely but now I'm excited to move on.

    @Lynda, that's what I'm hoping for. :)

    @Susan, and you write so well! I'm glad you are getting joy out of it.

    @Nadine, thank you!

    @Ken, thanks, I appreciate it.

    @Juneta, I sure hope so, thanks so much.

    @Heather, yeah, I'm already thinking about that! I think it will turn out for the best for sure.

    @Sheena-kay, fingers crossed that is what happens. :)

    @Tara, thanks and same to you!

    @Heather, LOL I also relate to the anxious dog. :D

    @Michael, you're right, I definitely think the limbo is much worse. It was for me anyway.

    @Elizabeth, I think that is probably what will happen with me too LOL.

    @Mark, here's hoping! :)

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  41. I have a few stories I've given up on. I might go back to them. But I'm glad I put them away. Glad you're having fun with what you're working on!

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  42. Good for you. If it wasn't working after all that effort, it wasn't working.

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  43. @Marcy, I'm glad too now. Thanks!

    @Tonja, thanks and it's great to see you! Hope you are well.

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  44. Hello Julie. Giving up on a project that you've put so much sweat and tears into is definitely tough, but if it isn't working, there's no sense in letting everything else fall to the wayside. Congrats on letting it go. Maybe in a few months or a year you can pick it up again with fresh eyes and new ideas :) Good luck with the new children's book. It sounds great and you sound passionate about writing it!

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  45. @Ravyne, thank you, I am and hope to have the story done soon. Thanks for stopping by - it's great to meet you.

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  46. Hi Julie!
    You are brave...and wise, to acknowledge that the story isn't working and you need to let it go.
    I love the energy you're radiating with talk of the new project. A children's book sounds like the way to go. I'm sure it's going to be a success.

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  47. @Michelle, I hope so, thanks so much. :)

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  48. Glad you moving on to another story idea and aren't feeling too bad about letting the other go. Sometimes that really is best. Thanks for your words of encouragement.

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  49. @Toinette, my pleasure and thank you as well. :)

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Thank you for your comments!