Wednesday, September 6, 2017

IWSG: Goodbye Summer


Hello and Happy September! Today is the day for the monthly meeting of The Insecure Writer's Support Group, founded by our Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh. To view list members and this month's co-hosts, visit the IWSG page here.

I know I'm in a small minority, but I'm always so happy to see summer come to a close. I think I have some kind of reverse seasonal affective disorder, as I tend to become depressed and sluggish every year when summer rolls around. I wanted this year to be different, and had a good start in June, but by July my regular pattern had emerged.

In spite of that, there were some bright spots to the summer so I thought I'd focus on the positives.
  1. I finished my 5k running program! In fact, running was the one thing I felt great about all summer. I can't believe it, but I now look forward to my runs and I feel out of sorts when I miss one. I'm focusing on increasing my distance and endurance now. I've made it to four miles and am working on getting to five. 
  2. I participated in the August Write... Edit... Publish... bloghop and had a great experience with my story The Last Reunion. I had hit a brick wall while working on revisions for my new Alaska story and was feeling frustrated, so it was energizing and fun to write something totally different. I am now looking forward to the October hop and thinking about ideas for the Dark Places theme. 
  3. Game of Thrones! My favorite show. EVER. 
  4. Reading. I read some great books this summer, including one that instantly became one of my all-time favorites. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr is an extraordinary read. 
A window box in Paris
Best of all, in the past week or so I've been inspired to start working on a new/old book idea - a short story collection called A Window Box in Paris. I first started thinking about this collection after visiting Paris in 2016, but my ideas were all vague and unorganized. I don't know what happened, but last week when I had trouble falling asleep I started thinking about the ideas again and they all started to crystallize and come together. I'm now making notes and working on characters, and I'm super excited to get started on the project. 

I'm struggling with the usual insecurities that come with working on something new and worrying that the ideas will amount to nothing, but I'm determined to push through those doubts and worries. My goal is to have a first draft completed by the end of the year. 

What are your goals or plans for the rest of 2017? 

88 comments:

  1. You can do five! I was never a running and I've managed to get it up to six miles.
    Glad that story idea is coming together.
    I'm also glad summer has ended.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Alex! Your running inspires me. :)

      Delete
  2. I enjoy summer like the next guy, but fall is where it's at for me, especially where I live - so many colors, textures, and sounds.💖 Best of luck with those goals! I'm in dire need of getting the book I'm working on to my editor and starting a new project.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love fall too! My favorite time of the year by far. Good luck with getting your book to your editor, I'm sure you'll get there.

      Delete
  3. I am exactly the same - I get so excited this time of year, as the nights draw in and the air gets colder. Winter is my favourite time of year; I tolerate summer.
    Game of Thrones is amazing.
    Good luck with your new ideas!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly! I get so excited too. Glad I'm not alone. :)

      Delete
  4. I'm not happy when the end of summer rolls around, because I know that winter is coming, but then again, fall is my most favorite time of year. So once I accept the end of summer, I'm usually pretty happy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Fall is my favorite too. I don't love winter, but I seem to tolerate better than the summer time.

      Delete
  5. I'm with you on summer.

    You like GoT? Really? :)

    I love the short story idea. Don't forget NaNo is coming up soon, in case that might help with writing the draft or maybe even with a different project.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hard to believe NaNo is right around the corner! Thanks for the reminder. And yes, I've been know to be a little obsessive about GoT. ;)

      Delete
  6. My husband prefers winter and also evening and night versus sunny days. He's a little bit of an oddball! But I also love fall so I get where you're coming from. I would never want to move South where it's hotter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL your husband and I are the same kind of oddball then. :D Oh, I'd never want to move south. I already can't stand the heat and humidity we have here. I am a wuss!

      Delete
  7. I'm so glad you're pushing through your insecurities, Julie. I get a lot of great ideas when I'm either trying to fall asleep or when I'm having a tough time sleeping. I love that picture from Paris. Beautiful!

    Enjoy the rest of your week!
    Elsie

    ReplyDelete
  8. It's funny how those untold stories stay with us until we write them down. Happy writing!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Congrats on your running achievements... especially in the summertime. Here, it's an "accomplishment" to walk to the mailbox during the heat of summer. :)

    Your idea to write a short story collection has been waiting on the back burner until the time was right. Since your enthusiasm for it has risen, NOW must be the time! Have fun with it.

    My goal? To finish editing the book I'm working on now and get started with book 2 of the trilogy. In reality? Keep putting one foot in front of the other. But not by running... :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks!! I still can't believe I'm doing the running. Have to pinch myself sometimes.
      I bet you will finish that editing. Good luck!

      Delete
  10. I keep my goals small and attainable. So needless to say, yet here I go, I don't do a five-year plan or a yearly one. I'm plugging away at my current WIP and that's all I need. :-)

    Anna from elements of emaginette

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hooray for ideas coming together! Best of luck with that first draft!

    And I'm happy to see summer end, too. But not Game of Thrones...I need more episodes!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, me too! I am still annoyed the season was shortened. :(

      Delete
  12. I hear you about hitting the wall on a WIP. I'm always so afraid that when that happens, I'll never find the end of the story. Keep going. Good luck.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! That's how I'm feeling right now but I'm going to just leave it alone for a while.

      Delete
  13. I'm glad you've got inspiration for your stories! Woot! And awesome job with the 5K running. I hope to get back to it when the weather cools down. :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. I think your new writing project sounds fascinating. Wishing you much success in getting it all together. Congrats on your running project, too. Happy September!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I hope it continues to come together, I'm excited about it.

      Delete
  15. How wonderful! I can only imagine how inspiring Paris is. I love that autumn is coming upon us. It's my favorite season!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hi,
    Congratulations on your great experience at WEP. The 'WEP is one of my highlights and I'm happy to hear that you're working on another project.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Patricia Everything Must Change

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so glad I joined the WEP. Such a great hop! Thanks, Pat!!

      Delete
  17. Oh wow how great you feel inspired to pick up an old project. Sometimes lying away can be very productive can't it? Well done on the running too. Hope the new season is a good one for you all round.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Suzanne! I hope I can stay inspired on this project this time. :)

      Delete
  18. It's great when you get that magical moment when something clicks on a project. Good luck with it! Paris is such a great setting in any case - very inspiring.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I can't even walk 5k anymore because my knee is so bad...But I'm thrilled for you! I'm sorry you hit a road block on your Alaska story, but it appears you have many interesting things on the horizon!!! Good Luck.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aww, sorry about your knee trouble. I am trying to make sure I don't go overboard on the running as I know knee injuries can happen easily. Thanks!

      Delete
  20. A Window Box in Paris sounds like a lovely theme for a collection of short stories! I'm excited to hear more. I think you're an amazing writer so I believe in your ability to tackles this project!
    And congrats on your walking!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Glad you've been getting some stuff done and that you have an old/new writing project to keep you occupied. :)

    ReplyDelete
  22. I agree with you about summer...I hibernate in the A/C. I love fall and am so happy it's here!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay, a kindred spirit! AC is the best invention ever. :D

      Delete
  23. I so agree - Summer - worst season ever! I've never been a sunworshipper or beachy kind of girl. Autummn first, winter second - I love the cool, cold, rainy. I run, too - just ran a 10k that nearly killed me because it was so beastly hot and humid. Good luck with new project - I love the window box concept.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh wow, I hope to get to a 10k next year. I can only imagine how hard it must have been in the humidity. I'm lucky I can walk around when it's humid. Yay for autumn and winter!

      Delete
  24. Congratulations on your run Julie, that's something I could never do. That window box is gorgeous and I like the idea of a short story collection. I'm thinking of doing the same thing at some stage, but at the moment I'm sending out some of my short stories to competitions and publications to 'test the waters'. I'm also re-working some longer works and making notes for new story ideas. There's nothing like the change of seasons to keep one motivated. Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Debbie! And good luck with testing the waters. I'm sure you will have some great successes!

      Delete
  25. I am happy for your bright spots and your renewed inspiration for an old project. :) I'm just like you...I'm happy when summer ends, but it doesn't really end here in Florida. lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't think I could manage in Florida! I was in Miami in October a few years ago and it was still so hot I couldn't stand it. I hope you are able to stay safe in the hurricane, Chrys!

      Delete
  26. Glad your running is going so well. I get out of sorts when I don't walk. Good luck with all your writing projects.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Congrats on the running and the creativity!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Best wishes with your projects. I am working on some flash fiction right now.
    Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

    ReplyDelete
  29. I never run anywhere, not on purpose. I think your short story collection sounds like my kind of read. Hurry and finish.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Congrats on your running goals. A Window in Paris sounds like a wonderful title for your short stories. Best wishes. BTW, I "caught" my grandkids ready Baby Moo. They enjoyed it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That should have been "reading" not ready.

      Delete
    2. Oh, that makes my day! Thanks, Diane!!

      Delete
  31. I get a little sad when summer ends, but I think that's partly because I'm a teacher and the prospect of night after night of grading stacks of papers and answering dozens of e-mails from students makes me seriously reconsider my stance as a teetotaler.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, I can understand that. I'm sure if I was a teacher summer would be my favorite even if I do hate the heat. I hope your new school year gets off to a good start at least. :)

      Delete
  32. Summer is not my favorite season either. I adore Fall.

    WEP produces great prompts to get the writing juices flowing. I've found several story starts there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's good to know! I am so glad I finally jumped in with the WEP. Not only because I enjoyed writing the story but it was great to read the other entries. :)

      Delete
  33. We haven't had much Summer this year, in UK. I'm not a fan of heat but enjoy not having to wear a rain coat, occasionally. That's rarely been the case this year. But Autumn is my favourite season.

    GOT is also my fave TV programme so I'm gutted it comes to an end next season :(

    Great to hear about your running! I'm such a sloth so I envy anyone who gets something positive out of exercise.

    Shah X

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so sad about GoT coming to an end too!! I feel like it could go on forever and I'd never get tired of it.

      Delete
  34. Well done Julie - so glad a new book is on its way ... and yes well done on the running - that's brilliant. The book "All the Light we cannot see" was highly praised by Nila ... so it's already in my to buy/to read list ... WEP is also an interesting quarterly writing zone: which I too enjoy ... good luck with your goals - cheers Hilary

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think you will love All the Light, Hilary. It's so good!!
      Thanks!

      Delete
  35. All The Light We Cannot See is on my list! Dunno when I'll get to it, though...
    I love the sound of A Window Box in Paris. My favourite city which I had the opportunity of visiting many, many, many years ago...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, whenever you get to that book I hope you enjoy it. I think you will! :)

      Delete
  36. Awesome on the book! Congratulations!

    ReplyDelete
  37. I have a friend who is the same, Julie. She said she's a winter person. To her, if it's cold you can put something warm on but if it's hot then it's harder to get cold. Me? I get happy at the start of spring and less happy as summer gets too hot.
    Congratulations and good luck with the book!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good to know there are others out there like me. I feel exactly like your friend LOL. Thanks!

      Delete
  38. I do believe there is such a thing as seasonal affective disorder for summer. I usually do worse in the summer, but this one was better than usual, but I am glad fall is coming. That's great the running is still going well. Good luck with your writing! I'll be stuck in the editing cave for the rest of this year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Interesting, I didn't know that there was a disorder for summer too. Sorry you also struggle with summer but glad this one was better! Good luck with your editing. :)

      Delete
  39. Ooh, I adore short story collections, so it would be amazing to see you release one someday. Best of luck with this!

    And wow, your running accomplishments are so impressive. Many congrats!

    ReplyDelete
  40. I'm glad something good came out of your restless night! Paris is a beautiful city and I can't wait to hear more about your book! I'm also impressed with all of your running!

    Julie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Julie! Paris is definitely an inspiration. :)

      Delete
  41. I loved All the Light We Cannot See as well. I like the fall because it's easier to focus on writing when the house is empty. I can't be creative with the chorus of "Mo-om, can I have..." in the background. I like the cooler weather as well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL I can imagine back to school time is your favorite time of the year. Yay for the cooler weather!

      Delete
  42. You have lots of good things happening Julie. So excited for you.

    ReplyDelete
  43. 5k running and dreaming of Paris? I think you've got awesome priorities indeed:)

    ReplyDelete
  44. I love summer, but Fall has always been my favorite! It's great you're running, I've never really been good at it, but it does feel good when you're done!

    I love your idea of window boxes in Paris. Paris is such a beautiful and inspiring city.

    ReplyDelete
  45. I'm super excited you found something great to work on. Awesome about running. I've been using the gym at work. I feel wrong when I don't exercise regularly. I'm not a big summer fan either. I don't like the heat.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Hello!! I'am glad to read the whole content of this blog and am very excited. Thank you…
    ตารางบอล

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for your comments!