To Write Or Not To Write

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There are many definitions of writing but for this post I'm talking about novel writing.

Do I continue or not?

I've been working on my current unfinished novel for more than a year. It is intense and challenging and I often need breaks from the darkness. As a result I end up forgetting half my story and having re-acquaint myself with my characters. This is usually fine and I can get back into writing no problem. I know this novel is in me, I know I can get it out, but should I?

Blogging takes dedication and time. Minutes to write the posts but hours editing and finding the right image. Then there's the social side with sharing my post and communicating with others through linky's, social media and email.

Being a mum sucks my time away. I'm swamped by the constant cleaning, doing laundry and daily school runs. I struggle to keep on top of everything and if I don't I end up with a mountain of laundry and blah-blah-blah.

All I'm doing at the moment is complaining, and that's not how I feel about my life at all. My problem is that I'm torn, I want to blog, I want to turn it into something I can be proud of. But I also want to finish the novel, to get that book out there just to say I did. I don't even think it would sell but it would just be for me anyway, right?

The mum part is something I can't escape, those chores will be there every day. No one else will do them for me. So do I need to give something up to feel better about the other thing?

Do I stop blogging and concentrate on the book? I'm not sure I could even do that. I love blogging, and although I'm not consistent at the moment I have a plan for the new year.

So that leaves the book. Do I stop writing it altogether and concentrate on the blog. This is the question that's been plaguing me for a few weeks now. I love to write fiction but I'm better at the shorter pieces; flash fiction and such. I'm not one who is 'good with the words', I didn't go to university and I've spent most of my adulthood with children. Do I have the talent to write a novel?

Bah!

I hate writing posts like this but I'm at a cross-road and I don't know which way to turn. I could really do with your help. Anyone. Everyone.

Advice?



Writing Bubble

28 comments:

  1. Hi Morgan,

    I do know how you feel, I'm not writing a book but I do feel like I have to split my time between more things than is phyiscally possibly. I love blogging but I'm constantly torn between trying to 'make it something' or just having it as a diary that I use to write when the mood takes me. If you don't want to give the book up then maybe you could allow yourself just 20-30 minutes an evening to work solely on that, or even less time if that's all you have. If it's the only thing you're focusing on (no distractions) you'd be surprised how much you can get done in that time.

    #allaboutyou

    Jenna at Tinyfootsteps xx

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    1. Thank you for stopping by Jenna, I think as a mum splitting time is inevitable and so is that guilt. I know it's all about making time for all of us, including me. I've been thinking about it since I wrote this post and your tip for allowing myself 20-30 minutes just for the book is a great idea. I have a plan to incorporate it into my routine after the holidays.

      Thank you xx

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  2. I go through this frequently. My solution for what it's worth is to dedicate small amounts of time to each thing and be flexible. Sometimes, I want or need/have to write about something and that becomes the priority. I don't put anything on hold, but will move it to the back or the queue if it's needed. I've also learnt to set myself small and achievable goals for each day and found this more satisfying. I find breaking things down into measurable and realistically achievable parts, gives me more 'wins'. Good luck, oh and taking a break from it all totally can also be very good for the mind and soul xx

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    1. It's a cycle for writers isn't it, one minute everything is fantastic and the next you're being attacked by the self-doubt demon. The small, achievable goals are a good idea. I've got a plan for the new year and am going to take a break over the holidays. Give it all some thought and work out what my priorities are. Thanks for the lovely supportive comment. xx

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  3. Stop over thinking it, woman. Put your butt in the chair and write.

    ;O)

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    1. hehe, you're right of course Mac. I know you're right. ;) Thanks x

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  4. I love the comment above!!! Perhaps step away from both for a few days before your brain melts, then schedule in which days you work on which??? Good luck with it x

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    1. Thanks Spidermummy. A break is what I need, I've put a lot in to both this year and am taking a break over the holidays. A plan is brewing...
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting. xx

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  5. I think most of us have gone through this at some point - and written about it. I know I have. I though maybe I wanted to try and money from from my blog, but I use wordpress, so advertising is out. I also moved away from being a mummy blogger, so sponsored posts aren't as relevant. Drawing a line under all that helped me to decide what I wanted from blogging and that as to write about the things that are important to me and connect with people who are like minded. I settled on a number of posts I thought were manageable and linky's that were relevant and now I that is what I aim for each week. I feel as though I have managed to find a balance, but it has taken me all year to find it! Don't give up on the ficiton. Find a way to combine blogging with your other writing. I agree with the others that smaller goals work best. Good luck.

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    1. Thanks Nicola,

      I'm taking in all this wonderful advice everyone has offered and over the holidays will think about the future of the blog and book. I love writing fiction, I truly do and don't want to give it up. I love writing the blog too. I'm sure it's all about balance and this break will help me work out how to find that balance. xx

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  6. I'm guessing Mac Wheeler is a friend of yours? Great reply! I think most mummy bloggers find the juggle really hard, because with success comes a lot of hard work and the reality is most of us don't have the time to consistently put in the hours of effort.

    I'd say it's a massive shame to stop half way through the novel. Could you take a month off and only write the book just to get a first draft finished? Big hugs lovely xxx #whatimwriting

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    1. Mac is a writer friend of mine who is always there to offer the right advice just when I need that kick up the bum! It was a great reply wasn't it? :)

      It is really hard juggling everything but I'm taking these holidays for me and then I'm reassessing everything. I'm formulating a plan for the new year. :) Thanks for stopping by. xx

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  7. Like the others, I struggle with this too. As I'm not writing a novel it's a bit easier, but I still feel pulled and not sure where to put my effort. I think as others have advised, taking a complete break, even just for a few days, might give you some clarity, and then set small goals that you can achieve so that you start to feel more positive. Hugs xx #whatimwriting

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    1. The break is on the agenda, what with Christmas only days away it feels like perfect timing. Hopefully I'll be back in the New Year with a new found motivation for it all. :)

      Thanks for the advice Sara. xx

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  8. I can certainly empathise with this! It's definitely a struggle to juggle writing and blogging with motherhood and all the other parts of life. But I wonder if this dilemma isn't that sneaky self doubt demon trying to undermine you? He's even giving you a way out - you can say you're not writing anymore so you can dedicate yourself to your blog fully! Crafty - he's nearly got you! But don't give up the book Morgan, don't - honestly the posts of yours I've read about writing have been so passionate. I know we've never met but from what I've read, when you really get yourself into the flow of writing your book you're so happy. Ok, maybe 'happy' is the wrong word as the book is dark but you seem fulfilled anyway if that makes sense.

    I've just read Aimee's #WhatImWriting post and it has a similar theme to this although she has made her decision. But what she says about the (fairly immediate) acknowledgement of blogging v the (very delayed) acknowledgement of writing a book could well be stopping you in your tracks too. Blogging is great for connection and feeling like your words mean something to people. Writing is a lonely pursuit until publication day! That's one of the reasons we doubt ourselves I think. Anyway, this is turning into one of my epic comments - hope I've been of some use! Good luck with your decision and thanks for linking to #WhatImwriting xx

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    1. Maddy, thank you so much. You've spotted something I kind of knew but had forgotten. I AM passionate about writing. I AM happy/fulfilled when writing. I AM NOT going to give up on the book.

      It's all about slots of time and dedication to one piece, whether that be the book or the blog. I'm taking these holidays to evaluate and hopefully come back in the new year with a timetable or some sort of schedule to stick to. Not a strict schedule but one that flows with me. I'll get there.

      And yes you're right, it was the self-doubt demon. This all started just after re-reading some of my work. I must've been in a bad mood at the time because I thought it was terrible. But anyway, I'm not going to let it win, not this time.

      New year = new me, hopefully. xx

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    2. Yay! (to not giving up the book). Take THAT, self doubt demon! look forward to catching up with you next year Morgan, Happy christmas!

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  9. I think you need to do what you feel like doing. One night away from the chores isn't going to hurt (tried and tested in this house... Only more of a month away from the chores.)
    If you've started a novel, then you have a novel in you and I think if you're feeling like this at the moment then it should take focus, get it out then you can think about the other things. Blogging has always been secondary to me and I tend to flit between creative endeavours. If I had to make the call, I'd say put it all into the novel and get it done. A lot of people talk about writing a novel and some even start but not many even finish a first draft. Every step is a step closer to being published. X

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    1. Thank you Chrissie,

      I love both but I do think I have to get this novel out. When the new year starts, so does the new routine. Well maybe not routine, but dedicated time for the book at least. I just need to keep that goal in mind and just. keep. writing. xx

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  10. I agree with the comments of somehow linking your blog to your novel. Do you remember those books for younger readers that had crossroads of a sort? At certain points the reader could decide what happened next and be directed to the next part of the book accordingly. What if? Could you use this in your blog, perhaps asking yourself or your readers, what happens next? Good luck.

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    1. I do remember those books and totally loved them! Unfortunately with the book I know where I want it to go, I know what the story is and should be. It's just the getting it out of me and onto (virtual) paper that's the problem. I agree that blogging about the novel is a good way of asking for help and advice and I'm sure I'll do that in the future. Thank you for the comment, I appreciate it. xx

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  11. It's very tough trying to find the time for writing and blogging along with the rest of your life. I only do two blog posts a week and I schedule in time every day to write. Maybe making sure you have a little bit of time every day can help? I think it's good to keep the blog going as that will help you when you're looking to publicise your writing more. Hopefully you'll come by a solution.

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    1. Thank you Emily,

      It seems that everyone has similar advice, a little time everyday seems like the best option. I have a plan for the new year which incorporates this and hopefully that will help keep the self-doubt demon at bay. Not to mention keep my momentum going with the book.

      Thanks for stopping by and offering your advice, it's been helpful. xx

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  12. I think we all go through the same feelings from time to time Morgan. It's just that not all of us have a book on the back burner. I struggle with the same thing and although I'm done writing my book I still need to finish the editing, my last step before publishing and I can't seem to find enough time to commit myself to it these days.

    I want to encourage you to continue on with your novel as you have intrigued my interest for many months now... I do miss you when you are not around to chat with via our blogs but know you are doing what your heart has lead you to; your novel.

    Please keep me posted as I would love to know what you decide to do!
    xx
    Lysa

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    1. Lysa,

      Thank you so much for these lovely, encouraging words. I have decided to continue with the book and in the new year am going to stick to a schedule, giving myself a little writing time each day. Hopefully this way I'll have the first proper draft finished in a few months.

      I think I've said before that it's all about organisation and I'm determined to get on top of it!

      Thank you again for stopping by and giving me this encouragement. I really appreciate it. xx

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  13. Oh my goodness I have so much to say about this topic, so near and dear to my life! First of all, I'm also a mom, writer, and blogger, trying to juggle it all and it's NOT easy as you know :)

    Last year I decided to attempt to finish my novel, which I've been working on for many (!) years. I realized I was putting too much pressure on myself to blog regularly and that was eating up my novel writing time. So I scaled back. I told my readers what was happening and then I gave myself permission to ease up. I wrote maybe one post every other week. Sometimes less, occasionally more. But I stopped feeling guilty about NOT posting. That freed up my time to work on my novel.

    Recently I started a new blog that requires more time, so finding balance is the kind of thing that shifts and changes depending on, well, life. I'm still working hard on my novel, but instead of say watching a show at night with my husband, I'll do a blog post instead.

    I really really hope you don't give up on your novel (unless of course you want to!) and figure out a way to make it all work out, without making yourself totally crazy :) The most important thing is to go easy on yourself. We're our toughest critics and task masters.

    Good luck with it all and I'm looking forward to hearing how it goes, but no pressure, ha!

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    1. Thanks for that Dana,

      It's nice to hear you're not alone when going through something like this. It sounds like you've had a similar experience to me!

      I've decided to keep at it. My plan for the new year isn't set in stone but it does allow me the time for both things, I think. I'm hoping that I can get into a steady routine. You are right with the blog writing instead of watching a show though, I must try and do that!

      Thanks again for stopping by and giving me some encouragement. It means a lot. xx

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  14. Anytime :) I love your blog and it's so nice to have a supportive community of writers and mamas.

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