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Wednesday, February 7, 2018

#IWSG – Progress & Winter Blahs



It's the 1st Wednesday of February. Happy Insecure Writers Support Group Day. IWSG is the brainchild of Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh.


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! Thanks, Alex, for starting this group and keeping it going. And thanks to this month's awesome hosts:  Stephen Tremp, Pat Garcia, Angela Wooldridge, Victoria Marie Lees, and Madeline Mora-Summonte!
 
Progress & Winter Blahs


For the past three weeks, I’ve felt blah. Not sick, thank goodness. I shouldn't complain because so many people have had it much worse. Flu is taking its toll this winter. So far, the flu hasn't hit our family. Hubs had a cold and his cough has hung on. One of the 3-month old twins had pneumonia (maybe—the radiologist said no; baby doc said yes) but he’s doing better with antibiotics. Antibiotics for his brother (eye infection). Even Toddler Girl didn’t escape. She had a bad cold. Oldest granddaughter broke her foot doing what she loves, dancing. 

Everyone is better now. But I still feel blah, no other symptoms. Tired all the time. Don’t feel like writing or doing anything other than binge-watching Netflix. I wish I could escape the relentless cold and snow. But there's no going to Arizona, as we’ve done for the past three years. Our son and his family are here now. I guess I’ll just suck it up. And work on my works-in-progress.

Last month, my goal was to write a minimum of 475 words per day. From Jan. 1 – 15, I wrote 15,520 words. From the 16th through yesterday, I wrote 3,570. Quite a difference, right? No wonder I feel down. But . . . for this post, I figured out how many words per day I wrote. Holy cow! I averaged 530. That perked me up. Despite a few days when I didn’t write on my WIP at all, I’m not as far behind as I thought.

Many people disagree with keeping track of word count. That quality takes precedence over quantity. I agree with quality being better. For me, word count signifies progress. It’s concrete evidence that I’m working.

Optional Question: What do you love about the genre you write in most often?

Although I write cozy mysteries, science fiction romance, and romantic suspense, they all have one thing in common. A mystery. I like keeping the reader guessing about the bad guy/gal and how they did it. Whether it’s murder or espionage, revenge or a con game. I enjoy leaving clues and red herrings, adding unexpected twists. If I’ve done my job right, the reader is surprised when all is revealed.

I’m eager to read what other writers say they love about their genre.

Click here to find others on the Insecure Writers Support Group Blog Hop. Or go to IWSG on Facebook to see who’s blogging today. 


36 comments:

  1. Yes, the flu has been so terrible this year. My grandparents-in-law have been dealing with that for what feels like ages now. Hope your family stays on the mend and flu-free.

    I keep track of word count, especially with first drafts. Like you said, I like having that concrete evidence that something's getting done. However tiny it may be.

    Glad you're not as far behind as you thought! May those winter blahs be on their way out.

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    1. Thanks, M.J. I hope your family stays healthy, too, and your in-laws get better soon

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  2. It's easy to feel blah in the winter so don't beat yourself up on it. I try to look for little positive signs, like it's not getting dark out until later, we had a few days of warmth, and next week we'll be half-way through February. Glad you're making progress writing even if it's not every day. Okay to just read and binge on Netflix a bit.

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    1. Thanks, Natalie. I like your positive attitude. I need to remind myself to appreciate small increases.

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  3. I'm right with you on the blah-ness. I have projects. I have deadlines. I'm in a month-long writing challenge, yet I have very little urge to plant my backside in my writing chair. The couch and netflix? No problem. Going to bed early or sleeping through morning writing time? I seem to be all about that this month. Darn you, winter!

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    1. I agree about winter, Jean. I've been sleeping a lot, too. Getting up late, taking a nap. Glad to hear I'm not alone.

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  4. The flu has been absolutely rampant, so sad. Feel better. And I have the wintertime blues too. A storm is supposed to be coming in today. I agree with your word count goals. I do the same and it helps me greatly.

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    1. Thanks, Cathrina. We got the storm last night. Lots more snow.

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  5. It's great that you averaged out and could see how much you did accomplish during the past month. For me, word count is important to keep focused, even if the words written aren't all that great.

    Sorry to hear about the family's illnesses, but glad no one has had the flu. Cheers - Eleln

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    1. Thanks, Ellen. We've been fortunate not to be sicker. And the family is getting better.

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  6. Hope that you feel better soon and the blahs go away permanently. I don't keep a word count. It would put me under pressure and I don't want that. As for genre,
    I do a mixture of paranormal, fantasy, romance, romantic suspense and crime. Now don't ask me how that is going to sell to an agent or publisher. I'll find out though soon.
    Wishing you all the best.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

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    1. Thanks, Pat. I know this is (sort of) normal here in the Midwest. Gloomy February. Good luck on describing what you write. Wishing you the best.

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  7. The weather's been a big drag lately. We keep getting snow every couple of days. I'd rather get it all over with at once so I can stop worrying about the roads.

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    1. I hear you, Sandra. Normally, we don't have to go out when it's snowy because we're retired. Today, we had to leave at 7am for Hubs' colonoscopy (all's well, thank goodness) and the roads weren't too bad.

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  8. Truth: any work that doesn't present a mystery is bound to bore the reader. ;) I get what you're saying about blah. We lived in upstate NY before moving to Florida. Cold, wind, gloom. Ugh. We got sun about once every two weeks, and I learned that sunshine really makes a huge difference in how we feel. Thus, Florida.

    Wishing you a little sun today!

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    1. Thanks, Crystal. You are so right about sunshine. That's what I loved about going out to Arizona. This year, neither of us want to go anywhere.

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  9. I know a lot of us are feeling the blahs lately. Hopefully some sun will shine in and chase them away. I love a good mystery myself. Not many books can fool me these days, so I really appreciate ones that do. :)

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    1. I would love to see the sun again. I love being surprised, too. Thanks for stopping by, Christine.

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  10. Ugh on those blahs! When it happens to me, I tell myself it will pass, that I just have to ride it out. Easier said than done, I know. But chocolate helps. :)

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    1. I have to find me some chocolate. LOL I know it will pass. Getting through the blahs seems to take so long. Thanks for co-hosting, Madeline.

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  11. I track my word count as well, but just to see how much I've written in the current day. I don't keep track of past days, except during Nanowrimo, of course. :) I've got a bit of a cold right now. :P http://www.raimeygallant.com

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    1. Sorry to hear you're under the weather. Get lots of rest and drink lots of fluids. Hope you feel better soon.

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  12. I have being feeling very blah lately too. I think it's because I had so much to do and was keeping up with a lot and now I don't want to do a thing, Even doing IWSG today is difficult for me, but I'm almost done with my visits.

    I hope your blah-ness goes away.

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    1. Thanks, Chrys. You've had a colder than normal winter in FL. I hope you get over your blahs.

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  13. Sorry about feeling blah. You did better than you realized with your writing though. I need word count to motivate me as well.
    Some good stuff on NetFlix now so it's hard not to binge watch.

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    1. Thanks, Alex. Today, I forced myself to wait to watch Netflix. Not easy.

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  14. I love the challenge of figuring out whodunit and hope the winterblues take a hike soon.

    Anna from elements of emaginette

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    1. Thanks, Anna. Winter itself can take a hike. :) Figuring out whodunit is what attracted me to mysteries. Cozies with humor are even better. I try to emulate that.

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  15. I find winter takes its toll on me, too. Here's looking forward to spring!

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  16. I hope you get a break in the weather and can pull out of the doldrums.

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  17. I found January slow for writing too, but then I was re-introduced to timed word sprints and found that really helpful. (just in case it's useful for you too)

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  18. Sorry about your blahs. Winter can do that. Glad the family is all getting better. Great job on the words! I track my count also because of a group I'm in. Some days are better than others. I can barely hit 100 one day and break out 1500 the next. Best of luck in getting over the blahs.

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  19. Oh yes, winter can certainly give us the blahs. But luckily, our team won the Superbowl. So that helped. Go Eagles! Always keep writing, Diane. You can do this!

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  20. Diane, your stats are so impressive! Congratulations! What a way to start the new year!
    I think that one CAN find a 'sort of balance' between word count and quality...loads of words doesn't have to necessarily mean poorer quality.
    But that's just my opinion.
    Writer In Transit

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  21. Diane, I do watch my word count I'm not sure how writers can ignore it. I watch my page count and try to cap a story at 400 pages. I think 370 pages or so is a good goal.

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  22. Sorry to hear you're feeling blah, Diane. Could it be the winter blues? That's very much a thing here in Canada, and since you're used to escaping to a sunny destination, I wouldn't be surprised if that's all it is.

    It's impressive you've still managed to hit your word count. Congrats!

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