Wednesday, 5 February 2020

IWSG February 2020

It's time once again for our group posting of the Insecure Writer's Support Group. Hosted as ever by Alex J. Cavanaugh, the purpose of the group is to allow a safe space to share our writing woes and insecurities without fear of being judged. February's excellent co-hosts are Lee LoweryRonel Janse von VuurenJennifer HawesCathrina Constantine and Tyrean Martinson. Why not join us if you haven't already?


Today's IWSG question is an interesting one, asking: "Has a single photo or work of art ever inspired a story? What was it and did you finish it?" Well, I've written for competitions that involved a photo prompt, and even had some success with one, but I'm not sure that counts, does it? I didn't choose the photo myself or come across it "in the wild". I'm not a particularly visual writer, but this question makes me think I should open up more to seeing images as inspiration. Food for thought!

As to my insecurity this month, I'm pondering how to get back into a piece of writing that I started over a year ago. With 2019 being a fallow year, I'm keen to pick up where I left off, but that initial rush of excitement isn't quite there any more. That said, I'm still intrigued to see where the story could go. I'm only 6,000 words in, so would it be better to treat this as an opportunity for a totally new start? Have a do-over from the beginning?

Do you have any advice for resuming a piece of work after an extended break? What's your response to this month's IWSG question? Don't forget to check out more IWSG posts here!

29 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

New beginning! Make it so.
Not a visual writer? Interesting. A lot of different answers to today's question.

Jemi Fraser said...

I like to rewrite from the memories if I've let something sit for a long time. I find that I only remember the good bits that way :)

Julie Flanders said...

I decided to start over with a story I had lost my excitement for and so far it's been the right call. If you do decide to do the same I hope you will have success with it and find your excitement again.

Rachna Chhabria said...

Hi Nick, yes I've resumed a piece of work after an extended break.

Read your 6k words again and continue writing, see how it goes, see how the story flows. You can always shelve that project if your excitement starts going down.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Maybe you could keep what you have so far but then copy and paste it into a new file and play with it there? Maybe try different POVs, settings, time periods, etc. Good luck with it!

Carrie-Anne said...

I've often gone back to books I put on hiatus far more than just one year ago. The neat thing about doing that is you can see your style and voice evolving through the years, even when you later edit and rewrite. My first Russian historical, for example, showcases the way I wrote during four or five distinct phases of my life.

Chrys Fey said...

The fact you're still intrigued is great! You could spend some time rereading what you've written to see if you become motivated to continue. Or maybe you'll get new ideas on how to rewrite the beginning. Either way, go for it, but save what you have already just in case. :)

emaginette said...

I suggest moving it on to your ereader or print it and see where it takes you. Sometimes diving in is the best place to start.

Good luck.

Anna from elements of emaginette

cleemckenzie said...

I'm just tackling an old story, too. I decided to completely shred my beginning and that kick-started the re-write.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Reread what you have so far and I bet your mind will take off running by the time you get to the end.

Allie Bock said...

I would reread and see what happens. I have one that I stopped writing in 2018. I'm going to reread and the outline it and see if i can finish it! Good luck to you

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Liz A. said...

I'd say that counts. Just because you didn't pick the image organically doesn't negate that you did write something from it.

If you're not excited about your idea, perhaps it's time for another. You'll get back to what you wrote then when you're ready. Might as well start something new from a shiny new idea that's taken your fancy.

Patricia Josephine aka Patricia Lynne said...

A picture you didn't pick totally counts as a prompt. As long as it inspired you to write something, it fits.

Natalie Aguirre said...

If you're not really into your story, maybe start something new for now. You're only 6,000 words into it. You can always come back to it later.

Loni Townsend said...

I hope you recapture that energy, but if it does turn out that you need to start from scratch, I'm sure it'll wind up being better.

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

My advice: read through it once without editing it. Just read it. Then read through again and make notes. By then, you should be good to go. Best wishes for your new start.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I've done both, start over and turn in a different direction. You'll pick the right one.

dolorah said...

Yeah, 2019 was an awful writing year for me.

Here's hoping 2020 is inspirational.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Good luck Nick ... your muse will come along - you've lots of suggestions here for re-starting your story. Also give your creativity a burst through images, film/series scenes, happenings in the street etc ... February - will be good - take care and cheers Hilary

DRC said...

I wrote two thirds of my novel and then got side swipped into another project. by the time I went back, the love for that piece had dwindled, but a read through from the beginning brought it all back. Bearing in mind that was around 80k words. Have a re-read of what you've done already. It'll rekindle what you once had. and 6k shouldn't take too long to tackle either. Good luck :)

Liza said...

I'd re-read your 6,000 and then see if you have recaptured the love. Hopefully, the answer will be yes, but if not, move on for now. The 6,000 will always be there if you want to return.

Denise Covey said...

If the piece of writing is calling you back, I'd be surprised if there's not some level of excitement ticking away. I find if I leave a story for an extended time, it takes awhile to get into it again, but it comes...

Diane Burton said...

From experience (2x), I can say it's harder to revise an older work than it is to start new. It can be worth it, though. good luck.

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Damyanti said...

You could go back to it. You never know how you'll feel once you get back into writing the piece.

Michelle Wallace said...

I think you should resurrect that story.
You never know where it may lead.
Maybe it will be a snippet that will fit into a future story, one that you have yet to write? Who knows.
Good luck, Nick!

J.H. Moncrieff said...

I'm facing the same with a novel, Nick, and going back is always tough. The only thing I've found that works is reading the piece over and forcing myself to start adding to it. Eventually, the words flow and it feels natural again.

Good luck!

S.A. Larsenッ said...

Hmmm . . . a new beginning might infuse more energy into you, not only the piece. I'm not one to talk right now, though. I'm having trouble finding inspiration to simple write blog comments like this. I need to refocus, so a fresh beginning might jump-start that.