Happy New Year! So we made it out of the other end of 2020, and as we hit another national lockdown here in the UK and we wait our turn for vaccination, one thing we can rely on is that we will all come together on the first Wednesday of the month for the Insecure Writer's Support Group. Headed up as ever by the inimitable Alex J. Cavanaugh, the purpose of the group is to offer a safe space where writers can share their fears and insecurities without being judged. Today's excellent co-hosts are Ronel Janse van Vuuren, J Lenni Dorner, Gwen Gardner, Sandra Cox and Louise - Fundy Blue.
I thought I'd start with a quick recap of where 2020 took me writing-wise and what's on the cards for 2021. I didn't publish anything last year - I think there's a general suspicion that people are too worried about other things to think about buying new books, but as the uncertainty continues perhaps the best thing is to carry on with things that are normal as much as possible. For writers, that should mean writing and getting our work out there - shouldn't it?
I'm going to take wrapping up my trilogy as a priority. Having completed the first draft of book 3 just over a year ago, I spent last year working on a different project, but I'll definitely be heading into revisions on that final instalment and getting it out there this year. I've got no shortage of things to work on so I've decided to just get on with it. Creativity and inspiration are as important as ever if not more so - which means I should read more as well as writing. That takes me onto this month's IWSG question, which looks like an interesting one:
Being a writer, when you're reading someone else's work, what stops you from finishing a book/throws you out of the story/frustrates you the most about other people's books?
Well, this could open up a whole can of worms, and this is probably different in every case. I used to doggedly finish every book I started but I've since decided that life is too short to keep going with a story that I'm not connecting to for whatever reason. It could be cliched characters or unbelievable or unrealistic events (of course, these are the backbone of many of the greatest books, but they can only work if the context and world of the story have set us up to accept and believe what takes place), or just a narrative that drags and takes too long for anything significant to happen. While it's unfortunate to not finish a book I always think there's something to learn, just as we would from books we enjoy - even if it's what not to do! What would stop you from finishing a book?#IWSGPit page.
And don't forget to check out lots more IWSG entries here.