Wednesday, 6 January 2021

IWSG January 2021

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 VuurenJ Lenni DornerGwen GardnerSandra 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?

Before I go, here's a reminder that the next #IWSGPit Twitter pitch event is coming up on January 20. Get your tweet-length pitches polished up and in front of publishers and agents! All the details are at the #IWSGPit page.

And don't forget to check out lots more IWSG entries here.

22 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Good luck with the third book.
We can learn something from bad books - what not to do!

Natalie Aguirre said...

Good luck finishing your trilogy. That will be a huge accomplishment!

Rachna Chhabria said...

Good luck with wrapping up your trilogy, Nick. And Happy New Year!

Bad books are big time teachers, they reach us what not to do.

Tyrean Martinson said...

I think you've hit a key point. If I can't connect with a book, I struggle to finish it.
Way to go with your writing!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Nick - all the best with finishing off your trilogy ready for publication - as and when you can. Life is a nightmare at the moment - just hope you and the family are coping ... I've been relatively fortunate - ie I have a positive attitude and can cope, also we've been in tier 2 mostly. I'd love to be out and about - but I am reading and learning. Take care and stay safe - and here's to a happier time in the future!! Hilary

H.R. Sinclair said...

Ditto the above. Good luck finishing up the trilogy. Hopefully writing will come easier this year (for all of us).

Patricia Josephine aka Patricia Lynne said...

2020 was an odd year for us writers. I think a lot of us grappled with the idea of publishing something and wondering if anyone would buy it because, let's face it, reading isn't exactly an essential thing. But I do also believe that people needed books to escape into for 2020 so that idea was probably a waste of our energy.

Diane Burton said...

Like you, Nick, I didn't put out anything in 2020. Couldn't focus to finish a project. But this year is starting out good for me. I'm writing again. Baby steps. I hope you can write more this year. Best wishes.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I've read enough manuscripts to know what not to do! Not that I do it in my own writing. LOL

S.A. Larsenッ said...

I agree with you. We need to carry on with hopes for the best. We can't let what's going on in the world paralyze us. Happy New Year, Nick!

Sarah Foster said...

Good luck wrapping up your trilogy!
I always finish the books I start, but there are a couple I wish I hadn't. I think the worst is really when a book is boring. Nothing else bothers me quite as much.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Good luck with your plan for the 2021. Mine is very similar. I was like you, finishing a book no matter how bad. I gave it up for the same reasons.

Liza said...

Yes, life is too short to read anything but good books. But when you are done, read another one!

Liz A. said...

2020 was a weird year. It was great to reread books I had read before, but I found myself not doing too much new reading. Some. When you're stuck at home, you do have more time to read ;)

J Lenni Dorner said...

Proper world building is very important! Excellent reply to the question. I hope your New Year is going well. I only read and reviewed 23 books last year, but my goal for this year is 30. My other goals are to publish another fiction book in 2021, do the Blogging from A to Z Challenge in April, and increase the number of authors helped by Operation Awesome.

Denise Covey said...

Hi Nick! I see you share my philosophy. Life is indeed too short to read bad books. Thankfully, there's a lot of good books out there. Hoping you'll add to their number this year.

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

Life is too short to waste time on a boring story.

Mary Aalgaard said...

You're right. It's important that we keep working on our craft, our stories, and get them out there. People need an escape and to feel connected. I think people are buying print books and audio books. I know I am. It's kept me sane during all this insanity!

Take care, and happy writing! Really, what else do you have to do?

Elizabeth Mueller said...

Everyone has excellent thoughts on what throws them out of books. I appreciate yours as well.

I agree with Lynda, life is too short to spend it on bad books!

♥.•*¨Elizabeth Mueller¨*•.♥

Jemi Fraser said...

I abandon books much more easily now.
I decided in Jan 2020 that I was taking the plunge into self-publishing. And then the world went nuts... but I did it anyway and it's been a fun ride so far!

Damyanti said...

Life is too short to stick through books that don't hook you. There are too many to read! Good Luck for your plans for 2021!

Annalisa Crawford said...

2020 was a big year for me not finishing books - I seemed to make some really bad choices this year. One was just a little too experimental for me, and the other just didn't draw me into the story - I kept forgetting who was who and why they mattered.