ROW80: Working Through Fear

Ever have that feeling where you haven’t done something for a long time… it’s something you know how to do, yet when you get back to it, it’s downright scary?

That’s sort of how my writing went this week. I accomplished my fixes and release of Time’s Fugitive, no problem. I did Michele’s cover design (she loved it – yay!). And when I could put off my writing workshop no longer, I dug back into How to Write a Series.

It went slowly at first, because it was making me think things through on my series that I frankly, had no idea of. I had to do some brainstorming. Something I haven’t done much of for my writing in the past couple of years.

Fortune's Foe by Michele StegmanThen I got to the last task in Lesson Two, Part Three, and it stopped me cold.

That task was: “Write scene one of the first book.”

I froze. I procrastinated. I played Spider Solitaire. I farted around on Facebook and Twitter. I read several blogs. I downloaded WriteWay Pro, because I’ve been wanting to try it, and it made sense to try it with a new book. I read through some of the documentation, and set up my book.

My husband left for the AMVETS hall, and I dropped my daughter off at a friend’s house. Then I could delay no longer.

I had to do something I haven’t done in over two years: write new material.

By the time I got a few paragraphs down in my shiny new software, my husband had returned from the AMVETS hall, and turned on the TV. So I put on my headphones and kept going. I will admit, it wasn’t all a real scene – much of it is written in “blocking it out” form, a technique I learned years ago from Liz Bemis, and more recently read about on Rachael Aaron’s blog. I stopped for a few minutes to watch a car chase on Hawaii-five-o (hey, it was a Camaro!), but an hour later, I had my scene sketched out.

Here’s how my week’s progress went:

  • Make fixes and re-upload Time’s Fugitive – Done!
  • Finish book cover I’m designing for historical romance author Michele Stegman – Done! Check it out, above…
  • Complete Lesson 2 of How to Write a Series – partly
  • Three interval workouts and two shorter workouts – uhhh, not so good; I wasn’t feeling well a couple days this week.
  • Track exercise and consumption – also done about halfway.
  • Bonus: Cover for Hangar 18: Legacy

Now I’m looking forward into doing more digging with How to Write a Series.

Here are my plans for this week:

  • Complete print layout and print cover design for Time’s Fugitive
  • Complete Lesson 2 of How to Write a Series
  • Three interval workouts and two shorter workouts
  • Track exercise and consumption
  • Bonus: Upload Time’s Fugitive print book to Lightning Source
  • Bonus: How to Write a Series, Lesson 3
  • Bonus: Cover for Hangar 18: Legacy


Overall goal progress:

  • Release Time’s Fugitive, in both ebook and print – Ebook done. Print interior started.
  • Complete Holly Lisle’s How to Write a Series workshop – in progress.
  • Bonus: Any planning/outlining of new book, beyond workshop exercises – on hold until other goals accomplished
  • Release Hangar 18: Legacy – OR – release Times Two (Time’s Enemy/Time’s Fugitive box set) as an ebook – on hold until other goals accomplished
  • Bonus: Both of the above – on hold until other goals accomplished

How about you – have you ever stopped doing something for an extended period of time – then found it scary to start back into it? I’d love to hear from you! What kind of goals are you setting for this round of ROW80 – or if you’re not a writer, or not doing the ROW, for this spring?

12 Responses to \

  1. I tend to procrastinate editing. Actually, I’m fine once I get into it, but getting started editing a book feels overwhelming, so I put it off. It’s good to know these things about ourselves so we can take a deep breath, know it’s a little unnerving, and jump in anyway.

    Congrats on your progress! Things seem to be shaping up for you. I hope you feel better this week.

  2. You could have ran away but you didn’t. You took your fear and pushed ahead anyway. That’s what writers do. Great job. I hope it gets easier for you this week.

  3. Good going! (And great cover!)

    I once saw a show about Emperor penguins, and how, when they make their long trek from inland, they come to the sea and even though they are starving, they are afraid to jump in. They mill around at the edge of the water, closer and closer, until someone is bumped and accidentally falls in, and then they all start jumping in, in a great flood of penguins. (Until someone hesitates and then they all stop, and mill around until someone falls in again.)

    Sometimes I think words are like that.

  4. Julie – LOL, I’ve done nothing but editing for the past year and a half, so that’s easy! Getting started *writing* one now seems overwhelming to me. But I managed – thanks for your well-wishes!

    Ryan – Exactly! And thanks for the encouragement. 🙂

    Camille – that is so funny! I love penguins, but you’re right, they do tend to wander back and forth a lot. It never occurred to me why! My words were like that, then they finally started jumping in.

  5. I think they are scared of getting eaten:) whales and stuff you know – but then I guess words are scared of dying also – being useless, insufficent and inadequate or maybe its the ideas that are milling around on edge – are they ready to fight those whales and other beasties

    all best for coming week

  6. LOL Alberta – that does make sense! For the penguins and the words. 🙂 Plenty of mine start out as insufficient and useless, but we can always whip them into shape later. Thanks for stopping by!

  7. Great cover! And congrats on pushing through. I find it hard to start writing about half way through my manuscripts. I don’t know why. It’s not even that I don’t know where I want to go. I always find that once I start writing though I’m good and sometimes don’t want to stop. Isn’t that weird? I have no idea why I do that.

  8. Thanks, Rhonda! I’m totally with you, except that I find middles the easiest! It’s harder to face the blank screen, or wrap it up at the end. And you’re right, once I do get started, I’m usually good!

  9. Hi Jennette!

    I know, long time no see. Sorry. I’ve been sick. Err!

    Love your goals. You’re doing great. And after all that you have going on, to make the opportunity to writer must have felt good, huh? You’re an inspiration to me Jen. Keep it up. 🙂

  10. Editing is the scariest for me. It’s easier for me to jump into something new because I have less judgment. That inner critic can send me into major procrastination mode!
    What is spider solitaire?

  11. Karen, so sorry to hear you haven’t been well – hope you’re on the mend! And thanks so much for stopping by – your encouragement means a lot!

    Coleen – all I’ve done is edit for the past year, so now that’s my comfort zone. Trying to drag myself out is a challenge, but I’ll do it – after all, once the book’s written, I’ll get to do more editing! It’s probably good you don’t know Spider Solitaire – it’s right there on my computer next to regular Solitaire, and is a great procrastination tool. As in, too good! 😀

  12. Whoo-hoo for new words! That’s such an accomplishment, especially when it’s been a while.

    I am well-versed in the art of procrastination (“what’s that, a paper I have to write? Maybe I’ll clean the kitchen or take a nap or rearrange my bookshelf in alphabetical order…”), so I definitely know what you mean. So yay on making progress on that end. 😀