Wednesday, December 7, 2016

IWSG: Not Done Yet


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Do you know what I'm insecure about this month? Not having a good answer for December's IWSG Question!

In terms of your writing career, where do you see yourself five years from now, and what is your plan to get there?

I love lists. I am passionate about planning. I get giddy about goals. Yet questions like this always stump me. I'm not exactly sure why, other than the usual suspect: FEAR. Fear of failure. Fear of not being creative/smart/tough, etc enough. Fear of other people's reactions, including indifference. Fear of success, of achieving the goals but feeling empty inside, of all that hard work being for nothing. 

But you know what? I'm not getting any younger. And five years from now, I won't be any younger. (Who said writers can't do math?) And Fear and all Its brethren will always be lurking in the shadows, lurching from dark doorways, eager to lick the nervous sweat from the back of my neck. 

Well, they can lick all they want.  

So, while I can't answer the IWSG question exactly, I can tell you I won't be lolly-gagging my creative life away. I don't know what the future holds, but I do know one thing:

I am not done yet.

64 comments:

  1. I think that is a perfect answer! I wish I had thought of it :-)

    I struggled with answering this one as well. Makes it seem too real if I have to come up with concrete goals.

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    1. I think sometimes, for me anyway, that by deciding something, I get scared I'm closing too many other window and doors, losing out on other opportunities. But we do have to make choices. We can't do and be everything, no matter how hard we try. And I do so try. :)

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  2. Well said! Moving forward is the greatest threat to fear.

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    1. Fear and Its Friends might chase me, but they won't catch me. Well, not for long anyway. :)

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  3. You're right, we can do math!
    Don't worry, my answer was very vague as well.

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    1. I feel better after seeing a number of other vague answers as well. We are not alone. :)

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  4. I think that would be a great mantra for all of us! I know what you mean about goals being oppressive sometimes - but if we keep moving, we might end up surprising ourselves. Dropping in as your friendly co-host for this month!

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    1. I love the idea of surprising myself. I want to focus on goals while staying open to opportunities I maybe hadn't considered before.

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  5. I don't have an exact plan either except to write more books! Keep on pushing forward. :)

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    1. Those sound like good ideas to me - write more books and keep moving forward. :)

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  6. I didn't know how to answer this question either. It's a tough one, but I love that you said you won't let your creative life go. That's a good plan! :)

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    1. As long as I keep being creative in some way - writing, art, even just in the way I look at things - I'm good.

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  7. You give yourself the best pep talks. I like your plan.

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    1. Now if only I would actually listen to myself more.... :)

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  8. I like your declaration, lol! And your determination, we all need that to keep chugging along.

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  9. That really is a great answer framed very well. I am not done yet. Love it.

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  10. Good answer. I decided to take the silly route as I have no master plan for the next five years other than keepin' on keepin' on.

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    1. Keepin' on keepin' on sounds like as good a plan as any. :)

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  11. "Who said writers can't do math?" LOL!! I agree with you. I'm so not getting any younger. I love making lists and goals, but with the whole 5-yr plan, I'm like...crickets.

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    1. We're not getting any younger, but we're getting wiser, getting better at focusing our efforts and energy. Right? Right! :)

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  12. Great answer! My brain is too foggy to remember which writer said it, but when said author was asked what he'd do if he found out he had a very brief time left to live, he said... "Write faster." In the end, that's our only choice. :)

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    1. I know who you mean, and I can't think of the name either. Ugh. I better get moving on the writing before I forget my own name....

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  13. I agree with Nick, I want that mantra too! We're definitely not done. :)

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    1. I would never hog a mantra that spoke to so many! Feel free to use and enjoy. :)

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  14. It's so hard when such a big portion of this journey is out of our control, eh? I suppose self-published writers can more reliably plot their writing and publishing schedule, but success is still unpredictable. We will just keep on keeping on!

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    1. I have some dreams and goals that didn't work out the way I thought they would, and it's taken me awhile to realize that yes, while some of it is on me, a lot of it isn't. I'm better now at realizing what's in my control and what isn't then planning accordingly.

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  15. I think that's a great answer. I've given up on plans, considering my last attempt at making them didn't go...well, as planned. :)

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    1. Ha! I hear you. It's kind of like deciding not to make a decision is actually, you know, making a decision. :)

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  16. Madeline, I like your attitude! I'm not finished yet and I keep plugging along because that's who I am. Best wishes to you in 2017!

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    1. Let's all keep plugging away - we can do it! Best wishes to you, too! :)

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  17. I felt like cheering when I reached your last sentence!!! Way to go, Madeline! I almost deleted my post because of fear this month, so I think we both answered in different ways. Fear is not allowed to have the last say.

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    1. I've seen a handful of "fear" posts around today. It's such a shame because it makes me wonder what would I, what would we, all accomplish if fear didn't hold us back so often?!

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  18. Love your answer Madeline. As our goals have a habit of changing, this is a great attitude to have. Life is too short to live with regrets. Merry Christmas and best wishes to you for the new year!

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    1. I'm learning to be a bit more flexible and to not beat myself up so much. Life really is too short for that kind of stuff.

      Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you!

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  19. I agree. I don't know where I'll be in 5 years, but I do know I'll be trucking along and trying to accomplish things.

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  20. Love your post. So positive. Yes, let's all go for it. We're not done yet!

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed it, Olga. Let's all keep on going! :)

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  21. Good answer, Madeline!

    The questions were meant as writing prompts for those who were stumped on what to write about each month, but now it seems people feel they must answer them.

    Not everyone has a five-year plan, or is even comfortable making one. Happy holidays to you, and all the best in 2017!

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    1. I actually haven't answered an IWSG prompt question in ages. I thought this was a good one...until I got all stumped. :)

      All the best to you, too, in 2017!

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  22. Ah - such an insight! I'm never going to be "done" until they put me in the ground (or scatter me over a vineyard). I've already passed "not getting any younger" and I don't give a damn. I am living life now in ways I never thought possible!

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    1. Great comment, Lee! I love that you don't give a damn and that you are truly living life. :)

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  23. I love that you plan to stay committed to the creative life for the long term!

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    1. I absolutely do. I'm not exactly sure what it looks like/will look like from day to day, from year to year, but I'll know it when I feel it. If that makes sense. :)

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  24. Love your attitude, Madeline. Until we succeed/get our books in the readers' hands, we will not be done! Good luck with your goals.

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  25. You now what they say about fear, its healthy, keeps us alert, we just need to stare it down and keep on writing. I'm there with ya with those fears and not getting younger. You go!
    Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

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    1. If only I could use the powers of Fear for good instead of for evil/holding myself back... :)

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  26. Love your attitude, Madeline. Your math is great! I tell myself: if not now, when? It used to be I felt I had all the time in the world to achieve my dreams. I know better now. Not done yet fits me, too. Good luck.

    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and your family.

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    1. My usual math involves how many cookies can I eat and still fit into my pants. :)

      Good luck to you, too, Diane, and best wishes for the New Year!

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  27. I can see your passion for writing here. Best wishes for the future.

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  28. Go Girl!! Kick that Fear into oblivion and back :) Love your positive approach. Have a super December.

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    1. I'm trying, Nicola! :)

      You have a great December as well!

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  29. I like your attitude. You are absolutely not done yet. The 5 year question usually stumps me too.

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    1. Thanks, Murees.

      I do try to have some things I'm aiming for, whether for the month or for the year. But five years? Yikes!

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  30. I'm not done either, Madeline. But trying to plan for five years ahead strikes me as an invitation to disaster -- it's safer to just go with the flow.

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    1. So many things could go wrong in those five years...no, thanks! :)

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