#IWSG Blog Hop–My Self-Doubt Hitting Me Like a Mack Truck Unexpectedly

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It’s that time again. IWSG hosts a blog hop the first Wednesday of every month. Writers get to discuss their doubts and fears they’ve conquered, their struggles and triumphs. Even though writing is a lonely activity, it doesn’t mean you can’t surround yourself with people who understand what you’re going through.

Showing vulnerability makes you strong. If you’d like to read more from bloggers who shared their personal experiences, then please click IWSG sign-up sheet.

March’s question–How do you celebrate when you achieve a writing goal/finish a story?

When I achieve a writing goal or finish a story, I do a happy dance. Then I sit down to catch my breath and pat myself on the back. Me, the biggest procrastinator ever, actually finished something! No just talking about it. No just stalling by doing loads and loads of research on my story topic. No just keeping it in my head but not putting it down on paper. I actually FINISHED!

After the excitement wears off, I always treat myself to a notebook or sketchbook at Books-A-Million. I used to treat myself to a chocolate muffin or a brownie, but I’m not allowed to have chocolate anymore because of the caffeine in it. So, now I treat myself to blueberry muffins or cinnamon buns.

I would love to say I’m one of those writers who loves the craft so much that I only write for the pleasure. If I said that, I’d be lying. I totally need incentives to finish a writing goal. An incentive can be getting to watch TV or Netflix after so many words written for the day. Or taking a road trip over the weekend if I write 3 or 4 days in a row.

Back in December, I was so excited for 2018. I just knew I’d create a better writing schedule for myself, making me more productive. I’ve failed miserably so far. Still being artsy, I’ve been sketching and outlining a comic instead. Doing that won’t help me publish more novellas though. I feel disappointed like I’ll never get out of this ‘publish only 1 book a year’ rut if I don’t focus on fiction writing. Unfortunately, I don’t really know how to get out of this rut…

I thought I had conquered my fear, but it’s definitely haunting me again. I’ve allowed my fear to cause self-doubt and totally mess with my self-confidence. I guess it started when my new release, Six Plus One, didn’t have a good debut. Now, I’m back to thinking my writing sucks even if that may not be true…it just seems like the advice of ‘when you produce more books, you get more sales’ isn’t holding true for me. Every book had a decent release except Six Plus One. I often wonder: what if I have bad luck–where for each new book I publish, I’ll keep getting lower sales?

I’ll get out of this rut, I promise…

That really felt good to share. Letting it all out may very well be the first step in getting my productivity back 🙂

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

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Hear Ye, Hear Ye, Creative Writing Prompts Are Here To Stay

School is back in session! I remember my first writer’s group meeting where I introduced myself as a creative writing instructor. At the end of it, they never really described what they do or what they’re about (red flag–they were a critique group disguised as a writing group), so I asked them if they assign exercises or anything. One of the ladies exclaimed, “We don’t have homework!”

A total dig. I could have been catty and said, “Apparently you need some, since you can’t grasp the constructive criticism people were telling you.” Instead I chose to laugh it off. No need to make waves on my first day. Who am I kidding? I’m nonconfrontational.

Anyway, this post has a point. I took a hiatus on writing creative prompts (or exercises)–so sorry–but I’m back now. Today, the one I left off on (celebrity nagged by fan) will be due on Tuesday.

Prompts help. I promise if you’re stuck with writer’s block or bored with your writing routine, try writing prompts. Go crazy. Be silly. Experiment. They can be useful later to create novel or short story ideas. For example, ‘the Vegas marriage’ prompt interests me enough to base a short story off of it. From ‘someone says no’, I can see a novel coming from it. It was going to be my NaNo inspiration in November; however, I think it’d be wise to turn Trapped into a novel.

When I submitted that short story to my writer’s group (well, my old writer’s group because I quit due to all the tension. They had a clique already formed and weren’t welcoming to newcomers), most of the feedback I received was expanding on it, revealing the beginning of Finia and Miki’s relationship. Especially the act of him sabotaging her birth control to trick her into getting pregnant. I might as well try it with NaNo while it’s fresh in my mind.

Who knows how many story ideas will evolve from these creative writing prompts. I’m excited to see!

For all the writers out there, do you give yourself writing exercises? Or do you feel like they’re a waste of time?

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby