Wednesday, October 7, 2015

I.W.S.G. (2) - Writing vs. Blogging

It may or may not be news to many, I'm slowly working to complete a project I started nearly 30 years ago...

Has it been that long? Yikes!

You see I have always wanted to be a writer. And I've always enjoyed writing. I started a personal journal in 1984 and continued writing in it till 1992. Why did I stop? Good question. I'll address that in a bit.

Thirty years ago (while in school) I wrote a fun piece of fiction for a friend of mine about the two of us driving around the city, goofing off. We repeatedly and humorously continued to get injured and sent to the hospital. I broke the 'fourth wall' frequently and myself as the Author was a character in the story. It was such a success with my friend we showed other friends who enjoyed it also. From there, I went on to write six more sequels, with a seventh planned. For a time, I literally had several friends waiting to have their turn to read the latest episode. In the ensuing years, interest waned. No, not because people were losing interest in the story, but because life was getting a hold of me. I got married and my wife was not keen on my writing and was not encouraging. ("Why are you writing? There are things to do around the house.") Quite the reverse, to be honest. Needless to say, I pretty much stopped writing. Remember my journal I mentioned before? That too fell by the wayside.

Oddly, as we were on our way to splitsville, my interest in writing took a hold once again. Around 2002 I acquired my first real computer. (I was using an Apple IIe till then, with no printer. PS - I still have it set up in my basement bar. Pictures can be found HERE). One of the first things I got involved in was posting to forums and joining such awesome social sites as Myspace. Remember Myspace?

But then the real writing came back to the forefront when I began to blog. Discovering blogger was a blessing as far as I'm concerned. It's been a way for me to spend my time creatively and productively. I've written many a poem via my blog and have appreciated any who were entertained by my rants. I even utilized my blogs to continue my short story writing. One of my favourite projects (though I admit still very sloppy) was a Fan-Fiction I wrote involving the TV series, Doctor Who, Quantum Leap and Sliders. I also incorporated Fan-Fiction from the comic book world, namely the Legion of Super Heroes. To make it even more confusing, (LOL), I decided to include (a non-canon) tale using my short story series from almost 30 years ago. The story can be found HERE.

So this is where my insecurity for the month comes in. After I wrote that story, I started to develop a longing to return to the series. But in it's previous form, it was no where near ready for public display, let alone, submission. So I've slowly been working on redoing the series. Removed the Author as a character and have made it less ridiculous. (One of these days I should scan a copy of what the original draft looked like). My writing has improved significantly too, so I knew it was time to do a final final draft. In fact, a few have noticed I've started to upload the polished off episodes to my blog HERE. It's something I've been longing to do for a long time as you are now well aware. But what about my blogging? I love my blogging friends and colleagues I've become acquainted with. But there is so little time. I want to get back to my YA short story series, but keep finding it hard to get back to. Am I doing this wrong? Should I finally take some ME time, buckle down and get to my series once again? I've loved my blogging because I look at it as a continual writing practice. Yet, m I spending too much time on my blogging? How do I find the time? Am I just insane?

Sorry for such a long blog posting this time. I promise not to run on so much next time. As this is only my second contribution to the IWSG, I felt it would probably be a good idea to inform everyone exactly why I write and the base reasoning why I too am an Insecure Writer who needs a Support Group.

Questions:
What was your first computer?
What was your first social media site?
What is the first thing you remember writing, and being proud of?
How long have you been blogging?
Am I rude to my family and friends if I finally decide to take time off for me to work only on my writing?

My IWSG postings will be done the first Wednesday of every month. My fellow writers will be doing like-wise. Are you an insecure writer? Why not join the group? You can find out more information via the website found HERE.
The site is founded by Alex J. Cavanaugh - Thanks for all the support!

24 comments:

  1. It's a balance to do both, but it can be done. (I've been doing it for almost six years now.)
    Even with a complete rewrite, if that older series of stories calls to you, I'd say write it. I did that once with a thirty year old story. It became my first published book.

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    1. See? And I'd really like this series to be the first thing I publish too. Wish I could take a few months off and work on just that.

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  2. Sometimes the writing we've shoved in a closet or a journal entry is the best story ever.

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    1. So true. This story has followed me for years. I feel it's a part of my life now.

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  3. You have to write the stories that call you. 30 years--I admire your dedication.

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    1. 30 years is dedication. But to be fair, most of the time it's been sitting in a closet.

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  4. Hi Jeffrey - it's sad to be put down ... I suspect I only started to write the blog as I'd always been put down educationally wise. I used to write long letters from wherever I was ... wish I'd started those earlier. They weren't bad ... but getting encouragement from friends of my mother's who just said they so enjoyed my positive letters about my mother after her strokes - guess where the blog title came from.

    Go for it - and yes definitely take time out to get the book done and dusted. Cheers Hilary

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    1. Thanks again for stopping by with encouragement. Your visits are always appreciated. Yes, after you mentioned that, I guessed where you got the title of your blog from. It's always fun reading.

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  5. 30 years. Now that's a committed writer!

    I love blogging but I've been battling the same problem of my blogging taking over all of my time. I have to drag myself to my PC in the morning when I have a new post up to even look at the comments and start the task of replying back and visiting blogs. I used to look forward to it but now it's draining. I'll be cutting back a bit next year with 1-2 Wednesdays blog-free.

    If you want to write on your series, do it! Those who care and enjoy your blog will still be here when you return. :)

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    1. Great thoughts. I just hope I actually do have those who will be here when I return. I think soon I may take a full month off from blogging, just work on my writing. And see how that goes.

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  6. Jeffrey,
    The best thing I can share with you is to follow your dream! Physically and mentally I Lost some steam after the A- Z Challenge, though I don't know why. During it I felt fine.

    I wish you the best of luck and success (smile).

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    1. I've been planning another A-Z set this coming April. Yes, I started work on it this past May already. I hope it's one that everyone is going to enjoy.

      Thanks for the advice and encouragement. I need all I can get.

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  7. It's not a versus thing, really. I blog and I write. Some days I get more of one done than the other, but they still both get done. You just gotta make the time for it. :)

    Don't stop writing! I haven't checked out any of your writing (for some reason, I didn't realize you wrote creative but -duh- it's a tab right there on the top of the page haha) but I'll have to!

    My first computer was the old boxy desktop I got when I was like 12. Used to be my dad's, ran Windows 98 and had squealing dial-up. Before social media, I mostly joined forums about Pokemon and such haha, but Myspace was the first! Is it even still around, jeez!

    I had a similar writing experience in high school. I started this high fantasy thing and I had a few friends that were obsessed with reading it and hounded me for further chapters. I got pretty far into it (even taking name suggestions from some of said friends) before I burned out. I've been writing since as long as I can remember, but proudest would be the first short story I ever let an adult see (my English teacher freshman year) and he said it was better written than some of the kids in his college English class. Haha

    Alls I got to say about the family/friend thing is that everyone needs their alone time to get their own things done. Writing is a solitary thing and if they're your real friends, they'll understand. Just don't disappear for months at a time without any forewarning as I can see that pissing them off :P

    Sorry, I wrote too much!

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    1. Madilyn, don't ever worry about writing too much. I love long comments. Back when I was writing to a forum, I welcomed long discussions. It kept the articles and threads interesting.
      Thanks again for the thoughts and encouragements. Love hearing about writers first computers and stories they shared with friends, or all who were willing to read.

      Yes, I've done a lot of creative writing, I've only supplied a fraction online of my writing though my biggest is the Writers Block series which I'm currently working on Episode 3 of 8. The first two stories, (complete stories), are published here.

      Back in the day, I remember joining many a forum for Doctor Who, Reality TV, Star Trek, just about anything nerdy. LOL Where did those days go? Will we one day look back at Blogger and laugh?

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    2. I like long comments too, but can never seem to reply with the same amount. :/ In any case, you're welcome!!

      I like how you have Writer's Block set up. I'm sporadically reading it on and off. I should probably leave comments. Should start doing that haha

      I only recently got into Doctor Who and Star Trek, but back in the day it was Pokemon, Harry Potter, Neopets, and just general role-playing forums haha .. I'm not sure about Blogger, maybe? It's been going steady for a while :)

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    3. It has been steady for awhile. I think it'll be here for a long time now. Mostly because there are a variety of different blog sties and formats. It's diverse enough for everyone to choose what they like best and run with it. And since writing will always be around in one form or another, I think blogs have staying power too.

      Yes, comments are ALWAYS welcome. On my story or otherwise. I'm vowing to get the third episode complete by 2016.

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  8. First of all writers have to write and some people will be for you and some will be against you. You need to surround yourself with people that are positive and for you. (like us!) Writers write and should do so every day.
    I have no idea what brand my first personal pc was but I got it in 1995. Before that we used macs at my job as a special sections writer for a newspaper, and before that we used word processors.
    My first social media site was My Space but before that I was on some game sites and they were kind of social.
    The first thing I wrote and was proud of was a note (poem) to a classmates mother at his funeral. I was 12. I felt so bad and guilty because she cried when she read it. The next day all of my teachers said I should be a writer because I had a gift for writing just the right thing.
    Happy Writing!

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    1. Wow, what a touching story about the poem. That's what's amazing about writers, we are in touch with our feelings and are capable of relaying that information to others. So true about surrounding ourselves with people who are positive. I have a brother-in-law who is not very supportive. He will scoff when I talk about writing. One time they planned a family trip and he didn't invite me along. His excuse was I didn't even like to go because I spent the entire time on my computer. But he knew I was using the away time to work on writing. Some people will just never get it I guess.

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  9. Sounds somewhat familiar! I wanted to rewrite a memoir for publication a couple of years ago but got so bogged down that I shelved it temporarily. Blogging is so all-consuming! What's needed to do both is good time management skills. (Not my strong suit.) You could always cut back on the blogging without losing touch completely and concentrate on your series more. Your core followers will stick with you, regardless.
    As for your questions:
    I didn't get a PC until my father forced the issue and bought me an HP laptop for Christmas in 2008. I was one of those anti-computer curmudgeons. HA! If he only knew.....☺ A month later I stumbled upon a QnA site hosted by Windows Live, aka MSN. It ceased to exist in May of 2009, but some of the online friends I made there are still with me.
    I used to write mostly plays as a child, along with some poems and short stories; all pretty dark and dramatic. As a teenager, one of my poems was published in the local paper and I was pretty psyched about that!
    No, it's definitely not rude to step back and concentrate on your writing. You have to prioritize what's most important in your life and if people don't understand, it's their problem, not yours. Go for it!

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    1. I also think I need to manage my evenings better. Perhaps set aside certain evenings for certain activities only. Then it'll seem easier to manager and perhaps I'll be more productive and get more done.

      How cool to have one of your poems published. I was once offered the chance to have one of my poems published. But then I had to pay to buy the book it was published it. Seemed fishy to me so I declined.

      Great advice, thanks!

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  10. No way it's rude to work on your writing. Of course, there should be a way to still be there for family with reasonable balance. The problem is finding that balance. I wish you good luck getting it all figured out.

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    1. Much appreciated. One of these days I'll get everything taken care of.
      I can't be so disorganized ALL my life.

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  11. Questions:
    What was your first computer? Acorn Atom
    What was your first social media site? Twitter
    What is the first thing you remember writing, and being proud of? a full length novel in grade 10
    How long have you been blogging? 4 yrs
    Am I rude to my family and friends if I finally decide to take time off for me to work only on my writing? No - you have to be true to yourself.

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    1. A full length novel in grade 10? How cool.

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