IWSG Day- A Book Is Not A Race

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Happy IWSG Day! Can you believe that 2015 will be over in another two months? Well I can’t. Still I’m so grateful to befriend all the wonderful bloggers and writers from the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. Let’s not forget the encouragement too. All thanks goes to Alex Cavanaugh for creating this writer’s haven. Because let’s face it, this writing life is not always easy. Not when fear and doubt is always at the ready to ensnare us. And for allowing us to remember always, that we are not alone. So, it is that every first Wednesday of a new month, we gather together. Helping and motivating each other.

To find out more about the group and/or maybe even sign-up, click on the badge above. And don’t forget to check out the October 7 posting of the IWSG:TB Markinson,Tamara Narayan, Shannon Lawrence, Stephanie Faris, and Eva E. Solar!

Our Twitter hashtag is #IWSG

A wise man once said ““Slow down. A book is not a pop quiz. It’s not a race. I would advise authors to take absolutely all the time that the book or yourself need to create and craft that book the right way.” Now who was that man? Read/listen to Book Marketing Tools: Book Covers and More to find out.

Anyways, I have to remember that. Maybe make it another mantra. Especially with 2016 fast approaching.

Last year, I made so many writing plans for 2015. Only to make myself busy but not productive. I had to review, reevaluate and redo my writing plan. Which is not wrong, because life, family or you yourself will throw you some detours. Yet, I wonder where did I go wrong.

The Quanie Talks Writing blog wrote a post very close to my heart two months ago. “Are You Setting Reasonable Goals?” Hmmm…I’d have to say absolutely no.

I thought I planned for 2015. That unlike 2014, my writing plans for 2015 would actually bear fruit. Yet I did not set in place a system where I can effectively achieve those goals and produce results. Oh yes, I made a timeline to when a project should be completed. Obviously it wasn’t enough. I need to lay down a foundation. A proper one, consisting of baby steps that will accumulate and help me achieve my goal. As well as take into account my writing lifestyle and pace.

Don’t get me wrong, I did accomplish a lot of things. Instead of publishing my poetry chapbook with Finishing Line Press, I self-published it. I’m now on Twitter and have 2,001 followers (although now I’ve hit my following limit, le sigh). I moved and renamed my blog from Weebly to WordPress.com. Which I’d also soon upgrade into my own self-hosted site. Just don’t ask me when, because at the rate I go, soon can be six months from now. Or same time next year. Unfortunately, the move to WordPress had dropped my page authority from ~30% to 1%, ouch.

I’m posting my YA novel on Wattpad, chapter by chapter(6 chapters up on the site so far). I’ve yet to have one of my poems published in a literary journal or magazine. But I have received correspondence from poetry editors. Stating how they liked my pieces or how it made it to the final review, but they couldn’t publish it in the end. Yet, they invited me to submit to them again. With feedback like that I have no problem getting rejected.

Anyways, now that it’s October it’s time to reflect on my 2016 plans. Because I go slow and take breaks. Whew, National Poetry Month left me drained and then there’s summer vacation. All which will be taken into account next year. Especially with NaNoWriMo(National Novel Writing Month) next month. Because whether I take part or not (leaning towards yes, I will). I have to come to a decision to which one of my story ideas I want to NaNo. Since that story will be my sole work in progress in 2016.

My focus will be on 1-2 big writing projects (in case I’m just not feeling the current novel). As well as continue trying to write content that’ll increase blog followers. Writing and submitting more poems, shorts, and flash fictions. Sharing more of of own writing on the blog and reading more. Featuring more author blog tours and giveaways, and guest bloggers. Do something special for National Poetry Month in April 2016 again. And then there’s the three contests I’d like to take part in next year: L. Ron Hubbard’s Writers of the Future, Marsh Hawk Press Poetry Prize and Harlequin’s So You Think You Can Write 2016.

Hmmm, so which story idea should I NaNo and to be my WIP for 2016? Dreaming of You, a love story between a dream therapist and her patient. With Shemar Moore casted as the patient and Sanaa Lathan as the therapist. Nadia and the Immortal Witch (tentative title) and sequel to Nadia the Fire Witch. Or The Soul Traveler, a YA urban fantasy novella(?) about a girl who always thought she had the most amazing dreams. When really she’s been traveling to alternate worlds in her sleep.

Time is of the essence and I must hurry to make my decision. Oh that’s right, almost forgot…a book is not a race. It is not a race. But damn, I’m running out time.

Have you started making plans for 2016? Have you accomplished your 2015 goals? Planning on taking part in NaNoWriMo 2015? Any NaNo preps you’d like to share?

NaNoWriMo 2015



  1. I ALWAYS have problems with setting reasonable goals. I always overshoot myself and stretch myself too thin. I really need to reevaluate my goals for next year, but this year… I just want to finish editing one of my novel, finish two of my short stories and win NaNoWriMo. I doubt I’ll get all that done by the end of December, but who knows.

    – Madilyn Quinn @ NovelBrews

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Not doing NaNoWriMo this year. Have done it for the last two years, and am still working on one of the novels I did, so will continue to finish that one out instead of start a new one. Like you said, a book is not a race. You are certainly busy so can understand your need to really get “time organized”. Good luck with that!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Lisa. And good luck finishing your novel. I’m going to have to continuously remind myself that a book is not a race. And find that steady beat right for me.


  3. I set goals that I wanted to accomplish this year also. The first half went extremely well and then life took over. It happens. From what I’ve read in your post, you’ve managed to accomplish a few things already this year. Congrats on publishing your poetry book.

    I haven’t started planning for 2016 yet; I’ll get to that in December. 🙂 Thanks for visiting my blog and commenting earlier. Enjoy the rest of IWSG day. Hugs. Eva, IWSG Co-host

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, the first half took off well too. Maybe that’s what I should do. Just plan for the 1st half and wing it for the 2nd. Well at least until I get it ‘just right.’ ;-D


  4. I am pushing through a few big projects right now and then plan to scale back, write for the health of it, send out more submissions and smile more! A job shift hasn’t happened yet and I needed it to get everything done with my writing, but oh well. I have a job and I am still writing. Can’t complain too much. I’m letting 2016 be a year of freedom with my writing, so no immediate plans.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for stopping by Dean. And good luck with your current projects and your year of writing freedom next year. On the chance you do make some plans for 2016, good luck with those as well.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Perfect reflection with NaNoWriMo coming up! Like you, I’m not sure but probably yes. No, I haven’t gotten any of my goals done BUT I think that’s because I realized that good writing takes time, so I don’t feel guilty so much as like I’m doing the right thing I guess. I definitely need to work on reasonable goals, but I kind of think maybe that’s something you have to learn by doing. Like, a year ago, I had no idea how long it was really going to take to do stuff. I mean, I know how long it takes to write a bunch of words and edit those words, but not how long it takes to really let things stew and come back with fresh eyes. That said, I do need to get off my butt and not be frustrated that it takes so long sometimes. Thanks for sharing this!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for stopping by. And I agree, now that I know how long and much it takes, and not just the writing. But also, the marketing and promoting, book launches, etc. I’m going to be more reasonable and go at a pace that’s right for me.


  6. Sometimes I try to race to “THE END” because I have self-made goals I want to meet, but it never works. I write at my own pace. I see how fast others write and publish and it shocks me, but you’re right that it’s not a race. We will all finish our books and publish them when our time is right.

    Good luck with NaNo!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Chrys! It shocks me too and then I wonder ‘damnit, why can’t I do that?’ Well the question’s been answered and I can only finish at a time that’s right for me.


  7. Sounds like you have a LOT going on!

    I’m bringing one of my babies into the world in the spring…I’m working with my editor now, and I hope to have a finished product to give to reviewers by year-end. I am going to do NaNo this year (this was my subject for this month’s IWSG blog), but I’m keeping my expectations reasonable. We will be living in NYC in November, and I want to spend some time enjoying living there.


    • Congrats on the baby! You have more going on than me, so I wish you good luck with everything. I’m originally from NYC and some of my favorite moments were the entertainment and performers on and around the train system, when you go downtown to Manhattan and Times Sq.


  8. I’m definitely doing the NaNo again, although I have no idea how I’ll fit it in. I also set ridiculous, unattainable goals. I haven’t looked over this year and done an audit yet, but I’m pretty happy with what I’ve accomplished, even though it might look different than I thought.

    I vote for the Soul Traveler!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the vote! After looking through my files and folders, I found that I already wrote a good deal of notes for all three a long time ago. The next thing I can do is just NaNo prep them all. But if I still can’t come to a decision, maybe I’ll throw a dart or play eeny, meeny, miny, mo. Good luck with NaNo!


  9. I’ve given up on setting time-based goals. I know I’ll always prioritize my children over my writing, so it limits my time at the keyboard. Thankfully, I’m not competing with anyone, so the book not being a race works well for me!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I have not even thought about 2016 except to register for a conference in April and apply to speak at one in June. My mind is still in July and that’s not good. I need to shake it off and start making some serious plans. I have a book coming out later this year, yikes!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lol, it’s a good thing I’m a planster then. I’ll go and make the smaller goals, working towards them. And just wing the rest. Thanks for stopping by Alex!


  11. Lidy, I always set one two many goals at the beginning of the year and, with luck and enough discipline, I might hit about 80% of them. This year (gosh, only two months to go) has been well overall but as usual, I’d overstretched myself and lost my focus few times. I hope to cut down on losing my focus in 2016. Goals don’t change, but plans sometimes do. And it’s all right. We’ll still get to where we want to be as long as we work hard enough. Have fun with NaNoWriMo! I feel like you’ve been doing a lot this year ~ switching to WordPress, being on Wattpad etc. All evidence of your determination to make it work. All these do add up. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I think it depends on WHY you’re slowing down. Some people slow down and just don’t write for months. Some rewrite the same book for three years. I write fairly quickly but publishing is slooooow. Mostly it’s “hurry up and wait.” So I’m trying to get ahead of the game and write the rest of my book while I’m waiting to hear back on my partial. But the partial could be rejected, at this point I would have written chapters 4, 5, etc. for nothing!


    Liked by 1 person

  13. I tend to work on a monthly basis, rather than setting yearly goals. That works better for me and then at the end of the year I write a reflective log of everything I have accomplished. It’s such a boost because when we think about it, we actually achieve a lot in a year. However, my mind never stops which can be irritating to others – especially when I zone out at a social gathering because an idea grips me and zooms me off into another realm. Oops – something to work on next month 🙂

    Great post!! Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for visiting my blog Nicola! I’m a zoner as well. Either that I’m so deep into the story I’m thinking up or reading, that I start humming, talking to myself or giggle in excitement. The people around me have gotten used to it and just think I’m loony.


  14. Wow, only two more months left in the year. Where did the time go?? I haven’t gotten as much accomplished this year as I had hoped, but I keep plugging away at it. I wanted to have Book 2 out by the end of the year. Life happens, though, and plans change. That quote is so true. No book should be published before it’s ready. I just wish it didn’t take so long. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know, 2015 just went too fast. To think it’s almost 2016 when it feels like just yesterday I was celebrating New Year’s 2015. And I understand too, wish it didn’t take so long. But if it’s not ready, it’s not ready.

      Liked by 1 person

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