December IWSG—Wrapping up the year


The Insecure Writer’s Support Group convenes the first Wednesday of the month. Participants share their worries, insecurities, triumphs, hopes, and fears.

This month, the IWSG question is:

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

I’d like to be making real money off of my writing in five years, with physical copies of my books available in libraries and bookstores. At present, I’m waiting for a revamped cover for one of my books, and then I’m going to finally release paper copies.

I may very well never marry (thank God I didn’t end up married to my ex!), and I might not have children while I still have some fertile years left. If I can’t have kids, my writing will be my eternal legacy, the avenue through which I’ve been fruitful and multiplied. I want to make sure I take steps to market myself much, much better than I’ve been doing.

nano-2016-final-statsI’ve been dealing with some disappointment at not having finished NaNo with as high of a wordcount as I did the last two years (65,524 vs. just shy of 75K and a bit above 71K). I won NaNo in two of the three years I unofficially participated (with the wordcounts retroactively, honestly added to my profile), though I didn’t go much above 50K then because I didn’t start on the first of the month.

I won on Day 23 the last two years, and this year got my win on Day 25 instead. I felt behind schedule, but on Tuesday I realized 25 November 2016 marked the 25th anniversary of when I wrote my first Atlantic City characters into existence. That’s a really, really special day. Years later, I suddenly remembered I’d originally created my Henry Unicorn-Mitchell around 1987, but all of my other Atlantic City characters were created in 1991.

We really did grow up together, having known one another since age eleven. In my mind’s eye, I still picture them as they were around age 12-13, in spite of how they’re in their sixties now. Today, 7 December, is also not only the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, but also the 25th anniversary of my beginning the first book in my spin-off series about Max Seward and his zany blended family. I’d already fallen so in love with Max, I just had to give him his own series!

Where it all began, possibly now only living in memory. This notebook was my fifth grade social-studies notebook prior to becoming the terrible, cringeworthy Proud to Be a Smart. A number of scenes were salvaged and repurposed for use in other books.

 I really need to quit procrastinating already and begin publishing my Atlantic City books in 2017. I haven’t finished the last-minute addition of a War of the Worlds chapter in the book formerly known as The Very First, but other than that, it’s pretty good to go. These are the characters of my heart, the ones I was born to write, and keeping them mostly to myself isn’t doing any good.

Do you feel there’s a particular book or set of characters you were born to write? If you’ve written a series or family/town saga, what’s the longest you’ve been with your characters? Did you have the experience of growing up along with any of your characters?


13 thoughts on “December IWSG—Wrapping up the year

  1. You did excellently on NaNo by finishing on the 25th day. I finished also around that time. Congratulations! In reference to your question, yes, I feel like the series I am writing I was destined to write. I relate very heavily to my characters and they too me.
    All the best for goals. Hope you reach each of them.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G.


  2. Your five year “plan” or dream sounds good to me. That’s what I’d like to have as well though you’re doing much better than I am with the actual writing.

    Love those composition books. I have several, mostly empty, with stories or ideas started. I’m good at starting stuff.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out


  3. What you said about may never marry or have kids…that sounds like me. I did grow up with a few of my characters. I started writing about them when I was twelve. I’m still trying to get an agent for the first book in that series. I definitely feel that I was born to write about them, and I believe I’ll be able to share their stories…eventually. 🙂


    • For years, my mother in particular thought it was ridiculous how I was “still” writing characters and stories I began when I was so young, as though I were supposed to “move on” after some arbitrary age. I know my characters so intimately precisely because we’ve been together for so many years.


    • I date pretty much everything, both starting and ending dates. I can’t recall what got me into that habit, but it started pretty early on. I like knowing what dates I worked on something.


  4. For me, stories are like children. They are born, grow up, mature, and eventually die, making way for new stories. It takes time, years usually, but it inevitably happens. So I don’t write now about characters I grew up with. Their stories are gone. I have new stories and new characters now. Since I didn’t start writing down my stories until my real-life kids grew up, the stories and characters from my youth are not in the running anymore. I don’t even remember most of them. Perhaps, they were not supposed to be shared.


    • I also have plans to resurrect some characters I’ve had shelved for over 20 years, characters whom I created when I was about five or six years old. I figure if I never forgot them or their stories all these years, they were really meant to be. They just weren’t meant to be in that way at that time.


  5. The characters in my Trueborn Weft Series have been with me since I was 13. Eden and I created original characters for our Star Trek fan fiction, and the girl known as Aa-Jenaah went through many changes and much growth, to now be a woman named Niaan, still living her life in bits and pieces I’m pulling together into the epic fantasy it was meant to be, now that I’ve figured out how to purify it from its fan fiction roots without giving them up (those will eventually be freely offered on fan fiction sites, so that those who want to can read the interwoven stories, but both will stand alone, too).

    Your goal of making money – that’s one of mine, too. I’m not especially motivated by money, but I’ve got this thought that I’d like to fund a show on PBS. The idea of doing good with the money I earn- that’s a better goal, for me.

    I’ll be looking forward to seeing the Atlantic City books arrive!


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