Confession: I’ve Been Losing Focus–and a Little Faith–In My Writing

There comes a time when one must look in the mirror and face accountability.

We’re a third of the way through the year, my move turned into a two month ordeal, and I’ve gotten distracted from my writing by hunting page views on WAY too many social mediums.

And?

To be honest? I’m starting to lose faith that I’ll find my agent with this story.

I’m even rolling new story ideas around in the back of my head.

Now don’t think for a moment I don’t love this story, I’m not sick of this manuscript–I keep getting ideas on how to improve it more. But, I will confess to being frustrated every time I realize it really does need more revising or editing–that’s the struggle with writing a novel, it’s never done. Even after it’s printed, you can still find authors who want to fix things.

I think it’s called “George-Lucasing” their novel…

But, maybe the market for YA Fantasy is just too crowded right now, too hungry for high concept books that flip-the-script on everything. Maybe I’m looking in the wrong place for my agent, or they’re not in the mood for the flavor of my manuscript this month.

And none of those are things I can control. So, when external things get in my way, it’s time to look internally.

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How am I doing on my goals for the year?

Query 3 agents every other week, unless revising

Well, it’s a good thing I tossed that caveat in there. Too bad I’m not actively revising…

Read 2 books a month, and try to rate/review them

I slipped at least one book in last month, so I think I’m comfortably treading water here, at least.

Blog every week. Decide if I’m going to keep vlogging

Unmitigated success!

And I even added the Query Corner feature. Which isn’t as popular as my regular posts, but that’s okay. It’s a pretty niche topic.

I keep thinking if I’m going to continue with the vlogging, I really should start pushing it a little harder, because I don’t have many followers. [Feel free to subscribe!]

And you see how this social media related goal is the first one that I feel confident in…

Move forward with my picture book

Hahaha! Nope. Not a thing. I’ve lost faith in this one too, I keep delaying researching word count and query tips for picture books.

I think it’s sweet and fine. And doesn’t stand out.

Try to use social media better

Here’s one I’ve been letting consume far too much of my days, weeks, and months. I need to start scheduling stuff and stepping away.

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And I’ve started! But, I also joined 2 support groups for bloggers who keep trying to get me to promote my stuff more and network. Which… why blog if I don’t grow my audience?

And maybe Pinterest really is the key to everything…but it might be a niche for lifestyle blogs and not really for writing blogs? No one knows.

Rewrite one of my NaNoWriMo shelved projects

Not yet. But there’s still time.

Write something new for NaNoWriMo

There’s still time left for this!

Clearly, I need to prioritize better and make sure that writing goals aren’t being sidelined by the supporting goals. I want the writing to be my focus, but too often, the social media stuff, with its short-term deadlines and insta-feedback is taking over.

But, luckily for me, these aren’t the only things I’ve been doing.


What am I doing that isn’t part of my goals?

Well, it’s actually thanks to this whole “use social media better” objective. I’ve been writing. Flash fiction, little stories, and vignettes. A little on Reddit, a little just for myself. And even a smidgen on Tumblr.

Things that don’t require a lot of planning and that I’m probably not going to go anywhere with.

But I’m still going to give myself credit for working on telling stories that aren’t 80,000 words long and 2+ months of effort to even get the concept down on paper.

Now, I just need to buckle down and finish this round of revisions so I can move on.

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We’re a third of the way through the year. How are your goals coming along?

Do you like what goals you’ve made progress with? Or do you need to re-prioritize, too?

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15 thoughts on “Confession: I’ve Been Losing Focus–and a Little Faith–In My Writing

  1. Morgan – as a writer who has started more projects than he has finished, and who has been unsuccessful at getting novels published, I sympathize with you. But you know, the only way you will ever be happy is to continue to write. You have a condition known as “being a writer.” So write. Don’t spend so much time on social media. Kick yourself in the butt, or ask a friend to spank your butt if you waste too much time on such stuff, and get back to writing. Finish that novel, and then go on to finish another novel, and then another. You might, however, consider self-publishing that first novel and put it up on Amazon as a demonstration for what you can do. Maybe it will encourage an agent, or publisher to look at your next unpublished novel, or be receptive to reading and considering your pitch.

    Best of luck, you have some good chops, now make some chop suey! – David

    Liked by 1 person

    • There’s also the fact that, if your debut novel doesn’t really go anywhere, that that can be a mark against you for future stuff, especially if you want to try to go traditional. So I’m going to have to think really hard and long before I do that.

      I’m contemplating my options but it’s intimidating.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Morgan, What are your real goals? The big ones. The ones all your other goals should move towards? The end game goals. Because advice and direction are different for each END GAME GOAL. Here are some examples:

    1) Get my book published.
    2) Earn a living as a fiction writer.
    3) Get this voices and characters on paper and out of my head.
    4) Become famous.
    5) Hit the NYT Best seller list.

    Because all the things you listed as goals are smaller, stepping stone goals, to something else.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I make SMART goals, to be done within this year, that can be controlled by me.

      Specific and measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound.

      Those are things you would like to happen, the big overlying goals, but not actually actionable items. The little stuff makes up those goals.

      1 ) Get my book published
      2 ) Be able to earn a living, within the next 10-15 years from my writing.
      3 ) Create stories that touch heart’s and make people want to re-read then
      4 ) have someone tell me that I’m their favorite.
      5 ) Go viral for a good reason

      Like

  3. i like the way you have all these goals on a list and whenever you feel like it, you can go back and see if you’re on track. I’ve never done that. I’ve never done a list of things to do for next week, or even tomorrow.
    Good luck agent hunting.

    Like

    • I like checking things off my to-do list.

      It gives me concrete things to think about so that I can track progress, even when it feels like I’m spinning my wheels.

      Feeling like I’m making progress is KEY for my own mental health.

      But, here’s my 2018 goal planning post: https://wp.me/p64XsM-2ih

      And my 2017 accountability post:
      https://wp.me/p64XsM-2hO

      I’m a little compulsive, but so far, it’s not interfering with the quality of my life, just enhancing it and getting me into the position of make-wedding-happen, more than once…

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Me too, lost focus!! At least you joined the two support groups, that’s great! I think I’ll be able to concentrate better after I get past my library reading/book signing next week. For that, I’m re-reading my first book (“Surviving Hollywood North: Crew Confessions from an Insider”) so that if someone asks me a detailed question I won’t look like an idiot, having forgotten details from my own memoir! Ay yi…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sounds like a good plan. I hope the reading goes well!

      Wanna hear another confession? I bought myself a dress. It’s work appropriate and blah-blah-blah. BUT. I picked it out with the thought of me wearing it at a reading. Of my own work. #thatsTheDream

      Maybe I should post about that part, too.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks! Ooh, a new dress! That’s – HEY! You’ve just made me realize I have no idea what I’m wearing Thursday! Eek! Must…pore through…closet!
        Oh by all means, post about your dream! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: When Querying A Novel: Hope Can Be The Scariest Thing | Morgan Hazelwood: Writer In Progress

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