Keepin' Busy

7:00 AM Elizabeth Seckman 58 Comments

Images courtesy of Pixabay. 

Welcome to another post for the IWSG- the place where writers gather to share their fears and frustrations. 

It would be a perfect get-together if only our fearless ninja-leader, Alex Cavanaugh, sent us all calorie-free chocolate. 

The question of the month:
How do you find the time to write in your busy day?

Answer is, honestly, some days...weeks...months, I don't. Writing seems to always take the back burner to all the other to-dos in life. It's tough to find the balance between marketing, editing, business details, and regular-old life. 

There are days when I ask myself if I will ever have enough time to get it all done. 

It's that question that creates the biggest insecurity. 

Will I ever have enough time to do it all? Maybe this writing thing is too big of a task. Too broad a dream. Not to mention until you can make a livable wage at it, it's hard to justify the time it takes to do it properly. So, you're caught in a conundrum...you would devote more time to it if you were guaranteed more money....and you'd make more money if you devoted more time. 

So, what's a person to do? Any suggestions? How do you balance it all? 

Be sure to stop by and say hi to all the awesome co-hosts (myself includedThe awesome co-hosts for the September 7 posting of the IWSG are C. Lee McKenzie, Rachel Pattison, Elizabeth Seckman, Stephanie Faris, Lori L MacLaughlin, and Elsie Amata! 

And today, we're announcing the 2016 IWSG Anthology Contest!



Last year’s contest was science fiction – parallel world/alternate history, and the result was Parallels: Felix Was Here. This year, we have a new theme and invite all members to submit.

Eligibility: Any member of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group is encouraged to enter – blogging or Facebook member. The story must be previously unpublished. Entry is free.

Word count: 5000-6000

Genre: Fantasy

Theme: Hero Lost. It could be about a hero turned villain, a villain's redemption, a hero's lack of confidence, a hero's lack of smarts, etc. It can be about any kind of hero including superheroes, mythological heroes, unexpected or unlikely heroes, or a whole new kind of hero. This theme has plenty of scope and we’re open to pretty much anything along these lines. No erotica, R-rated language, or graphic violence.

Deadline: November 1st 2015

How to enter: Send your polished, formatted, previously unpublished story to admin @ insecurewriterssupportgroup.com before the deadline passes. Please include your contact details and if you are part of the Blogging or Facebook IWSG group.

Judging: The IWSG admins will create a shortlist of the best stories. The shortlist will then be sent to our official judges.

Prizes: The winning stories will be edited and published by Freedom Fox Press next year in the IWSG anthology. Authors will receive royalties on books sold, both print and eBook. The top story will have the honor of giving the anthology its title.

We’re excited to see the creativity and enthusiasm that’s such a part of this group put into action. So don your creative caps and start writing. And spread the word!

Our amazing judges this year:

Elizabeth S. Craig
Richard Harland
Laura Maisano
Russell C. Connor
Dawn Frederick
Michelle L. Johnson
Ion Newcombe
Lynn Tincher



58 comments:

  1. Oh how exciting. I'll try to fit this in because I wanted to enter last year and couldn't. X

    shahwharton.com

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  2. I agree, balancing it all is a tough challenge. Hopefully, reading September's IWSG answers will teach us ways to create pockets of time for writing. Thank you for finding co-hosting September's IWSG.

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  3. The time it would take to make a living at it is really overwhelming. I think just taking the basic steps first and doing a little bit is more doable than thinking you have to do it all and right now.
    Thanks for co-hosting today.

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  4. Thanks for co-hosting today! Finding the balance between life and writing? I think I'd like to find that secret more than the fountain of youth. Best thing to do is to take any advantage and time available to write and not give up.

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  5. Sweetness and awesomesauce! I'm not going to be able to participate in the contest since I'll be writing promo posts and freaking out about marketing. Yay.

    The balance... There is no balance. LOL. There is cheese though, and I think when we sit back and the end of the year and analyze how far we've come, it becomes apparent that we're making progress. That's what matters.

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  6. I'm with you on the chocolate. Imagine us all at our keyboards, munching on IWSG chocolate bars...or cookies...or...I better go eat breakfast....

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  7. I didn't post it, but I'm going through a similar dilemma. The consuming long hours and hard work of writing takes so much time, and what's the gain? For me, I guess it's personal satisfaction. But the marketing again is another bone of contention. UGH!

    Thanks for co-hosting Elizabeth!

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  8. Chocolate? There's chocolate? Thanks for co-hosting this month. Thanks for the info about the contest. Good luck on making time to write.

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  9. I think the info on the competition is sinking into my subconscious, every time I read about it on a different post my muse gets another nudge.
    Thanks for hosting!

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  10. I've found no matter how busy life gets, writing will always poke at you and beg to have some attention every now and then. So don't worry, though your progress may be slow, the urge to write will never abandon you!

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  11. You are right. It is a big conundrum. My family keeps me so busy, writing has to come second. Even though my kids are getting older, they don't seem to be getting more independent. (Maybe that's because their mother works at home?) I also wonder about the marketing and such. I could spend some money to have better covers, professional editing and such, but if I only sell 10 copies (and that may be optimistic), wouldn't that be a waste of money? Or should I go ahead and hope that some day I will attain some higher level of visibility and then have quality books waiting for that future audience? Something to ponder.

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  12. Kewl about the contest. I've got too much on my platter but I wish all submitters good luck.

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  13. One thing I learned about this business is that there's no one answer to how success happens. Thanks for co-hosting and announcing the contest.

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  14. I'm still working on how to balance it all. I have a hunk of time during weekdays, but I usually fall off the wagon with everything I need to do. Thanks for co-hosting today! :)

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  15. Boy have you wrapped it all up in one image: it's a circle of frustration sometimes. We'd write more if we could make more; we'd make more if we could write more! And because of that seemingly endless circle, I tend to leap off the carousel and run in the other direction! But I'm always pulled back in. Call it centripetal motion. The answer to the "how" and "why" and "when" is simply to just do it. Be there and show up and write. And hope those ideas come flowing down, flowing out, with a voice that makes you want to continue showing up! Thank you for co-hosting this month!! Cheers :)

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  16. lol only way you get balance is to have no life at all or be super rich to pay people to do all the crap for you. Other than that, not happening haha

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  17. Thanks for co-hosting, Elizabeth. I think many of us have had a problem finding time to write this year. I'm one of those. Hopefully, that will change. I agree about the chocolate!

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  18. Thank you for co-hosting, Elizabeth. I have my writing schedule which is embedded within me, and I usually keep it.
    All the best.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat Garcia

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  19. Thanks for co-hosting this month, Elizabeth! I'm still figuring out "how to do it all". Real Life is demanding, and some things can not be put off until another day. On the other hand, life is about choices - priorities - and we all have to make them. I guess the answer is different for everyone!

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  20. The new contest theme sounds great. I don't have the answer to the life vs. writing conundrum. If you love it, you find time to do it. But, it's not easy.
    Thanks for co-hosting IWSG this month!
    Mary at Play off the Page

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  21. I'm starting to feel better as I read these posts with other writers saying something that is vexing me as well. Now if we can all find a solution to finding more time.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

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  22. I've actually posted about my time/earnings conundrum today. Turns out, my earnings, meager as they are, are actually more than I'm earning from the dayjob. So I'm definitely going to go into "I have two concurrent full-time job" modes as of this week.

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  23. Reading and writing via blogging takes up much of my time, as when the housework and shopping plus my daily walks are completed I have not much to do. I have always got time to comment and post but sometimes I wish I had more to my life. Being on one's own is no fun.
    Yvonne.

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  24. I believe we have to forgive ourselves when we take a break from writing. I think most writers have been in the situation where they just don't have anything to say. I know I have. Even after a long break, I always return to the game. Why? Because I can't not write. I don't think we choose writing; I think writing chooses us.

    Great post! Uh, did someone mention chocolate?

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  25. Publishing is a very humbling industry. Most of us are trying to make ANY money, let alone live off it. Which can be super distressing and discouraging. I believe it's a labor of love, and you have to love the craft of writing to invest the time needed. The writers I know who've made it so to speak have put in a lot of time. Also, we are in a better position than ever before with more publishing options than sending off a manuscript to a publishing house. You can take your career whichever direction you want.

    Here's my September IWSG post - my secret tool for finding writing time

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  26. Agreed--it does get frustrating. I try to divide my day into thirds--one of those being writing. But I often prioritize something else on top of writing. Sigh.

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  27. Finding the time to write can be quite the pickle. But to be a writer you need to find it. Best of luck Liz and congrats on all the books you have written so far. Also thanks for co-hosting IWSG.

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  28. Thank you for co-hosting #IWSG for September, Elizabeth. Finding time to do everything on the list becomes a juggling act. It's still fun trying to keep all the balls in the air. I figure I'll keep at it until it isn't fun anymore.

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  29. I can't imagine forcing myself to write every day, so I'm not ashamed to say I don't either. I have other things to do, and those other things often feed into my writing.

    Great to be co-hosting with you, Elizabeth.

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  30. I just try to catch myself not making the best of my time (which is not hard). It's easy for me to say, "Man, I just don't have time to write", but then catch myself browsing the Internet for an hour at night. I just need to be critical enough of myself to say you DID have the time, you just didn't use it properly. Next time you have that hour - WRITE.

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  31. I LOVE the cover of Swept Away! Thanks for co-hosting this month and for the anthology update. I feel lucky to be back writing again after the summer of no words. The only thing I wrote (mostly) was my IWSG blog so I get the Life Happens thing...!

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  32. For me, writing involves sneaking around and writing when the rest of the family isn't looking. Work and family come first, so I've given up a lot of habits I used to have. It's all worth it though. Thanks for co-hosting this month's IWSG!

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  33. Great post. One step at time as someone up higher said and don't worry about the rest and add what you can't and let of the guilt for you can't. Cell phone recording for taking story notes or dictation a little story when you get a break in the busy maybe. I just learned to talk to my google on my cell phone and it will pull up memos for me and I can leave a voice memo there. I thought that interesting.

    Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

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  34. Elizabeth, that's exactly how I feel too! Sometimes I think, 'what's the point? I'm not being paid to write', but then I do write, and I see how much joy it brings me, and I keep going :). I don't think anyone should think their dream is too broad to come true :).
    Thanks for co-hosting with us! P.S. - have you changed your blog design?? Love it!

    Rachel x
    September IWSG co-host

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  35. There's never enough time. But I guess that helps us to prioritize and stretch ourselves.

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  36. I think we ALL feel the same.... Never enough time and it takes WAY TOO MUCH TIME to create a marketable story. I don't think any of us have the magic answer to that question.

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  37. That picture of the frog is adorable! I agree. Time has been a struggle for me too lately. Family stuff has been at the forefront and that has to take priority right now. The writing will be there when things settle back down. Thank you for co-hosting!

    Elsie
    co-host IWSG

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  38. I not only love the cover of Swept Away, I loved the story too. Time always seems to be a problem for writers. It seems you have to specify a set time and lock yourself away to get on with it. At least your kids are all grown up now, that must help,doesn't it?

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  39. I've been there done that--that feeling of being overwhelmed and mad at wasting my time with no results. I have no good answers. We each have to figure out what drives us to write. Thanks for this thoughtful blog. Looking forward to that anthology. with so many creative writers in this group, it should be a doozey! Thank you for co-hosting!

    JQ Rose

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  40. Balancing writing and life is definitely a challenge. It's easier for me - I'm semi-retired and don't have a 9-5 day job. The disadvantage: I'm much older, alas, than those who do.

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  41. I liked your honest answer! Making the switch to teaching high school English this year has freed up a lot more writing time for me :-)

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  42. I liked your honest answer! Making the switch to teaching high school English this year has freed up a lot more writing time for me :-)

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  43. I love all of your questions and I do wish I didn't have to sleep so I could use those precious hours to write but (sigh) I can't. I guess we can only do what we can and every small step means something bigger in the end.

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  44. I vote yes on being sent chocolate - but you can load mine up with caffeine - I kinda need the kick.
    Tweeted.
    http://victoriaadams.blogspot.com

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  45. Elisabeth, I think that writing is something you should approach as something that you do to please YOURSELF firstly, and worry about the audience, secondly. I mentioned this earlier to another #IWSG'er, who seems like she just wants to stop writing and she's putting way too much pressure on herself and taking all of the fun out of it. We create because we feel we have a need to say something, or we want to craft something, in either music, painting or with our writing, but if we're not enjoying it, it's not going to work.

    I DO play the viola professionally and have some Movement Disorder issues that I have to address, so discipline is a must, but I also love making music, so I'm cool with that. I also apply it to writing, because I enjoy creating something, anything using words. I guess I got that from my mom; the music came from my dad.

    So, try to relax and not worry so much that everything is going to get done. I've found that life is just kind of a mess, but it can be a happy mess and we can still create under those circumstances. It's a matter of flexibility, letting go and not getting in our own way. When I shed all of that, I found my "voice" and became a much better writer. I wish you the best and thank you so much for the visit today! It will be all right, Elisabeth; from where I sit, you're looking great! Mary <3

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  46. Elisabeth, I think that writing is something you should approach as something that you do to please YOURSELF firstly, and worry about the audience, secondly. I mentioned this earlier to another #IWSG'er, who seems like she just wants to stop writing and she's putting way too much pressure on herself and taking all of the fun out of it. We create because we feel we have a need to say something, or we want to craft something, in either music, painting or with our writing, but if we're not enjoying it, it's not going to work.

    I DO play the viola professionally and have some Movement Disorder issues that I have to address, so discipline is a must, but I also love making music, so I'm cool with that. I also apply it to writing, because I enjoy creating something, anything using words. I guess I got that from my mom; the music came from my dad.

    So, try to relax and not worry so much that everything is going to get done. I've found that life is just kind of a mess, but it can be a happy mess and we can still create under those circumstances. It's a matter of flexibility, letting go and not getting in our own way. When I shed all of that, I found my "voice" and became a much better writer. I wish you the best and thank you so much for the visit today! It will be all right, Elisabeth; from where I sit, you're looking great! Mary <3

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  47. I set priorities and follow through. The stuff at the bottom eventually floats to the top. :-)

    Anna from elements of emaginette

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  48. I've done what a lot of artists do. I've paralleled my art with academia. I'm still poor, but I eat. ;)

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  49. I've struggled with the same issue. My writing for clients is requested and makes money, so there's an instant return and satisfaction from it. Therefore, my own writing gets sacrificed continually for writing that pays the bills. Juggling both wasn't working, so come February 2017 I'm taking a major leap into the abyss and focusing only on fiction (and some travel writing). I have to give it a chance, even if I'm eating tuna and mac n' cheese out of a box for the next three years--it's worth it. It'll be just like being in college again!

    Nice to "meet" you this month. I loved your comment. Hope to see you again.

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  50. Thanks for co-hosting, Elizabeth!! Don't quit your day job, was the quote I remember most when I announced I'd sold a book. There's something to be said for a steady paycheck but that's my job and writing is my first love.

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  51. Balance is definitely hard. The problem is figuring out how to prioritize writing over other things, but it just doesn't HAVE to get done like everything else, so down the list it goes.

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  52. Thanks for co-hosting this month, Elizabeth! Sometimes I get very frustrated by all the Must-Do To-Do things in my day, when what I really want to do is write. As an elementary teacher, I met many authors, and I learned that it's really tough to make a living by writing. That was freeing because I am writing for me, and that makes me really happy. If I eventually make some money from my writing, great! But if I can move people with my writing, then that's even better. Have a good one!

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  53. I'm still working on finding that balance. I'm beginning to think I never will. Family, life, and putting food on the table have to come first. So the writing just has to wait. Sigh.
    Thanks for co-hosting with me!

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  54. I wonder if a balance exists? Probably not.
    We try to find it anyway...
    Thank you for co-hosting the IWSG this month!

    P.S. Swept Away has a fab cover!!

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  55. I'm begining to think that very few people make a living at just writing. Yes, there are some who got into the game early or have special circumstances that allow for that, but if you think about it, there aren't many writers known for just writing anymore. Celebrities have bestsellers because they are already rich and famous for something else. Cookbooks sell big from active working chefs. The best business books and crime fiction tend to come from those actively working in related fields. Yes, I'd love to be able to live off my writing, but I've settled on the notion that I may always have to do something else too. My wish at this point is to make enough money to where I have more options about what that other something will be... Sorry if I was ranting. Thanks for co-hosting this month.

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  56. Wow, it makes me feel better when I hear someone else admit that sometimes they don't get writing done either. Thanks for that, and thanks for hosting!

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  57. That's how I feel sometimes. I want it to be my priority, but it isn't at the moment, and that hurts. I'm tired of adulting.

    Thanks for co-hosting!

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