Tuesday, January 3, 2023

Insecure Writer's Support Group: What am I even doing with my paranormal and fantasy writing?

In 2022, I did something drastic. I quit writing.

Sorta.

Kinda.

I pulled my published books, deleted a bunch of social media, and hit pause on my paranormal and fantasy writing. I had been feeling lost and uncertain with what I wanted when it came to writing and indie publishing. Having all that stuff distracted me from really thinking about it. Instead, I'd be plotting what I could do to get my books in front of readers, what to post next on social media, and all that marketing crap.

So, I went dark in order to get my shit together. I promised I would be back at some point and in some form.

Cue epic return. (Yes, this is a new blog.)

Does that mean I got my shit figured out?

Sorta.

Kinda.

I didn't quite think about what I wanted from writing as much as I had planned. For one, I got a summer job at the local Salvation Army. I actually enjoyed it a lot despite being a self-described anti-social introvert. There were some interesting characters who came in. (Can you say writing fodder?)

But I did spend some time trying to figure out what I wanted out of writing fantasy and paranormal books, and I have an idea of what path I want to walk now.

At first, I waffled between wanting my writing being a hobby or a job. If I'm being brutally honest, part of me wanted it to be both. A fun hobby, but also something that pays the bills.

But I can't have it both ways. Hobbies don't pay the bills. Jobs do.

Picking was harder than it looked. One day, I'd say it was a hobby. Only to flip and decide I could make it a job.

Only to flip back.

Rinse.
Repeat.
In the end, I had to just choose.

Drum roll...

Writing paranormal and fantasy stories as a hobby.

At least, that is where I'm starting. For now, I want writing to just be a fun, creative thing I do. I'll put it out there in hopes of people enjoying it to and see how it grows. Maybe it will evolve into a job. Maybe it won't. I want to be okay with whatever one it ends up being.

Have you ever asked yourself what do you want out of your writing? How was your 2022 writing year?
Today's post was part of the Insecure Writer's Support Group. Created by the ninja captain, Alex J. Cavanaugh, it's a group for the writers (AKA all of us) struggling with writing insecurity to gather and discuss our fears or to celebrate writing victories. If you are a struggling writer or need encouragement and friendship, join us. (Someone might have cookies!)

Remember to visit the co-hosts and give them a shout out for helping. Jemima Pett, Debs Carey, Kim Lajevardi, Sarah Foster, Natalie Aguirre, and !
 
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25 comments:

  1. I think writing as a hobby and seeing where it goes is a viable choice, especially if it frees up your creativity and relieves you from stress. Happy writing in 2023!

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  2. I call mine a hobby/side hustle. It's a hobby that *almost* pays for itself now, but I'm certainly not giving up the day job! @samanthabwriter from
    Balancing Act

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  3. Although I've been writing all my life, I've only begun writing seriously since retirement from that 'real' job. Six novels later, I can say writing hasn't replaced that 'real' job, but I have learned so much about writing and marketing (not my favorite). Your meme is perfect! Your choice removes the stress of earning enough money to pay the rent! Now you can focus on ways to nurture your creativity -- while working at other jobs. May 2023 bring you success! And more material for those characters.

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  4. I did a lot of retrospection at the end of 2021 and the beginning of 2022. I think it's a good way to reset what you want ('cause it might have been lost in the mess of living 😁).

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  5. Writing is my elegant hobby. Always has been, always will be. I'm a retiree and I didn't want to "rust out and fade away" as Neil Young famously intoned. Write on - have fun and be fantastic!

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  6. There's absolutely nothing wrong with considering your writing as a hobby. There has been MANY times when I remembered what it was like before I published and wished for that fun and stress-free creative energy and atmosphere back. Do whatever feels right for you. Glad your back. Your new blog is lovely.

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  7. I think having fun with it is the key (at least it is for me). I mostly treat mine like a hobby because it's something I choose to do - not something I HAVE to do :)

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  8. Great to see you back. The new blog looks good. I'm glad you didn't give up on writing - once the bug takes hold, it will always rear its head again in some way. I think taking away any pressure that may have been perceived and just treating it as a fun hobby is the best way to go. Calling it a job is way too much pressure. Whatever you do this year, enjoy it.

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  9. Welcome back! It's certainly a good question. I haven't had the time to do much writh writing aside from as a hobby, so for 2023 my goal is to treat it like a part-time job and see what comes of it! I know the perils of doing something you love and have fun doing as a job and losing the joy for it though (former music teacher who didn't want anything to do with music after the workday). Good luck with your endeavors this year! Looking forward to reading more from you.

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  10. It's always good to ask ourselves what we actually want out of writing. We're often surprised by the answer. :)

    Welcome back!

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  11. Welcome back with the new blog! It was too funny...I clicked on your blog link from the IWSG list since I'm cohosting and I didn't know it was you until I kept reading and got to the Salvation Army part, and I was like...wait a second! That sounds like Patricia!! LOL
    I think focusing on writing as a hobby is a good first step. You want writing to be something that you enjoy and aren't forcing yourself to do. And maybe someday you'll want to try publishing again, but you'll know what feels right for you. Good luck with everything!

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    1. I'm sneaky like that. Barely told anyone I made this blog.

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  12. As long as you're enjoying the writing, that's all that counts. Who knows what might happen. What you call a hobby could actually turns out to be a profitable one. Keep writing. Keep enjoying it.

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  13. Welcome Back! I'm glad you've figured out parts of life that were stressing you before. Writing is totally a hobby for me, and like you, I don't think I'd enjoy it if it was a job. I hope everything continues to improve for you!

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  14. Writing for me is a hobby - although a hobby with aspirations - and keeping it in that space is a tremendous load off of my mind, which is encumbered with all of the requirements and responsibilities of the modern adult life. I do try to get published, but the act of writing is the most important part. Excellent post. Happy new year!

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  15. Welcome back!! Glad you returned to the IWSG with an all new blog.
    Write for fun. So much less pressure. Find the joy in it again.

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  16. I kind of hate the idea of having to choose. It bothers me when my family make jokes about 'if you would finish your book, you could quit your day job.' I am not expecting that outcome in the least! I'm writing stuff to say, "I wrote stuff!"

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  17. Good to see you pop up in the RSS feed again! I’ve added this one to the feed reader, so I’m covered.

    I’m having a similar think. It might have been the Before Times since I last published something. The Boy checking out for good in the August before the pandemic started made me not terribly motivated to de-isolate, and all the bills were getting paid (financially, we thrived in 2020/21). So I need to get back into it, at least enough to get the last Accidental Sorcerers story out. After that, I’m trying to decide how to deal with all these other WIPs that have accumulated over the last 2+ years. Publish? Post? Still trying to decide… plenty of time, because most of them aren’t done yet. Book sales still cover expenses (mostly domain fees), so there’s that.

    I’ve considered getting into publishing services. I can produce typeset-quality PDFs for print, and eBooks with minimal overhead (they download faster and work as intended on eReaders). It’s said that those who provided goods and services to the 1849 gold rush miners generally did better than the miners.

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  18. Welcome back, Patricia! It's wonderful to see you again. I like the new blog!
    Writing for fun could be just what you need, to get you back into the groove. Try not to put too much pressure on yourself.
    All the best for 2023!

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  19. Sounds like the right choice for you right now. Good for you. I'm sure it'll help make things clearer for you in the future. And, don't feel you need to limit your genre, either. Now that it's a hobby, you might find stories in other genres that tickle your fancy. Welcome back.

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  20. I'm glad you've resumed blogging! It seems like the time away brought some clarity. Wishing you the best in 2023!

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  21. What a marvellous - if downright difficult - question to be asking yourself. I'm glad you reached a response which sits right with you as it sounds like you've done a huge amount of soul searching already. So pleased that you decided to return - to both blogging and writing. I hope you have a fabulous 2023 and enjoy your hobby (and earn well from it too).

    Debs posting today from Fiction Can Be Fun
    Also found at Debs Despatches

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  22. Welcome back!
    Get the creativity back without the pressure of marketing and sales. It's a good plan. Enjoy the writing, which is probably what got you writing in the first place.

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  23. All the hugs. I went through this in 2018 and completely walked away from the writing world for almost 2 years. I am back, but like you, I am treating it as a hobby. The stress of treating it like a job really pushed me into burnout. The $3,000-$4,000 a month at times was not worth the colossal effort (80+ hour weeks) I had to put in. Now I am happy. I write in fits and spurts around life, but it is cathartic. I marketing when and how I want, without beating myself to death if I miss out on an opportunity.

    No career is worth killing yourself over.

    Welcome back and I hope you find the same happiness I've been enjoying!

    www.heidiangell.com

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  24. Welcome to my world! Looking at writing as a job was killing my writer spirit. Writing is my happy place and I won't let money ruin it. Though, like you, I do like money...

    Welcome back!!

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