Obsessions and Confessions of a Mad Scribbler

think cat (copy)

Artwork by Kath Unsworth

Another Story

This would be me if I was a cat. I am not very interesting to draw but as you can see by my posts I love my cats.

The children and I imagine them coming inside at night-time, all three of them. They would try on our hats and glasses, even jewellery, go through our stuff and get all dressed up for a tea party. Stand up on two legs like humans or sit at the kitchen table. They would speak with posh british accents, talk about the weather whilst sipping tea and laugh at the stupid humans that live in the house. Nobody ever sees them but in the morning the kitchen is always a frightful mess.

STOP

 I have an obsession, I realized a long time ago, I confess even an addiction, I love the beginning of a an idea or story, more than anything in the world.

Reading this post I could relate, if you find it hard to finish anything have a look you may end up becoming a Completion Addict. This website is one of my favourite places for writing tips and I love this post.

http://writetodone.com/complete-every-writing-project-start/  by 

When I read it I knew she was talking about me, the information made me think deeply about my issues. I want to become a Completion Addict too.

Yes, I am one of those writers addicted to NEW IDEAS. If you have read my posts and mostly my newsletters, I am forever coming up with new stories. I know it’s a trap to keep me from finishing anything. I know how it works but the beginning of the creative process is an obsession and hard to stop.

For the last two weeks I have felt flat, like I will never finish the picture book or that novel. These are normal emotions. I am feeling this way because I have barred myself  to start any new projects.

I need to think in smaller amounts of work, like the above post from Write to Done suggests. Break it down and become addicted to finishing something. I like that idea, I have never been addicted to finishing anything. It is never too late to start.

My list of obstacles are endless.

Nothing happens over night.

The hard work is TRULY REALLY hard work.

LIFE gets in the way. (that’s a biggie, family commitments etc, etc.) So what…NO EXCUSE! I can push through and schedule time for me and my passion. I must.

My other confession is, I read far too many websites on the craft of writing. The other day I asked my beautiful writing buddy Patricia to read my first chapter of my WIP. Her comments were constructive, useful and honest (you are the best buddy a new writer could have). I stripped my chapter back and found it began where I originally started. How did it grow into an overload of information dumps? I read too many websites on different topics and changed my story, not realizing simple is best when you are learning the craft.

How can I turn it around?

It is different for everyone. I will set a goal to finish one illustration a week. Knock out social media and only read the best of the best when it comes to reading about the craft. Keep editing each morning and keep it simple for now. Maybe reward myself when I finish my tasks with reading a few blog posts from you my fellow readers.

If all else fails ……..Walk, walk and walk some more, nothing like nature to bring me back to the most simple existence.

So, it is time to stop reading and get back in my chair, sharpen my pencils and set to work.

New ideas are great, but they now have a place in an exercise book (locked away until I FINISH).

YES I adore new ideas and that is okay, but for now I must finish what I have already started. Even if it feels slow, I will place one finger in front of the other and keep typing.

The post from Write to Done was written by  check out her space

here       http://creativitysworkshop.com/

What are you trying to finish? Share your battle and inspire me today.

About Minuscule Moments

Everybody has a DREAM. Today is the first day of the rest of my writing life. Its a lonely world out there when you are learning the craft. This year, as the same as last year, I want to finish my first children's picture book. I have learn't many wonderful lessons on this journey. You are never too old to learn.
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62 Responses to Obsessions and Confessions of a Mad Scribbler

  1. Jessica says:

    Hi Kath,

    I’m so glad you found my post at Write to Done useful. Recording your new ideas in a notebook and then locking it away is a very bold move, one I’m sure will help you complete your current works in progress.

    As far as what I’m working on, right now I’m putting together a small collection of my short stories to self-publish. It’s been a long time in coming, but I can’t wait to feel the elation of finally publishing my work.

    Your goals and plans sound great. I wish you success in your writing journey!

    • Jessica I hope you don’t mind me sharing it. I get so many writing tips sent to my inbox and I started to realise there are only a good few who keep it real and unique. Write To Done is one of my favourite sites and I have kept many posts to read over and over. Your post will be a reminder that I must keep it real and keep on track thank you for stopping by.

      • Jessica says:

        I’m very happy for you to share! I too have to be really selective about the writing posts I read and share because there are so many out there. Write to Done is one of my favourite sites too! I feel very privileged to make it on to your list of posts worth sharing.

        And thanks for putting up a link to my blog. 🙂

        • No problem I was a bit slow this morning and should have completed a better research as to who wrote the piece, not just the website. The Author is the most important part….my apologies from a tired mum Jessica.

        • Jessica says:

          No problem at all, really! 😉 I dropped by simply because I love reading people’s thoughts on a subject and learning from them. I appreciate you taking the time to put your thoughts into words so we can all benefit. 😉

    • I also updated site so people can see your creative space as well. Thank you.

  2. Audrey Chin says:

    We all get that way dear! I just waffled away Sunday and Monday speedreading Jodi Picoult because the local bookstore had a 3 for 2 offer! The “working” idea was – what makes a best-seller. The conclusion was “it may be working for her but it’s just no me”. So yup, you’re right, too many cooks do spoil the broth:) Good luck Kath. I admire your perseverance.

    • Audrey perseverance or procrastination? I seem to be stuck in a loop and I never get anywhere fast……but that is the world I am in at the moment and time will come if I push on. Thanks for making me feel like it happens to everyone. I loved Jodi Picoult House Rules about a boy who has autism.

  3. diannegray says:

    I bookmarked Write to Done – thank you so much for sharing this with us, Kath. 😀

  4. I’m a finisher who became bogged down in writing advice. It’s all good, of course, but at some point you have to finish and let go. That’s what I’m doing this year. If my skill improves then it’ll improve with each book instead of improving amidst zero production. The thrill that is “beginning” is easy to touch, but has little lasting value, for it’s the flash that is each new idea’s spark. The beauty of the finished product is a far more elusive jewel and one that only those who dig deepest discover. The spark becomes smoke. The jewel endures. Which will you share?

    • I love it Christina and you are so right its the learning journey and it will never be good enough so finish, move to the next and the next, for surely there will come a time when I am happy with my work. Finishing is the prize for me for now.

    • Jessica says:

      I just wanted to leave a quick message to say I love your thoughts here, especially your point about improving with each book instead of improving amidst zero production.

      I would even go as far as to say you *can’t* improve with zero production. The only way to improve (even when reading all the writing advice out there) is to actually put it into action – and once you’re in action, then you might as well keep writing and learn by doing.

      I certainly wish you much success this year with all your finishing!

      • Thanks jessica I have started following your website, look forward to reading more from you.

      • Thank you, Jessica, for your kind words and your support. Reading what you wrote leads me to agree that a part of growing and learning is putting our work out there “for better or for worse.” Even failure has its rewards, but fear whispers that we should avoid failure at all costs…perfection, perfection, perfection. Like Kath, I’ve finally grown wise to the game fear plays, a game it perfects the longer I allow it to play. Thank you again. 🙂

        • Jessica says:

          You’re so right. Fear tells us only perfection is good enough. But in my experience there is no such thing as ‘perfection.’ It’s a myth that stops us from sending our work out into the world. I personally only aim for beauty, not perfection. It’s a much more attainable goal. 😉

  5. Wow, Kath, this is just what I needed to read. I agree that we can’t do it all; and so we need to trim our schedule in order to finish what we’ve started. I’m working on a novel draft right now whether I feel like it or not. It’s helping me to have a set aside time that my family knows is untouchable. After an hour or two of writing I feel so good–this helps me to come back the next day. One day a week I take a break. I can so relate to your words since I’ve started big writing projects before but have not finished them… this time I’m having a blast. Your artwork is what first attracted me to your blog and now it’s your writing too.

    Blessings ~ Wendy ❀

  6. Joan says:

    I’m glad to know that I’m not alone. I have so many ideas and many more unfinished projects. It’s time to retrain my brain and complete those projects. Thanks for sharing the article. I needed that!

    • Joan thanks for stopping by, yesterday I applied myself and started approaching my illustrations in a different way. I have started drawing outlines only, no colour maybe if I get them all done first I can fill in the colour later. My novel edits also went ahead in leaps this morning, maybe just admitting I have issues has helped me accept my faults and move forward.

  7. Kath, Good for you for committing to finish. I like that post you linked it, much wisdom in it. You asked for inspiration: I am reworking and finishing the first book I ever wrote, which I pulled “out of the drawer” a couple of months ago. Wow, have I learned a lot about writing since then. Kind of glad I set it aside.

  8. Great post! I need to get cracking and send out more query letters for my manuscript. You are right about how it is all hard work. 🙂

    Will come back and check out your links later today. xoxo

    • Jennifer keep sending out those letters, I cant wait until I get to that part. I have also heard you should start your next project while you wait. Hope you get some positive replies, let us know, Im here when you need a book review friend.

  9. What a great post, Kath. It’s interesting to me, for several reasons, one because I’m working on a post about writing blogs, and I’m glad to have read this first because your point is very valid – there is often TOO much info out there, making it challenging to sift through the muck for the gems, like the one you linked to in your post (which I also read when it first came out!). I will definitely add your perspective to my post, thank you!

    In a way, I kind of *wish* I had your problem of too many ideas (even though I understand how that can be unhelpful in finishing projects) because sometimes my problem feels like I don’t have enough ideas…

    Anyway, great insightful thoughts as always – and I LOVE your cat self-portrait, and your opening about the cat dress up party in your home 🙂

  10. For me, nothing beats an agreed-upon deadline! If I go with anything other than a plan that’s been thought through I may as well do nothing 🙂
    But that’s just me.

    • I must admit Maurice I have not set up a weekly plan other than editing from 5am and illustrating in between, when I see an opportunity. I agree deadlines are good and I work better under a deadline so I will start putting small challenges on my board of a morning thanks for the tip. Thanks for stopping by.

  11. I love that cat drawing–it is inspired. You must keep that somewhere. Therein lies proof you finish what you start.

    • Jacqui I never thought about it that way, now to apply it to bigger things, I love your perspective on life, you do see outside the square and I am thankful of your support and comments.

  12. Hi! I enjoyed reading your post and can relate! Aaargh. Especially now that I have discovered Twitter. I think my head has exploded and before I know it, I’ve been reading for an hour and haven’t written a word.

    AND, I have to say, like Jacqui Murray above, I thought your cat drawing was inspired and the plot summary was fantastic. You can absolutely develop this into a short story, a picture book would also be great, or a chapter book–those refined cats could have all kinds of adventures 🙂

    • Annina so lovely to see you here and like a true illustrator/writer you see what I see and can turn anything into a story. Oh how much I love the process of imagining a new story, this one is in my files for later too. Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment I love your art and look forward to reading more from you.

  13. Lotta Wanner says:

    You will do great Kath!!Thank you for sharing your thoughts, helps me carry on my own struggles! We will accomplish our intentions Kath! We just have to. Today, tomorrow, the next day. See you on the other side! 🙂

  14. Dear Kath, three notebooks and a journal filled with stuff – and not in ANY kind of order. Random thoughts, quotes, notes, even shopping lists.
    Finish ….easier said than done. My one short story took a few months. Eventually done and without YOUR help my dearest friend, it would not have been possible either.
    From know on I will also finish one project at a time.
    Next the new eBook for my blog subscribers – which has been in the making for about 10 months or so.
    Thank you or your wonderful post and blog, as always. MY FRIEND.
    The journey is fun too ….
    Pxx

  15. Pingback: 10 Awesome Writing Blogs | celiac kiddo

  16. Laura says:

    Oh yes, Kath, I can relate. Depending on the task and project, I’m usually very excited to begin. Then something happens…I remember an “important” task on the to-do list or I let distractions pull me away. Finishing can be hard! But I’m learning I have to be OK with the unfinished projects, whether it’s sewing, writing, or reading a stack of books. I try to put everything else aside and focus on one at a time. And some weeks, I’m amazed at how much I finished. 😉 Here’s to finding the tasks that matter and finishing those well!

    • Hey Laura hope things are going well for you? Thanks for stopping by here’s to finishing something this year thats the goal.

      • Laura says:

        Slowly getting better. The health issues aren’t fully resolved yet, but I will finally see the doctor next month. I’m picking up writing tasks again and doing what I can. I think some life seasons are just slower than others and that is okay. 🙂

  17. LOVING Your ARTWORK – the kitty above and your header:):):)

  18. leamuse says:

    Have you ever read a book titled: The Fur Person? It is an oldie written by May Sarton and a quick read. However, I don’t think you will be disappointed!

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