March Progress Report

I hope everyone is managing 2022 as well as possible in these stressful and trying times. Don’t forget to take time for yourself and your inner peace.

I wanted to update everyone on my writing. Bound in Smoke is going very well. I’m in a spot where word count isn’t increasing very fast but the story is taking on shape and vibe that I really like. For me, a story is typically essentially done at about 50K words, with the remaining word count coming from polishing and expanding on themes and plot. I’m not quite there yet, but will be soon, I think.

Self Doubt and the Inner Critic

My primary challenge right now is what the header suggests. Self doubt and a loud inner critic, both of which love to remind me that previous versions of this book were not done when I thought they were. For me, self doubt and my inner critic play a crucial role in producing a story I love. I need them, but I also need to be able to rise above them, and that’s been a slowly improving situation.

Another element I have noticed is one that I think can be particularly toxic to everyone, and that’s the idea that it’s not just OK to power through difficulties without regard to the personal toll, but virtuous to do so. I call bullshit on that. Hard and regular work, yes, but not without respect to the creative well. As Susan Elizabeth Philips has said, “Protect the writing.” You can’t do that if you’re only making withdrawals from your emotional well-being.

So What’s the Progress Report?

Story sparks have been coming to me more and more often, which is an encouraging return to normalcy. I think it’s because I’ve been telling myself, “F***, it, just write what you want to put on the page. I am writing. I am getting my story told.



6 Responses to “March Progress Report”

  1. Juli McDermott says:

    Just co-signing that you need to practice self-care in your writing as much as in the rest of your life.

  2. Barbara Sauve says:

    Excellent news on Bound in Smoke. So glad to hear you are rebounding from the past sad events. It’s trite but true – the passing of time helps distance you to the point of recovery.

    As regards inner critic, I hear you! I’ve discovered I’m nit-picky. And I don’t believe I’ve ever powered through difficulties – I tend to whine, complain and vent a lot, but once I do make a decision on a knotty problem, I deal with the consequences. However, self-doubt isn’t a thing for me, unless that’s when I think twice and start erasing. I’m up past 1,000 pages. Writing is cathartic, the words just pour out in a stream of consciousness. This whole writing-a-book thing I’ve got going has been a sanity-saver during forced isolation due to covid and mobility issues for the past couple of years. Actually, I’ve been crippled for 4 years now, but things are looking up! I’ve been pursuing a solution and tomorrow I have an interview with the city hospital organization’s Joint Assessment Committee. Hopefully, replacement knees will be in my future.

    Caro, best of luck to you with Bound in Smoke and all your future endeavours.

    • Thank you, and best of luck with your upcoming consult. I’ve heard writers boast about massive word counts (and sales) and in the same breath talk about their carpal tunnel as if the two things weren’t related or, worse, are just a price to pay, and I’d always end up feeling like I wasn’t working hard enough . . .

      Best of luck with your writing! I’m so glad it’s going well for you!

  3. Susan Burgess says:

    Awesome to hear about Bound and Smoke but you come first, we dont just love your books we love you so take care of you?? ??