03 March 2021

Writing Adjacent Activities

It's the first Wednesday of the month, which means it's the posting day for the Insecure Writer's Support Group! Click here to learn more and sign up!


This month, I'm a co-host! The other fabulous co-hosts are Jacqui MurrayChemist KenVictoria Marie LeesNatalie Aguirre, and JQ Rose!

This month's optional question is: Everyone has a favorite genre or genres to write. But what about your reading preferences? Do you read widely or only within the genre(s) you create stories for? What motivates your reading choice?

While I think my favorite genres to read are also the ones I like to write (mainly fantasy or LGBT), I'll read pretty much anything if it sounds interesting to me. I like to read classic novels but I would never in a million years attempt historical fiction. I like the occasional sci-fi novel, but would never try writing one of those, either. When it comes to reading, I'll try anything once. 

Onto this month's insecurities! While I do wish I was actually writing, I feel like I'm getting there. Slowly. Like I'm on the road to writing--it's long and treacherous and filled with many obstacles and road side distractions, but at least I'm on it. I'm thinking about writing. And I'm doing some...let's call them writing adjacent activities. 

Last year, hubby and I signed up for a year's subscription to MasterClass, and like most things, I procrastinated and only started watching one a few weeks ago. I'll probably have to sign up for another year because there are so many writers! I started with Margaret Atwood's class, and I've written down some ideas it's inspired and some quotes, like this one that I really, really need to live by:

It's always better to actually do something--sit down at the keyboard, pick up the pen--rather than to brood about the fact that you're not doing it. Do it however crummy you think the result may be. At least you're moving. 

Other writing adjacent activities include a plan to make the ULTIMATE Uneven Lines Playlist. What makes it ultimate, you might ask. Well, I already have my main playlist, of course, but those aren't the only songs that I associate with UL. In fact, I've come to realize that there are quite a few songs that I associate with it. So I want to go chapter by chapter, putting those songs in order so they span the entire book. Will I have a song for every scene? Probably not, but it'll be close, and I think it will be a lot of fun. 

I also want to get back into editing, because at least that would mean accomplishing something. I really want to do a search for "was," and get rid of as many as possible. I've been avoiding it for a while because I knew it was going to be a BIG task (there are a lot of them...), but I think making the existing writing stronger will be a big accomplishment. And then hopefully it will lead to some actual writing. 

What kind of writing adjacent activities are you up to right now? Or are you actually writing??

58 comments:

  1. Hi,
    Good luck with your Master Class. one of my adjacent writing activities is writing with the WEP team, six times out of the year.
    Thank you so much for co-hosting.

    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

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  2. I’m actually writing, as well as adjacent activities. It’s a slog right now but there is progress! Good for you in keeping going! Thanks for co-hosting!

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  3. Hope the playlist gets you back into writing.
    Thanks for co-hosting today!

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  4. That is very inspiring advice. Brooding is so un-useful, yet somehow alluring. Why? It takes some serious mental control to get around that. Best of luck!

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  5. I finished editing my newest novel. Due to writers dilemma, it took me over a year to piece together. After all the completed edits, I seem to be stuck again.

    I'm sure you write again, as I will when something pops into our heads.

    Thank you for co-hosting.

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  6. I'm in the same place you are. Struggling to get inspired, to at least edit something. I think we all go through slumps, I know I do. I also know I somehow manage to find my way out of the pit. So will you.

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  7. That's awesome that your husband and you are taking a master class. And good that you see progress toward writing. I think it's fine to revise when you don't feel like writing. I love revising way more than writing so I include some days of editing what I've written instead of writing the next chapter on a regular basis. I'm still making progress because the revising needs to be done too. So go for it.

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  8. I'm both writing and editing, so I get to choose whichever one I feel like doing at the time. I've heard about Masterclass. Do you really find it useful, or do you just get a few tidbits here and there?

    Thanks for co-hosting this month!

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  9. Love that you do playlists, Sarah! That's a habit that's fallen by the wayside for me and I really should pick it up again. Music helps my muse. One of my writting adjacents. Thanks for co-hosting!!

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  10. I'm creating spreadsheets to work out the best marketing strategy. My WIP is printed out and ready to edit, but it's currently being moved from chair to desk to floor as I need whatever space it's taking up đŸ™„

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  11. I have the complete first year MasterClass since April and I still haven't watched them all. I know, why!? I think they'll be studying the effects of the pandemic for years to come. Thank you for co-hosting, Sarah.

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  12. Nice to see you again, Sarah. I hadn't heard of Master Class. I think I'll check it out. And thanks for the shout out!

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  13. Love that Atwood quote - she's a brilliant lady. She came to my town and did a poetry reading when I was in high school - amazing!
    Definitely sounds like you're on the road - those writing adjacent activities are perfect!

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  14. Love that quote! I find that the more books I have out, the more writing-adjacent chores I have. At least I'm getting faster & more efficient at those. Looking forward to the day when my writing brings in enough income to justify farming those chores out to helpers.

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  15. I'll bet Margaret Atwood had some fascinating information to share. I've been so tempted by those classes.

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  16. There are so many writing adjacent activities that need to be done. When I'm not in the writing mood, tackling some of them helps me feel like I am moving forward.

    I bet the Margaret Atwood class was great. She is one of my all-time favorite writers.

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  17. I'm trying to write and finish the last book of my series, but it is a challenge. Too many other things need my attention!

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  18. OMG Searching 'was' in a WIP is such a task. It's one that I always avoid until last.
    My writing has been slow. Recovering from surgery is tiring, but I have gotten some editing in and wrote a flash fiction story.

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  19. Thanks for co-hosting! Lockdown has destroyed my usual writing progress, thanks to having no privacy and being unable to go to the library to write, so I've focused on editing and proofing books going into physical editions.

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  20. I'm currently writing/editing, but I've got an art project on the side. Pretty much all of my art projects are writing adjacent now, though. Glad to hear you're making small steps toward progress! That's awesome!

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  21. Your class sounds awesome! My content creating and ghost writing to keep the lights on force me to step outside of my comfort zone in terms of genre and sub-topics. Thank you for co-hosting!

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  22. "Interesting" is the key word for me when it comes to reading, but I tend to find a lot of things pretty interesting so I read a lot of odd stuff sometimes.

    I need to move more in the direction of writing. I've got a lot of ideas, but have lacked motivation. Someone needs to give me a push if I can't take off for myself. But good luck with that happening.

    Thanks for co-hosting!

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

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  23. I never thought about creating a playlist for a book. Although, have thought about creating a playlist for writing.
    What are my writing adjacent activities? I manage a small writer’s group. We meet via Zoom once a month.
    Thank you for hosting this IWSG March blog hop.

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  24. I love creating playlists for my stories. It's a nice writing adjacent activity that allows me to think about the story without the pressure of actually having to produce the words needed to finish it...

    I'd never attempt to write historical fiction, either. Love to read it, though.

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  25. Thanks for cohosting, Sarah. Little by little, step by step. That's been my motto lately. Do what you can. Your side activities have to help.

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  26. Thanks for cohosting today, Sarah. I was curious to read about your participating in MasterClass. I've seen the ads and wondered what they were like. I need a clone. LOL Have a fun day visiting around!

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  27. I LOVE MasterClass. Aaron Sorkin's, Ron Howard's, and James Patterson's were all fantastic and added new dimensions to my own writing. I struggled to get back into writing, too. So many of us have had that problem in 2020. It took me being okay with just doing 5 or 10 minutes a day. Here's to getting back to normal writing, again. Wishing you much success.

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  28. I'm trying a historical novel, specifically a Gothic romance, so I'm finding the need for lots of research. Luckily, I find this era fascinating. Since the book is set in 1890, it's a very transitional period of time and the push and pull of progress makes for fascinating story fodder. @samanthabwriter from
    Balancing Act

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  29. I like playlists for my stories so I hope that your detailed one will motivate you.

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  30. These master's classes sound great. Moving forward in your writing work no matter how "crummy" the work may seem is great advice. Thanks for co-hosting this month's IWSG question, Sarah!

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  31. Hi - thanks for co-hosting! I'll have a turn soon and I'm looking forward to it.

    Tell me, please and thanks, what an Uneven Lines playlist and how employ it to fine tune (*pun alert) your writing.

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  32. I'm writing, just went full time so now feeling the pressure! Sounds like you're getting back on the writing train ;).

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  33. Ooh! I love your idea for the playlist. Sounds fantastic. Lately, my main writing adjacent activity has been making covers. I have also started streaming writing sessions, which is helpful for productivity. Eventually, it might also help with audience, but that is slow-going.

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  34. I didn't know that Margaret Atwood had a MasterClass! Oh my gosh. Thanks for sharing a peek into your writing life. Have you ever read Outlander by Diana Gabaldon? It might make a good historical fiction/speculative fiction/romance crossover, if you were ever so inclined. The author also some quick-read LGBT/mystery side stories starting with Lord John and the Private Matter. Hope you have a great March! Thanks for co-hosting!
    Anne from annehiga.com

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  35. Writing adjascent sounds about right, honestly. I've spent a lot of time daydreaming my way through a plot obstacle lately! Glad to hear you've got tons of actionable ideas going for you. Thanks for co-hosting this month!

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  36. I hear a lot from authors who love to listen to music or associate music with their work. I’ve never had that, personally — my ‘adjacent’ activities tend to be writing short stories about side characters (even if it’s only in my head), or listening to courses and podcasts on writing (I love the Australian Writer’s Centre and Rage Against The Manuscript). That Margaret Atwood quote is brilliant, and so true. Just doing something is so much better than chiding oneself about doing nothing! Thank you for co-hosting!

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  37. Love your idea of a writing adjacent activity. For me, it is definitely reading. You see: I'm a thief. I steal ideas from other writers, change them beyond recognition, and use them as my own. But then, most writers do the same, at least occasionally, don't they?

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  38. I love that quote. Sometimes, when I have nothing to write, I sit down and just type whatever comes into my head, stream of conscious. Even if what comes out is so much piffle, it still helps get the words flowing.

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  39. Searching for the word "that" is also useful, as is "very" "just" "really" and "had."

    I love the quote you shared.

    I love reading a wide variety of genres. I posted for IWSG day today. My post included a new book by a friend, a note about a free book next week, a tweet about a query contest (LGBTQ romance this round), and a quick message about April Blogging from A to Z Challenge.

    J Lenni Dorner~ Co-host of the #AtoZchallenge, Debut Author Interviewer, Reference& Speculative Fiction Author

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  40. Wonderful quote! I'm curious about Masterclass, but so bad at making things like that happen. Like when I pay for the recordings from writing conferences, but never get around to listening to more than one or two. Good luck with your "soundtrack"!

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  41. Great idea about the playlist. Fabulously inspiring. Thanks for Co-hosting the IWSG this month.

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  42. Oh, I've always wondered about those Masterclasses!
    I am totally procrastinating. I should be editing a couple of my novels, but I'm just sitting around rereading favourite books. Let's call it filling the well!

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  43. I just had a book come out so I'm in marketing and publicity mode right now. I wish I was writing or editing because I like those things much more than marketing, but needs must...

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  44. I might as well be missing a shoe if I don't have a book to read, and I'm always writing something, even it's about the life of a dreaded remote-learning hall monitor. Someone's got to do it, right?
    I do love that quote. It reminds me how important it is to do what you're meant to first, perfect it later - when you're ready to share with the world.
    Terrific post, thanks for co-hosting!

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  45. I'm writing some and revising slowly (different projects). I recently rediscovered my love of creating character collages and scene collages for my writing. It's actually helped me regain motivation for revision and writing. I spent a few evenings just working on creating character image collages for Labyrinth, and then I put those up and worked on revision. It made me more excited for the work, so even if it pulled me away from writing for a few days, it was worth it.
    Thanks for co-hosting!

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  46. I love Masterclass. I've been a member for about three years. I've taken all the writing classes and a couple of the screenwriter classes as well. I like them because each episode is only about 10-20 minutes. It's doable. Like you, though, actual writing is being a bit elusive right now...Hang in there, though!

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  47. Sitting down and typing out a few word (or writing by using pen and paper) does matter. Even if it's not anything you'd ever use. But I understand. Writing can be a struggle. Just know you are not alone and that we're all cheering you on!

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  48. Thanks for co-hosting this month. I like that you're willing to try anything once. I'm like that too. SO far, I learned that there are some things I kind of like and some I definitely don't like. Writing adjacent activities- I like the sound of that. I'm in the outlining and development phase of writing right now, but it feels good.

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  49. I am currently editing the third book in my trilogy and have another waiting in the wings to edit. I do have a historical fiction sitting in a file on my computer that I started a year ago but need to complete the edits for book 3 before the readers lynch me!

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  50. Great post. I've been taking writing workshops via zoom Jan.-Mar. It's helped me stay focused and home my skills.

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  51. Lovely post and thanks for co-hosting this month. You're right - or Margaret Atwood is - just sit down and write, even if you think it's rubbish... something will start happening once you put one word after another!

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  52. MasterClass sounds like it'd be great--very informative and inspiring, but I can see where procrastination could get in the way. That'd be me.

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  53. I've considered MasterClass. I'll be interested to hear more and if it is worth it.

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  54. Good Luck with the Masterclass

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  55. Ooof... Gotta love searching for those pet words! I had 742 of the word "in" but managed to whittle it down to only 15! It was so painful to see at first as I had to puzzle out how to rewrite it, but after awhile, the challenge became enjoyable. Good luck!!!

    ♥.•*¨Elizabeth Mueller¨*•.♥

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  56. I'm doing editing and a little bit of writing in other projects.

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  57. I like the phrase "writing adjacent activities". You're still achieving something related to writing, and editing is a significant task that must be done (often harder than writing, for me). Good luck!

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