Welcome to 2019 #IWSG

That first Wednesday of the month came quickly this year. I’m still recovering from my “vacation” (read: 12 days of house cleaning and full-time kid watching), so I don’t have a whole lot to say other than it’s nice to be able to sit down and type something again. Writing progress has been zilch and I’m not sure if I retained the last scrap of sanity I had, but hey, what better way to start a new year!

Yesterday was actually a great kick-off. We had friends over for the annual Surf and Turf at the Town’s End, and spent several hours playing games and eating food. I’m hoping the success I had there will be indicative of how the rest of the year is going to play out. As of this instant, I’m not an insecure writer because I set reasonable goals for the year and I think I can accomplish them.

IWSG Question of the MonthWhat are your favorite and least favorite questions people ask you about your writing?

I can think of my least favorite right off the bat. “When are you going to finish your book?” Stab me in the chest with my inadequacies, why don’t ya? Between taking care of all the kid stuff, catching up with my husband, making sure the family stays fed, cleaning the house so it’s inhabitable, working full-time, and trying to have a body that doesn’t depress me… sometimes I just don’t have a lot of time for writing.

Good-natured kidding or not, when someone asks me that question, it hurts, because it points out that for all I do, it’s never enough.

Well, that was depressing. Let’s end on my favorite writing question, which is “How the **** do you keep track of everything?” Is it twisted that I enjoy inspiring people to use profanity? I’ve got a secret Google site where I’ve recorded every character name I’ve used, the way the calendar works, the military setup, the elemental hierarchy and political structures, world creation mythology, maps and environment descriptions, playlists/blurbs/covers for each book, and a flow chart with all my character relations and classifications (that’s usually what causes the swearing since it’s easiest to show off).

I keep a lot of it in my brain, but it’s nice to have it all stored secretly in case I wanted to reference it. 🙂

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You can find the sign up for the IWSG here. We owe Alex J Cavanaugh a huge thank you for thinking this blog hop up.

Did you have a good first of the year? What are your favorite and least favorite questions? Do you have any fancy way of keeping track of all your world-building?

Loni Townsend

About Loni Townsend

Wife. Mother. Writer. Ninja. Squirrel.

34 thoughts on “Welcome to 2019 #IWSG

  1. Wow, that’s impressive. I need a good flow chart or ten for my stories. At least I keep things (sort of) in the real world which helps tremendously.

  2. Jennifer Lee Hawes

    Writers with kids, hubs, cats, housework…it’s a wonder we get any writing done at all. Seriously, I don’t know how I’ve done it in the past! Now I’m working full time. Sheesh. Send help!

  3. Your secret Google site looks really cool. Very organized! I don’t know how people juggle family, work, writing, life chores etc. You’re in inspiration to me.

  4. Yeah, holiday vacations never seem like much of a vacation, do they? Oftentimes it’s way less stressful to come back to work.

    I am very impressed with your organization and flowcharts. I could never be that organized – If my book becomes popular I’ll let someone else figure it. 😛

    Happy New Year!

  5. Your flow chart is so fancy! I’m jealous. 🙂

  6. Sounds like a fun way to spend New Year’s.
    Your flow chart is impressive…

  7. Yeah, it’s not a fun question to answer, but at least you have a couple of books you can point to and say, “I’ll tell you after you finish reading these books.” I’m looking forward to reading your chapters. Hope you had a great New Year!

  8. Oh wow that chart is amazing! No wonder you enjoy showing it off. 😀
    Glad you had a fun start to the New Year after all the work. Hope it’s a good sign for the rest of 2019!

  9. With everything on your plate, I’d say you’re doing great with what you have done. If anything, I’m jealous because I have chronic fatigue thanks to some chronic illness, so I often get tired for no reason and wish I could say I had a ton of things I had done that got me tired. (No idea if that made any sense. lol)

  10. I’m so impressed with your flow chart! Hello, organized! Your December sounds like mine. Lots of people around, lots of cooking and cleaning and not one word in my book. So worth it!


  11. Anna

    Trade secrets? Yes, I love learning a trick or so. My memory is terrible. Have a great 2019.

    Anna from elements of emaginette

  12. Pfft! Jobs? Family? Cleaning?? Those aren’t important!
    You’re so organized! My world building isn’t all that complicated but even if it was, I probably would be all over the place with it.

  13. You can do that on a Google site? Wow. I just have a boring Word file.

  14. …I built a wiki in OneNote that I never remember to update…

    I might have to pick your brain on creating a secret Google site.

  15. I use a lot of checklists for DLP work, but I wonder now if flowcharts might not be better.

  16. I really admire how together and laid back you are, working your writing in around children and other responsibilities. And I love your secret organizational charts. What a great way to organize a complex world/project. Things are looking great for 2019!

  17. I LOVE your secret Google site. I want one!

    And I hate being asked when I’m going to finish a book. My answer is usually, “Oh, I don’t know. Probably just this side of never.”

    Best wishes for a happy and healthy 2019!

  18. A flowchart – wow! That’s a serious organizational structure. I usually keep a text file with names, ages, eye colors and so on for every character, plus a timeline sometimes.

  19. Whoa! Spoiler alert!

    On another note: that is a very detailed flow chart. I love it.

  20. You still need to take a real vacation, one that does not involve kids or cleaning or any chores. 🙂

    I hate that question too. Or they sort of say “how’s the book coming?” like they don’t believe that I’m writing it. Whatever. But your chart is baddass! I should probably learn how to stay organized like you because other than a document titled “notes” everything is usually up in my head.

  21. Great flow chart. I start them but never keep up with them. What you do is impressive and a lot I think. You go. Happy IWSG>

  22. I am amazed by how you juggle. I don’t have half the responsibilities you have and still don’t ever stay caught up.

    On the bright side of the when will you be done question is that people are eagerly awaiting your book, right?

  23. Happy New Year!

    I understand your feelings when people ask how’s your book coming along? The song, That’s Life, has a line in its that says, “Some people just can’t help stepping on other people’s dreams.” When someone does ask me, I do my best to bow out and get away from that person. 🙂
    Wishing you all the best for 2019. Take your time. Write when you can, but just keep writing. You’re A-Okay.

    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

  24. I think people who ask when a book is going to be finished have no idea of what it really takes to write a book. Like anything in life, nobody works at the same pace, so making comparisons can be dicey at best. I’m typically asked what stops me from writing when I joke how I help people write books but can’t seem to finish one myself. My answer is simple. Myself. I’m getting better at getting out of my way, and I am satisfied enough for now working on short pieces

  25. Your least favourite question deserves the same answer as “How long is a piece of string?” or an expletive to make a sailor blush. Maybe the reply should be “What about yours?”.

    (By the way, a piece of string is twice the length from the middle to the end.)

  26. Charts! I love charts. Yours look awesome. Ooo, that least favorite question. Yup. Truth be told, right now any ol’ question about writing puts me in that tailspin.

    • C. Lee McKenzie

      Well, your blog won’t let me post today, so I’ll try to piggyback onto H.R.’s comment. I like that second question myself. In fact, I don’t wait for others to ask it; I ask it myself.

  27. I like that second question, too! In fact, I don’t wait for others to ask it; I ask myself.

    Happy New Year!

  28. I like that second question myself. In fact, I don’t wait for others to ask it; I ask it myself.

  29. That chart looks really amazing! Thank you so much for sharing.


  30. Setting reasonable goals is a great plan. I can relate to getting caught up with life and not being able to write very much. Just keep working at it when you can! Also, that secret site is an excellent idea!

  31. Happy New Year! Glad you’re getting some quiet time back. 😉

    I like the website idea. I have a very, very long word document that I need to update with notes for the last book and all the new short stories but I have been lazy…Maybe I can talk my brother into doing it for a fee? Hmmmm…

  32. Christine Rains

    Happy New Year! Ooh, a secret site. What a clever idea! I like to inspire people to use profanity too. 😀

  33. I feel the same way about your most-hated question. I’m sure the people who ask have no idea how guilty it makes the writer feel, but yeah–there’s never enough time in the day. If I ever feel like I’ve achieved my full potential, I don’t know what I’d do.

    Probably find something else to feel inadequate about.

    Very cool charts, though. It boggles the mind. I just have a little evolving list on the Notes function of my Mac, which I can also access with my phone.

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