#IWSG November 2017: No #NaNoWriMo for me ‘cause I’m stuck in a rut.


Created and hosted by the Ninja himself, Alex J. Cavanaugh, the Insecure Writers Support Group posts the 1st Wednesday of every month. Click the image to learn more or sign up.

Monthly Question: Win or not, do you usually finish your NaNo project? Have any of them gone on to be published?

I’ve never attempted NaNo simply because I know it’s not a format that suits me, though I’ve heard it’s done wonders for other writers. The idea of trying to force 50k words in 30 days stresses me out. That’s not to say I haven’t done it before, but when it just happens, naturally, over a weekend with little sleep and lots of caffeine, it’s great. Outside of that, I’ll stick with my meager word counts and finish when I finish.


Now on to the personal updates.

I think I’m stuck in a rut. Not sure how I got here or how to get out. I feel so… blah. I’m behind on writing book reviews and updating my vlog, though I’ve had time to do both. I think a lot of it has to do with the dissatisfaction of my day job and my growing desire to stop sharing my writing. I absolutely do not want to stop writing, I just don’t know if I want to keep sharing what I write. I don’t think anyone would really miss my words if they were no longer there, and I’d be content to just write them for myself. IDK. Perhaps if I had a few close friends who enjoyed reading and or writing it would be different, but since I don’t, all my writing feels like a solitary act. So, why not just keep it to myself?

Then there’s blogging. Not sure about this at the moment either, at least where to do it that is. I still enjoy blogging even if it does take up a lot of my time. Right now, I’m challenged with how often I should blog here, at The ToiBox of Words. Since I’ve started contributing to A Small Gang of Authors, and might start contributing to another blog (assuming I ever submit something they actually like), I been wondering if and how much of my presence is still desired here? Again, IDK. No matter what, I’ll always do this hop here and The Cephalopod Coffeehouse, as long as they are running.

In any case, if you’re up for it, check out this Halloween post that went up yesterday and this part 2 of my Angel Lore series that went up today.


Are you doing NaNo? Why?
Are you stuck in a rut? Any ideas on how to get out?
Should I continue posting once a week or stick with my two hops only?


After hanging out with Alex, be sure to stop by and visit this month’s co-hosts:
Tonja Drecker,
Diane Burton,
MJ Fifield, and
Rebecca Douglass!


Click here to visit other IWSG blogs and sites to receive and share more inspiration and support. (This month, I’m #58).

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

Published by

Toi Thomas

I like reading, writing, cooking, dancing, movies, and music. I'm a big kid and choose to see the world in my own special way. Yes, I'm educated, but I haven't let that stop me from being who I want to be. I'm a wife, teacher, author, blogger, and more.

30 thoughts on “#IWSG November 2017: No #NaNoWriMo for me ‘cause I’m stuck in a rut.”

  1. I think we all get stuck. But I do believe you shouldn’t give up. Have you explored online critique options? I found my writing partner on an author blg via a crit partner match up event. It’s hard to feel me beta volunteers but they are out there. Keep going Toi 🙂

    1. Thank you Erika. Yes, I’m trying out some new critique partners now, but I think what’s really hard is not having anyone to just share my love for reading or writing with, just for fun. Every book club I’ve ever joined has been a disaster and, like I said, I don’t have any close friends who are much into reading and especially not writing. I just wish I could have someone to sit around with and chit chat about these things the way people chit chat about Marvel movies, Game of Thrones (the TV version), and the Stranger Things show.

  2. Feeling like you are stuck in a rut is part of this roller coaster ride that we’ve signed up for. I think most writers experience this at some stage in the writing journey.
    Have you tried taking your mind off your usual projects and writing something different? For example, a poem? A haiku? Or a creative non-fiction piece? Or a letter/diary series?
    This expands the creative horizon and who knows… you may find that you enjoy exploring this new writing style/genre!
    Don’t give up, Toi! Hang in there!
    Happy IWSG Day!

    1. Thank you Michele. It’s funny that you mention trying to write something different. That’s just what I’ve been doing, and it has been helping. Maybe it’s just a matter of time. Hopefully I’ll be out of this rut soon.

  3. Ditto what Erika and Michelle said. We all get down on ourselves at times. Gloomy days, rain, dark clouds (in other words, November in Michigan) seem to make matters worse. Write what you like, what you want to read. Something different from what you usually write. Have fun with it. Then it doesn’t matter what you think others will think of it. It’s for you, for fun.

    1. Thanks for the laugh, Diane. 😀 Not sure I’ll want to visit Michigan in November any time soon, but you make a good point. Today the weather was so nice, I barely noticed my rut until I actually sat down to write. I guess things are on the rise ’cause, in the past few weeks, this rut had been weighing me down all day.

    1. Thanks Alex. Yeah, I could see myself cutting back, but not stopping altogether. Like writing in general, blogging has become too much a part of me. I’d miss the community if I stopped. As for the day job, I guess it is what it is, but some days are harder than others.

  4. Toi,
    It’s difficult in the writing world because we don’t get that feedback that we need to keep going. That’s why it is especially important that you know that you are a good writer and that what you write has purposed. Don’t let the day job destroy the one precious thing that means so much to you. Writing is a part of your heart. You give and every now and then someone is touched by what you say-
    I would miss reading your IWSG posts. True, I don’t read all of your blog posts because I just don’t have the time at the moment because of my own writing goals, but I look forward to your IWSG posts.
    So hang in there. Your presence is needed. You are a part of us.
    All the best.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

    1. Thank you so much Pat. It’s always such a delight to see a comment from you. I’m glad you look forward to my IWSG posts. I don’t expect most people to read all my posts. I write different stuff for different people. Some people only read my movie reviews, when I actually post them, and I appreciate that. You do make a good point though; not getting feedback does make the writers journey extra hard at times. Then there’s the job. I try to remind myself that my job funds my writing, but sometimes I just wish it was as rewarding, as it can be, all the time.

  5. I really enjoyed Joanna Penn’s The Author Mindset https://www.thecreativepenn.com/mindset/

    And this interview she did with James Scott Bell about Writing Discipline and Mindset https://youtu.be/l0rLZ0MdzCo

    I have felt like that. I post/blog what want when I want and then I have my Author Spotlight and this monthly hop and other hops I participate in, which just doing that means I blog 3 to 4 times a month. The feeling of having to blog did get to me at one point and then I just let go. It is what it is. I have cut back on my visiting and commenting a bit because just how too many could not do it and get anything done.

    I really enjoy your post FYI. I say go with your gut and do what feels GOOD to you. If it feels right to you, you will find others who can relate. I know I often relate to you and your words. I think your are awesome.

    Juneta @ Writer’s Gambit

    1. Oh my goodness Juneta. Your words are so kind. I’ve admired your blog for quite some time and for you to say these things means a lot. I’ve cut back on visiting blogs too and am cutting back on how much I post because, as you say, it just feels right. Thanks for the reading and watching recommendations. I will definitely check them out.

  6. I was so in a rut in September that I couldn’t see over the edge. I had a chance for a break in October and I jumped at it. Best thing I could have done. Of course, I’m paying the price by being behind on absolutely everything to do with writing.

    1. You know C. Lee, maybe I just need to take a break. I have a few lose ends I want to take care of first, but then, I think I’m just going to take a break. Thanks.

  7. I think we all experience a slump now and then. (My creative friend and I call it feeling schlumpy.) Writing is hard because it does feel solitary. Also, the insecurity monster gives us the feeling of “who cares anyway.” But, you care. You know you’e a writer, and you know that sharing your words reaches out to people. That’s it, too, you never know who was inspired by your words, connected with you, maybe even gave them something to hold onto when they really needed it. I almost dropped out of IWSG because I wasn’t writing much fiction, or pursuing publication. Now, I’m feeling motivated again, and even submitted a story for the short story contest. Keep writing and sharing. Maybe try something new.
    Mary at Play off the Page

  8. Man, my creator thinks you are so “right on” about this. Wondering if anyone reads what you write, or even if they CARE about/if what you’re writing. Like a newsletter. Everyone says, “ya gotta have a newsletter.” Well, how do you get people to sign up, and then what the heck do you put in one. Yeah, blogging. My Feeling Nosey? blog is her only blog and it’s fun, wacky, and original, but…everybody’s gotta be somewhere else. So, yeah, writing is lonely and sometimes depressing. And it don’t guarantee sales neither.So why bother, right? What’s wrong with writers brains that they persevere? My creator says that she has to write for herself. Sure, it’s nice to share but if they don’t come…well, there’s writing, and coffee, and chocolate, and Gum Drop Island –and ME!

    1. Wow, does your creator know you got out to come visit me? Lol! I agree with your creator. I write for myself, but sometimes I wish I had someone to share it with, face to face. But as you say, there is always coffee/tea and chocolate.

  9. I think you need to shake things up somehow. Finding your comfort level for sharing your work seems a good start. What would you miss if you stopped sharing entirely? How might you hold on to the parts that are important to you while letting go of the parts that aren’t.

  10. Dissatisfaction in one part of your life has a way of spreading to other parts of your life. It happens. It’s rarely fatal. Cutting back and being kind to yourself (taking off the pressure to “do”) can help.

  11. I’ve been stuck in a rut all year. I wanted to do some writing this month after finishing my editing jobs but now I have a head cold, and I can’t write when I’m sick. *sigh* Next year, I’ll be blogging less. 3 times a month. I hope you figure it out, Toi!

  12. I’m the kind of person who likes to be naturally inspired and to work in the moment instead of forcing myself to do something. Whenever I force myself I despise the work and usually paint right over it and start again when I am actually inspired. So if I was a writer trying to write 50,000 words in thirty days just to be doing it doesn’t sound appealing to me. On a different note, I feel as creatives we naturally fall into ruts in order to rejuvenate and relax our minds so it can be ready to receive inspiration. I believe it is part of the natural ebb and flow of the creative process. So I just ride it out (even though it can be difficult) and wait for my intuition to guide me. That could take a few days or a few years. Trust me I have been there, and it sucks to live in that moment, but when inspiration struck again I appreciated the process more because it led to major breakthroughs in my life and work. It would be ideal to have family and friends who relate to our passions and who we can bounce ideas off of but sometimes things do not work out that way. My family does not support or understand my creative endeavors and at first I was shattered because after awhile I thought they would come around but they did not. I had to learn to take that energy and let it propel my work and to find creative surrogates outside of my family. Luckily I have friends who support me but they are not in the field so I can not get in depth feedback but I still appreciate their support. I also started reading and following other creative blogs that I could relate to and who are open about the struggles of creating. At the end of the day, you can only do what is best for you and listen to your heart. Your intuitive spirit will never lead you in the wrong direction.

  13. So what you’re saying is, it’s fall/winter, and the sun and warmth has gone away? When things aren’t clicking at work, I totally get how that affects your whole dynamic. So here’s what Dr. Crystal prescribes: 1. 10 extra minutes of exercise every day–something you really enjoy, 2. doing something each day for someone else–whether that’s just a smile, compliment, or word of encouragement, 3. getting sunshine whenever you can, and 4. keeping cheese on standby. When all else fails, find eat cheese and be happy. If none of that works for you, take a long walk in nature without a cell phone to detox.

Comments are closed.