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Archive for the ‘Insecure Writers Support Group’ Category

There’s Writing and There’s Writing

iwsg

Today I’m writing for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group’s blog hop. The first Wednesday of each month, we write in inspiration to a question posed by the group’s administrators. We don’t need to write in response to the question posed, but I like to use their query as the springboard for the monthly post.

This month we were asked, ‘How do major life events affect your writing? Has writing ever helped you through something?’

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There’s Writing and There’s Writing

First off, we’ll answer the easy one. How do major life events affect my writing? Pretty much, if they don’t merely slow my writing, they usually bring it to a screeching halt. It seems that I have a limited reservoir of energy. I can use it writing – or I can use it dealing with major issues. I don’t always have the resources to do both.

Has writing ever helped me through something? Yes. And, no. There’s two types of writing in my world. Journaling, which is private and therapeutic. And writing for the public eye, such as books, short stories, articles, and blogs.

Journaling helps me through things. But that isn’t writing that I share with anyone else. Now, later on, after that difficult part of life has passed, then I may use some of that for fodder for the public writing. For instance, in 2010 I had a Sudden Cardiac Arrest. My heart stopped beating on an airplane. That incident took me about two weeks to even come to grips with what had happened, let alone dealing with all the associated emotions that arose. Did my journal get a work out that year! Now, once the intensity of the moment subsided and life stabilized back to a routine (and I’m talking a few years here), then I began publicly writing about it. Several times I’ve even excerpted short snippets from my actual journal, but only in short selected sections.

But for me, I need a lot of processing time between the actual event and publicly writing about it. Sometimes I even need this transition period to even be able to talk about it with someone else. But, that’s me. I’m usually a private person and don’t easily show others the open shards of my heart. So I’ll show you some of my writing – the other – that’s tucked away on a shelf to rarely see the light of day. I guess it just goes to show that not all writers are open books.

 

Check out more Insecure Writer’s Support Group posts here.

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No Thank You

iwsg

Today I’m writing for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group’s blog hop. The first Wednesday of each month, we write in inspiration to a question posed by the group’s administrators. We don’t need to write in response to the question posed, but I like to use their query as the springboard for the monthly post.

This month we were asked, ‘What publishing path are you considering/did you take, and why?’

Although I typically go with the proposed question for the month, this month I’m going another route and talking about something else. Rejections.

rejected

No Thank You

Being an insecure writer – which is why I love this group so much – I hate rejections as much as anyone else. Especially on those days where several of them hit your inbox so close together. It can feel crushing and can make me feel inadequate and less confident.

I read another viewpoint of this last week though that is changing how I think of it. The author mentioned that rejections aren’t a reflection on you or your writing. It’s simply a ‘No Thank You.’ They likened it to going to a restaurant. Your heart is set on a certain dish. Perhaps you’ve been craving a nice, juicy steak. The server offers you their special – grilled salmon. Maybe you don’t like fish. Maybe you do, but it’s just not what you want for that meal. So you simply say, “No thank you.”

She asks – does the cook break down in tears because you ‘rejected’ their offering? No. It’s not a rejection of their cooking, their skills, their talents, or their person. It just doesn’t fill a need you have at that moment.

I need to apply this attitude towards the rejections headed my way. It has nothing to do with my talent, my work, my piece, or my person. It’s simply a ‘No thank you. Not right now.’

 

Check out more Insecure Writer’s Support Group posts here.

Making Me Think #IWSG

iwsg

Today I’m writing for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group’s blog hop. The first Wednesday of each month, we write in inspiration to a question posed by the group’s administrators. We don’t need to write in response to the question posed, but I like to use their query as the springboard for the monthly post.

This month we were asked, ‘What are your ultimate writing goals, and how have they changed over time (if at all)?’

making me think

Making Me Think

What are my ultimate writing goals? What an excellent question that’s really making me think. I don’t suppose I’ve ever really sat down and tried to clearly define what my ultimate goals were. I wanted to write. I had stories I wanted to tell. And it went from there.

Along the way my current lists have changed. I’ve added stories and books. I’ve added far more than I’ve ever crossed off as deleted. My directions have changed slightly here and there. But I think overall is that I just want to write the stories that are in my heart. Which makes it a very nebulous and undefinable goal.

In order to keep writing, and pay for book publishing, and buy paper and ink cartridges etc. it’s necessary to have some money come in. Hence the articles and submissions for paid writing spots, along with book signings and classes at local libraries.

Eventually I’d love to be able to make a living from my writing, so that the part time job can go away. But yet, without a clear plan, or an idea of how many dollars a month I need and how I’m going to make that number – it’s not likely that it will happen.

Instead of the July goals I currently have of finish the writing workbook for the class at the end of the month, add to Embracing 60, revise Memory Gardens, and organize my short stories into a cohesive list (written, WIP, and dreamed of), I need to add one more goal to July. Search deep within myself and determine what my long-term ultimate writing goals really are.

Thank you Insecure Writer’s Support Group for the kick in the pants (pardon the cliché!) I needed this month that highlights a vague and undefined end wish.

Check out more Insecure Writer’s Support Group posts here.

 

How Many Sarah’s Can You Have?

iwsg

Today I’m writing for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group’s blog hop. The first Wednesday of each month, we write in inspiration to a question posed by the group’s administrators. We don’t need to write in response to the question posed, but I like to use their query as the springboard for the monthly post.

This month we were asked, ‘What’s harder for you to come up with, book titles or character names?’

names from a hat

How Many Sarah’s Can You Have?

A Sarah here, a Sarah there…how many Sarah’s can an author have? This month’s question for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group was an easy one. Definitely choosing names are more difficult for me. The titles always seem to come with the germination of the book idea itself. And while they many change as I work on and complete the book – that is rare. I almost always go with my first instinct for a title.

But names, that’s where my own personal difficulty lies. I don’t have problems with naming characters, it’s just that I seem to always go to the same names. Sarah and William seem to be particular favorites to me, but I have no idea why. It’s like I have this internal list of ten to twelve favorites that my brain always accesses first. On my short stories spreadsheet, I had to add a column for main character names, so I don’t repeat names.

Another small glitch I find is that I can easily end up with two or three character names that all begin with the same initial. If I don’t consciously watch it, I’ll have Sarah and Sam with a dog named Spot. It must be that alliteration fascination coming back to haunt me.

Alas, if these were the only troubles I had to contend with, I’d be one happy author. Names I can change all day long. Now if fixing plot holes and characterization problems were just as easy.

Check out more Insecure Writer’s Support Group posts here.

 

The Garden Beckons #IWSG

iwsg

Today I’m writing for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group’s blog hop. The first Wednesday of each month, we write in inspiration to a question posed by the group’s administrators. We don’t need to write in response to the question posed, but I like to use their query as the springboard for the monthly post.

This month we were asked, ‘It’s spring! Does this season inspire you to write more than others, or not?’

 

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The Garden Beckons

The seasons themselves don’t necessarily inspire me to write more or less. Now, they do effect the amount of writing that is accomplished. During summer and winter it’s too hot or too cold to be outside. So I’m nestled in the house, either in front of a fan or a heater and the words fly. Not because I’m inspired, but because the extreme temperatures limit my outside comfort zone. So, housebound I become.

But spring…that is my season! New growth is appearing after the dormant winter cold. Buds push their way through the earth. Flowers appear, waving their colorful blooms in the breezes. Roses spread their fragrant aroma in a swirl around me. Wildflowers usher in this most delightful season. Birds chatter and twitter away in the canopy of trees surrounding me. The cardinal couple flit in and out of the towering evergreen, tending to their nest of hatchlings.

Write? During spring? You have to chain me to my desk if you think I’ll be tapping away at a keyboard when the garden is growing outside. Thank goodness for spring time rains that curtail my gardening days.

You’d think fall would have the same results. The more moderate temperatures allow for being outside and comfortable. It’s not cold enough yet for thick, plush jackets. The searing heat is gone. But, no. It’s totally different. The garden is dying back. Even the weeds that have crept up between plants begin to wither away. It’s time to tidy up, cut back, bring in garden accessories and get ready to put the garden to bed. While I enjoy the coolness of fall days, I don’t like the threat of the impending winter. It dampens my spirits and makes me gloomy.

But spring it is, so this 300 or so words is all you get today. Next month, when the heat is here in Texas, I’ll be back writing longer posts. Today I’m out of here – I’ve got a garden to tend to!

 

Check out more Insecure Writer’s Support Group posts here.

Deadlines Banish the Cloudy Days

iwsg

Today I’m writing for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group’s blog hop. The first Wednesday of each month, we write in inspiration to a question posed by the group’s administrators. We don’t need to write in response to the question posed, but I like to use their query as the springboard for the monthly post.

This month we were asked, ‘When your writing life is a bit cloudy or filled with rain, what do you do to dig down and keep on writing?’

rainy day

Deadlines Banish the Cloudy Days

I wish I could say that my writing journey is all sunshine and roses. Not a peep of clouds here, thank you very much. Alas, I can’t say that. Truthfully, there are days that I question what I’ve been doing the past three years. I question the wisdom of my choices. I question whether or not to continue. I mull over the options of going back to a full time, punch-the-timeclock job.

What do I do to keep writing? I can’t say that I consciously have a plan in place to keep me moving forward. Sometimes the deluge of the current storm gets me in a funk and I don’t write. Sometimes for a few days. Occasionally the funk period has lasted a whole week. I wallow in the mire and waste away far too many hours playing mindless computer games. One weekend I binge watched a whole sitcom season in three days.

Fortunately I have several pre-committed deadlines already in place. I have a monthly newsletter, Back Story. I have my weekly reader’s newsletter, Trisha’s Tidbits. I’m in a weekly writing group, Tuesday Tales, that writes to a word or picture prompt each week. And, the first Wednesday of each month? I need a blog post ready for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. So after a few days of inactivity and slothfulness, one of these standing deadlines rears its talon and snatches me back into the writing game. Usually I find once I’ve written the 300-800 words needed for one of these projects, my self-pity party is over and I’ve placed my ‘Writer’ hat back on my head and I’m pounding the keyboard, the fears, insecurities, and doubts vanquished once again.

 

Check out more Insecure Writer’s Support Group posts here.

The Sound of Crickets #IWSG

Today I’m writing for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group’s blog hop. The first Wednesday of each month, we write in inspiration to a question posed by the group’s administrators. If we want to. We don’t need to write in response to the question posed, but I like to use their query as the springboard for the monthly post.

This month we were asked, ‘How do you celebrate when you achieve a writing goal or finish a story?’

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The Sound of Crickets

So much for my first-thing-in-the-morning-project. It’s now turned into first-project-after-lunch. Which is ridiculous really, because the answer to this question isn’t that difficult. It will take me five minutes to write this post and another five minutes to post it. I shouldn’t have procrastinated on an easy task.

I don’t celebrate at all.

If I finish a writing goal, I cross it off my list and head to the dozen others that are awaiting my time and attention. If I get something published, I might have a high-five with my significant other, and then go post the good news on Facebook.

That’s about it. My celebrations are the sound of crickets in my office. Nothing. Now crickets might be a symphony outside in a field, but in my office…nada.

But, now I’m debating my routine. Maybe I do need to celebrate my accomplishments in some small fashion. Hmmmmm……

No. Then it adds another task to the list. You know, that list that never seems to go away no matter how much I work towards that goal? I believe I’ll keep this routine just the same as it is.

 

Check out more Insecure Writer’s Support Group posts here.

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