Wednesday, 5 August 2020

IWSG August 2020

It's the first Wednesday of the month again in this strangest of years, and of course that means it's time for the Insecure Writer's Support Group. Hosted as always by the inimitable Alex J. Cavanaugh, the purpose of the group is to offer space for writers to air doubts and insecurities without fear of being judged. Why not join us if you haven't already? This month's excellent co-hosts are Susan Boury RouchardNancy GideonJennifer LaneJennifer HawesChemist Ken and Chrys Fey!


Every month there's an optional question for us to answer. This time it's: 

Quote: "Although I have written a short story collection, the form found me and not the other way around. Don't write short stories, novels or poems. Just write your truth and your stories will mold into the shapes they need to be."
Have you ever written a piece that became a form, or even a genre, you hadn't planned on writing in? Or do you choose a form/genre in advance?

Well, I have written a short story collection and most of the stories in it were definitely always meant to be in that shorter form. However, the first story, A Change of Mind, ended up in a much longer form, more like a novella, which wasn't how I'd anticipated it. Initially a story of only a couple of hundred words, it was set in a fictional future where a woman is threatening to sue a surgeon after a procedure to alter her personality has gone wrong. (She wanted to be more confident but ends up becoming unbearably arrogant.) I thought there was a lot more to the idea, so I changed the protagonist to a man, and relocated the action to the present day where personality surgery is an illicit trade taking place in rooms above garages and spoken of in hushed voices in seedy pubs. Again though, the desired change was to become more confident for the mild-mannered main character, but this ultimately manifests itself in his becoming a sociopath.

I can't really think of another time this has happened, as usually I set out to write a novel or short story and do that, but I always stay open to possibilities. It's nice to go down a route you hadn't expected sometimes!

What's your answer to this question? I'm sure there'll be loads of interesting ones on the IWSG sign-up list - you can find it here.

Monday, 20 July 2020

"Keep Writing with Fey" Book Blast


Today I'm helping Chrys Fey launch her latest book, which looks like another excellent resource for all writers. Check it out!


Catch the sparks you need to conquer writer’s block, depression, and burnout!

When Chrys Fey shared her story about depression and burnout, it struck a chord with other writers. That put into perspective for her how desperate writers are to hear they aren’t alone. Many creative types experience these challenges, battling to recover. Let Keep Writing with Fey: Sparks to Defeat Writer's Block, Depression, and Burnout guide you through:

·        Writer's block
·        Depression
·        Writer's burnout
·        What a writer doesn’t need to succeed
·        Finding creativity boosts

With these sparks, you can begin your journey of rediscovering your creativity and get back to what you love - writing.


BOOK LINKS:

Amazon / Nook / iTunes / Kobo


AUTHOR’S NOTE:
When I shared my story about depression and writer’s burnout, I received many emails, comments, and Facebook messages from other writers thanking me for my bravery and telling me about their own trials. That really put into perspective for me how many people suffer from depression and/or burnout in silence. I had no idea those individuals were impacted by these things, just as they hadn’t known that I was, because my outward presence to others was always happy and smiley and bright.

After the supportive response and upon realizing how many writers in my online circles were struggling, too, I wanted to do something to help. I was candid with my experiences and blogged about the things that assisted me through the rough times in the hope that it would aid others.

During this time, I recognized the need for writers to receive support, guidance, tips, reminders, and encouragement during their writer’s block, depression, and burnout. That’s how I got the idea for this book. A book not just about depression or only about writer’s block, but both, and much more.

Since you have picked up this book, that means you may need assistance with one or all of these areas, and I sincerely hope you find what you need here…that tiny spark to get you through whatever you are going through.

As always, keep writing.

Keep believing.

Keep dreaming.

Chrys Fey



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Chrys Fey is the author of Write with Fey: 10 Sparks to Guide You from Idea to Publication. She is also the author of the Disaster Crimes series. Visit her blog, Write with Fey, for more tips on how to reverse writer’s burnout. https://www.chrysfey.com/

Wednesday, 1 July 2020

IWSG July 2020

A new month and time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer's Support Group. Helmed as ever by Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh, the group offers a safe space for writers to share insecurities of all kinds without fear of being judged. This month's co-hosts are Jenni EnzorBeth CampLiesbet @ Roaming AboutTyrean Martinson and Sandra Cox.


In terms of writing, I'm not feeling too insecure as my WIP progresses. My one gripe might be that I'd like to be moving a bit quicker - I'm at just over 25k since starting earlier this year - but I'm enjoying the story and the level of invention and creativity it calls for. Onwards!

Let's turn to this month's optional IWSG question, which is: "There have been many industry changes in the last decade, so what are some changes you would like to see happen in the next decade?" 

This is a great question and the answer could be very wide-ranging. Who knows where we'll be in ten years' time? Over the past decade I really think we've seen indie and self publishing solidify as a force in the industry, but I'm not sure indie authors are truly seen as being on the same level as those traditionally published - I'd like to see equal recognition, and that could include things like reviews in the New York Times and equal opportunities for things like audiobooks, movie adaptations, and so on.

At the same time, on the traditional publishing side, it would be nice to see more stability for small presses in particular. Many seem to fold very suddenly or without warning, often leaving authors' dreams turned upside down. This is a difficult one. I'm sure many of them will not weather the current crisis, and who's to say there aren't more episodes to come? I'd like to see grants or other help made available for them. I can't say I know much about this area, but I'm thinking about dipping my toe in it, and I worry what state COVID will leave it in.

What thoughts do you have about the future of the industry? You can check out others' responses here.

Wednesday, 3 June 2020

IWSG June 2020

It's the first Wednesday of the month and time once again for our meeting of the Insecure Writer's Support Group. Hosted once again by Ninja Cap'n Alex J. Cavanaugh, the group offers a safe space where writers can share their insecurities without fear of being judged. This month's co-hosts are Pat GarciaJ. Q. Rose and Natalie Aguirre.


It's June! Hard to believe we're almost halfway through the strangest year I'm sure many of us can remember. A big insecurity here in the UK is the lifting of the lockdown and the fear that things are happening too quickly - some kids back at school, more shops opening up. We won't be doing anything majorly different until August when schools are planned to come back in Scotland - we'll just need to see where we are then, and again, it's only what we're comfortable with. As a diversion, let's take a look at this month's IWSG question: "Writers have secrets! What are one or two of yours, something readers would never know from your work?"

Hmm, I don't think I have secrets as such - nothing overly dramatic, anyway - and I'm pretty open about stuff, but one thing that wouldn't be obvious from my work is that my childhood dream was to be an actor. This went as far as performing with the drama club in comedy revue shows during high school, with our own self-penned material, but stage fright was pretty much a constant - I soon realized that the writing part was what I preferred, and things just developed from there!

I'm sure many more fascinating secrets will be disclosed by the authors found at the IWSG sign-up list here. I look forward to checking them out! 

Wednesday, 6 May 2020

IWSG May 2020

It's the first Wednesday of the month, and one thing we can rely on for certain is that means it's time for the Insecure Writer's Support Group! Hosted as ever by the Ninja himself Alex J. Cavanaugh, the purpose of the group is to offer a safe space where writers can share their fears and insecurities without fear of being judged. Probably something we need more than ever. This month's excellent co-hosts are Feather StoneBeverley Stowe McClureMary AalgaardKim Lajevardi and Chemist Ken!


So it's my first proper IWSG post for a couple of months, although I thank you for the messages that were left on my placeholder post last month. I'm not going to dwell too much on COVID-19 because I think it's good to talk about other things, but I'll just say that we're all still doing OK here while keeping an eye on the news and the talk of coming out of lockdown - a far more worrisome prospect than being in it for us, and although it's pretty safe to say schools won't resume until at least after the summer in Scotland, it's very hard to picture it (although things are going to look different, that's for sure). Youngest daughter is set to start high school in August, a transition that's tricky at the best of times. Like with this entire mess, we're just going to have to wait to see how it pans out, and we're not going to be doing anything we're not comfortable with.

Let's turn to this month's IWSG question, which is: Do you have any rituals that you use when you need help getting into the ZONE? Care to share?

No rituals as such, but the best thing I can do is remind myself that my writing is time-limited. Despite the lockdown, my routine hasn't changed a great deal and I'm being kept plenty busy with freelancing work (thankfully), so I'm able to carve out thirty minutes to an hour in the morning for writing - basically until the dogs ask to get up for breakfast! After that I'm dealing with work and I'm in a different mindset, so the time is gone if I don't use it. At this particular time, I'm also in a "relatively new and shiny WIP" phase and I'm enjoying finding out where this story is going, which always helps. If you wake up excited about writing, it becomes much easier.

So that's where I am. How about you? Any rituals to share? How are you coping with things overall? Many more IWSG posts can be found by clicking here.

Wednesday, 1 April 2020

IWSG April 2020 - Still Here!


Hello! Not a proper post this month - I'm on a borrowed laptop after mine gave up the ghost, and therefore I wouldn't have time to visit others or return comments, which is a huge part of participating for me. Nonetheless, I still wanted to drop in and let you know that me and mine are safe and well, and I hope that's the case for all of you. I'm hoping to get round and visit all of you later in the month - until then, stay safe and take care!

Wednesday, 4 March 2020

IWSG March 2020

It's time once again for another posting of the Insecure Writer's Support Group. Headed up by Alex J. Cavanaugh, the purpose of the group is to offer a safe space where writers can share fears and insecurities without fear of judgement. This month's excellent co-hosts are Jacqui MurrayLisa Buie-CollardSarah FosterNatalie Aguirre and Shannon Lawrence.


Not feeling particularly insecure this month - spring is in the air (or perhaps autumn, depending on your whereabouts). In any case, changes are afoot and I always find that an inspiring time. I'm moving along with the project I had previously mentioned, a story I had first started over a year ago, and it's progressing nicely. Perhaps I'd like to up my daily word count, which is averaging around 500, but it's been a while since I've written on a daily basis. I'm hoping to increase my productivity over the next few weeks. The story itself is opening up in unexpected ways and I've been taking a lot of notes about what could happen down the line. So, apart from being slightly insecure about the actual number of words being committed, I'm happy to roll and see where it takes me!

The optional IWSG question for this month is: "Other than the obvious holiday traditions, have you ever included any personal or family traditions/customs in your stories?" This one stumped me, but I'm interested to read other answers. You can find many more IWSG posts here.