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.

Wednesday, 5 February 2020

IWSG February 2020

It's time once again for our group posting of the Insecure Writer's Support Group. Hosted as ever by Alex J. Cavanaugh, the purpose of the group is to allow a safe space to share our writing woes and insecurities without fear of being judged. February's excellent co-hosts are Lee LoweryRonel Janse von VuurenJennifer HawesCathrina Constantine and Tyrean Martinson. Why not join us if you haven't already?

Today's IWSG question is an interesting one, asking: "Has a single photo or work of art ever inspired a story? What was it and did you finish it?" Well, I've written for competitions that involved a photo prompt, and even had some success with one, but I'm not sure that counts, does it? I didn't choose the photo myself or come across it "in the wild". I'm not a particularly visual writer, but this question makes me think I should open up more to seeing images as inspiration. Food for thought!

As to my insecurity this month, I'm pondering how to get back into a piece of writing that I started over a year ago. With 2019 being a fallow year, I'm keen to pick up where I left off, but that initial rush of excitement isn't quite there any more. That said, I'm still intrigued to see where the story could go. I'm only 6,000 words in, so would it be better to treat this as an opportunity for a totally new start? Have a do-over from the beginning?

Do you have any advice for resuming a piece of work after an extended break? What's your response to this month's IWSG question? Don't forget to check out more IWSG posts here!

Wednesday, 8 January 2020

IWSG January 2020

A new year - a new decade - and what better way to see it in than with the first Insecure Writer's Support Group post of 2020? Hosted as ever by Ninja Cap'n Alex J. Cavanaugh, the role of the group continues to be to offer a safe space where writers of all kinds can share their fears and insecurities without fear of judgement. January's co-hosts are T. Powell ColtrinVictoria Marie LeesStephen Tremp and J. H. Moncrieff!

If you don't mind, I'm going to use this as my "looking ahead to the new year" post - always a time of some insecurity but an exciting one too. I've started off on a good foot by typing "The End" on the last book in my trilogy. This one still needs a lot of work done to it, but for now I'm happy to reach that milestone. I'll be working towards a publication in spring or summer while at the same time, I'll be working on something new - it's been too long!

Another great way of starting the year would be bagging yourself an agent or publisher, and that might just come to fruition with the next #IWSGPit Twitter Pitch event. Simply ready your tweet-length pitch and get ready to post on January 15. Only a week away! Check out more details here. And of course, you can find more IWSG posts here.

How's your 2020 looking? What are your hopes and insecurities?

Wednesday, 4 December 2019

IWSG December 2019

It's the first Wednesday of December and that means it's time for us to convene for the very last IWSG of 2019. Hosted as always by Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh, the purpose of the group is to offer a safe space for writers to share fears and insecurities without appearing foolish or weak. If you haven't joined yet, why not make it your first resolution for 2020? Today's excellent co-hosts are Tonja DreckerBeverly Stowe McClureNicki Elson and Tyrean Martinson!

I'm skipping over this month's question - which I think is a good one, I just feel like focusing on the here and now and what I can do in this moment. We're approaching the end of the year and that traditionally means it's time to take stock. Well, I may not have got as much done in 2019 as I wanted, but I did get the second part of my trilogy out to quite a favourable reception, and I'm determined to finish the year out strong by completing the first draft on the finale. So basically, the same goal/insecurity I've had in previous months, but it will feel like a massive achievement considering the rather "fallow" year I've had. I'm looking forward to 2020 containing new adventures, including getting that conclusion to my series into the hands of readers, and I definitely want to get started on at least one new project. There's quite a few ideas I'm excited about, and as you probably know, a backlog tends to build up if you've been working on one story for a long time. So for me, 2020 looks like it has plenty of possibilities and potential. How's it looking for you?

Have a great Christmas, and don't forget to check out more IWSG posts here!

Wednesday, 6 November 2019

IWSG November 2019

For the penultimate time this year, it's the first Wednesday of the month, which means it must be time once again for our meeting of the Insecure Writer's Support Group. Founded and helmed by Ninja Cap'n Alex J. Cavanaugh, the aim of the group is to offer a safe space where writers can share fears and insecurities without fear of being judged. Today's excellent co-hosts are Sadira StonePatricia JosephineLisa Buie-CollardErika Beebe and C. Lee McKenzie. Join us if you haven't already!

My insecurity this month remains pretty much the same as last time - getting the ending of my trilogy wrapped up by the end of the year. I haven't made too much progress since that last post, but I remain hopeful/determined/blockheadedly stubborn about achieving this goal. It would be a great way to wrap up what has not been a hugely productive year. With that taken care of, let's have a look at this month's optional question (which is a lot of fun):

What's the strangest thing you've ever googled in researching a story?

I'm sure I've researched some very strange things, but maybe less so since I've been leaning towards a sci-fi/fantasy bent. Of course I might need to check some scientific principles and ideas but on the whole, I can draw on my imagination a lot more and there's less need to fact-check things from the real world. With that in mind, I'll cast back to one of my earlier novelistic attempts when I was trying to write detective/murder-based thrillers. One of my villains was particularly nasty and wanted to go to great efforts to cover his tracks - so I ended up attempting to research how to dispose of a body so it left no trace. Hopefully my name didn't end up floating around on a government watch list somewhere!

I'm sure there will be other entertaining answers to this question so why not check them out here?