Insecure Writer’s Support Group: Write for yourself

November 5, 2014

I don’t have time for a long IWSG post this month, because I’m busy with Nanowrimo stuff, but I did want to share this thought for everybody, whether you’re trying to revise your first short story or making headlong progress on your n-teenth novel manuscript.

Write for yourself first. Yes, we all want our stuff to be read by lots of people, and many of us hope to make a lot of money at it. But especially if you’re feeling insecure about what you’re writing, remember to write to please yourself first. Write what you think is cool, what you have fun with, what you’d like to say if anybody at all is listening.

If you don’t think it’s ready for anybody to read, don’t show it to them. But write what makes you happy.

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IWSG will be up soon…

October 1, 2014

Just a quick note here to let you know that I will be posting for IWSG soon, but the evening got away from me and I need to crash.


Insecure Writers’ Support Group: Workshop Applications

January 2, 2013

Hey, everybody, it’s time for the January 2013 edition of Insecure Writers’ Support Group. At least this time I don’t need to feel insecure about missing the date – I actually got the moment of ‘Did I forget’ yesterday, just as I was posting yesterday’s blog about 2013 goals. Then I remembered that it was only Tuesday, and set an extra reminder to do IWSG today.

But I definitely have something to feel insecure about, because I’m facing the prospect of choosing samples of my work to compete with other sci-fi and fantasy writers from across the continent and around the world, to represent the best I can accomplish and my hopes for a rare opportunity to learn from extremely talented published writers and editors. Yeah. Once again, I’m applying to summer writing workshops.

This year, I’ve got four different programs on my list:

Each of them calls for something different in terms of a writing sample – Clarion asks for two stories, Odyssey for no more than 4000 words, Clarion West for 20 to 30 pages. CSSF Novels wants the first 5-10 pages and a synopsis. So I’ve been trying to come up with material for all of them.

I started the sample pages for ‘The Gnomes are Missing’ in the last week of Nanowrimo, and I’ve been sharing snippets of them on Sundays ever since. During December, I started a new short, “Time Bubble Trap”, that will hopefully be my sample for Odyssey and half of my sample for Clarion. I’ve also been working on a new draft of “The Storm Mirror” for Clarion and Clarion West – the problem is, at the moment it’s too long, still around 8000 words and Clarion doesn’t want any stories over 6500.

I don’t know if any of this writing is going to be good enough to get me into exclusive programs like these, but I do feel secure enough in my dreams to keep trying and see. This summer is one opportunity that I won’t be able to take if I hesitate and miss the applications deadlines – though if I don’t make it this time, there’s always 2014.


Insecure Writers Support Group: A Balloon Full of Encouragement

November 2, 2011

Hi there, fellow insecure writers. Sorry I didn’t post for IWSG last month, I lost track with the Campaigner Spotlight, Rule of Three, Six Sentence Sunday, and a few other things.

So, it’s Nano – which can be a crazy, but also very encouraging time to be a writer, because most of the participants have been through this stunt of trying to write a book in 50 days and know how daunting it can be.

I want to share an idea that my ML, Gale, presented at the Hamilton Kick-off party this past Sunday. It’s something that may work if you’ve got a writer’s support group that meets up regularly, or that we could adapt to cyberspace somehow.

Everybody wrote a somewhat generic but encouraging message on a little slip of paper and rolled up the paper. Then, the paper was inserted into a colored balloon, and the balloon blown up. We tossed around the balloons for a little while until they were shuffled thoroughly, and then everybody took a balloon, (of a different color than the one their message was in,) and took it home. The idea is that you pop the balloon and get the message when you most need that little jolt of encouragement from a fellow writer.

I was hoping to leave my balloon until I’m packed for San Francisco, and then thought that I’d pop it because I couldn’t take the balloon on the plane. I tied its ribbon to the bookcase when I got home Sunday evening so that it wouldn’t get trodden on or in the way. But when I went to take a picture of it for this blog post…

I guess there must have been a pinhole leak. But inspiration doesn’t leak out through holes – there’s still inspiration in that balloon, even if there isn’t air any more!

So – if you were preparing a balloon for another writer, what encouraging message would you put in it? Here’s a new one from me, since I don’t want to repeat the one I put in the orange balloon:

You can tell this story. It is the destiny that you were born for.


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