Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Insecure Writer's Support group


It's the beginning of December so it's time for the Insecure Writer's Support Group!

The awesome co-hosts for the December 1 posting of the IWSG arePJ Colando, Diane Burton, Louise – Fundy Blue, Natalie Aguirre, and Jacqui Murray!

And this month's question is a doozy!

 In your writing, what stresses you the most? What delights you?

I think answering what delights me is easier than what stresses me, so I'm going to answer that one first.  I am delighted when I sit down to write and the words are just there and writing is easy.  There's nothing more satisfying than one of those days when the words just seem to be waiting to flow onto the page in the right order, with the right emotions and the story seems to almost be telling itself.

Another delight is going back to something I wrote some time ago and discovering it's actually good.  So often I've built these things up in my mind as something terrible that's going to need a ton of work to get right, so it's a delight to discover that, while not perfect, there are things to absolutely love about that piece.

I am also always delighted to hear from readers who truly get my work and love the stories and the characters as much as I do.  It makes the more difficult times so worthwhile and I cling to those moments whenever things get tough.

Writing stresses come in many forms.  Deadlines can be stressful, especially when they're tight and come at a time that's already busy with work and life.  But I've learned that most deadlines aren't as hard as you might and rather than get stressed about it, it's better to reach out to whoever the deadline is with early and let them know you might struggle to meet it.  Most of the time, deadlines can be moved, but you have to ask.

Getting stuck somewhere in a story can also be stressful.  That moment where you know something needs to happen, but you can't figure out what that thing is, what happens next.  I find that getting past this can involve something as simple as just leaving a not in the MS that there's something missing, and then moving on to another place in the story where I do know what needs to happen.  Often through writing beyond the sticky spot, I find exactly what needs to happen there. Sometimes though, I need to leave that project behind for a while, work on something else, maybe even something not writing-related, and that will help me un-stick myself.

Stress can also come from royalty reports - somehow I've never sold as many books as I'd like to have sold.

I'm sure that's just a handful of the things that stress and delight me about writing. It's something that gives me great joy and also makes me very miserable. One day I'll figure out how to make the joys the larger part of the process, but I'm not there yet.

What are the things about writing that delight or stress you out?


  1. It's funny how time and distance away from a project often helps us out the most, isn't it? But even though I know how helpful doing that is, I still struggle to do it sometimes.

  2. Back in 2019 (I think) I reread my first published books and was so delighted to see I still enjoyed it, and while, I noted things I could improve due to me knowing more now than I did then, I still enjoyed the story very much and didn't have a desire to chuck it out the window.

  3. Even self-imposed deadlines can be unnecessarily stressful. For instance: NaNoWriMo occurs right at the beginning of the holiday season. Trying to get in the 1,667 words a day while planning the rest of the year can sometimes be almost too much.

  4. What stresses me about writing? Is 'everything' an acceptable answer?

  5. Hi, Kate! I, too, am delighted when my writing flows. Lots of times I'm tearing my hair out though. Good or bad, I'm happy to be writing. I find deadlines really stressful; but, they're also motivating. Sometimes my best writing happens under pressure. Wishing you a great royalty report! Have a wonderful holiday season!

  6. The writing flow is a real joy. And sometimes I like the motivational power of the deadline. I don't think I've ever asked for an extension. I just withdraw my work from the running.

    Enjoy your holidays!

    Julia Quay