A Writing Dream

The Insecure Writer’s Support Group

July 1 question – 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?

A Writing Dream

Ideally, I would love to be able to think of a scene and that scene getting typed up grammatically correct and formatted perfectly just by my thinking it. Diction would be okay if I didn’t have to insert period, comma, new paragraph, and so forth.

Given all that, I don’t see it happening…

When I first started writing, I would read about various writing retreats – homes that had been turned into a permanent writer’s retreat, where a writer could come for a week, two weeks, or a month at a time and just write.

Ernest Hemingway had his own retreat in Key West. Something like that could work. Or, a castle in England, Wales, or Ireland; yes, that could work, too.

In my mind’s eye, though, I see a big rambling Victorian-like house with a large wrap-around porch, with someone cooking the meals, someone else cleaning the rooms, gardener, and general maintenance person. And best of all, a setting that I’d never get tired of. Mountains in the background, a lake, large river, or even an ocean in the foreground, with the house up on a bluff out of rising waters’ way.

All I’d have to do is mentor, teach, and write.

Yup, if I ever become successful enough where I’m able to have my own private retreat and a writer’s retreat where I could teach and pay forward everything I’ve ever learned and bring in other writers to teach…that would be ideal. The last thing on my bucket list.

Of course, you did notice that my literary success has to come first, right?

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time – and return comments. This group is all about connecting!

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Writers Have Secrets? Oh, my!

The Insecure Writer’s Support Group

June 3 question – Writers have secrets! What are one or two of yours, something readers would never know from your work?

While I don’t consider that as a writer I have secrets, I suppose there are some topics not well-known about me. For one…

I enjoy bittersweet endings probably more than I enjoy happily ever after (HEA) endings in romances. Why, I don’t know. A true oxymoron considering I currently write HEA romances.

Some great bittersweet ending movies that I love:

  • Out of Africa
  • Message in a Bottle
  • Somewhere in Time – though it did have a happy ending on the other side, getting there was heartbreaking
  • The Thorn Birds
  • Possession

To me, these are great tales of romance, the best of the bittersweet best.

Second, I have collections without realizing I was collecting.

Lighthouses – I have them in every room, except the kitchen. It all started with a crayon drawing my grandmother did of the Biloxi lighthouse when she came to visit me upon my birth. I have wooden shelf lighthouses, ceramic ones, a pillow, blankets, huge pictures on the wall, and more. One day, while looking at one of my posters, my life represented a lighthouse: I was a teacher, sending my light out to those needing it.

Diana’s collection of gem stone hearts

Heart-shaped stones – The first one I received from a boyfriend. One was a gift from my daughter, and the rest I purchased only because I couldn’t walk away from the stone as it spoke to me at that time.

Dragons & The Green Man – The Green Man pieces (I have four) were the result of my medieval studies. I loved the myth because it is a symbol of rebirth, a new cycle of growth and that was my life at the time.

Diana’s collection of dragons.

The dragons were born of my writing Grendel’s Mother. The minute I saw this picture at a renaissance faire, I saw it as Grendel’s mother chatting with the dragon who shares her cave. One-by-one, the other dragons in my collection came from other renaissance faires. With each one, the minute I started walking away, I was draw back to it. Interestingly, once the book was published, no new dinosaurs have drawn me to them, demanding I take them home.

As to other secrets, it’s my characters who hold them tight, having pushed those secrets into the basement of their souls. It takes work to get them talking, to where they trust me to reveal their secrets, the wounds that they’ve carried since childhood.

It’s where our real secrets reside, you know.

I just realized: My characters have more secrets than I do. Some might see this as weird. Not weird to me at all.

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time – and return comments. This group is all about connecting!

Check out the IWSG website here.

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I just got a 1- or 2-star review! What do I do now?

The Insecure Writer’s Support Group

The May 6 question of “Do you have any rituals that you use when you need help getting into the ZONE? Care to share?” is one I can answer that in two simple sentences: Not really. It’s just a matter of starting because I can write anywhere.

As a result, I decided to write instead about 1- and 2-star reviews. I do look forward to reading about my fellow writers’ rituals, though.

I just got a 1- or 2-star review! What do I do now?

As writers, we want reviews. We love reviews when they’re great. But, when they’re not, how are we supposed to feel?

I belong to a dozen or so writing forums and groups on Facebook and Twitter. If I had a nickel for every time I’ve seen someone groan and moan because they just got a 1-star review, I could retire happily, never to write again.

Why is it that we love 4- & 5-star reviews, but absolutely hate the 1- and 2-star reviews? Two reasons.

First, it feels like a grade, like when we were in school. We forget that a 3 is average and that most of us are probably average.

Second, we feel like we’re being judged. And, no one likes being judged. For any reason. Well, except if we’ve entered a contest.

We all like to believe we’re better than average and that someone else’s opinion of us doesn’t matter. If it doesn’t matter, then why do we allow ourselves to get upset?

Here’s the thing. Those numbers simply represent someone’s opinion. Nothing more. It doesn’t mean your book is good or bad. It means they either liked it or they didn’t.

How many books have you read that you didn’t like? Did you recommend them? Of course not. Likewise, how many books have you loved and raved about to others?

I don’t like everything I read. Can I really expect someone else to love everything they read?

That’s all that those numbers represent, nothing more. Someone’s opinion. It doesn’t make your book good or bad. A masterpiece versus a dud. It’s just an opinion. ONE OPINION.

If you get a pile of 4s and 5s, hey, lucky you! You found your audience. Is there an occasional 1 or 2? Lucky you! Someone was trying you out as a new author because they were told by someone they know or because they were enticed by all the 4s and 5s but discovered the book wasn’t to their liking. And, they wanted everyone to know it.

An example. I hated Fifty Shades of Grey. I was one opinion in an immense sea of “love it!” Did my opinion make a difference? Not one bit. Would my opinion have made a difference if I had been the first one to post a review? Not a bit. There would have been enough others following me to overcome my low ranking. Word-of-mouth advertising sold that book. It wasn’t the reviews. It was people talking to other people. The same thing happened with Gone With the Wind, Bridges of Madison County, The Martian, and others.

It’s all about perspective.

Getting all 1s and 2s? Now, that’s a problem. Not with them. The problem is with your book. It’s probably ladened with errors, has plot holes, or has character issues. Did you have it proofed? Did you use beta readers to help you uncover those plot or character problems? If not, unpublish it, fix the problems, get a new ISBN, a new cover, and sell it as a 2nd edition, stating that previous issues have been addressed.

It’s not the end of the world to get the occasional 1- or 2-star review. It is a problem, though, if as a writer you think it’s a problem. And generally, it is the new writer who wails about these first 1- and 2-star reviews. Experienced writers ignore them.

Step back, look at the big picture, stop giving each review an all-or-nothing power, and keep writing. Look at the overall ratings, instead. If most of them are healthy, then you’re good.

If the problem is you only have a few reviews, then your job is to get more. Give your book away to reviewers. Find a reviewing website or two. At the back of each of my books, I talk about reviews and how they’re important to writers, showing them how they can quickly write a review.

Your goal is to find your audience. Your ultimate goal is to write a book that creates word-of-mouth advertising because those are the books that fly off the shelf and become the book-to-movie stories. Nothing sells books faster or better than word-of-mouth.

***

Insecure Writers Support Group Badge

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time – and return comments. This group is all about connecting!

Check us out!  http://www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com/

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My Life with the COVID-19 Lockdown…so far

The Insecure Writer’s Support Group (#IWSG)

 Our April 1 question – The IWSG’s focus is on our writers. Each month, from all over the globe, we are a united group sharing our insecurities, our troubles, and our pain. So, in this time when our world is in crisis with the covid-19 pandemic, our optional question this month is: how are things in your world?

  • On March 10, Michigan Governor Whitmer issued the State of Emergency Executive Order.
  • On March 16, she ordered restaurants and the schools closed
  • On March 21, she ordered a stay-home, stay safe lockdown for all residents to begin on the 24th

I began my physical distancing on March 16, so technically, as I write this (Monday, 30th), I’m on Day 16 of lockdown, with only four trips out for groceries or take-out food.

I’m one of the fortunate. My life hasn’t changed much because of this pandemic. Retired and writing full-time, I’m used to solitary time. The biggest change for me has been in missing lunches and dinners with friends and classmates, no meetings with other writers, and no book club discussions around the table.

Our library has been closed along with other businesses, but thankfully, I have several shelves of to-be-read (TBR) books. I thought I’d be reading more, but so far, I haven’t. Now that the stay-in has been expanded to the end of April, I expect that lack of reading to change.

My normal days, which look like my COVID-19 days at the moment, are about writing, jigsaw puzzles, reading, watch TV, and added cooking. I’ve never been fond of cooking but have always maintained a full pantry. Now that pantry provides me opportunities to be a bit more creative than I’ve been in the past. It helps that I have my own cookbook, The Super Simple Easy Basic Cookbook,  to fall back on.

All-in-all, this pandemic has treated me well. So far.

I wish we could say the same from those on the front lines: the doctors, nurses, caregivers, first responders, and the families of those who have succumbed to this horrible virus. My thoughts are with them all.

May the shortages stop and the line flatten quickly.

***

Insecure Writers Support Group Badge

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time – and return comments. This group is all about connecting!

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It’s Read an eBook Week – March 1-7: What are you reading?

The Insecure Writer’s Support Group (#IWSG)

Rather than answer the March 4 question posed by the group, I’ve chosen to write about this week’s national recognition on eReading.

It’s Read an eBook Week – March 1-7: What are you reading?

 Already, we’re into the third month of a new year. A year where I was going to do more writing and be more organized with my reading.

I have three shelves of double-stacked to-be-read (TBR) books. These are the remainders from last year’s thinning from fives shelves, where I got rid of books I knew I’d never read simply because my tastes have changed over time.

My TBR pile, though, isn’t going down quickly enough to suit me. I think I read only three of them last year, and I have just as many books on my Kindle, which I haven’t touched lately.

And now today, I learned that this week, March 1-7, is Read an eBook Week. Did you know that?

Are you like me with a huge assortment of books on your eReader?

So, here I am again, revisiting my wanting to do better.

And I am. One book at a time.

Right now, I’m finishing Mrs. Poe by Lynn Cullen. An excellent novel about Mrs. Francis Osgood, a poet who fell in love with Edgar Allan Poe and he with her. Osgood, too, became friends with his wife, Virginia, his first cousin whom he married when she was 13 and he was 26. A petite woman who behind the beautiful skirts and seemingly gentile manners was a conniving, jealous creature who wished harm on others, especially Mrs. Osgood–or was she?

Mrs. Poe has been a book difficult to put down. I highly recommend it including the notes at the end of the book.

Now finished, I need to dig into my TBR pile again. What other goodies lurk there for my reading pleasure?

So, what are you reading? Did it come out of your TBR pile?

***

Insecure Writers Support Group BadgePurpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time – and return comments. This group is all about connecting!

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A Valentine for You – With Love

Movies + Romance = The Key to My Heart

I’m a romantic in so many ways, it would take another blog to explain all of my many connections to Venus, the moon, nature, and more.

As a romantic, I adore love stories, both bittersweet and happily every after. Yes, I’m a Hallmark Channel junkie.

Combing Valentine’s Day this year with my love of movies, I’m sharing my top favorite romance movies in no particular order. These are my go-to romance movies, thus I’ve seen each of them multiple dozens of times.

Dangerous Beauty – With Catherine McCormack and Rufus Sewell. This is the movie where I really fell in love with Rufus. Based on a true story, it’s a movie about an aristocrat and one of the last courtesans of Venice. Just hearing the music score makes me want to go watch the movie again. In fact, I bought the music soundtrack. It’s that good.

The Love Letter – A Hallmark Channel movie with Jennifer Jason Leigh and Campbell Scott. A letter written in the 1860s is received by a man in 1998. Thus, begins their communication and a love story that transcends time. I fell in love with Campbell Scott.
The full movie can be viewed here.

Bridal Wave – A Hallmark Channel movie with Arielle Kebel and Andrew Walker. Laugh out loud funny and the very best of the best that Hallmark offers. Yup, I fell in love with Andrew Walker.

A Bride for Christmas – A Hallmark Channel movie. If you enjoyed Bridal Wave, you’ll enjoy these same two actors in this wonderfully funny Christmas movie.

Love Actually – With Hugh Grant, Liam Neeson, Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Colin Firth and more. Great actors, great scenes, funny moments, and there’s not a bad story in the bunch. I’ve always adored the men of this movie: Hugh, Liam, Alan, and Colin.

Pillow Talk – A classic with Doris Day & Rock Hudson. There’s one scene that makes me laugh out loud every time I see it. Every. Time. Another movie that I’ve seen dozens and dozens of times. How can you go wrong with Doris Day & Rock Hudson? And, who didn’t love Rock Hudson?

Possession – With Gwyneth Paltrow, Aaron Eckhart, Jeremy Northam, and Jennifer Ehle. Two stories, two time periods. Modern-day literary scholars are searching for any documentation on two different Victorian poets after one scholar happens upon some old papers where the second is mentioned. Could there be a connection? The second story features the two elusive Victorian poets and their forbidden secret love story. Book by A.S. Byatt. Yup, I fell in love with both Aaron and Jeremy.

Somewhere in Time – Christopher Reeves and Jane Seymour – He travels back in time to be with the woman he fell in love with through a picture on a museum wall. Filmed on Mackinac Island, Michigan, my all-time favorite vacation spot. Movie was adapted from the book, Bid Time Return by Richard Matheson, who also wrote the screenplay. I totally fell in love with Christopher here. Starting to see a pattern?

The Woodlanders – with Rufus Sewell and Emily Woof. Based on Thomas Hardy’s book, a story of two people—Giles and Grace—friends and childhood sweethearts destined for marriage. She’s now returned home from school wanting more. My favorite of Hardy’s stories.

Out of Africa – With Robert Redford and Meryl Streep. Her strength and determination and his…well everything combined with the majestic of Africa makes this movie unforgettable. I fell in love with the movie seeing the opening scene as the train, seen from a distance, is crossing the plain with the soundtrack music in the background. Another soundtrack CD that I own. Rightly so as the movie won Best Picture; Best Director; Best Screenplay Adaptation; Best Cinematography; Best Music, Original Score; Best Sound; and Best Art Direction-Set Decoration. Streep was nominated for Best Actress. Actually, I fell in love with Redford in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and The Way We Were. This movie just reinforced my why.

And finally, from Jane Austen’s books:

Pride & Prejudice – The 2005 version with Keira Knightley and Matthew McFadden. My most favorite of all the versions produced of Pride & Prejudice. Needless to say, I fell in love the Matthew McFadden.

Persuasion – The 1995 version with Ciaran Hinds and Amanda Root. The movie where I fell in love with Ciaran Hinds and absolutely adored and could relate to Anne, Amanda’s character.

Persuasion – The 2008 BBC adaptation with Sally Hawkins and Rupert Penny-Jones. I totally fell in love with Rupert here. There’s a second longer trailer behind the first one.

Sense & Sensibility – The 1995 version with Emma Thompson (won best actress Golden Globe award giving the best speech ever!), Alan Rickman, Kate Winslet, and Hugh Grant. I wish the screenplay’s actual music was playing in the background, but alas.

Sense & Sensibility – The 2008 BBC version with Hattie Morahan and Dan Stevens (of Downton Abbey fame). Screenplay written by Andrew Davies, one of my favorite screenwriters.

Sigh. If only…

Posted in Movies, Movies, Movies | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Pictures Worth More Than a Thousand Words

I’m one of those writers who finds stories everywhere: from conversations, articles I’ve read, seeing something in nature, from words a character in another story utters, from looking outside my window, from songs, from reading a list of poisons, visiting websites on history, and so forth.

The ideas that have lasted over decades, though, have come from pictures. Ironically, I still haven’t written a story from those ideas. Yet. I suspect because the ideas are still formulating.

I have two postcards propped against some books on a shelf, which I look at every time I’m sitting at my desk. Their inspiration is a dark mystery or even darker suspense/thriller. I found them in San Francisco in 1989 while attending a writer’s conference. On Halloween night in 1998, I started writing a screenplay where I scared myself so much, I put it away and haven’t returned to it since. Though, I haven’t stopped thinking about it. It’s time to get it back out and finish it!

During my first marriage, when decorating parties were the trend, I bought this set of three pictures in the 70s. They remind me of the English cottages and countryside, where I think of other times. They’ve hung on my office or bedroom wall in every home I’ve lived, and I look at them every day. A time travel always comes to mind that ties into a song that came out in the 70s, too. Every time I hear the song, the plot becomes more developed. It’s time I write that story, too!

So, why aren’t I sharing these pictures with you? I will when I write the stories. I wouldn’t want to give everything away right now, would I?

***

Insecure Writers Support Group BadgePurpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time – and return comments. This group is all about connecting!

Posted in #IWSG, Inspiration, writing | Tagged , | 19 Comments

It All Began With a Book Report

The Insecure Writer’s Support Group

 January 8 question – What started you on your writing journey? Was it a particular book, movie, story, or series? Was it a teacher/coach/spouse/friend/parent? Did you just “know” suddenly you wanted to write?

 It All Began With a Book Report

 I often quip that I began writing because it was cheaper than seeing a psychiatrist. That statement isn’t far from the truth because that’s when I began writing in earnest due to life’s frustrations. My real start, though, occurred a decade earlier.

In a tenth grade English class when I was fifteen, I had a book report assignment. We could write about a character, the plot, or the setting. I was reading James Michener’s Hawaii at the time and was enamored with his writing, especially the many pages where he detailed the setting, the formation of the islands. I wrote about the setting in about 100 words or so. I remember getting an A- for content and a B+ for grammar. It was the A- I couldn’t believe. I reread what I wrote and was surprised at how lyrical, how detailed my words were. I wrote that?

It didn’t sound like me, and yet it was me. A me that many didn’t know about. Plus, the writing was way better than anything I’d ever written before.

Rereading my words, I remembered the sensation of being taken to another place, a magical place I now recognize as the zone. Up until that time, the zone usually occurred when I was reading. Where I could be transported into a different time, a different place, where the world would fade away.

Looking back at that time now, I find it interesting that 1) neither parent ever read that report, let alone any of my other assignments (EVER.), and 2) that no one saw my fascination with words (mostly reading at that point) where they could help me move into a career that would have suited me better, far better than the path of secretary and bookkeeper, both of which I was good at. I didn’t hate the jobs, but I didn’t love them either. The jobs were a means to an end—earnings to pay the bills. Later, though, those skills would lead me into academia, which I did love.

Through the next fifty years after high school, I would write a lot, in various genres, for various audiences, and in various media. Since my creation of Sharpened Pencils Productions LLC, I have been publishing two books a year.

I have a lot of catching up to do.

So many projects, so little time.

*****

After much pondering and consideration for her New Year’s list of 2020 projects, which includes finishing the last six of the seven Laurel Ridge novellas (covers below), Diana has chosen to finish a grammar handbook, an academic nonfiction text, and a historical screenplay based on a true event.

Insecure Writers Support Group Badge

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time – and return comments. This group is all about connecting!

Posted in #amwriting, #IWSG, Blogging, Inspiration, writing | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

The One Trait Every Writer Needs

The One Trait Every Writer Needs

Originally posted on June 25, 2014 on my Only for the Brave blog, I offer this advice again. It’s advice that never gets old.

This trait is the one trait that finally saw me getting my first novel published. Originally, I had said if I wasn’t published with a novel by the time I turned 40, I would quit. At 40, I was so close, I couldn’t quit. At 42, I published my first book.

It’s a trait no writer should be without.

The one trait a writer can’t be without is PERSISTENCE.

The persistent writer:

    1. Submits their work.
    2. Accepts rejection. (It’s not personal).
    3. Accepts criticism.
    4. Wants criticism because they know growth occurs when mistakes are pointed out.  Plus, criticism means the writer engaged the reader, of if nothing else, hit a nerve.
    5. Pays attention to the details.
    6. Rewrites or revises, and rereads for polishing again.
    7. Resubmits.

And, repeats steps 6 & 7 repeatedly until SUCCESS (acceptance/publication) is finally achieved.

Posted in #amwriting, Motivation, Persistance, Publishing, writing | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

The Joy of Writing & Knowing When It’s Time to Quit

The Insecure Writer’s Support Group

December 4 question – Let’s play a game. Imagine. Role-play. How would you describe your future writer self, your life and what it looks and feels like if you were living the dream? Or if you are already there, what does it look and feel like? Tell the rest of us. What would you change or improve?

 Rather than answering these questions, I’ve chosen to write about an important topic that came up this past month.

 The Joy of Writing & Knowing When It’s Time to Quit

Throughout my writing career, I’ve seen a few writers who have said, “I’m quitting. It isn’t fun anymore. I’m not selling anything. No one is reading my stuff.” And, then, they do quit.

I’m watching a writer friend saying that they’re giving up writing. Many are rushing to the writer’s side, saying, Oh, no! Don’t quit, or This makes me so sad. It’s nice that they’re being empathic; however, I don’t think these people are listening. This writer is stating a truth, and I believe this writer actually wants someone to say it’s okay to quit or that it’s okay to take a long sabbatical.

A few are saying so but the words are wrapped in subtle positivity where the message of it’s okay to quit is buried in words of You’re talented in so many areas, and Don’t stop being creative.

Yes, there is creativity in all of us. Some are creative with yarn, others paint, others still with trash. Many are creative with food, decorating, playing a musical instrument, singing, and so forth. So many outlets for our creativity.

No one, though, can do everything well.

It can take years of trying and learning before a specific craft or art form is mastered. So, it goes: we try, quit, and try something else until we find that thing that fills us with passion.

There are some writers, though, who get lucky and find their passion and monetary success in a short amount of time. Unfortunately, those are the writers who too many of us compare ourselves to.

That said, writing is not for everyone.

Writing is hard.

Even for those of us who love to write, there are days that it makes us want to scream and cry out, Why am I doing this?

The other day someone was asking me if I’m able to write every day because I’m inspired. Not really. Somewhere along the way, an idea inspired me, but to do the actual first-draft writing, I’m usually gutting out the words. We know these words aren’t great and even somewhat stinky, fodder for the compost pile of prose as they read first written. We stick with it, though, knowing that stinky first words must occur because once shaped, they can become something wonderful—material that others want to read.

Thus, while the original writing comes first, writing is really about the rewriting. Hours and hours of rewriting.

It’s about rewriting, revising, polishing, and proofreading. And, for the self-published…promoting.

These are the parts that most people enamored with writing don’t want to do. Because it’s hard.

We writers don’t write every day because we’re inspired. We write because we put ourselves in the chair, turn on the computer, and just write—one word, one phrase, one sentence, one paragraph, one page at a time.

The joy comes once we get into the zone and where time ceases to exist, which for me can occur after a few paragraphs or a smattering of dialogue. It’s just getting those first words down that is sooooo hard.

Writing is a solitary craft.

  • Write because you have a story to tell.
  • Write because it excites you.
  • Write because you’re amazed that you wrote that.
  • Write because if you don’t, you’ll be miserable.
  • Write because you have a truth to share, characters who want their voices heard.
  • Write because you need to share.
  • Write because there’s no alternative activity or craft that provides the same joy.

Write because you simply have to.

Write because you’re willing to do the work!

A writer should never compare themselves to any other writer. Especially the monies earned, or what we think they’ve earned. Did you know that the average income for a writer is about $5,000 or less per year? AVERAGE!

It’s no mistake that so many writers teach, coach, edit for others, and work at jobs centered around writing. It allows them to earn an income that’s compatible with their passion.

Ultimately, no writer’s journey is the same as another’s.

So, to that writer who is talking about quitting, I say:

Listen to your inner voice, your gut feeling. You and you alone know why you want to quit. If writing isn’t fun, it’ll only make you angrier and more frustrated in the future.

Give yourself permission to know what’s right for you.

There is nothing wrong with saying, this path isn’t for me anymore.

If there’s no joy in what you’re doing, you’re doing the wrong thing.

Me? I’ll never quit writing. I enjoy it that much, even the repetitive, time-consuming, polishing, and proofreading parts.

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This year, Diana published Love’s New Beginnings and Tomorrow’s Wish for Love. She’s currently writing six novellas all at the same time because they are six couples with six stories, all living in the same community, and who are in and out of each other’s stories, which included the first novella, Shattered Dreams, that is already published. She’s working toward a 2020 publication for all six novellas.

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Insecure Writers Support Group BadgePurpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time – and return comments. This group is all about connecting!

http://www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com/

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