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IWSG November 2016


Quote of the Day: A writer lives life twice. Natalie Goldberg, Writing Down the Bones

Insecure Writers Support Group BadgeToday is the first Wednesday of the Month where dozens of bloggers share their insecurities and offer support and encouragement to one another. Please visit the Insecure Writers Support Group website, or Alex J. Cavanaugh, the founder of this group, to find the list of bloggers participating, or to sign up yourself!

Also, I am one of the co-hosts this month, which means I’ll be reading extra blogs and meeting new writers! The other co-hosts are: Joylene Novell ButlerJen Chandler, Lisa Buie Collard, Tamara Narayan, Tyrean Martinson, and Christine Rains! A great group of bloggers!

The IWSG has started asking a question, giving a prompt, for the monthly postings. This month the question is: What is your favorite aspect of being a writer? 

I have an aversion to being asked my favorite anything! In pretty much every area of my life, I don’t find that just one thing rises to the top. So, I’ll give you a few things I appreciate about being a writer. First, it’s a place for me to use my creative energy. I hear voices in my head, picture settings, conflicts, and conversations. I love releasing that energy into play writing, short stories, or articles. One of my favorite things about writing articles for our local women’s magazine is interviewing people in my community. I’m also working at a local senior living center where we are “Excavating Stories.” It is so interesting and a wonderful, beautiful way to share and document our stories. I’ll be writing an article about it for our local magazine, Her Voice. And, like is says in the Goldberg quote above: A Writer lives life twice. Once while we’re experiencing it, and again as we document it, blog about it, or share our writing and stories with others. I feel truly blessed by this gift.

Now, for the insecurities. I’m feeling like the wind has gone out of my sails right now. This is more about my creative life than a specific writing project. I’ve tried to build up a theatre program for kids in my area, and work on some of my own projects, and have not gotten the support I need. I’m feeling defeated. Maybe I should be putting my energies into something else. I’ve journaled about it and prayed about it. Now, I’m releasing it and will wait to see what happens next.

Go. Create. Inspire!

Journaling Prompt: What ways do you connect with people? How do you support the arts and artists in your area?


  1. Hi Mary! I think a theatre group for kids is a fantastic idea – totally my thing. I used to love doing things like that. So big support across the ether for that one!!! Keep going. Those kids will get so much out of it. Secondly, bags of support being shipped your way for the other projects too! Keep the faith. Things will balance out. Congratulations on being proactive and for making a difference. I admire what you are doing.

  2. I love the quote “a writer lives life twice”. It’s very true. 🙂

    That’s awesome that you are trying to build up the theatre program for kids in your area! I’m sorry you aren’t getting the support you need. I think people don’t value the arts as much as they value the sciences and maths. Especially with the economy like it is. :-/ Hopefully you will find a way to convince someone important that there is value in children’s theatre; after all it only takes one person, the right person, for you to receive the financial support you need. (I’m assuming finances are the key player in the support you need?)

    Good luck with co-hosting IWSG! That is quite the undertaking! Thank you for all you and all of the other co-hosts do for the group! 🙂

  3. I enjoyed reading this Mary thank you – I also don’t like to be asked what is my favourite … 🙂 You clearly have many projects in mind, I wish you support in all. These things can take time as in the theatre for kids. Maybe people are too wound up right now with the upcomng election?

  4. All you can do is give it over to God.
    Those are some really unique projects you’re working on. You’re going to learn so much from them.
    Thanks for co-hosting today!

  5. That is a wonderful quote and captures the writing process really well for me. I know what you mean about being asked what your favorite thing is. I always struggle to answer those kind of questions. Thanks for co-hosting!

  6. Writers really do live twice as much life, eh? I LOVE that project with the seniors. SO cool. Way to do something meaningful and fulfilling.

    I think you need some cheese. Some epic cheese–and then some sunshine. Do you know how awesome you are? Just sayin’.

  7. Hi Mary,
    Thanks for co-hosting. I hope the children’s theatre project picks up – sometimes it takes a while for things to snowball and for other people to ‘get’ the importance, but that sort of thing means a lot to the kids, they can get so much out of it.
    I love the sound of your seniors project too – I wish I’d thought to know more about my grandparents but it was too late by the time I appreciated the significance. Getting those personal histories is priceless.

  8. I feel the same way. I hate someone asking me to name my favorite anything, because I usually have a handful of ‘favorites.’ I’m always like “can I make you a list?”

  9. Oh, I wish we had someone like you in our community. My younger daughter is afraid that she won’t get to participate in a school play this year because the music teacher who ran last year’s show transferred to another school and we have no idea if the new music teacher will take up the reins. As a fifth grader, this is her last chance.

    Love the quote. I guess the more you write, the more lives you get to experience.

    • And, even if the music teacher does a program, there’s no guarantee that every kid gets a part. Oh, they can be chorus. But, there are few opportunities where everyone gets to have a part that they’re proud of.

  10. Marvelous quote! There are so many things I love about being a writer too. It is difficult to choose any one thing. The wind will blow again, and you’ll be sailing on the waves of creativity. It’s a pleasure co-hosting with you this month. 🙂

  11. I love the Excavating Stories for the seniors! What a great way to record history and help seniors feel valued.

  12. The very best of luck with the children’s theatre group – It sounds like a wonderful project. I also like the idea of “Excavating Stories.” I’ll bet you hear a lot of fascinating tales, something out of another world. Thanks so much for co-hosting IWSG this month!

  13. Holy cow, Mary, your plate is full. Are you sure you’re not exhausted? Probably not; you’re young. I think what you’re doing is admirable. You’re an inspiration. Good things happen to good people. I hope you get some support for the theatre. You deserve it.

  14. I think we all feel that defeated notion now and then. But we keep on going because writers are tough.

  15. The “Excavating Stories” project sounds wonderful!

    And you’re right about sometimes having to ultimately release the problems, the concerns, out into the universe and see what happens.

  16. Hi Mary!

    Thanks for helping us co-host this month. I love the idea of the children’s theater group. I’m a fan of anything that promotes the arts especially to young people. I’m sorry you haven’t gotten the support you need yet. Don’t give up!! There’s always a need for the arts and people WILL help you in time.

    We support the arts by going to as many performances and galleries as we can. My husband bought me an annual membership to our local art museum for my birthday this year and I love being able to say I’m now an official “patron of the arts”. In Savannah, there are so many groups trying to push the arts to the community, especially to young people. It’s encouraging to know you’re out there doing the same in your area!

    Best of luck to you!

    • That’s wonderful, Jen. I’m also a member of our art institute in MN. Minneapolis Institute of Arts! Go. Create. Inspire! And, thank YOU for co-hosting this month, as well.

  17. I hope things turn around for you on the theater project. It’s such a worthwhile endeavor.

    I love the quote about writers living life twice. So perfect!

    Thanks for co-hosting today.

  18. How cool that you interview people for local pubs. I always wanted to do that, but it never fully took off. I enjoy fiction writing and blogging. Good luck with Nano!

    Here’s my IWSG post for November: YA Author Stephanie Scott

  19. I love the networking aspect of this writing journey!
    Mary, you are doing a wonderful job with the kids theatre project. It’s sad to read that you’re not getting the support you should. Just hang in there. Don’t give up.
    Thanks for co-hosting the IWSG this month.
    Happy IWSG Day!

  20. I get down like that too. It’s hard putting a ton of effort into something and then not feeling positive results. I’m glad you’re sharing though. Sometimes just talking about our challenges helps put things into a better perspective. 🙂

  21. I suggest trying something completely new and just for you. Let it come back naturally. 🙂

    Anna from elements of emaginette

  22. I also have difficulties with naming “favorites.” I’m taking an on-line writing class and one of the first off we were asked to introduce ourselves and identify our favorite female author. Really? Just one? Where to start? Sorry to hear that support is lacking – that can really be soul sucking. But that kids’ theater group is going to light some creative fires! Thanks for co-hosting today.

  23. I certainly know what it’s like to lose motivation in various aspects of life. Not too long ago, I felt that way. I had no motivation for anything. Even my blog fell by the wayside. I was even unsure if I wanted to continue it. Things have pretty much gotten back on track, but I still lose motivation from time to time. That’s why the IWSG is such a blessing. Or finding the encouragement from others who appreciate what you do in the writing field of your life. Well, I’m still looking for that, but I’m not giving up. Don’t worry, even with motivation, it comes and goes at times. You will find your muse soon enough. I think some times they take vacation without telling us.

  24. I’m so glad I’m not the only one who hears voices in their head. That’s very reassuring. 🙂

    Thank you for co-hosting!

  25. I hope you can find the inspiration, support, and energy to do what you’d like to do.

  26. Thanks for co-hosting this month, Mary. I also write for a local newspaper, and the most marvelous part of it is interviewing my heroes. Most of them are artists, an amazingly interesting bunch.
    Sorry for your recent disappointments, but I’m sure this phase is temporary. Something good will come your way soon.

  27. My kids have been in theater groups, and the amount of time and energy the coordinators have to put into it is absolutely daunting. I salute you for even trying.

    Thanks for co-hosting this month’s IWSG!

  28. I was very intrigued by your answer to this month’s question. Especially the receiving part: I hear voices in my head. And the releasing part: transforming the energy into writing.
    Thank you for squeezing in the time to co-host IWSG.

  29. Thanks for being a co-host this month, Mary. Like you, I hate having to name my favorite anything. I always think of 3 or 4, then when I reread what I’ve written, I think of more. So many wonderful things to love about writing.

  30. Trying to organize a bunch of creative moving pieces without support is such a grind! I totally know how you feel. Your theatre for kids project sounds very cool. I myself needed that growing up because, idle hands! I hope you find the support you need. Thank you for co-hosting!

  31. So sorry to hear that the theatre group is a problem. Breathe and give it some time. It sounds like a great project. I like the quote about living life twice. I think it’s true! I work with seniors with writing memoir. They have wonderful stories to tell. I’ve joined your blog. All the best to you!

  32. Louise (Fundy Blue) says:

    Thanks for co-hosting, Mary! I hope your sails billow with wind very soon! I’m a big believer in introducing theatre to kids, so I hope things start improving for you there. Good luck!

  33. First, thanks for stopping by my blog.
    Second, great post. I never considered that a question like this would bother some people. For me, no one ever really asks me my opinion on anything, so when I have a chance to offer it, I take it.
    Sorry to hear about your lack of support, but I fear it’s a common thing. I tried to put something together to give books to kids and was underwhelmed by the response, probably because I wanted to give them new books, not used ones. Oh well. A theater program sounds like a winner to me. I hope it all works out.

  34. Children’s theatre project sounds like fun, hopefully it picks up. Yep, many things indeed at ones feed.

  35. Thanks for sharing Goldber’s quote. This book is one that encouraged and inspired me to continue to write. I have done many interviews for papers and magazines. I feel blessed and privileged when a person trusts me to tell their story. The excavating stories project is a worthwhile one. We must record our histories for future generations. Enjoyed your blog post very much. Your kids’ theater project is an ambitious one. Is there a foundation in your area you can approach for funding or ask a theater teache, even a group of high school/college age theater students for help? Best wishes on all your projects!
    JQ Rose

  36. I love that quote you shared by Goldberg—it’s so true! That is one great thing about being a writer!

    And how wonderful that you are building a theatre program for kids! I know how tough it can be when you don’t receive the support you need, especially when tackling a big project like this, but don’t quit! Keep reaching out and hopefully someone will recognize the importance of stepping up and helping out. I hope it all works out for you! Best of luck!

  37. Excellent. Hearing those creative voices in one’s head. I think those creative voices are parts of us that want to be heard and we writers have the opportunity to listen to them and write.
    Thank you for co-hosting.
    Shalom aleichem,

  38. Excavating Stories sounds like a lovely activity. More places should do things like that.

    I’m sorry that you haven’t received the support you need. I sure hope you do, because theater programs for kids is very important.

  39. Holy moly, you have a lot of comments here. I’m like you Mary regarding the “favorite thing.” Do we have to pick just one? No. I remember when I was discovering Natalie’s insights and how expanded my thoughts about writing. I share your love of interviewing people and opening that door to invite them to share their stories. What a blessing it is to us to help open the door of the soul. I also love that we have an outlet to place our creative thoughts and energy. I know that we are blessed in our lives to have this, and not everyone can follow through on their creative thoughts. Though I have experienced closed doors too, almost always, another opens in its place. I know that will happen with you too but it can be perplexing waiting or trying to figure out what new possible door to tap on. However, I’m confident your creative genius will not go to waste; it’s too valuable. I’m rooting for you friend!

  40. I fully understand that let down feeling when you just don’t get the support you need for a project. It’s worse when it’s something that means a lot to you. I truly hope that something or someone comes up to help you get that theater project done.

    I love the idea of collecting stories from the elderly. They have so many wonderful stories, that will be forgotten otherwise. Keep up that wonderful work.

  41. Anything to encourage kids to be creative and allow them to express themselves should be supported. Good for you for trying! I have always connected to people better via emails and the written word. Living an alternative lifestyle on the road and the water has only confirmed that. Because of our not having a real home, supporting the arts of any area is quite impossible! 🙂

  42. It is always hard to choose only one favorite . . .but I like your list. 🙂

  43. A theatre group for children sounds like such a wonderful idea, so sorry to hear you’re not getting the support you need, but releasing it to see what happens is also a wonderful idea.

    I also like your expression of ‘excavating stories’ especially from an older generation. There is so much to learn there and often we forget that and let those stories slip away.

    There really are so many things to love abut writing, aren’t there?

  44. LOL, being ask my fave also makes me antsy. I vacillate between answer driving myself nuts. Great post. Thanks for stopping by and saying to me.

    Figure out my commenting problem. It is the log on,when use Google log on on blogs I can comment.

  45. Thank you so much for co-hosting this month! I am so sorry you are running into problems with your theatre program. It seems like such a good idea. Have you tried pitching the media and corporations for support? I am going to think really good thoughts for you.

  46. You’re a playwright?! Neat! Don’t give up hope on your project. Have you branched out to see if there’s any interest outside of your area?

    And thank you for co-hosting!

  47. It’s great that you’re trying to get the kids in your community involved in the arts. Especially, considering how many such school programs are being cut nowadays. Don’t give up hope and thanks for co-hosting!

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