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IWSG November 2017


Quote of the Day: Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage. Anais Nin

It’s time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! Time to release our fears to the world – or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic. If you’d like to join us, click on the tab above and sign up. We post the first Wednesday of every month. You can also visit the founder Alex J. Cavanaugh for more info and links.

Last month, we were asked to take pictures of the IWSG swag. I won second place with a picture of me, my Phantom of the Opera mug of coffee, and Mr. Happy at my side. What fun! Thanks to The Biker Chef for taking the photo, thanks to IWSG admins for choosing my photo, and thanks to the authors who contributed their books and sent them to me. I’ll have good reading to get me through the long Minnesota winter!


My name is Mary Aalgaard and I'm an insecure writer. Sporting the IWSG swag and showing support for Insecure Writers everywhere.

My name is Mary Aalgaard and I’m an insecure writer. Sporting the IWSG swag and showing support for Insecure Writers everywhere. Photo by The Biker Chef (2nd place winner in the photo contest)

This month’s IWSG question is about NaNo, the write a novel in a month writing challenge, but I don’t participate in that challenge. I’m not even sure I’m a novelist. I write plays, articles, reviews, and short stories. What?! Yep. I wrote a story for the IWSG Anthology Contest, due today, and I even sent it in two days early. Look at me go. It was good to write something that had guidelines, and most importantly, a deadline. Even if my story doesn’t get selected for the anthology, it felt good to write it.

Last night, I saw Finding Neverland at the Orpheum Theater in Minneapolis, MN. It is a musical adaptation of the movie by the same name. It is the story behind Peter Pan and its creator J.M. Barrie. He was kind of in a slump. His plays were all starting to look and sound the same. He felt the need to write something different, but he found resistance from the producers, and his own creative muse. He meets and befriends Sylvia Llewelyn Davies and her four young sons. Her husband has recently passed away, and she and the boys are trying to make the best of their situation. Barrie’s imagination is sparked by the boys’ play-acting, and he begins to write his most famous work. 

Billy Harrigan Tighe and John Davidson in Finding Neverland Photo Credit Jeremy Daniel

I thought of all of us Insecure Writers while watching this performance. Barrie’s committee, the one that meets inside your head to tell you that you’re not good enough, was like Captain Hook. But, Barrie took that evil voice and turned it into a character, a whole cast of characters. He became the brave pirate and wrote the story that was on his heart.

The Cast of Finding Neverland Stronger photo Credit Jeremy Daniel

So, dear IWSG friends, draw your sword, leap on deck, swing from the ropes on the mast, and write the story that is on your heart! Today is your day to shine. All best to those of you taking the NaNo challenge!

Go. Create. Inspire!

Journaling Prompt: What does your evil committee look and sound like? Did you enter the anthology contest, or rise to any other challenge lately? 

  1. I love your Peter Pan/Captain Hook analogy Mary. And Mr. Happy always looks so happy. What’s his secret? (You do too – he must be rubbing off on you.) Thanks for the bright thoughts today!

  2. Congrats on the story submission, Mary!
    Love these words of encouragement:
    “Draw your sword, leap on deck, swing from the ropes on the mast, and write the story that is on your heart!”
    Thank you!
    Happy IWSG Day!

  3. All the best with your IWSG submission! Thanks for the writerly encouragement today. Much needed as we kick off NaNo this year 🙂

  4. How could we not pick that photo?
    Glad you submitted to the contest.
    I’ve never seen the play, but the movie was really good.

  5. Awesome pep talk, and good luck with the anthology submission.

    I need to see the movie (the odds of seeing the play are pretty much non-existent).

  6. Good luck with the contest! The play sounds fantastic, and I love how you tied it in to writers.

  7. I love Peter Pan stuff and pirates. Pirate figure into my space opera, lol. Wishing you the best. Juneta @ Writer’s Gambit

  8. Good luck with the anthology contest! I didn’t see Finding Neverland when it was up here in NYC, but I remember really enjoying the movie.

  9. Love the Nin quote. That’s one powerful writer.

    Congrats on winning the IWSG contest with a second place. That’s great. And good luck on your story submission. I wanted to enter, but as an Admin, I’m not allowed. 🙁

  10. It was a great photo! Good luck with your IWSG submission. You know, there’s nothing to say you have to write a book for NaNo, just 50k words. You could try writing a bunch of short stories.

  11. Your photo was just too cute!

    I’m sure we’ll enjoy your story. Thank you for submitting one.

  12. Hi Mary – love Peter Pan … so I’m sure I’d be inspired by the play and film … and as you say .. just submit – and hey presto – you win a prize … congratulations – and chedrs Hilary

  13. Heather M. Gardner says:

    Great post!
    Best of luck w/ your story!


  14. An enjoyable post, Mary, with a great analogy for writers. Congrats on placing second in the swag photo contest. And congrats, too, on your anthology submission ~ I’m looking forward to reading reading the analogy. I’ve been rising to lots of challenges in life lately! LOL Aren’t we all! Have a great November!

  15. That inner voice that tells us we aren’t good enough is one reason I have trouble submitting to anyone. If it wasn’t for the feedback from beta readers….

    Anna from elements of emaginette

  16. Good luck with your anthology story.
    I love you Captain Hook metaphor: very fitting.

  17. What a fantastic post! I smiled the whole time I read. Yay,you! on your anthology story. Your swag picture is too cool 😉 My ‘Evil Committee’ (love that!) has been exceptionally so of late. When I actually finished my story you could have heard a grasshopper sneeze! Your review, as always, makes me want to see the musical 😉

  18. Thank you so much for stopping by my blog and for your words of encouragement. It really meant a lot. Sorry I didn’t respond sooner; life happened. I would love to see a live performance of Finding Neverland. It’s just the kind of story that appeals to a writer or creative person. Best of luck with your anthology submission.

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