Quote of the Day: When I face the impossibility of writing five hundred pages, a sick sense of failure falls on me, and I know I can never do it. Then, gradually, I write one page and then another. One day’s work is all I can permit myself to contemplate. John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America
Today is 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.
I am one of the co-hosts today along with Patsy Collins at Womagwriter, Nancy Gideon, Jennifer Lane, and Louise – Fundy Blue.
Question of the Month: Blogging is often more than just sharing stories. It’s often the start of special friendships and relationships. Have you made any friends through the blogosphere?
Great question, and an easy one to answer. Yes! I’ve made great connections with other writers whom I consider to be friends. I’ve met a few in person. One is the Texas Playwright Chick, Cher. She doesn’t blog anymore under that title, but I clicked on her page early in my own blogging journey. We’re both playwrights, love theater, and have talented singer sons of the same age. She came to Minnesota with her son a few years ago for a music study opportunity. We met in Minneapolis and attended a show together, and talked and talked. I hope to visit her some day soon in her native Texas. Other bloggers I’ve connected with are also in the Tick Tock: A Stitch in Crime Anthology. I feel particularly connected to C. Lee McKenzie. I enjoy her writing, comments, and plan to visit her beautiful state some day soon, as well. Perhaps, we can meet for coffee? Of course, Alex, the champion of all Insecure Writers. You’re a gift to this world. I also have much in common with Michelle, Writer-in-Transit. She’s a writer, piano teacher, and lover of the arts. I would be so excited to meet her in person. I believe she lives in South Africa. I’ve been worried about Roland from Writing in the Crosshairs, who became homeless after the latest hurricane hit Louisiana. I feel like I have friends all over the world. I could write about more blogger friends. I appreciate all of you!
My insecurity links back to the Steinbeck quote above. It is a daunting task to think about writing 65,000 words, or whatever the proper length of your novel. I’m up to 45,000 words, which sounds impressive when you tell people, but it needs more. The story’s not done. I want to travel the route of the novel, but Covid still rages. I write and worry, Is this any good? Will people read it and think its mundane, dorky, cheesy, overly dramatic, or worse, boring? It’s hard to shut up the critics in my head. But, I follow my teacher Candace Simar’s advice, to write every day, even if it’s just one sentence, one page, heck, even one word. I find myself jotting down ideas on tiny scraps of paper and leaving them all over the house! Some day, when my kids go through my things, they’ll discover a confusing paper trail. I hope they’ll realize it’s mostly story ideas!
Keep writing and creating, my friends. So glad we made this connection!
Go. Create. Inspire!
Journaling Prompt: What do you do when you hear those little critic voices in your head that try to sabotage your creative work?
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The list of friends you made through blogging was a pleasure to read. I’ve had similar experiences with bloggers, specially through the IWSG, and WEP (Write Edit Publish). Lovely question for this month. Thanks for co-hosting the IWSG.
I subscribe to the theory that it only takes 500 words a day to write a novel in less than a year. I don’t write 500 words a day all the time, but I can and it’s a small snippet to get to a greater goal. Thank you for hosting IWSG this month!
500 words doesn’t sound scary at all. And, you’re right. They add up.
Thank you for co-hosting. What a wonderful group of friends you have! Gosh, those small steps are so huge sometimes. The writing journey is the most rewarding, though.
Yes, it is. I’ve been having fun with my novel. Some emotions, too.
Write what you can now and then confirm details later when you are able to travel.
Glad you connected with so many of your IWSG anthology fellow authors. May they keep you writing.
Thanks for co-hosting today.
Thanks, Alex. Will do!
Hi Mary, so glad we connected via blogosphere 🙂
Hi Rachna, me too!
I haven’t been good about commenting on blogs for a while. But I love reading about the people we have in common. I think of Lee as a friend as well and would love to meet her one day.
Yes, and you, too, Bish. You have such thoughtful writing.
You have a wonderful list, Mary. I agree, blogging has changed my life too. And yes, the quote is deeply moving because as writers we understand exactly what Mr. Steinbeck felt.
I’m right there today. But, one word, one sentence, one page at a time.
Love the quote, Mary!! Thanks for being a fellow co-hostess this month! Isn’t it fun to meet so many new and talented people?!
Yes. And, a happy day to celebrate all the connections!
That is a great quote! I have a set word goal on my writing days and stop when I hit it to keep the mojo alive ;). Happy IWSG day!
Good advice, Marie!
I definitely gained more friends through Tick Tock!!
That’s a great Steinbeck quote – and I feel it. I’m at almost 35k with this new story and I’m just not sure how my MCs are going to make it all work!
I hear ya.
Isn’t it amazing that we know so much about and care about each other? The connections I’ve made online have given me a broader perspective in many areas: writing, of course, but also personal challenges and miseries and those wonderful moments of success and triumph!
When you land in CA let me know! What a great conversation we can have.
Oh, I will!
Thanks for co-hosting this month. I love this post. I too feel like I have friends all around the world. Wishing you all the best with your writing. One page at a time.
I’m right there with you.
Joining hands (virtually) with you today.
It was a nice easy IWSG question this month! My answer is much like yours – I’ve made friends and met some of them.
I’m so glad you’ve made so many wonderful connections through blogging! I really hope you get to meet Cher in Texas again soon.
Yes, and Texas sounds pretty good about now. It will be sub-zero temps here this weekend!
Break down those giant tasks into bite-sized bits! I’m not going to swallow a whole elephant, just a bite… I think my metaphor just went off the rails. But I’m not writing 80K words today. I’m writing 1600 or whatever. And I’m not doing that this minute, I’m writing this paragraph. You know the drill 🙂
As for the voices saying my work isn’t good enough… hard to silence them when I look at my sales. But sometimes I look at other books in my genre and I can’t help thinking I’m not half bad!
Rebecca, you are much better than half bad!!! I know!!! I’ve read several of your books!!!
Rebecca, like Louise said, More than half-bad. You’re an inspiration!
Go.Create. Write. I like that. You are experiencing everything that I experience on a daily basis. I am sorry to say it never goes away for me. But there are times, when I smile and think, everything is going to be fine…chill.
Thank you for co-hosting.
So true, Cathrina. It’s actually helpful to see that accomplished authors still have the doubts. Yet, persevere.
What a heartwarming post, Mary! I enjoyed hearing about your blogging friendships and connections. I think I can manage one word today. Your paper trail comment made me laugh. I have a deepening pile of scraps of paper with numbers and words piling up on my breakfast table like some packrat colony’s midden. It’s quite scary and increasingly discouraging. Perhaps I should start with one scrap of paper ~ LOL! Have a great IWSG Day!
Yes, Louise, one scrap at a time!
“Write every day” is excellent advice. If I don’t at least touch my WIP, I lose the thread. 45K words is quite a lot! I wish you happy writing in February.
You mentioned some wonderful blogger friends and there are so many more out there. It’s great that it allows us to make so many valuable connections. Definitely, one day at a time is all we can do when it comes to writing.
So true, Nick!
Even just jotting down ideas and notes for later, that counts.
Everyone’s responses today have been a clear ‘yes’ and it’s so encouraging to read this many positive posts. A truly happy IWSG day to you, and thanks for co-hosting this month 🙂
Yes! I agree, SE. Nice to read about connections and positive posts.
We should all take John Steinbeck’s words to heart. East of Eden will always be one of my favorite books, but contemplating writing such a tome is, indeed, intimidating.
As part of IWSG, I, too, have found many friends among the ranks. This is such a great group! Thanks for co-hosting today.
I agree, Lee!
Good luck with that novel. I just have to remind myself to keep putting one word after another. They soon grow 🙂
Thanks for co-hosting today!
So true, Jemima!
Thanks for the chance to “meet” some of your blogging friends. @samanthabwriter from
Thanks for stopping by, Samantha!
You always hear the same, about “will anyone like it” when putting out our work. I feel it every time. Plus I hate having to market. I feel like I should want to market, be excited about the work being done and out there. But all I want to do is go back and write another one and not worry about selling. IWSG really helps me keep perspective on my inhibitions and I don’t feel so alone. Thanks for co-hosting this month!
Thanks, Lisa. So true. It’s hard to self-promote.
Thanks for co-hosting! Unfortunately, many of my blogging friends haven’t been active, or have only very rarely blogged anymore, over the last five or so years. It seems the writing blogosphere was a much different place in the first half of the 2010s.
Yes, Carrie-Ann, I think it was more interactive. Bloggers come and go.
Glad you have made so many friends, Mary. And thanks for being co-host. I will look out your Stitch in Crime anthology.
Thank you for co-hosting this month. Your post is inspiring.
I’ve made several friends through blogging and social media but have yet to meet one in person. Perhaps one day I will get that chance.
I hope you do, Carrie Ann!
Thank you for stopping by my blog today. I treasure you and love popping in here. Please never stop writing!!
I hate that Roland is having a hard time. It so easy for things to change for the worse in a blink of an eye.
My November writing project is at 47000. My goal was 50000, but 47000 is just fine. I’m resting it for a while and when I go back will fill in more about the setting which I want to be huge in it. I want to flesh out the characters. I also want to put more criminal element in. Right now they are just thrown in there. So there is more I can do, but I need to step away. One day I hope to get it to 65000-70000. Good luck on your writing. 40 thou is a lot of words.
That sounds great, T. You made it to 47000, which is great. I’m the same. I have the basic structure of the novel almost done, now to add the details to fill it out.
I find blogging and vlogging to be grounding for sure, especially these days. Great post. Thank you for co-hosting!
Excellent post. Great way to answer the question and to tie it writing.
Thanks, J Lenni
I think Steinbeck’s quote could apply to so many other things, too, but definitely great for us writers.
Thanks for co-hosting. I’ve made lots of friends–including Lee–through blogging. And I get your insecurity about your work. I’m at a little over 50,000 words in my manuscript, which is only my second. I’m moving toward the end of Act II. I try to write or revise a little most days. And I’m seeing how I’m making progress. I hope you’re seeing that too.
Yes, Natalie. We’re at about the same place in our novels. We’ll persevere together.
I can relate to what you have written. I am most critical of my work and wonder whether what I have written is any good, but as you have stated, writing every day, even a little bit helps.
Good luck and thank you for sharing.
Thanks, Luciana. It’s hard to shut the voices up.
Love the Steinbeck quote. After a disastrous writing year 2020, I decided to write a paragraph a day. It works. I always write more than a paragraph. But aiming to write more was too much. Good luck to you on your writing. Thanks for cohosting this month.
I like that, Diane. It’s similar to what I tell my piano students. Play for 10 minutes. We all have 10 minutes. And, of course, it leads to more.
Glad to hear that you’ve made quite a few friends through blogging. The Blogosphere has been a blessing for so many of us!
I want to travel to see the setting locations of my novels, even though they are already written. One day… Thanks for co-hosting.
Thanks for co-hosting in February! You made me think of people who used to blog but who I still follow on Instagram!
Thanks. Yes, Insta seems to be a place that many people are gravitating towards.