Tag Archives: #IWSG


How the spring season inspires me to write

It’s spring! It’s the 1st Wednesday of the month again. That’s when I take part in Alex J. Cavanaugh’s Insecure Writer’s Support Group. I encourage you to check out their website and even sign up for the IWSG Newsletter. Even though it seemed like it would never arrive, spring is here! Today I will explore whether the season inspires me to write, or not, as I answer this month’s IWSG Day question:It’s spring! Does this season inspire you to write more than other seasons, or not?The Short AnswerNo.  I always want to write.But…But each season inspires me to write in a different way.I believe strongly that there is a natural rhythm throughout the calendar year, which can help us in everything we do, whether it’s celebrating seasons and holidays with family and friends, worshiping God, learning or working. Marketing gurus figured this out, long ago. Why not allow our creative endeavors to be assisted by the calendar?How each season inspires me to writeLet’s start with how the spring season inspires me to writeBeginning in 2017, I started participating in the A to Z Blogging Challenge. It’s a wonderful way to start out the year because if for some reason, I don’t get Read more…


It’s the 1st Wednesday of the month again. That’s when I take part in Alex J. Cavanaugh’s Insecure Writer’s Support Group. I encourage you to check out their website and even sign up for the IWSG Newsletter. Today I will reminisce about the day I published my first book and what I do after accomplishing a writing goal, as I answer this month’s IWSG Day question:March 7 question – How do you celebrate after accomplishing a writing goal?My entire life I dreamed of being a writer. Unfortunately, when it came time to decide what I would do with my life, I foolishly listened to the people who said it was an unrealistic goal.  I shouldn’t expect to make a living as a writer. Instead, I took less fulfilling, minimum wage jobs in restaurants, nursing homes, and then later as a seamstress. I did find fulfillment later, as a wife and a mother.Fast forward twenty-five years… I had things to say to the world; things that mattered. My husband discovered hard swollen lymph nodes above his left collarbone and our family’s life was turned upside down.  He had cancer. I began to write privately about life with cancer, how it affected our children, Read more…


It’s the 1st Wednesday of the month again. That’s when I take part in Alex J. Cavanaugh’s Insecure Writer’s Support Group. I encourage you to check out their website and even sign up for the IWSG Newsletter. Today I will explore putting a schedule in place for writing. I’ll focus on the genre of self-help as it relates to writing about cancer, as I answer this month’s IWSG Day question:February 7 question – What do you love about the genre you write in most often?If you want to have some fun, take a look at the Wikipedia page for the list of writing genres. You may be surprised at how many there are. So, it’s difficult for me, as a writer to choose just one. My favorite thing to write is fiction, especially mysteries. But at this point in time, I write more non-fiction. If I had to narrow it down to a specific genre, it would be self-help. Until I got this question, I never would have categorized writing about cancer that way. It’s interesting to note my reason for writing about cancer is to help people.My first book, Facing Cancer as a Friend, How to Support Someone who has Cancer, Read more…


It’s the 1st Wednesday of the month again. That’s when I take part in Alex J. Cavanaugh’s Insecure Writer’s Support Group. I encourage you to check out their website and even sign up for the IWSG Newsletter. Today I will explore putting a schedule in place for writing. I’ll focus especially on blog writing/publishing, as I answer this month’s IWSG Day question:What steps have you taken to put a schedule in place for your writing and publishing?Success in a blog schedule starts with making a plan.A plan for your blog schedule starts with inspiration. Last fall, I read Meera Kothand’s book, The One Hour Content Plan. I’ve read a lot of books on planning your blog content, but this one actually inspired me to do it. She recently published the Create Blog and Editorial Planner. I used the planner as part of my end of the year planning to put together a rough schedule for 2018. BrainstormBrainstorm Big Projects- Come up with a couple of big projects you’d like to complete and launch in the next 6 months to a year. A project might be a book, a webinar or a product. What problems does your project solve? Prepare your audience to be Read more…


It’s the 1st Wednesday of the month again. That’s when I take part in Alex J. Cavanaugh’s Insecure Writer’s Support Group. I encourage you to check out their website and even sign up for the IWSG Newsletter. Today I will look back 2017 and consider my successes and failures, as I answer this month’s IWSG Day question:As you look back on 2017, with all its successes/failures,if you could backtrack, what would you do differently?Rating My Successes and FailuresMy writing life is comprised of several different aspects. I’ll share a few of them and how I view my successes and failures in each one. I will give each a rating from 1-5, with 5 being completely successful to 1 being a complete failure.My BlogDuring the first part of the year, I really struggled with consistency, not only in getting posts out on a regular basis but with the quality of those posts. Part of the problem was not having a specific audience in mind for my blog. After all, I write about cancer, caregiving, and writing. About halfway through the year, I read a book by Meera Kothand called The One Hour Content Plan. It completely recharged my battery and got me on Read more…


It’s the 1st Wednesday of the month again. That’s when I take part in Alex J. Cavanaugh’s Insecure Writer’s Support Group. I encourage you to check out their website and even sign up for the IWSG Newsletter. Today I will share my experience with NaNoWriMo and critique groups, as I answer this month’s IWSG Day question:Win or not, do you usually finish your NaNoWriMo project?Have any of them gone on to be published?NaNoWriMo 2016Last year, I participated in NaNoWriMo. It was a great experience. I did win. I completed my VERY rough draft of about 75,000 words during the month of November 2016. Since then, I’ve completely rewritten it, changing characters, the plotline, even the genre. It started out as a cozy mystery and has morphed into more of a “procedural-lite.” I feel like I’ve lost some of the things I liked the most about the earlier version. On the other hand, I’ve closed a lot of plot holes and made the characters more believable in this version.My Critique GroupI’m on the verge of bringing this new incarnation of my novel to the critique group I’m a part of. I do this with great hesitance. I truly feel insecure about it. What if Read more…


Police

It’s the 1st Wednesday of the month again. That’s when I take part in Alex J. Cavanaugh’s Insecure Writer’s Support Group. I encourage you to check out their website and even sign up for the IWSG Newsletter. Today I will share about how spending time with the local police and firefighters has helped me make my characters and scenes more realistic, as I answer this month’s IWSG Day question:Have you ever slipped any of your personal information into your characters, either by accident or on purpose?What do you know?I love the old axiom “write what you know.” Unfortunately, that can be somewhat limiting. In the mystery I am writing, I’ve been able to make the characters more realistic but drawing on emotions I’ve felt; emotions that we’ve all felt: fear, guilt, love, protectiveness, and anger. But what about details?I’m not a Police OfficerThe main characters in the mystery I’m writing are in law enforcement. One is a conservation warden for the DNR. Another is a police detective. I’ve never been either of those. I like to have realism in my writing, so I decided to take an opportunity to get a close-up look at the way law enforcement agencies handle things from Read more…


It’s the 1st Wednesday of the month again. That’s when I take part in Alex J. Cavanaugh’s Insecure Writer’s Support Group. I encourage you to check out their website and even sign up for the IWSG Newsletter. Today I will share about how hard it can be to make changes in your writing as I answer this month’s IWSG Day question.The IWSG Day question for September is: Have you ever surprised yourself with your writing?What has surprised me are the times when I have made changes, despite how difficult it is to do.Artists, including (perhaps, especially) writers, get very attached to their work. The creative process is often compared to “birthing” something. Just as when you have an actual child, you become quite protective over it. I have learned that this analogy is a good one, but the timing is off. We conceive of an idea. Then the creative process is that time in the womb. Just as a child changes dramatically during its 9 months in the womb, a novel, or other forms of writing will change dramatically before it comes into the world to be seen.I recall twenty years ago when I had my first ultrasound. I was pregnant with Read more…


It’s the 1st Wednesday of the month again. That’s when I take part in Alex J. Cavanaugh’s Insecure Writer’s Support Group. The IWSG Day question for July is: What is one valuable lesson you’ve learned since you started writing? My answer: Take Time.This is the perfect topic for me to write about right now. I just got back from our family’s annual “Erickson Cabin Week.” About 25 of us (the number varies slightly each year) go to Woman Lake Lodge where we spend time together, swim, read, and play games.I recently had surgery on my foot and can’t bear weight on it for 6 weeks. That made cabin week a little different for me this year. I made the best of it, though. Family members came to visit me each day and during the quiet time, I worked on my mystery novel.A year ago, I completed the rough draft. I felt so accomplished. It was surely a mystery of Agatha Christie quality. Fast forward.It’s awful. There are so many plot holes. I have too many characters. The murder happens too late in the book. The loose ends are unraveling everywhere!The worst part of it is that it’s a wonderful story. It’s worth saving. But Read more…


It’s the 1st Wednesday of the month again. That’s when I take part in Alex J. Cavanaugh’s Insecure Writer’s Support Group.  This June, the question insecure writers are writing about is: Did you ever say I quit? If so, what happened to make you come back to writing?When my husband and I were first married, Dan was working part time as a Realtor and thanks to the housing market implosion, a full-time bus driver.I was a contract sewer. The kind that sews things, not the thing waste water passes through. I also was homeschooling our 3 daughters.It was quite a trick to juggle those tasks with blending our families. Thankfully, we made the wise decision to say, I quit. Dan quit his bus driving job to sell real estate full time, and I quit sewing to concentrate on my family.To make up for the lost income, we ruthlessly cut out anything in life that wasn’t essential. There was one exception. We still took family trips together. They were taken on a shoestring budget, but we experienced the most important thing about family vacations—each other.Less than 3 years later…Dan would be diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. I was so glad Read more…

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