IWSG was created by Ninja Captain Alex J Cavanaugh — because Alex understands we need a safe place to congregate, insecurity is part of our creative nature, and together we’re stronger.
On the first Wednesday of each month, you can write on any subject related to your writing journey or adopt the option of answering the month’s question. Either way, you’re in safe territory.
If this sounds like a good place to be, sign up here.
IWSG’s Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and the hashtag is #IWSG.
June 1 question – When the going gets tough writing the story, how do you keep yourself writing to the end? If you have not started the writing yet, why do you think that is and what do you think could help you find your groove and start?
The hosts for this month are:
Natalie Aguirre http://www.literaryrambles.com/
Cathrina Constantine http://cathrinaconstantine.blogspot.com
Jacqui Murray https://worddreams.wordpress.com/
SE White https://sewhitebooks.com/
Insecure Writer’s Support Group Website!
In answer to this month’s question…
I struggled for four years to write the last 4000 words of my unpublished manuscript, Shattered. I wish I could simplify the answer, but the truth is I forced myself to persevere. I stopped the negative spiel about how I’d started writing Shattered in my head back in 2006 and didn’t start the first chapter until 2007. Other stuff was going on during that period, but still…
In 2017, we sold our house and moved across the road to our property to live in our 5th wheel. After wintering in Bucerias, in 2018, we drove across Canada to New Brunswick to go camping for two summers with our grandchildren. I promised myself that this time I’d definitely finish Shattered. I only had three/four chapters to write. How hard could it be? I’d already published three times, and another manuscript was finished. What was one more completed manuscript?
Apparently, quite an undertaking.
After promising myself in 2017, 2018, 2019, and again in 2020, Covid arrived. And life changed. I realized I needed to switch directions. Whatever I was doing wasn’t working. I stopped making promises. I reached out to close friends about how they saw the ending to the story. I knew I couldn’t use their suggestions—I needed the element of surprise—but it was okay; their enthusiasm was contagious.
I followed creative writing blogs, I read great suspense novels, and studied Alex Sokoloff’s lessons on dissecting 3-act plays. I wrote numerous possible endings, each one a tiny bit better than the last, until one day I knew I was done. I put the manuscript away for a time, proofread it, then sent it to my editor. She loved it!
God Bless Editors!
Kiss of the Assassin was published in March 2022, which drove me into a marketing frenzy. I’m not sure about sales, but to be honest, I don’t have the energy to dwell on them. It’s been a crazy time since I returned to Canada after two years in Mexico. In case I didn’t mention, during Covid, we couldn’t return home because we didn’t have a winter home to return to.
So much has changed since 2020. The price of “everything” is depressing; I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that. Everyone is affected. Here in BC, it’s terrible. Prices have skyrocketed. BC used to stand for British Columbia. Now it stands for Bring Cash.
I won’t go into it but aside from prices tripling, building regulations are out of this world. After serious consideration, my dear husband and I scrapped the idea of building a house and bought a winter-packaged RV instead. Age and time factored into this decision.
Last year he had hydro installed. Last month our water was hooked up, and soon we’ll have our septic tank installed. Soon means another month.
My hands ache from raking rocks out of the soil so we could plant grass seeds to cut down on the mud. The minute the seeds were in the ground it stopped raining and hasn’t rained since. (haha) We have water (yay) but so far no hose. I don’t blame you if you’re laughing. I’ve been to three different hardware stores this week and never remembered the hose. I was there Monday for a pipe elbow for the grey water tank drain. Forgot the hose. The nearest hardware store is 39 klicks away.
(As of this morning, we have the sprinkler on. Yes, I bought a hose yesterday. I even remembered the pump to drain the grey water tank in the ground behind the washhouse! I did forget the shower though. Oh hum.)
While all of this construction continues, I’ve been neglecting my blog, my writing, and my marketing. When I get inside at night and take my turn cooking and cleaning up, it’s a contest to see which of us falls to sleep in our chairs first.
Starting a story has never been a problem for me. Finishing wasn’t either until Shattered. Why this one, I have no idea. I’m hoping it’s not age-related.
I’ve always been passionate about writing. It’s like breathing without thought. I finished my books because it felt like the right thing to do. If I hadn’t finished them, I might have felt bad for a season, but eventually, I would have realized it didn’t matter, everything was as it should be. In other words, if you don’t write the book you promised you’d write, it won’t be the end of the world. The important thing is to be kind to yourself. Because when you’re kind to yourself life makes sense and so do your decisions.
My dear friend Marie Beswick Arthur’s novel Listening For Water was released yesterday. I’m mentioning this because Listening For Water is one of the best novels I have ever read. I loved the story, the message, and the way I felt at the end. I hope that’s enough of an enticement to get you to take a look. I promise you won’t be disappointed.
Here’s the synopsis:
Listen for Water is a snappy, bittersweet coming-of-age novel that tells the story of roles reversed–a daughter, Dakota, charged with keeping her mother, Ray, and their lives right-side up. It’s no easy task for a teen who wants to be anywhere but with Ray who is hellbent on living as though she wasn’t somebody’s mother.
Each faces the challenge in unexpected ways. Ray hits her stride and ensures they do not need to adapt to a life without water. Dakota learns about her birth father and the roots of her strange recurring dream. As they write their own unique wilderness survival guide, they discover surprising things about themselves, their past, and their mother-daughter relationship.
In the end, Ray is gifted with the opportunity for a do-over. And Dakota? Can she ever forgive and forget that her mother was an addict?
Only time will tell.