IWSG: Stresses and Delights

Logo for the Insecure Writer's Support Group. Picture of a lighthouse with text reading "THE INSECURE WRITER'S SUPPORT GROUP"

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

December 1 question – In your writing, what stresses you the most? What delights you?


The awesome co-hosts for the December 1 posting of the IWSG are PJ Colando, Diane Burton, Louise – Fundy Blue, Natalie Aguirre, and Jacqui Murray!
I’m just coming off Nanowrimo, so I’m feeling pretty good, right now. (Yes, I won.) I enjoy the feeling of knowing that I’ve done something that most people… uhm… can’t? won’t? Well, anyway, they don’t. It’s not ego… (well, it’s a little bit ego) but there is definitely something reassuring about deciding you’re going to do something, and then making it happen that makes me feel very capable. Doing this proves that I can do other things, too. That goes for every novel, but the rate at which you’re writing during Nano really drives the point home. Most people don’t ever write a novel.
I also like that moment–I haven’t gotten there yet, with this one–where you realize that this is one of your novels. Does anybody else know what I mean? I feel like I’m explaining a velveteen rabbit moment, where the novel becomes real. Where it connects with the things that are important to me, regardless of the surface attributes.
Stressors? Well, there are a few. If I were starting a business to sell urinal cakes sculpted into politicians’ faces, I think the general public would take that more seriously as a business than they take this. And I have yet to meet a non-writer who understands writing as just a hobby. If you’re sitting at a desk, you couldn’t possibly be enjoying it for its own sake, could you, now? You put the two together, and there are a whole lot of people who think I’ve completely lost my mind.
Non-writers giving crappy advice to talented young writers is right up there. Sit around and wait for inspiration? Maybe football players should sit around and wait to be good at tackling. I’m sure the Heisman will show up at some point. Nope. You really cannot convince them that a novel won’t just happen. Butt in chair. Hands on keyboard. And just f–ing force it. It’s the only way to go.


  1. Adrienne Reiter


    Congrats on Nanowramo! This was my first year trying, but too much got in the way. Next year! Butt in chair. Simple and succinct. Happy IWSG Day!

    • Reply

      I only win about half the time I try. Nano is definitely not a sustainable lifestyle. But I enjoy being around the other writers and the energy is a great motivator for (whatever.) so I keep coming back. In the interests of honesty, I put aside a revision I was working on so I could give Nano my all this year. I felt like I needed the reset.

  2. Loni Townsend


    Grats on winning! I have a few wins under my belt, and I agree, it does feel good. I haven’t participated these last few years, though, because I knew I wouldn’t handle the juggle of family commitments well while trying to get the words in. But I love seeing other people succeeding at it!

    • Reply

      They really did pick the busiest time of the year for Nano, didn’t they? It wouldn’t be healthy to drop everything and do 50k at the expense of shunning relationships with family.

  3. Diane Burton


    Congrats on NaNo. I admire everyone who tries. I don’t. Too stressful.

    • Reply

      It’s definitely a full plate! I only win about half the time, but I like the company of other writers

  4. Reply

    Congratulations on finishing your Nano project! And agreed… Writing is a solitary endeavor. Its hard work is mostly misunderstood and unappreciated.

    Good thing we have groups like this!

    Enjoy your holidays!

  5. Reply

    Congrats on winning! And you’re absolutely right about not waiting for inspiration. Some days it comes, and that’s wonderful, but most days you put your butt in the chair and start grinding it out and hope the muse shows up partway through.

  6. Reply

    I know what you mean about that “moment,” though I feel it a little different to me, perhaps. For me, it’s the moment when my story feels like somebody else wrote it. Specifically, somebody who knows what they’re doing.

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