Beth Camp Historical Fiction

Wednesday, October 07, 2020

IWSG Oct 7: Another Working Writer

 Glad to be here for another month in this tumultuous year, 2020. 

The first Wednesday for those of us in the community of Insecure Writer's Support Group (IWSG) is set aside to write about how we're doing and how we're feeling. Each month, we connect to each other's writerly goals and dreams by responding to an (optional) question -- which this month happens to be: 

When you think of the term working writer, what does that look like to you? What do you think it is supposed to look like? Do you see yourself as a working writer or aspiring or hobbyist, and if latter two, what does that look like? 

OK, I'm just going to lay it out there. I'm an older than average, working indie writer. What that means is I'm retired and don't go into an office or a classroom (or meetings, much). My writing is the anchor that gets me through these Pandemic-shaped days because I love to fall into my story, my characters, their dilemmas, their dreams. Each morning, I write. My word count is not measured in thousands of new words each week. My goals are modest. Here's what's on my 'writing plate' this week:

--Knee deep in new story, Island Wife, another sequel set in northern Scotland in the 1840s. Writing scenes and researching. Progress: About 40% completed (25K words with goal of 50-60K by December).

--Hoping to approve a new cover for Years of Stone this week for PB, Kindle, and . . . (ta da) audiobook. After two years of waiting, reviewing, and hoping, my voice actor finally got the recording approved by ACX. I'm roughly 50% through reviewing 55 chapters before launch.

--Absolutely committed to writing challenges as a way to encourage writing every day. So, I'm trying to write a poem a day for OctPoWriMo 2020, hosted by Morgan Dragonwillow and roughly modeled after NaNoWrMo (which is coming up faster than we think). I love the way poetry slows me down and takes me to unexpected places. And, by the way, #BattleBlog just posted its challenge for 1K this month with its prompt: Exotic.

Back to the pandemic. We are in one of those vulnerable groups, so we stay at home as much as possible with side trips to the pharmacy and doctor visits. Groceries are ordered online and delivered. We take a daily 30-minute walk, and hubby is thrilled with sports (thank goodness!). 

Right now, my daughter is waiting out the three days to find out if she has Covid, and I'm scared because she's unemployed, her family's at risk, and I don't know how to help. Friday UPDATE: It did take four (that's 4) days before the test results came back. No Covid. Not this time. But if it had been Covid, how many days to scatter and spread . . . 

So, the mantra that keeps me focused is: I am a working writer. I do my best every day. If you can, consider contributing (or upping your contribution) to your local food banks. Too  many people are hungry and vulnerable. Meanwhile, may we all stay safe, support each other, and write those stories that are closest to our hearts.

Vista at Lincoln Park (2020)
One of our favorite walks.

Oops. Forgot to to say thank you to Alex J. Cavanaugh for starting this community -- and thank you to this month's hosts -- Jemima Pett, Beth Camp (that's me), Beverly Stowe McClure, and Gwen Gardner!  And here's our badge!



As Alex says, "Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!"

Join in or read what others have written by going to IWSG's home site.


Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG.





54 comments:

  1. Thanks for hosting this month, and happy IWSG day! Lovely photo of your local walk. A poem a day is a fantastic challenge. Good luck! And many good words as well for your current WIP. It sounds interesting. I love all things Scottish.
    Fingers crossed for your daughter. :)

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    1. You were the very first to read and comment! Thank you. We were able to spend over a month in Scotland, researching the original trilogy, so it's fun to return to what feels like home.

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  2. The work I do on my writing is definitely one of the things helping me through the pandemic.

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    1. Yes, and I'm grateful every day for this focus . . . Now if I can only commit to yoga with the same passion!

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  3. That's great that you are getting so much writing done during the pandemic. Not everyone can focus enough to write much. Thanks for co-hosting. Hope your daughter is okay.

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    1. Thank you for your concern. She's still sick, but I am so grateful it's not Covid. The writing, what can I say? Every day without some writing feels so scattered. May the coming month be good to you.

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  4. Doing our best in any activity is all we can ask. :-)

    https://emaginette.wordpress.com/wp-admin/edit-comments.php

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    1. How simple these truisms seem. The more difficult the circumstances, the more I rely on these bedrock truths. I'd like to believe we are all doing our best.

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  5. I think older than average writers have a lot to share with readers, so I'm glad you're doing it!

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    1. Thank you. We're really on the same journey, right? Just at different points. I do love being retired . . . not so many meetings and more time for writing!

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  6. I'll send good wishes to your daughter, that she tests negative, and to you and the husband as you stay home and stay safe. It's amazing you're able to get so much done! And thank you for co-hosting this month.

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    1. Thank you! I did post the update today of good news about my daughter and appreciate your comments. We're still staying home for the foreseeable future. Our state, Washington, is currently doing well, but winter comes with more people staying indoors and more people so tired of masks.

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  7. Hope your daughter tests negative.
    You are in a good position where you can stay home and have things delivered. And of course spend your time writing.
    Thanks for co-hosting today!

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    1. Thank you, Alex, for coordinating all the co-hosts AND for inspiring us all to continue our commitment to what makes our creative spirits stronger.

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  8. Thanks for sharing your life for this blog hop and hosting, too. Hopes and prayers that your daughter tests negative.

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    1. Thank you for your kind thoughts. Yes, I'm so relieved she didn't have Covid, especially since she has hubby, a 6-year-old and an 8-year-old to worry about as well. We're all quarantining -- except for family dinner once a week. May October be a good month for you and those you care for.

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  9. Hi Beth,
    Very best wishes for all the strength your family needs.
    I like your approach to writing and admire your commitment to fitness with daily walks. You do know you're an inspiration, right?
    Thanks for co-hosting!

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    1. Hello, Diedre. Thank you for your good thoughts and surprising compliment. Did you know your name is the same as my heroine of my book, Years of Stone, a story about the convict era in Australia? She's a very strong woman. So, you are an inspiration in your own right!

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  10. Way to go with your writing through the pandemic!

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    1. Thank you. May your own writing go well.

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  11. Thanks for co-hosting today, Beth! I do hope that your daughter tests negative. The last thing she needs is the virus on top of everything else. My heart goes out to all the people struggling during this pandemic. Like you, I'm retired and at higher risk, so I'm safer at home as a working writer. Thank goodness for our online communities and encouragement. Take care!

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    1. Your comments really hit home for these online communities give us OTA writers real support, and I appreciate every bit of it. Good news re my daughter . . . and yet so many others struggle. I'd like to hope we have good news ahead, but think we are living the 'new normal'. Stay safe.

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    2. Thanks for sharing the good news about your daughter! One bright spot in all the gloom!

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  12. Yes, pandemic. I just finished an article for my newspaper on the topic. There is an art show in our Jewish Community Center this month: people's reflections and photographs of their lives during the pandemic. An utterly fascinating show.

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    1. Hello, Olga. What a wonderful concept for an art exhibit AND your article. Is it online? I will check on your website. So many of us need that connection with others.

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  13. Hi Beth. Thank you for co-hosting and sharing your writing plate! Inspiring. These are tough times for all. My writing has been so schizophrenic. Happy IWSG!

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    1. Good morning, Adrienne. I think we all have wobbly days. I'm just grateful when the writing goes well (even if some words are dark), because it stabilizes all else. Part of me wants to say embrace the light and the dark for we all, in that sense, live lives that are schizophrenic. May your writing still nurture you.

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  14. I look forward to being retired from the day job and being "only" a writer. I can definitely see how it could add shape to what could easily become too unstructured a day for me, too. @samanthabwriter from
    Balancing Act

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    1. Hello Samantha. When I was teaching (truly a full-time job with 60 hour weeks), I actually was unsure about what life would be at retirement. You're exactly right. The writing became the structure. Still, I hope you are able to write 'between' the day job and that day you retire.

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  15. Writing is a definite anchor during these weird times.

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    1. Glad you are finding respite in writing. I'm hoping for a little less weirdness!

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  16. Excellent answer. That's great that you're able to remain so focused and keep on writing.

    I am excited for the Pass or Pages query contest at Operation Awesome with the YA category this week. Plus, I have half a dozen books to review this month. And WEP coming up! Busy month. I hope you've been staying healthy and thriving as best as you can this year.

    - J

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    1. Hello, J Lenni. You do sound busy and invested in writing. Sometimes I get too many projects running at the same time (2 books to review are glaring at me from the TBR Kindle pile; luckily, one is comically snarky enough to be a total excursion sideways). Stay well!

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  17. Hope your daughter is okay. So hard to focus when the things you can do to stay safe seems absurdly simple and yet so hard. Who would have thought staying home would be so hard. Take care and congrats on the writing getting done.

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    1. Thank you, Helen. We got the news last night that our daughter is Covid free. Blessings!!! Most of the time, staying at home is not too hard. The daily walk helps immensely, at least until the snows come. May you have a mild winter ahead and stay safe as well.

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  18. I hope your daughter is safe and her family. These are indeed tough times. My daughter works with kids and it does worry me, but she (and the company she works for YWCA) are following strict protocols and I hope that will be good enough to keep them all safe. Thanks for sharing, and cohosting this month!

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    1. Hello, Lisa. Daughters. They do bring us gray hair! But they are such a joy -- and responsible most of the time. May your daughter stay safe and you as well.

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  19. I'm so sorry to hear about your daughter -- I hope she's fine.
    I hear you about getting everything delivered -- I even have my meds from the pharmacy delivered as going there is just another way for at risk people such as myself to get ill (and that's even without the pandemic).
    I'm glad you find escape in your writing :-)

    Ronel visiting on IWSG day Revamp Your Backlist

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    1. Thank you for visiting, Ronel, and I hope you continue to have food/meds delivered. We just graduated to 'pick up' for groceries. I can use coupons again! My daughter is fine, though we all worried for four days before those test results. Yet we're starting to hear about new cases, people we know but haven't seen in a long while, so please do stay secluded and safe. Maybe the new year will bring a vaccine.

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  20. I would definitely call you a "working writer", Beth! You are committed, creative, dedicated, and you love the process. Plus, it distracts from the pandemic.

    Sorry to read about your daughter. Feeling helpless is one of the most awful feelings there are.

    Are you familiar with the "free little library" concept? We have many around us, here in Newburyport, MA and one of those little displays has food (instead of books) that people leave for the homeless and needy. A great concept. Maybe you can try and set one of those up near you...

    Thanks for co-hosting this month! I'll follow suit in December. :-)

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    1. Good to know you are now a co-host as well. October is my second time as will be your December? Daughter is fine. Writing is fine. Yes, as you say, a real distraction from all else. I'm looking forward to reading your memoir and about your latest travel adventures. Stay safe as you go back on the road!
      PS We live in an apartment complex. There's really no place for that 'free little library,' though several are in our neighborhood, thus the inspiration!

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  21. Rounding up the visits for IWSG, for me, anyway. Hope you've been having as much fun with co-hosting as I have :)
    I'g love to do an age profile of indie authors sometime - I suspect it's a pretty flat curve :D

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    1. Hello again, Jemima. Sign me up if you do that age profile! Sounds very interesting. Yes, co-hosting is fun as is getting to 'know' the other writers in our IWSG community. It's actually more fun than I expected!

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  22. Thanks again for co-hosting! Congrats on your upcoming launch!

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    1. Thank you for stopping by, Debra. I just might write about that new cover later today. Be well in the coming month.

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  23. Good post, Beth. I suspect we're in the same age group. I have sporadic customers asking for writing product but mostly it's self-generated. I love it too. My sister (a retired nurse) told me to start taking a baby aspirin every day for clotting because I sit too long!

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    1. Hello, Jacqui. My sister is a retired nurse also, but she hasn't given me that special tip for writers who sit too long! Yet another reason to make a commitment to yoga in addition to the walking. Thank you. I hope you keep right on writing, self-generated or not!

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  24. Prayers for your daughter. We were exposed and counted as having it in early summer. I thought I had a sinus infection from swimming when we were notified we'd been exposed through contact tracing. I told them I'd had cold symptoms, upset stomach, and headache. They said to stay home and quarantine, which I did. No one else in my family had any symptoms, but we all quarantined to be on the safe side. I don't know if it helped, but we have been taking vitamin D, zinc, and avoiding NSAIDS during this Covid season. I'm hoping that was Covid and we've been exposed and out of the woods with it, but who knows? I have a friend who tested positive in March and had no antibodies when tested in August.

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    1. Thank you, Elizabeth, for sharing your story. What an amazing lack of information we have. My understanding is that some people keep those antibodies, but others do not. Because some are asymptomatic, we may never really know how many have been affected by the Corona virus. But my daughter does not have Covid, thank goodness. Our only outing just now is Sunday dinner to see the grands, and when we have to quarantine, like you, we all do. I hope you and yours stay safe and healthy.

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  25. You sound like a working writer to me! Thanks for being a co-host this month, and best to your daughter. I hope the test turns out negative, and the job situation is resolved.

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    1. Hello, Rebecca. Thank you for your note. Yes, life is more complicated this year. Every single time I think we're all going to be ok, something new and horrible seems to come along. My daughter is fine. Now we just have to get through the rest . . . but being part of a writing community like IWSG is a true blessing. Keep writing!

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  26. Good luck on writing a poem a day this month! You definitely sound like a working writer.

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    1. Thank you, Shannon. Writing a poem a day sounds formidable, but so far, so good. Luckily, other writers are facing into the same challenge, so . . . forward we go. All the best to you.

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  27. You wrote, "...I love to fall into my story, my characters, their dilemmas, their dreams...." This happened to me once or twice when I was taking a writing workshop run by Joylene (an active member of IWSG).

    Life has demanded my attention and energy in the months following this experience. I know, this sacred place of writing is within me. I welcome it's return.

    I wish you and your daughter good health. I'm in the group where it's best to isolate & wear a mask. I completely understand.

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