Beth Camp Historical Fiction

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

IWSG: Of Stress and Delights . . .

How did it get to be December so fast? This first Wednesday of the month (and every month) is Insecure Writer's Support Group day! Our group shares thoughts about struggles and concerns, offering support to writers everywhere by reading each others' posts and connecting. 

This month's IWSG question: In your writing, what stresses you the most, what delights you?

Ah, the IWSG gods gave us an easy question this month. Straight out, I get stressed when 1) I stop writing -- as if I believe the words will not ever leap from my keyboard again, and 2) when I can't see the next step -- whether its drafting or revising. Usually scaffolding helps me climb up out of that sense of emptiness. Usually.

And what delights me about my writing? How about that moment of insight, when something new appears. This can be something a character does, or when an unexpected scene develops. Or when I set a writing goal (yes, number of words), and make that goal every day. As I'm deep in revision just now, I'm feeling so grateful for revision tips and strategies from Annette and several others, including the famous Donald Maass (via his nicely structured, focused, and positive exercises for revision in his Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook). 

So, last month, your comments helped me center on a new title for my current story. Did I need a cover to inspire me? Yep. Again, thanks to Pixabay, I happened on the perfect image, and thanks also to Book Brush, here's the cover. For now.

These last two years have been challenging for us all. Maybe you find writing (or reading) to be one of several anchors, to keep us connected to what truly matters. Covid-related issues are not going away quite yet. 

For a time this last month, my foot problems escalated to the point where surgery (and 2-3 months of non-weight-bearing life) appeared certain. Even Maass says that for our characters, life can (and truly must) get worse -- to add conflict to the story. But I don't need worse -- none of us do just now. A second opinion led to a new diagnosis, the fact that surgery would likely not be successful (saved from bed rest), and the long-term outlook not so good. But I have today -- to write and to cherish what is possible. Truly, that's enough.

May the coming month be good to you and those you love. May your writing go well.

Thanks go to Alex Cavannaugh, the inspiration for IWSG and to this month's co-hosts: PJ Colando, Diane Burton, Louise – Fundy Blue, Natalie Aguirre, and Jacqui Murray   Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!  Share, if you like. Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG. 

And why not visit at least 12 new writers to see what's happening in the IWSG world!





14 comments:

  1. Sorry about your foot problems and that surgery won't help with it. Love your cover! Glad you have one you like.

    I get stressed out too when I can't figure out where I'm going in my story.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello, Natalie. Thank you for stopping by -- and thank goodness for all those tricks that keep us writing!

      Delete
  2. I hear what you mean about the excitement of the new character move or a great scene. That's when the hours sweep past and you look up wondering where you've just been.

    Hope the surgery goes well and those months without putting weight on your foot will give you time to do more writing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good morning, C Lee, thanks for affirming the joy of writing. Actually, surgery's not recommended, but at least for today, all's well.

      Delete
  3. I love the meme at the end. Thank you for the reminder, and for coming by my blog today!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello, Lisa. 'T'was a pleasure to visit! Thank you for jumping back over here!

      Delete
  4. Hi,
    I am smiling because you said you get stress when you stop writing. So do I. It is nice to meet a fellow comrade.
    Wishing you all the best and take care.
    Have a Merry Christmas and a safe crossover into 2022.

    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Pat, for your kind wishes. May 2022 be good to you as well -- and for our writing! Your thoughts remind me what a strong writing community and friendship we share.

      Delete
  5. Sorry to read about your foot problems, Beth. I know you like to walk and be outdoors. And it’s too bad surgery won’t help as the recovery period might force you to sit behind the computer and follow your passion to write/edit even more. :-) Love the new cover.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Liesbet. And happy birthday to you! At least I'll always get to read about your adventures and how you are able to write 'between'. Pet the dog, and voyage on into a wonderful new year.

      Delete
  6. Sorry for your health problems - these are always the worst. But sometimes, you find inspiration for your stories in the blackest places. I did. One of my first published short stories (years ago) was inspired by my brush with breast cancer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Olga, for your kind thoughts. Interesting how life experiences influence our writing. Perhaps my stories about surmounting challenges come from such dark places that I try not to think about. I keep hoping we are nearly post-pandemic, for that adds another layer, yes?

      Delete
  7. I'm with you about feeling worried when the words don't flow. It can really start to feel like it's never going to happen again. I hope you come through your current woes stronger than ever.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Samantha, for stopping by -- and for writing that wonderful blog post this month. Your words show the writer's unique challenges that begin always with that blank page!

      Delete