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Insecure Writer's Support Group

A database resource site and support group for writers and authors. Featuring weekly guests and tips, a monthly blogfest gathering, two Facebook groups, and thousands of links – all to benefit writers! And this is our newsletter!

Two Things for Insecure Writers to Know by Elizabeth S. Craig

It’s not easy being a writer. The idea of putting ourselves ‘out there’ in our writing can be stressful. It’s also tough to consider that we might not even be able to finish the very projects we’re stressed out about.

That stress that all writers encounter reminded me of two things it’s important for writers to know. One is the most important trait for success as a writer and the other is what I feel is the most important task for all writers.

Most important trait for a writer? Stubbornness.

Stubbornness is a frequently underrated trait for writers. In fact, it’s not respected as a trait, overall. But it has a lot going for it. When faced with personal insecurity, unsupportive friends or family, and bad reviews, stubbornness helps us keep moving forward.

Most important task for a writer? Setting easily-met goals.

It’s much more important to be consistent with our writing habit than to rack up huge word counts each day. Slow and steady wins the race. How low can you set the bar for your daily writing?  Five minutes each day? In five minutes, even on a bad day, we can progress our story. On the very worst days, we can at least make lists to help us move our story forward: five ways for our character to grow through the story, five possible twists for the ending, five interesting things about our protagonist.

Writing books will never be easy. But with a little stubbornness and by keeping goals simple, we can power through our insecurity to create art.

Elizabeth writes cozy mystery series for Penguin Random House, Midnight Ink, and independently. She curates links on Twitter as @elizabethscraig that are later shared in the free search engine

The next Insecure Writer's Support Group day will be on October 5th.
Sign up here.

October 5th Question: When do you know your story is ready?

*Add this question and your answer to your October IWSG Day post.


 Beverly Stowe McClure
Megan Morgan
Viola Fury
Madeline Mora-Summonte
Angela Wooldridge
Susan Gourley

Please post on Wednesday! It is all right to miss and post a day late, but come the first Wednesday, your IWSG should be front and center.
This is not a platform just to advertise. Or just give advice. Share your struggles, encourage others.

Connect. Visit members. Return comments. And have FUN!
8 Writerly Reasons for Journaling By Susan Gourley

Many people think keeping a journal is similar to keeping a diary. It can be, but it doesn’t have to be. There are many other ways for a writer to use a journal.

1.    You can sketch out a character. Maybe one for a future project or a person you want to introduce in your current work.

2.    Try writing a review of your current work, critiquing the good and bad like a stranger might when reading your writing. It may help you figure out plot holes or character weaknesses.

3.    Write an essay on an author or teacher who influenced you. Describing a mentor may help you become one yourself.

4.    Make lists. Possible venues for signings. Bloggers who might review your work. Random ideas for scenes, odd characters, unique smells and even weather that you might work into a scene.

5.    Draw a map or sketch a room layout. Draw a monster or odd creature that appears in your writing.

6.    Take a journal everywhere. You’re never bored waiting at the doctor’s office or while playing taxi for your children.

7.    Studies have shown that writing by hand stimulates your mind more than typing, reading or even doing crossword puzzles.

8.    There are so many really cool journal out there. Or you can use a spiral notebook that you purchase very cheaply during back to school sales.

Your journal doesn’t have to make sense to anyone else. It’s writing for you. Never let an idea slip away.

The IWSG Anthology Contest is OPEN!

Genre: Fantasy
Theme: Hero Lost
Word count: 5000-6000
Deadline: November 1st 2016

Theme Explanation: Could be about a hero turned villain, a villain's redemption, a hero's lack of confidence, a hero's lack of smarts, etc. It can be about any kind of hero including superheroes, mythological heroes, unexpected or unlikely heroes, or a whole new kind of hero. This theme has plenty of scope and we’re open to pretty much anything along these lines. No erotica, R-rated language, or graphic violence.

How to enter: Send your polished, formatted, previously unpublished story to admin @ before the deadline passes. Please include your contact details and if you are part of the Blogging or Facebook IWSG group.

For more info: IWSG Site
Call to Action:
We are trying to get the IWSG site listed as one of Writer’s Digest’s Top 100 Best Websites for Writers!

Please email them at with the subject line "101 Websites" and suggest the Insecure Writer's Support Group. Include our link:

We appreciate your support!


Types of Conflict in Literature
- Tap the Psychology of Conflict
- Inner Conflict in Fiction

Character Development:
Characters that Jump off the Page
- What "The Profit" Can Teach Us About Characters and Change
- How Can Military OODA LOOPS Help Your Readers Understand Your Characters?

10 Tips for Reading Through the Eyes of a Writer
- 5 Reasons Why Writers Should Listen to Audiobooks

A Modern Literary Glossary: Definitions for Our Ever-Changing Reading World

Beta Readers/Book Critics:
- How to be a Great Beta Reader
- Dear Beta Readers and Critique Partners
How Writers Can Respond to Book Critics
Sylvia Ney is a freelance writer currently serving as a Board Member of both the Texas Gulf Coast Writers and Bayou Writers Group. She has published newspaper and magazine articles, photography, poetry, and short stories. She enjoys encouraging other writers. On her blog she has a page titled "For Writers," which is a list of tips, references, exercises, websites, and books she recommends to aspiring as well as seasoned authors.
Visit her blog: Writing in Wonderland
Character Goals – Positive is Keyword by Olga Godim

In any story, the lead character must have a goal: to find a sword, to defeat a dragon, to get divorced. Without that goal (or five) a story becomes just a series of events. Of course, there are stories like that, but a story with a well-defined goal is much more interesting. Take any classical story, and you see a glowing goal beckoning like a star from a distance. 

One of the crucial rules about that goal is that it must be positive. Negative goals don’t make good fiction. Examples of a negative goal: to escape xxxx, to avoid yyyy, to prevent zzzz. Notice the negative verbs. In all these cases, what a hero is trying to do is to preserve the status quo, to keep his old life. That’s exactly what must be broken for a story to start. 

Every successful story begins when the current state of affairs is destroyed. The hero must go on a quest to achieve his new goal and thus restore the equilibrium in his world on a different level. That’s in essence what a story is: a chronicle of the hero’s journey to reintroduce balance in his life.  




FREE! The Insecure Writer’s Support Group:
Guide to Publishing and Beyond

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Insecure Writer's Support Group · None · Fayetteville, NC 28301 · USA

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