The Insecure Writer's Support Group

Hi! Last month I joined ISWG for the first time. The purpose of this group is for insecure writers to share doubts and concerns or to offer guidance and assistance to one another. On the first Wednesday of each month we post our thoughts on our blogs, share struggles and triumphs, or encourage others. We visit one another and make connections.

The awesome co-hosts for the September 7 posting of the IWSG will be C. Lee McKenzie,Rachel Pattison, Elizabeth Seckman, Stephanie Faris, Lori L MacLaughlin, and Elsie Amata!

Want to learn more about the IWSG or join the fun the first Wednesday of each month? Go HERE to find out all the details and sign up. They're also announcing the details for the annual IWSG Anthology Contest today!

Every month we have a question prompt to inspire our blog posts. Today's question:

 How do you find the time to write in your busy day?

Well, I'm a teacher so that means I just went back to school in the past two weeks, so my writing schedule is currently out of whack. During the summer, I got up, made coffee and wrote for two hours while my kids made their way out of their beds for breakfast and morning lazy time. While they ate, I continued to write or do writing-related schtuff.  I usually ran a couple of miles by 9:30 and then spent some time with them in the hours before, during, and after lunch. And the day went on with them spending some time playing with the neighbors outside, me getting laundry or other house-related work done, wrote some more, then dinner, reading with the kids, etc. and more writing time after they were in bed until I couldn't keep my eyes open any longer.

Now? Well, my morning writing time has been cut down to roughly thirty minutes. The eight-hour day is consumed by teaching first graders. The after school hours have become my scramble time to squeeze laundry, cleaning, and cooking into. Then kids' homework, baths, etc and then I still try to write until I can't keep my eyes open. Like now.  What I'm missing most these past two weeks, however, is my mid-morning run. I can't seem to get up before school to run, am too tired right after work, and it's too dark after dinner. I'm feeling bloated and crabby about this. The worst part is I signed up for a half-marathon and just received an email reminding me it's two weeks away and the most I've run this past summer is six miles...and only once. I need to get a ten-mile run in by the weekend.... Maybe I should call in sick. (Kidding. kidding.) PLUS, running is my best writing-think time. It's when I brainstorm character dialogue and work out plot points I'm stuck on. When my running time is lacking, my writing suffers.

Last year I participated in, and won, NaNoWriMo and plan to do it again. I got up at five and wrote until 6:30 when I showered. Then I wrote again from the kids' bedtime until midnight and was able to write a novel. So, until November, I'll read for others, read for pleasure, edit and revise, and get into the swing of a new school year and home routine.

Current insecurities, other than the loss of running and writing time: I have big plans for my writing this upcoming year, but I'm very much doubting my ability to plot. So, I've found a critique group that took me in, poor plotting and insecurities and all, and I've hired a beta reader and an editor. And another amazing friend is critiquing for me (along with helping me with any question or worry I throw her way). So, I am in good hands and will learn MUCH. I remember hearing, or thinking, that writing was a solitary activity way back when I started all this craziness. How wrong that is!  Writing is all about networking and supporting one another and not being afraid to ask for help and admit weaknesses. I also found these recommendations recently, and purchased them while writing this blog post.

So...now instead of writing until my eyes refuse to stay open, I'm going to read about plotting and outlining and hope these books help me figure out my plotting issues, make writing future books go more smoothly, and tide me over while I wait for all my feedback from readers to show up in my inbox!

I'm so grateful for all the writers who've answered my emails this past summer, who've offered advice and support, and for their inspiration as they find continued success as authors of amazing books. Check out my sidebar to see just a few of these amazing stories and the people who wrote them.

Thanks for stopping by! What do you do aside from writing to help your writing? Run? Listen to music? Take a drive? Read writing-how-to books? Attend a conference?

Take care,



  1. Congrats on joining the group. I used to get up early to write and write on my lunch break until I used my break to take a walk for exercise. It's definitely a challenge to squeeze writing in with working full-time. I admire your schedule for November.

  2. Nice. See, that's the attitude of a winner--somethings is wrong, I'm going to figure it out and kick it in the pants! =)

  3. I get my jog in at lunchtime at work, otherwise I wouldn't wouldn't be able to do it. Sounds like you're making lots of good progress, even if you don't have the writing hours at the moment. Hopefully you'll get back on schedule soon!

    IWSG September

  4. Reading, reading, and more reading provides me with the encouragement to do more writing. A book can be so beautifully written, it inspires me to try to improve my own writing, or it can be so poorly written, it makes me believe I can do better. HA! But I'm an old gal. It's gotta be a lot more difficult to find time to write while juggling a full-time job and raising children. Hats off to ya!

  5. Wow, Christy! You are simply amazing and inspiring. Also, thank you for being a teacher. Not an easy job to have and sometimes can be thankless. You rock!

    co-host IWSG

  6. I get up at 5AM to get my run in...and it's torture everyday, but at least I do it instead of making excuses every afternoon. It's challenging trying to get it all to fit in, but at least its never boring...right?! :)

  7. I've been using the 1st book as well - and it is helping! I'm hoping to create a plotting brain for myself. (doubtful but you never know!) :) Good luck with the run!!!!

  8. I've taught every grade from first through eighth, and now this is my first year teaching high school English (10th grade). I have to say, this new schedule works wonders for my writing time!! Although, I haven't motivated myself to run since summer either. Good luck. You'll do fine with the half marathon. I've done two with little training and find your adrenaline kicks in and carries you through the race.

  9. I plot while I walk. I read Take Your Pants Off but it wasn't for me. I find that reading tremendous amounts of high quality literature is my best inspiration, not to mention my greatest joy.


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