#IWSG September: Surprise! It's fantastical!

It’s time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! Time to release our fears to the world – or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic. If you’d like to join us, click on the tab above and sign up. We post the first Wednesday of every month. I encourage everyone to visit at least a dozen new blogs and leave a comment. Your words might be the encouragement someone needs. (Check out the link for the IWSG for other updates, too, including an anthology contest and special post in October!)

The awesome co-hosts today are Tyrean Martinson, Tara Tyler, Raimey Gallant, and Beverly Stowe McClure!
September’s optional question - Have you ever surprised yourself with your writing? For example, by trying a new genre you didn't think you'd be comfortable in?

(Sorry I missed August and was way late posting today. I'm a first grade teacher, so last month was all about prepping my classroom for school, which began yesterday... it's a brand new year!)

YES! I have tried a genre I wasn't comfortable in... and then decided to publish it OVER the genre that is "mine" (meaning what I feel I write best). But I do plan to publish in my "real" (winky face) genre next year... and look forward to it. In fact, I MISS writing it very much. That said, I am SO glad I can now switch back and forth.

I'm the type of person that gets bored easily. When I run or drive, I leave one way, and return another, always finding a cyclical route so I don't have to go the same way twice. Each school year, I completely mix up my schedule and rearrange the bookshelves, reading area, and my desk space. Publishing has been another one of these "cyclical" "mix-it-up" experiences. It's not just write, revise, edit. I can also design covers, market, format, and find new ways to engage readers. Although, I am finding it hard to find the writing time I used to and so I'm at a lull in wordage! (Starting a new school year is not all that helpful either!)

Which genres do I write, do you ask? I began writing a paranormal/fantasy about a girl who could see auras and travel through a portal to another dimension, but then gravitated toward contemporary young adult fiction and that felt WAY more comfortable. I wrote about teens who had romance, friend, and family troubles. Then, I migrated toward griefy contemporary fiction for young adult and really found my place, writing lyrical prose inspired by Jandy Nelson (The Sky Is Everywhere) and Tahereh Mafi (Shatter Me) and Maggie Stiefvater (Shiver). That's my kind of writing. Then, somehow I fell into angel books and started my own series (Christian Fantasy) and have been there for a while now, publishing and completing my series. It's a fantastical world and cast of characters. Sometimes I feel nervous letting my imagination go enough to make my stories paranormal enough. Readers and critique partners and reviewers have said that my books are fantasy well-grounded in reality... and you know what? I take that as a huge compliment, because that's what I enjoy reading and that's who I am as a writer.

I've hit a rough patch, however, and haven't written much in the past few weeks. Here's my advice to myself (and anyone else in an unwriterly phase):

1) Give yourself a break. I know to be a writer, a paid writer, one should write even when not in the mood, but... It'll come. It'll return and then you'll be even more productive. Trust in yourself and your writing.

2) Read. Relax and read. You'll be rejuvenated, re-inspired, and love the process all over again. Reading will help you. I have complete faith (in you and this advice).

3) Get some exercise and some sleep. Seriously. Your body and mind need them.

4) Spend time with friends and family. Boat. Camp. Take a hike through a forest. Shoot a bow and arrow. Play human fooseball. (How do you spell that?)

5) Don't give yourself a timeline. Let your writing self breathe without a deadline.

What do you think? What do you do when you have stress in your life that kills the writer in you? How do you find your motivation and inspiration again?

I've been reading instead of writing (and have done the other suggested activities). I've read Shearwater (Derek Murphy), The Siren (Kiera Cass), Insidious (Victoria Evers), Fallen and Tormented (Lauren Kate), Lady Midnight (Cassandra Clare), and maybe a couple more that are escaping me right now (even though I know I enjoyed them!).

Take care this month! See you in October!



  1. Can I camp at a four star hotel?
    Good luck with school this year! No worries about August.

  2. Sounds like you have the right approach when you can't write either due to the rest of life or lack of inspiration. You certainly have written in many different genres.

  3. Wow! That's a lot of genres to have some specialization in. I'm dabbling with sci-fi right now. Waaaayyy out of my comfort zone. :)


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