IWSG-The Writing Life. It finds you.

I’m interrupting my summer break with a post as part of #ISWG. I’m hoping to make this a regular post on the first Wednesday of the month. When I first started blogging in 2007, many of the writers at ISWG were my first readers and vice versa. I hope you check them out!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time – and return comments. This group is all about connecting!

Every month, we announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG Day post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say.

August 5 question – Quote: “Although I have written a short story collection, the form found me and not the other way around. Don’t write short stories, novels or poems. Just write your truth and your stories will mold into the shapes they need to be.”
Have you ever written a piece that became a form, or even a genre, you hadn’t planned on writing in? Or do you choose a form/genre in advance?

The awesome co-hosts for the August 5 posting of the IWSG are Susan Baury Rouchard, Nancy Gideon, Jennifer Lane, Jennifer Hawes, Chemist Ken, and Chrys Fey!

The IWSG is the brainchild of Ninja Captain Alex J Cavanaugh

August 5 question – Quote: “Although I have written a short story collection, the form found me and not the other way around. Don’t write short stories, novels or poems. Just write your truth and your stories will mold into the shapes they need to be.”
Have you ever written a piece that became a form, or even a genre, you hadn’t planned on writing in? Or do you choose a form/genre in advance?

When I was a young mother of three children under the age of five years-old, I was a very busy mamma. From meal preparation to reading bed-time stories, from swimming lessons to mom & tot groups, and from Lego pick-ups and to laundry, my days were full. But I still daydreamed of stories while pushing swings or waiting for the chicken fingers to bake. I’m sure I wanted to be writer even before my first memory. My books were my most precious possessions, the library my favourite place, and seeing the coffee table stacked with magazines and the latest newspapers. I read them all, dreaming of seeing my name under a newspaper story, or listed in the contributor section of the magazine. So, as a young mom, when I saw the local university offering an evening English course, I jumped at the chance for some ‘me’ time to learn about a subject I love.

Our first assignment was to write a descriptive paragraph. My dreams of writing articles had changed to imagining myself as a story writer. I’d even written chapters of a novel while tucked away in my bedroom as a teenager. I also had a binder full of silly love poems and songs I penned during math class. Needless to say, I just scrapped by with just a passing mark in math. So, our first assignment in that English class to write description with no story line was not one I thought I would like. But I took to the task. A train idling on tracks became my descriptive subject. I made sure to have a notebook every where I went, not wanting to forget the words and phrases that came to me while busy with the children. Images of trains consumed my mind, and I’d even hope the children would pick Thomas the Tank Engine for their bedtime story. I was eager to get to reading my newly purchased thesaurus in the pursuit of new descriptive words that evoked the rumbling of a train engine, the colour of deep red, and the vibration of wheel axles.

The excitement and satisfaction of finding the perfect words and then creating phrases and sentences, and then re-working them for rhythm and syntax made my skin tingle, my heart beat faster, and I felt 100% alive (as I do even now while I go back into memory)!

Later in that English class, that skill transferred to a personal essay that my professor commented to ‘keep in a special place as it is that good.” He also read it to the class for an example. The subject was my children. Forward twenty years later to 2020 that has me editing a Creative Non-Fiction piece called “A Mother’s Gold.” Although I have an unfinished novel and a couple of short stories, writing personal essays on topics that allow description to be prevalent are still the most satisfying for my heart.

Your turn. Have you ever written a piece that changed how you planned to write or redirected your genre?

27 thoughts on “IWSG-The Writing Life. It finds you.

  1. Yes, I have a story that began as a women’s fiction story, then, changed to Young Adult, now is possibly “Coming of Age” story. What a rollercoaster! I know God has a plan for this story. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The writing process is full of ups, downs, and curves, and either coasting home or comes to an abrupt stop! So true it is a roller coaster ride, Melissa! I look forward to the hearing more about your story.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. After my mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, I wrote a short story about a lighthouse keeper with the disease. It was the first story I’d ever written that got published. I knew then, God had bigger plans for me and my hobby.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. What a beautiful way to start your publishing career, Jill. I imagine writing the story also helped you work through what your mother was going through. I’m learning to take action and let God deal with the details. Sounds like that is exactly what He did for you!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I can really relate to binders of silly songs and love poems from that era. 😂 I hope mine never see the light of day. I used to start each line with the word as. It was my trademark.

    “… writing personal essays on topics that allow description to be prevalent are still the most satisfying for my heart.

    This is a perfect fit for the blogging world!

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Oh yes, I have a binder of old poems, and stacks of old journals. I never thought that God would ask me to share my writing publicly until chronic illness changed my path. And He is continuing to ask me to write, that He is bringing clarity to my own thoughts that need the writing. Thank you for the encouragement you bring, dear Lynn!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Lyrics are fun things to pen, aren’t they? We never know if they may be used for a project at some time! Thanks for dropping by here, Chrys. And congratulations on a successful bloghop for your current release!

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    1. You look great too Diane! My picture is about 4 years-old now, to be honest. Gravity has changed me since then, lol! As a photographer too, you may relate that rarely do we have pictures of ourselves! The five year plan is to update my pictures next year with the same photographer. And yes, that project is alive in my Scrivener software! Thanks for your encouragement!

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  5. Welcome to the IWSG, Lynn! I enjoyed the memories you shared. And I get the same tingles you do when I craft that satisfying sentence. Writing definitely makes me feel alive. All the best to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Linda! I’ve been following them for sometime and bought a few books from the group, including on publishing. Definitely would recommend checking them out including on Goodreads and Twitter to keep up to date. And they are members from many parts of our world!

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  6. Thank you for sharing this story, Lynn. I love the quote – “Just write your truth and your stories will mold into the shapes they need to be.” The first article I ever got published was “Never Tangle With a Cassowary” in a children’s nature magazine. After a lot of rejections, I launched into publishing a children’s literary magazine myself – Nifty Nibbles: Where Every Child Is Special. It was a place where I published submitted articles from children and also other little stories or writing activities. It was so fun and fulfilling, but I couldn’t keep up with it financially. 😦 I’m not sure when or how, but after that I wrote more for adults, kind of writing my truth. After I went to a writing conference, I felt nudged to start sharing more on a blog instead of wanting more of my articles published. I heard so much about building a platform and I didn’t feel comfortable with that and felt I needed more to write for the audience of One. Your writing group sounds interesting and supportive. 🙂 Love and blessings to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A bit late with my response to this Trudy, but I loved reading your writing journey. You’ve stayed authentic to yourself and obedient to the One who guides you. That is a success that far exceeds any publication contract!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. So it took me a while to get over here (kind of a hectic month), but I’m glad I did. IWSG . . . yeah, I imagine most, if not all, writers have dealt with insecurity. When I got serious about writing and decided to write a book, I never pictured myself as a blogger. But I’ve discovered writing blog posts is something I enjoy. And preparing posts by adding photos re-ignited my childhood love for taking photos. I’m still writing books, but blogging has been my writing connection point so far.

    Liked by 1 person

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