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A Life Less Ordinary

IWSG Monthly Writing Update – A Short One!

Every first Wednesday of the month, the IWSG (Insecure Writer’s Support Group) encourages writers to share their fears, thoughts, progress, struggles, excitement, encouragement or anything really about their writing.  Since August, the IWSG would like to see a particular question answered in each blog post. This month that question is “How do you know your story is ready?”

This IWSG post will be one of the shortest I have ever written, for a very simple reason: I have not worked on my book at all during the month of September. Not a word written, not a page edited, not an exercise practiced. Nada. Nothing! The good thing is that I do not feel bad or guilty about it. Mark and I knew September would be a crazy month, what with moving out of the last house where we took care of Jenny, the dog, and the maple farm for five months, our five-day vacation in Acadia, spending some quality time at our home base in Newburyport seeing friends and family, running errands and going to doctor appointments, and an unexpected week-long house sit on Cape Cod. That concluded September!

Even writing a blog has not always been easy in September!

Even writing a blog has not always been easy in September!

The start of October is not much better from a writing perspective. I’ll be lucky to keep to my three-posts-a-week blog schedule, while we are on a long road trip. First, we head south to Annapolis to attend the sailboat show for four days. We share a booth with another company, Yacht Brain (which is launching at the boat show), and will be promoting our product, The Wirie. Then, we only have a few days to traverse the United States of America to Northern California. We start our next three-month house sit in the Sacramento area mid-October. After a day of getting settled, I will open up Scrivener again and work on my memoir in earnest. At least, that’s the plan!

As to the question above… I have never written a book or a “real” story yet. All I have experience with is creating sailing and travel articles. Usually, I am well above the suggested word count by the time my train of thought about an experience or a place is finished. Then, I edit the story down to the exact word count – a long process. I would reread the content multiple times, let it sit for at least a day, reread one more time and submit the final version with a selection of my favorite photographs. From then on, the story is in the hands of the publication and editor I sent it to. The final version is usually similar to what I submitted, apart from some rephrased parts and added typos… 🙂

How is your writing – or other hobby – going?


  1. Angela Wooldridge

    October 5, 2016 at 10:54

    It sounds like you’ve got the process nailed.
    I LOVE road trips, I hope yours is a blast, I’m sure it’ll provide lots of memoir material.

    • Good point, Angela! That’s the problem, we are always onto the next adventure, which leaves no time to write about past adventures! 🙂

  2. You are super busy! So much change and excitement in such a short time, I’m amazed you found a moment to blog.

    I started my new novel on Monday and so far, it’s awful. Alright, that isn’t true. It is too short to be much of anything yet, but honestly, I like the first bit, and the character is fun to write. The real question- Do I kill her off (as was the original plan) or let her live on another week or so?

    • You are such a good example, Ryan. You write and you have your priorities “right”! 🙂 I’d say let her live a bit longer, until you really have no use for her anymore. But, when you kill her, make sure there is someone else we can relate to or like…

  3. Stephanie Scott

    October 5, 2016 at 14:17

    I go through big stints of writing–working on 2 manuscripts back to back, and then months of revising here and there and reading other writers’ work. I’m not a “write 1000 words a day” type person. Though I prob do write that much when it comes to blogs, social media, and writer forums!

    Here’s my October IWSG post: Top 10 Ways to know if you’re ready to share your writing

    • Good for you, Stephanie! Working on two books at the same time… it keeps you busy and lets you switch for a different angle and train of thought. If only all those words written in emails and blogs could count towards our manuscripts. Man… I would write three or more books a year. 🙂

  4. Book, short or article we seem to do the same thing. 🙂

    Anna from elements of emaginette

  5. Good luck with your move across country. Glad to see you don’t feel guilty about not writing in Sept. esp. with all you had going on. Do your best. That’s all you can expect from yourself. But don’t let not writing go on too long. It will be too easy not to write at all. Best wishes and safe travels.

    • Thanks, Diane. I totally agree about the chance that not writing at all makes you “lazy” after a while. It is the easy way out. While I sometimes feel the need to start writing again, other times, it seems like a waste of time. There are always more interesting and exciting things to do. I am a bit worried about giving the whole idea (and the work done previously) up. I need a place to focus without distractions or fun things to do around!

  6. Right now, I have major writing goals to go after, so I can only hope I can make it. I hope October sees you writing more. 🙂

    • Hey, it all starts with goals, right? 🙂 Good luck to you, Misha. Here’s to both of us writing loads in October! 🙂

  7. Good luck with the boat show – great that you’ve got a booth. You should hopefully get a lot of new business that way.

    • Thanks, Ellen. The boat show went well. We talked to a lot of people and I met some magazine editors I wrote for in person, which was great. We were actually guests of another company (YachtBrain), which was incredibly generous of them. They love our product and use it themselves, so they wanted to help us promote! We only brought a demo unit to Annapolis, but hope to have made a good impression, leading to extra upcoming sales. 🙂

  8. Certainly a hectic time for you but three months in California will give you more time to focus on the book. Hope Annapolis was great. Love the picture with you (and my guess is that is Jenny). My photography hobby is enjoyable but I want to take it to the next level. With all the travel, I am slowly training myself but I think I could benefit from lessons with an independent teacher or more discipled self-study. Maybe in Singapore.

    • Hectic for sure, but soon we will find more peace again, as you indicate. Then, I will have to prioritize! The photo was with Tui on the Cape. She was such a great snuggler. Jenny is an awesome dog as well, but a bit more stand-offish. I think getting a personal teacher for your photography will be a great learning experience. You can only gain more knowledge and creativity through it. Or a different view. I would benefit from writing classes, for sure. And, I have to admit, I have been enjoying taking photos more than writing, lately!

  9. Such a busy time for you Liesbet! I think via Facebook I see you have arrived at your new destination. since i am not doing any writing other than the blog all seems to be going pretty well. We are going ot be sea kayaking for about a week coming up and completely unplugging. I look forward to writing with a pen and paper. Kind of back to my roots.

    • I often wish all I “had” to write was the blog. I would do a bit more effort with my words and recollections, and photos. So, do you always take notes with pen and paper while you are on a trip, Sue? I used to love that in earlier years as well, but these days, when I do take notes, it seems a bit slow and forced for some reason. Or, I just want to zone out and not think about writing at all, like during those five days in the car. Maybe being exhausted had to do with that as well. We did arrive in Northern California and are ready to start the work week. Have a fun time sea kayaking. Don’t get that paper wet! 🙂

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