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A Life Less Ordinary

IWSG Writing Update September 2017 – 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. A different question is posed each month, as a writing prompt for IWSG members. Answering it is optional. For September, the question is “Have you ever surprised yourself with your writing? For example, by trying a new genre you didn’t think you’d be comfortable in?”

This amazing, supportive group of writers was founded by Alex J. Cavanaugh. Today, the inspiring and accomplished co-hosts are Tyrean Martinson, Tara Tyler, Raimey Gallant, and Beverly Stowe McClure. Feel free to swing by their sites and see what they are up to.

As for what I have been up to, well… a lot, actually, but none of it related to writing – or even thinking about – my memoir. During the whole month of August and so far, September, my help has been needed with our long-range marine WiFi and cell data business The Wirie. Mark and I also changed homes from California to New Mexico, I am dealing with potential future house sits, worked on a few translation projects and try to remain active in the blogging world. On top of that, we have a camper van that requires daily attention and during the weekends, we make valid attempts to explore the area around Santa Fe, since we are only here for one month. My plate is full, but at some point this month, I plan to pick up my memoir where I left off.  Still, pathetically, somewhere halfway in the first draft.

My current desk for one month

Have I ever surprised myself with my writing? Interestingly enough, the answer is related to the previous paragraph. My contribution to our business these months revolves around copy and technical writing. This could hardly be called a “genre”, but it is something I am not familiar with, and, honestly, don’t enjoy much. Creative writing is more my thing and, hopefully, I’ll get back to that soon.

How has your last (writing) month been?


  1. My writing has been…non existent. I’m not sure what my excuses are this time. I’ll blame the dog. It sounds like you are super busy, which can be both good and bad. I wish you the time you want, for whatever you want.

    • Welcome to the club, Ryan! At least, you have good months as well. 🙂 You are allowed to blame Athena. I would do the same! Thanks for wishing me some extra time. I can use it as I’m getting pretty burnt-out these months.

  2. You have been so busy! I hope things settle down a bit soon… but it also sounds like you are enjoying what you are doing so maybe it’s good. I find it so easy to get distracted and put things off too (as you and I have discussed) and I don’t have nearly the number of things on my plate as you do.

    • I have a feeling things won’t settle down until the end of the year for us, unfortunately, Janis. It was time to not put off the business writing any longer, which is just something that had to happen, is time-consuming and not fun. Luckily, we do make up during the weekends, here in Santa Fe. The problem about that is that we are not getting any rest. 🙂 You are allowed to get distracted and only do enjoyable things. You have deserved it; you are retired! 🙂

  3. Very interesting und thoughtful…

  4. Wow! You have so much on your plate. Exciting stuff though. I’m co-hosting this month, and I wanted to pop in and say, “hi!” *waves*

  5. I’m right there with you, Liesbet!! Writing?? What is that? I can barely write decent blog posts lately! Funny how I had to dial back on the writing of my book, with a broken hand, school starting and other anxiety-producing moments/days! I didn’t miss it and as soon as I took the pressure off of myself, my brain simply feels better. Your writing break to take care of other business will no doubt yield a flurry of writing when you get back to it!

    • I hope so, Terri, just like you are experiencing. Thank you for the encouraging words. I know that writing breaks are good, but when I don’t really want that break and I have been faced with a few of them this year, I can’t wait until it is over and I can focus on the book again.

      Taking the pressure off is a good thing, though. Did you move the deadline for your current fitness book? I had actually put a deadline in place for my first draft (the only time I have ever done that), but I will have to move it up substantially because of this other business. Priorities, right? 🙂

  6. Maybe we are all on hiatus with our writing right now! The last month has flown by with little output from me. I actually used to do a lot of technical writing as a job, and I loved it! I like creative writing, but I’m better at explaining real things. Hope you are enjoying NM!

    • I guess the summer is not a good season for writers. 🙂 Yes, we are enjoying New Mexico, every weekend, as much as we can. More blogs to follow about that, whenever I find a moment. Sending you vibes of inspiration and writing ideas, Lexie!

  7. Hi, Liesbet – Breaks away from what you really want to focus upon can be so frustrating! Wishing you uninterrupted time for your memoir writing soon.
    PS – You do look highly productive at your new writing desk! 🙂

    • 🙂 Thanks, Donna. The way things are going, my memoir writing might have to wait until our next house sit in Colorado, later this month. At another writing desk! 🙂

  8. Copy and technical writing? Sounds so complicated…
    Good luck with the ongoing work on your memoir. Halfway through the first draft of a book is something to be proud of. There are many writers who struggle to get past the first few chapters of a book. 🙂

    • Luckily, I have never struggled to put things down in writing, except maybe these weeks, doing this copy and technical stuff. At least, I think that’s what this is called. 🙂 Thanks for the encouragement, Michelle. It is always very nice to hear from the pros! 🙂

  9. Victoria Marie Lees

    September 7, 2017 at 14:46

    You are amazing, Liesbet! Seriously! Michelle is right. It is really tough to continue writing a memoir. I have a rough draft. The beginning. The middle. And the end. I’m working on the “because this happens, the next thing happens.” Which of course is the most difficult part. Never give up, my dear. Let’s be here for each other.

    • Thanks, Victoria. You are doing a great job with your memoir! You have taken so many classes, have had so much practice, and your insights are spot on, that I do not doubt for a moment that you will produce a master piece! As for giving up, luckily, that is not my style. Just getting a bit frustrated about not having more time or being pushed towards other priorities. 🙂

  10. If you’re off exploring New Mexico, I can understand why not much writing is getting done. High desert is beautiful

    • It sure is a great place and the perfect time of the year to be hiking here, Alex! We are enjoying that part. Just wish I had time during the week to write my book!

  11. You’ll get back to it when life settles down, Liesbet, or when the mood strikes. Life is too short to live it in front of a screen, so enjoy every day, writing or not. 🙂

    • We are realizing those wise words every day, after our eyes see stars and our brains are fried from whole days behind the computer. But, some things have to happen now, to have a more enjoyable (near) future. 🙂 I will get back to it, eventually, you are right. I just have to not feel guilty or frustrated about that right now.

  12. I hope you’ll get back to the writing you love very soon, Liesbet. Even thirty minutes a day when you have the chance may help you feel as if your passions and priorities are part of your day. Maybe?

    • That’s a good suggestion, Karen. Thing is, by the end of the day, when the priorities are (have to) be taken care of, I want to close that lid of my computer. I have to say, though, that my mind has been wandering back to my book after writing this post. I see that as a good and positive sign. 🙂

  13. I haven’t honestly tried, Liesbet. My writing is where my heart is- with travel. 🙂 🙂 I did begin a biography of Dad’s interesting life, many years ago, but it was too personal and there are too many gaps to fill.

    • Did you enjoy that process of writing the biography at all, Jo? I’d love to do something like that. Sounds interesting, revealing and exciting. The personal stuff might be tough, though, especially when you are so closely related…

  14. Sounds like a tremendously busy month Liesbet. I’m not fond of process or technical writing either. Good for you to move out of your comfort zone to get the job done. Best wishes to both of you across the miles. Always enjoy reading your updates of your amazing and adaptable lifestyle.

    • Hugs back from New Mexico, Sue. Getting out the door for another weekend excursion. 🙂 Nice to read that you are enjoying Calgary so much this summer!

  15. Hang in there…life has a way of getting in the middle of things at times. The entire two years we were living in Ecuador, writing pretty much stayed on the back burner.

    • That is so true. And, I might not forget that it is me, or us, who creates this lifestyle that does get in the way of “normality”. 🙂 It’s just so funny… when we are in a boring place with the promise of loads of computer time, we get a bit annoyed by it, and when we are in places with lots to see and do, we want more peace to work. 🙂

  16. Half-way through your memoir? That’s pretty significant. I want to write mine up, but I’m stuck between trying to decide how much is ‘family history’ and how much is ‘memoir’. I hope you persevere for that nomadic life is sure to contain surprises and many insights. I was also relieved to know that just now you are not out in a boat somewhere near Irma. Be well, enjoy each day AND your writing. Know that even the technical writing you are doing now has elements of creativity!

    • Those are good ways to look at it, Beth. 🙂 Since I have always said that I love trying new things, I shouldn’t complain too much about the technical writing, and… hopefully it leads to better things in the future. I wouldn’t say I’m half way through my memoir, though, since it is only the first draft and I am not happy with the structure at all. But, it is a start – even though I don’t know what I’m doing – and a decent base for rewrites.

      As for your non-fiction story, I don’t think it is a problem to mix some elements of memoir and family history into one. Isn’t family history seen as part of your own history/memoir? Have fun thinking about it and maybe even creating it, since you will want to dive into a new project soon. 🙂

    • Our thoughts have been with everyone affected by Irma as well; such a devastation! Especially in St. Martin, where we have friends who had to be evacuated and others who lost their boats. It is truly awful. Payback time from Mother Nature for all the disrespect she gets from part of the human population!

      Mark and I are definitely happy not to be living on our boat anymore and having to do hurricane preparations to get the boat in a better place. That being said, if we would still have been sailing in the Caribbean, we would have been out of the hurricane zone with Irie, probably in Grenada. Or, in the well-protected hurricane hole Luperon in the Dominican Republic (where we experienced a hurricane in 2007), which did great again this time. 🙂

  17. At least you’re not giving up Liesbet. Slow and steady will win the race. 🙂

  18. Liesbet, you might not be working on your memoir much right now, but at least you are still writing: blog posts, technical writing for your business, translations, and blog comments. It all counts! It all helps to home at writing muscle!


    • Thanks for the encouragement, Jude. Yes, I am still writing. I’m actually always writing, whether it is emails, help for the business, blogs, comments, translations, my diary… it is truly all I do. I hope you are right and somewhere deep inside it is all contributing to my memoir or my writing muscles. 🙂

  19. Hone that writing muscle (not home)

  20. You’ll get back to it, Liesbet. Sounds like a crazy month for you.

    Happily, after a couple of months of being unable to write and driven half mad with worry over it, I am back in the groove and will soon finish the first draft of the third book in the GhostWriters series. I am so excited and pumped to get to this place. I certainly won’t take the ability to write for granted, that’s for sure.

    • I’m so glad you picked up the writing pace again. Taking things for granted can lead to sadness, disappointment and guilt. It is a relief to know that you are back on track and making such good progress again. xx

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