I’m a day late for posting with my fellow IWSG’ers, so please accept my apologies!

Wednesday (*cough, Thursday) is 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.



I haven’t been as uncomfortable as this in a long time. A friend who also happens to be one of the modern authors I most admire, will soon be reading my debut novel. I posted him a copy three days ago.

Now, the wait….

I’m suddenly very aware that it’s one thing to write a novel in the solitude of your room. It’s another to share it with your first critique partner or beta reader or editor. And then it’s a giant bound into a glaring stratosphere, to show your work to one of your writing heroes. That’s what I’m doing right now. I’m so uncomfortable it’s a nightmare.

*mental note: this must be what ants-in-the-pants feel like.

The writer I’m talking about is PJ Reece, filmmaker, traveller and author of the excellent Story Structure to Die For, and Story Structure Expedition among many others.

story structure expedition

I first met PJ online, about three or four years ago, when he commented on a post published over on the excellent blog, The Write Practice.

Later on, PJ wrote a guest post for The Write Practice, on his writing theory of 2-Stories separated by a Story Heart.’

He explores the nature of writing fiction in a way that truly reflects the essence of why we’re here on this planet, and why we love fiction, on his blog, The Meaning of Life. PJ lights the way for other writers by his sheer willingness to dive deep into the real essence of himself. Then, he articulates how to bring reality into our fiction, and the transformations needed of our characters, relating the experience like a poet.


I think to do what he does, one has to have a very important trait and it’s a trait I seek to cultivate in myself. Pluck!

You see, last year, I self-published my debut novel. After weeks of procrastinating, I mustered up enough courage to ask PJ Reece to read it. However, I wasn’t sure if he would read ‘tween reading level.

PJ replied, ‘A good story is a good story no matter what the reading level.’

I was encouraged. However, truth be told, I chickened out and never sent it to him. Then he remembered a couple of weeks ago, and well, long story short, a copy of my debut novel, ‘The Or’in of Tane Mahuta,’ is en route to Canada as we speak.

Screen Shot 2015-09-11 at 4.13.21 pm

I see a lot of pluck in all of PJ Reece’s work which is why I admire it so much. Now, I’m waiting for him to read my (first ever) novel, and I think ‘all my pluck has got up and went,’ as my father would say.

With 35 years of writing fiction under my belt so far, I’m no stranger to the process of submitting stories. I’ve sent my work out more times than I can remember. Yet, none of those times have felt like this feeling of squirming-on-the-hook.

Will PJ read the whole book, I wonder, or horror of horrors, will he put the book down and walk away?

Some submissions really feel like putting your heart on the line, don’t they? How do you stay on an even keel? Any suggestions for how to handle stress are welcome.


Keep on Creating!

Yvette K. Carol


At present, IWSG are taking part in the ‘A to Z Challenge.’ Due to my time constraints, unfortunately,  I could not participate.


Kate de Goldi – ‘I don’t care about the classifications of what constitutes children’s literature. I want to write articulate, textural, demanding,’ she said. ‘I think current stories are lacking in complex structure and nuance. Kids need more than a limited diction, and a palette of Smarties.’



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  1. That’s really exciting, Yvette! Can’t wait to hear what he thinks.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You are a brave soul to approach your writing hero! I’m sure he will love it, but I don’t know that I would ever have that kind of bravery to send my story to my writing hero (and I also don’t really have a writing hero…well, maybe Neil Gaiman, but he is waaay out of my league). 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  3. davidprosser says:

    This is like a baby, you’re bound to worry a bit. Just remember the source of the book and all the pleasure you got putting those words on paper ( or machine) and you’ll know it’s OK really, you’re just looking for the midwife’s confirmation.
    xxx Massive Hugs Yvette xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  4. BunKaryudo says:

    I understand how anxious you must feel as you wait for his response. Perhaps the way to approach it is to remember that whatever feedback you get is great. It’s important to know which bits of your novel work well as they are and which bits may still need tweaking a bit. Who better to give you an opinion about this than someone you trust and admire?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. yvettecarol says:

    Thanks, Bun! 🙂


  6. cheriereich says:

    I’d like to think those “someone is reading my work” nerves would diminish someday. That day hasn’t happened yet, but I still like to believe that. Keeping busy can help when waiting for a response. 🙂


    • yvettecarol says:

      Yes, it’s funny that. When you start out as a writer, and you submit your work for the first time, the nervousness is excruciating. The next few times of submission are just as tough. After that, the feeling is less raw, and yet, surprisingly, as you say, Cherie, the tremours never really go away. Even to the point of every single time I open an email of critique on my W-I-P, I “brace myself” for the response. I believe the reason is this – you’re an artist. To have someone comment on your art directly touches on your soul.


  7. That would make me nervous. Shoot, I get nervous any time someone says, “I read your book.” and then say nothing. All people should jut say, “Your book was amazing.”

    I don’t think that is too much to ask.


    • yvettecarol says:

      Yes, exactly, Elizabeth! I know what you mean. I put out my debut novel last year. Nearly everyone I know bought one. I enjoyed the supportive comments that came back. But, what do I still think about? All the folks closest to me who bought the book and have failed to say a word. That silence is haunting, isn’t it?


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