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.

Every month, the organisers announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG Day post. Remember, the question is optional!!!

InsecureWritersSupportGroup

OPTIONAL IWSG Day Question: When your writing life is a bit cloudy or filled with rain, what do you do to dig down and keep on writing?

As a matter of fact my life has been cloudy lately and there have been a few deluges as my beloved father died in February, following my mother, who had died two years before. I would say that the process of writing itself really helped me come to terms with things.

I’ve always found it cathartic to write.

I learned to read and write at the age of seven. I enjoyed to write stories. As a teenager, I was still writing stories, and I started to keep a personal journal as a way of releasing my fears and worries and doubts. Writing has been an essential lifeline throughout my life. It helps me make sense of things to see the thoughts take form into words.

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Writing blog posts about the passing of both my parents was therapeutic and helped ease the pain. I was able to share with people through my blog and my newsletter about what had happened.

Going back to my work-in-progress was a bit trickier. At times of great emotion, I tend to put down my book and walk away for a while, sometimes for long periods.

Top Tip: Set a time limit.

I’ve learned that it works when I say to myself, you can grieve, be with family, however you have to be back at work by ‘such-and-such’ date.

Top Tip: Stick to your deadline.

It’s a bit of structure imposed upon the chaos. Once, there’s a set deadline to return to my writing desk, I try to stick to it.

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Top Tip: to get writing again, sit down at my computer, open the document and start.

Every time, before I know it, the magic starts to take over.

Right away, there is engagement with the work.

It’s like feeling you’re exactly where you should be and there’s nothing you’d rather be doing.

Once back in the zone, writing, editing, working on my WIP, I feel my balance return and sense of equilibrium become restored.

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As the poet, Sage Cohen, said so eloquently, ‘for me, writing has always been alchemy: from resistance to acceptance, from pain to beauty.’ Yes.

The world in creation begins to shine. The right words come. But what it takes is showing up.

The really successful authors are those who treat it like a job. They stick their butts in their office chairs and write from nine to five.

In reality, they’ll put in far more hours than a forty hour week. It’s a time intensive profession. The reward always comes in the fiction itself. We do the work. We show up.

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Then, we open ourselves to ‘being alone with the gods’ as Charles Bukowski put it and that’s where the transcendent joy takes over. When we’re lucky, sometimes we catch the lightning and write it down perfectly. Or as Cohen said, ‘transcend the events of our lives, finding a resonance of grace simply by writing something just right.’

Before you know it, skies are blue and the sun is shining again, and you’re scampering around capturing words like butterflies.

For the magic to happen though, the only way is to keep on writing, to put B.I.C butt in chair.

What’s that old saying, the harder I work, the luckier I get? That sure is true for me.

How about you. What keeps you writing?

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Keep Writing!

Yvette K. Carol

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There is no other feeling like that, you will be alone with the gods and the nights will flame with fire. ~ Charles Bukowski

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Subscribe to my Newsletter by emailing me with “Newsletter Subscription” in the subject line to: yvettecarol@hotmail.com

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Comments
  1. emaginette says:

    What keeps me writing is I can’t keep the words in. I gotta let them out and I might as well write them down while I’m doing it. It may sound silly, but that how I roll. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hokius says:

    I love the tip, “Sit down at your computer, open the document, and start” even when life isn’t cloudy that can be the hard part for me. I think, “I don’t know what to write!” but if I just open that document and go boom suddenly I’ve written several paragraphs. Sometimes I even like them when I’m done! Thanks for the great reminder!

    Liked by 1 person

    • yvettecarol says:

      Thanks for commenting, Hokius!
      I’m glad you picked up on that one statement. I second guessed myself even adding that because it seems so obvious. Yet, I included it because as simple as it is, sometimes simple works best. The thing is, there is no magic formula to keeping writing. As you say, there is resistance at times to even sitting down and starting, and yet, that really is all it takes. 🙂

      Like

  3. Sorry about your loss, Yvette. Writing down events and emotions helps, for sure. I think that’s why I have been keeping a daily journal since I was 14. The thing is that this has become more of a habit as a therapy, and I sometimes wonder whether it is worth it, especially when I already wrote all day. It does help, though, I just forget and am tired by night.

    If “Every time, before I know it, the magic starts to take over.” happens, I think you can safely say you are a writer with passion, talent and determination. I enjoy writing (and editing) as well, but often see it as a chore, especially on a nice day when I’d rather be outside. That’s what separates the real writers from an “aspiring” writer like myself. I’d rather life life (equals travel) than write about it. Life is too short, and I never have enough time to follow all my passions.

    I like your tips about finding “sunny days” at the computer again. Butt in chair and stick to the program! That’s what gets books written! I’ll give it another try. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • yvettecarol says:

      Hi Liesbet, thanks for commenting! I’ve been away (at yet another working bee at my father’s property) and this is my first chance to return to my blog. I was thrilled to find the comments waiting for me!
      Yes, life is so short and so exciting, and there’s so much to be done in a day. At the moment, because we’re doing family working bees on alternate weekends, it’s cramming everything up into the weeks in between. I’m beginning to feel like I’m chasing my own tail half the time. What I find is that coming back to the discipline of writing helps me feel grounded. It brings the balance back into my life.
      I think on the truly beautiful sunny days it is actually quite hard to stay sitting inside at my desk. I feel that pull, too. Sometimes, I let myself go out for a while however, I always have to bring myself back to the work, or it’ll never get done!
      Good luck with your memoir. I have a friend who gives workshops on how to write memoirs. Maybe one day, I might tackle one, also.
      Keep traveling, and keep writing! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Olga Godim says:

    Sorry for your loss, Yvette. Like you, I found that channeling my negative emotions (grief, resentment, bitterness, even envy) through writing helps me deal with them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • yvettecarol says:

      Thanks, Olga. That was so kind of you to respond considering you’re hosting!
      Yes, I do find that it really does help me cope in the hard times.
      Having said that, I recall a writing teacher once who told us that if you have a lot of negative emotions to process, then use a daily journal but to beware channelling those emotions into your stories. She said when she’s reading students’ work sometimes, she can read people’s unhappy childhoods, miserable marriages, and so forth in the work and it becomes off-putting and an obstacle for the reader. So it’s rather a fine line between off-loading our feelings onto paper and then choosing what gets shared with the world.

      Like

      • Olga Godim says:

        Oh, I have a solution for that. When I have this negative emotion, it is always connected to a situation I can’t control. When I channel this emotion into a story, I take my situation, change it to conform with the genre I’m writing in (fantasy or magic realism) and then apply magic to solve it. And the characters in my stories usually have magic at their disposal, one way or another. So they resolve the conflict, and the story comes out positive. And I’m happy to have a possibility of a solution, even if I can’t apply it in my real life. I have one such story, Trading Wishes, on my website right now, among my flash fiction stories. It starts as pure memory of my own, until magic intervenes.

        Liked by 1 person

      • yvettecarol says:

        Wow, that is such a cool idea, Olga. I love that way of looking at it. To take things one can’t control and then control the outcome through unleashing one’s creativity and the realm of endless possibility to it. Then you transform the negative into the positive. That’s the philosopher’s stone in action right there, pure alchemy at work. Brilliant!

        Like

  5. lynnkelleyauthor says:

    Bravo, Triple Threat Yvette! I admire your perseverance. You go, girl!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m really sorry to hear about your loss. Writing can be very therapeutic. It helps to get one’s feelings out on paper.

    Liked by 1 person

    • yvettecarol says:

      Thanks, Ellen. I find writing when big stuff is going on helps to actually keep me in touch with what I’m going through. It’s like you can see yourself in the words, and then I also like to read them back again at times, too.
      Thanks for dropping by 🙂

      Like

  7. Hi Yvette! I’m so sorry it took me so long to return your IWSG comment this month. I fell a little behind. These are all great tips, ones I’ve used before successfully. I’m sorry for your losses, but happy you’ve found catharsis through writing. Great quote from Cohen as well. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • yvettecarol says:

      That’s okay, Raimey. 🙂 I’m always a day or so late in posting and really late getting back to check on comments.

      I must say it’s nice to have a platform through having a blog in which to share things, and hopefully along the way inspire someone else. It’s worthwhile writing a post just to share that Sage Cohen quote, she’s so brilliant. 🙂

      Like

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