The Insecure Writer’s Support Group ~ No#23


A writerly anecdote…

Yesterday, I went to the bank to conclude a "writerly transaction". On the deposit slip, I had to supply a reference, which happens to be "writer-in-transit"…

Bank Teller: "You're a writer?" Mild surprise reflected on his face, rivalled only by the mild surprise reflected on the face of my inner critic. frown

Me: "Yes, I am." The answer flows freely. yes

Inner Critic: (deafening silence) devil

Bank Teller: "So, have you published any books yet?" Amiable and quite interested. I think.

Me: "No, but I am published online, an article appears in an overseas based e-zine." The words tumble forth like they've taken on a life of their own. "But I am busy writing a book…" cool

Inner Critic: (deafening silence)

Bank Teller: (transaction is now complete… hands me the stamped paperwork)

Me: (feeling quite chuffed) *smother a giggle*

Inner Critic: (deafening silence)

Me: (looking around frantically for Inner Critic and notice the sign posted outside Inner Critic's abode – Gone Fishing!)

In conclusion – this is the first time that I've declared my "writerly status" freely and without even the tiniest trace of discomfort…

And yes, I know it seems strange, but from time to time, I still stand in a queue at the bank. Online banking is a beast of its own… a nightmare waiting to happen… and I won't go into those details now…

                                                          *          *          *         

On NaNoWriMo Eve, I posted this on Facebook.

"Nano fever is in full swing!!
I really admire the NaNoNites. I've never done a NaNoWriMo. Not sure if I ever will. Maybe one day. The thing is, I'm not sure that I'm wired in that way… by this I mean, producing 50K in ONE month.
So it got me thinking that maybe I could approach it differently. For example, plan two 25 000 word pieces? Or five 10 000 word pieces? Or ten 5 000 word pieces? The last one seems the most palatable for me. That means, for the entire 30 days, I'd write a new piece every 3 days? Eeeeeeeeeek!
Has anyone ever approached the challenge in this manner?
Okay, these are just my thoughts… for future reference… or not…"

Suffice it to say, that this generated quite interesting conversation…

Part of the exchange went something like this…

Commenter: "I think quite a few people are doing NaNo rebel things…the offical way is a 50K novel, but NaNo Rebels even have their own pages on the NaNo site! 50K in many different ways!

Me: "Ha! I've NEVER done a NaNo. Imagine a novice being a rebel? A bit cheeky, wouldn't you say?" blush

Commenter: "The epitome of being a rebel…start the way you want… Ha ha!"

Me: "Ha! A good way of beating NaNo before you even start! Take that NaNowriMo!" cheeky

And this banter went back and forth… they really tried to lure me by using a load of goodies, ranging from cookies to wombats … and these ladies had some crazy and fun activities planned… all involving copious amounts of coffee drinking…

Me: "Are you ladies trying to drive me back to my coffee addiction that I left behind about two months ago? LOL.  For me, writing 2 000 words on a particular day, is an annual occurrence… need I say more? Okay, to be honest, I discovered this about two weeks ago when I wrote 2 000 words one of the days…"

In conclusion – I've never done NaNoWriMo before. No, I'm not doing it this year. Yes, I may still do it at some stage in the future… can't rule out that possibility. Yes, I wrote 2 000 words on a particular day, (this was not planned) just under three weeks ago.

                                                      *          *          *

I'm excited to be co-hosting the IWSG today, together with the following awesome people CD Coffelt, Tina Downey, and Isis Rushdan. Remember to pop in and say hello to them.

Don't forget that the Twitter hashtag is #IWSG!


  1. Lexa Cain on November 6, 2013 at 10:12 am

    I'm delighted your Inner Critic took some time off, and yay for you for taking the opportunity to be proud of yourself as a Writer! I don't do NaNo either. I'd like to think it's because I'm a rebel, but it's really because NaNo's too hard. 😉

  2. Bob @ Beauty in Ruins on November 6, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    It's so hard to just let that "I'm a writer" delcaration lie, all on its own, without feeling the need to explain or justify, isn't it? It often feels like you have to defend yourself, so it's nice when that inner critic shuts up and lets you enjoy the moment. 🙂

  3. Hart Johnson on November 6, 2013 at 1:51 pm

    Love it!  I've written several books (first draft) during WriMos, but the first one I did was my 4th book–I think there is some practice to it. Now I ALWAYS write fast. I go on tangents if I don't. But I am being a rebel this month, too–I am writing a serial and have 4 episodes I am trying to write–and PART of it was written much earlier (I am converting a novel to this serial).

  4. Alex J. Cavanaugh on November 6, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    Be a rebel!

    You are a writer and an author – stand tall in that declaration.

    And thanks for co-hosting this month.

  5. Cathrina Constantine on November 6, 2013 at 2:32 pm

    I get the same reaction from strangers if  I admit I'm a writer, which I rarely do. My own family is just now coming to terms with it, after the release of my first novel. No one has the foggiest notion of the time consuming effort it takes to write, only a writer fully understands.

  6. Melissa Maygrove on November 6, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    Good for you for claiming your writer status.

    I don't NaNo either. Even if I were single and childless and jobless and had every last plot note squared away, I don't think I could consistnatnly write 2k per day.

    Thanks for hosting. 🙂


  7. Isis Rushdan on November 6, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    I can relate. I remember when I first started telling people. Actually, my husband started telling everyone before I was ready, but it was for the best. You just have to own it and not care what others think, as hard as it might be.

  8. M. J. Joachim on November 6, 2013 at 3:03 pm

    Being published online is still being published. You're a writer, no need to hold out on all your future and potential fans. Shout it from the rooftops, I say!

  9. Diane Burton on November 6, 2013 at 3:05 pm

    I like that your Inner Critic took some time off. I'd like to lock mine in the closet. Congratulations on "coming out" as a writer. That takes guts because the inevitable question is "are you published?" Thanks for being a host for ISWG today.

  10. Quanie Miller on November 6, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    Michelle, thanks for hosting! You crack me up. Cookies and wombats. Ha! I also think it's good that you're claiming your writerlyness (is that a word?). I also think it's great that you're going to do NaNo you're way. I'm doing the same. In fact, I'm not even shooting for 50k. I'm just trying to get into a groove of writing a new project, never mind the finish date! 

  11. joylene on November 6, 2013 at 3:43 pm

    Yay, inner Critic! Hope you took Inner Critic out for a special lunch or gift buying afterwards!

    • Michelle Wallace on November 9, 2013 at 8:09 am

      Lexa, I'm not afraid of a challenge, but I think that foraging through 50 000 words to find the gems is hard work. For me, that's what it would come down to.

      Bob, so right. Nobody feels the slightest self-consciousness to declare another occupation, like I'm a teacher/lawyer/publisher. Amazing, isn't it?

      Hart, wow! A NaNoWriMo rebel! I'd have to plan my NaNo experience very carefully (if and when I do it… one day…)

      Alex, I'm getting there Captain. It IS taking a while though…

      Cathrina, good for you! I don't really talk to my family about it…

      Melissa, me too! I would like the experience though. Even if it's just once…

      Isis, my hubby's first explanation went something like this: My wife writes stories, and then she and her writer friends share each others stories. LOL.

      M.J., love that attitude M.J. Positivity rocks!

      Diane, I didn't even think about it. The response wasn't conscious, it just slipped out!

      Quanie, Writerlyness? Well it IS a word now! We writers are allowed creative licence to coin new words, aren't we? Smart move Quanie… just getting into the groove of a new project…

      Joylene, special lunch? I've extended the fishing trip. Inner Critic is allowed an extra week or two. Festive treat… it's that time of the year… know what I mean? LOL Actually inner critic can take the rest of the festive season. LOL

  12. Carrie-Anne on November 6, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    I've never done NaNo either, in spite of having started books during November in the past.  It just seems so cliché and expected in the writing world nowadays, and I pride myself in being a noncomformist, deliberately not like everyone else.

  13. Julie Flanders on November 6, 2013 at 4:10 pm

    Yay! I hope the Inner Critic's fishing trip is a nice loooong one. 🙂 What a great feeling!

    Good luck and have fun with hosting today.

  14. Heather M. Gardner on November 6, 2013 at 4:46 pm

    Say it loud, say it proud! I'm a writer!!!

    I tried NaNoWriMo last year but November is my busiest month of the year. Epic fail.

    Best of luck w/ your writing.


  15. Lisa Buie-Collard on November 6, 2013 at 5:52 pm

    Great post!! I AM doing NaNoWriMo this month, as a newbie and so far I'm doing much better than I expected!! I am only five days in, but already have passed the 18,000 word mark. Yeah, that way if something comes up, I'm already ahead. I too, thought it would be too much of a challenge with life right now, but after going to a super writer's conference (Florida Writer' Association Annual Conference #FWA13) I was ginned. Thanks for co-hosting this month! And thanks for the hash tag tip!

  16. J.Q Rose on November 6, 2013 at 6:05 pm

    I don't know why we are so hesitant to say "I'm a writer." I never hesitated to say I'm a teacher or I'm a floral designer, etc all the jobs I've done in my life. Hey, it's a job, It's not like you're carrying on about how grand a writer you are. Very very proud of you!! Thanks for hosting.

  17. N. R. Williams on November 6, 2013 at 6:14 pm

    I'm not doing NaNo neither. Ahhh…what a sentence. I've never done NaNo, I never hope to try it, but I can tell you this right now, I am a fantasy writer. (The Purple Cow poem, my favorite as a kid.)

    It's amazing how many people think you can't possibly be a writer if you're not J. K. Rowling or Stephen King.


  18. Beverly Fox on November 6, 2013 at 7:34 pm

    Congrats on the silence of your inner critic- that is uterly fantastic!


    And I, obviously, am a big believe in NaNo.  I don't think i could do it either, but now look at me!  I hope some year you decide to join the madness with us and give it a try!


    Thanks for co-hosting!!

  19. M.J. Fifield on November 6, 2013 at 7:45 pm

    That's great that you freely admitted to being a writer. I can't do that yet.


    And I love doing NaNoWriMo. It's crazy good fun. I hope you try it out someday.

  20. Mary Aalgaard on November 6, 2013 at 8:04 pm

    Funny inner dialogue. It is great when you can finally declare that you are a writer! Just the other day someone asked me if I blog. I thought, where have you been? Oh, well, I gave her my card and said that I'd be happy to teach her some of the finer points of blogging.

  21. Sydney Aaliyah Michelle on November 6, 2013 at 9:17 pm

    I tend to avoid these conversation only because the one time I said, Yes, I'm a writer, with bold confidence and a little attitude, the guy said, oh yeah, me too. And, then he went into a 10 minute monologue about his 5th book published book on ancient roman empires.  When he stopped and asked me what I wrote, I babbled something and quickly excused myself. haha. 

    • Michelle Wallace on November 9, 2013 at 8:21 am

      Carrie-Anne, you go girl!! Be your own person… that is awesome!

      Julie F, I've extended the fishing trip! LOL

      Heather, I will! Thanks for the encouragement. I feel great. NaNowriMo IS at a difficult time of the year. November is awkward… for me too…

      Lisa, yay! Go Lisa! Sounds like the writer conference was a nice mental boost and preparation for Nano. Talk about great timing…

      J.Q., thanks for the thoughtful words, you are so right.

      Nancy, you're allowed to push the grammar boundaries during conversation… it's okay… you are also right about the public perception of what/who a writer is… we need to change that way of thinking…

      Beverly, you go girl! I admire you NaNoNites!

      M.J., I also couldn't imagine EVER admitting it, but it did happen! You know what's the funny thing? It was beyond my control. It just slipped out…

      Mary A, I've helped two people set up a blog, and I've been thinking about starting up a blogging beginner class… like a Blogging 101…

      Sydney Aaliyah Michelle, sounds like he intimidated you. Probably didn't mean to do so. Maybe he was just excited to connect with another writer. Don't let that one incident become the defining factor…

  22. Charity Bradford on November 6, 2013 at 9:51 pm

    LOL, I loved reading your conversation about Nano. I think I rebel it one way or another every year, but hey, it works for me. Good for you for knowing what works for you.

    And keep telling people you're a writer, it's good for you. 

  23. Holli on November 6, 2013 at 10:27 pm

    I'm doing Nano for the first time ever. And I'm finding it really tough. At first I thought it wouldn't be so bad, because I normally write 3,000 words a day, so what's 1,666? What I didn't take into consideration was that if I needed to take a day off because of work craziness or crisis or because I just didn't feel like writing, I could. It wasn't a big deal. But now it is. I haven't given up yet–the people I've met through NaNo are fabulous–but it's just one more thing I'm finding stressful this month.

    Thanks for co-hosting! You ROCK.

  24. Doreen McGettigan on November 6, 2013 at 11:19 pm

    Good for you! The question still stops me in my tracks.

    Thank you so much for co hosting this month!

  25. Robin on November 7, 2013 at 12:05 am

    I just created a LinkedIn account and put "Writer" as occupation.  I wish I could say that I did it proudly, but since I am still unpublished it felt fraudulent.  I am looking forward to the day that changes!  Good for you on your bank experience!!!

  26. Toi Thomas on November 7, 2013 at 12:34 am

    I enjoyed your little convo with your inner critic and am glad you proclaimed yourself a writer. My writing style does work for NaNo either, but I always do my part to encourge and support others taking the challenge…Hey, rebels change the world!

  27. krystal jane on November 7, 2013 at 2:08 am

    I know the feeling. I'm always surprised when people ask me if I'm a writer and I can respond without freezing. 🙂 

    I did NaNo last year and fell on my face. Trying again this year. I write pretty fast on my own, but I like the energy that comes with NaNo and the group of people collectively pushing everyone towards their goals. The first year I tried, I was being a rebel, trying to finish something I'd already started. To me though it's about the community. There is no energy like excited writer energy. ^_^

  28. Lily on November 7, 2013 at 2:38 am

    Great post! Thanks for co-hosting this month's IWSG. It's appreciated by us all. Lily

  29. Sam on November 7, 2013 at 3:01 am

    You are a writer, by God, and a d^^n good one! Shout it from the mountaintops:) It does make me sad you can't drink coffee…I'll have to find some good tea to send you:) Happy writing:)

  30. J.L. Campbell on November 7, 2013 at 3:50 am

    Had to come 'see' you before going off to bed. Thanks for hosting this month and thanks also for having my back. Much appreciated. You rock!

    It's pretty cool when we can readily admit that we're writers without hitching when asked. You go on with your bad self, girl.


  31. Rachel on November 7, 2013 at 6:40 am

    Love this post! I can't wait for the day when I can proudly declare myself to be a writer and my inner critic doesn't fall off it's chair from laughing so hard….

    Thank you for co-hosting IWSG this month :)!

    • Michelle Wallace on November 9, 2013 at 8:40 am

      Charity, I suppose each writer has to find out what works best for him/her. We are all different.

      Holli, I'm super-nervous at the thought of writing 1,667 words per day. They say – just write – don't worry about what you write… but I'm not sure that will work for me!

      Doreen, I'm sure you will eventually get to a stage where it doesn't.

      Robin, I used to feel like a fraud too. After my flash fiction piece was accepted by an e-zine, then I began to feel a little better.

      Toinette, yep, rebels do change the world!

      Krystal, I agree with you on the "ENERGY" part of things… It's a great buzz!

      Lily, thank you for stopping by.

      Sam, thanks for the boost! You rock! I DO drink coffee, but I've cut back on the amount I consume…

      Joy, no worries. I have your back… always.

      Rachel, you will have your day. Don't worry. You will have the last laugh.

  32. Nana Prah on November 7, 2013 at 7:53 am

    Cute post. That inner critic will get you every time. Sending it off to entertain itself is good.

  33. Julie K Pick on November 7, 2013 at 7:59 am

    I applaud your bravery on taking this next step! I would also like to wear my writer badge proudly, but I haven't quite gotten there yet. I'd love to hear more about the book you've been working on. Thanks for hosting the IWSG Michelle!


  34. Carol Kilgore on November 7, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    I've never done NaNo either. And I doubt I will. But I won't say never. I totally get your rebel streak 🙂

  35. Deb on November 7, 2013 at 2:24 pm

    Thanks for co-hosting! (Ooh, fonts.)

    I never thought of rebelling on NaNoWriMo….The two times I tried, I went for the 50k novel…but I can't write or think that fast! lol Maybe next year, I'll be a rebel. 😉

  36. Jen on November 7, 2013 at 4:00 pm

    Hehe, you rebel you! I like the ideas of writing multiple peices that add up to 50,000 words. That would be fun. What about 30 short stories that end up being 50,000 total? Talk about pressure! That's a short story every day of the challenge. They might not be good, but they'd be out there and ready to be edited. Hmm, I'm getting some ideas for next year. I'm sitting this year out, regrouping some projects that have been simmering for a while. But next year is a new beast of its own. Who knows where we'll be with our writing by then?

    Thanks for co-hosting!


  37. Gary Philip Pennick on November 7, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    Hey Michelle,

    And as a dude who is challenging his inner critic, I so relate to your posting.  I also know that my inner critic tells lies.  

    I rejoice in being a rebel. Not following the crowds.  That NaNo, to me is NoNo.  Besides, why would I want to be involved with that Mork from Ork tribute challenge? 🙂

    And thanks for co-hosting that actual tribute to me, IWSG aka "I Was Seeking Gary."  I'm flattered beyond belief!  



  38. Mary Montague Sikes on November 7, 2013 at 8:03 pm

    Thanks for being a co-host and for calling yourself a writer. Congrats!



  39. chemistken on November 7, 2013 at 8:34 pm

    Tried NaNo last year and failed to hit 50k.  Learned I wasn't a fast writer at all.  But at least I wrote enough to form the basis of the book I'm working on now.  Thanks for co-hosting the IWSG.

  40. Emily R. King on November 8, 2013 at 1:52 am

    Good for you for proudly delcaring you're a writer! Wish I could have been there to cheer you on. 🙂

  41. Tina Downey on November 8, 2013 at 4:36 am

    I think saying it out loud is powerful.  I remember changing my fb profile info from former teacher/office manager/HR to WRITER as a statement.  Meant something.  It was fun co-hosting with you!

    Tina @ <a href = "">Life is Good</a>

    • Michelle Wallace on November 9, 2013 at 8:56 am

      Nana, yes, the Inner Critic can take the rest of the year off…

      Julie K Pick, the book is coming along, slowly but surely…

      Carol, sounds like you're on my NaNo wavelength…

      Deb, I can't write or think that fast either…

      Jen Chandler, I really "feel" you on the 30 short stories idea… to me, that sounds about right… with thorough planning, it could work.

      Gary, you've just made my day! I do love your spirit!

      Mary, thank you so much!

      ChemistKen, sounds like it worked out allright.

      Emily, being cheered on by a kindred spirit? A lovely thought. I like that Emily. We would have been cheering together.

      Tina, there is immense power in the verbal declaration!

  42. C. Lee McKenzie on November 8, 2013 at 3:16 pm

    Down with that inner critic! Full speed ahead, Writer.

  43. Crystal Collier on November 8, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    YEAH!!! Say it with pride. You are a writer. =) Woot, woot!

    NaNo rebels… I must have spawned that site in my sleep. 😉 I think the important thing is just making progress. Who care where the words go, as long as they're happening.

  44. Tyrean on November 8, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    Your inner critic needs to go fishing more often, and take mine with her. 🙂

    Way to go with announcing yourself as a writer!!!

    Happy Writing!

  45. Susan Gourley on November 8, 2013 at 6:18 pm

    Yahoo for declaring yourself a writer. You are so right about the online banking thing. We had a check stolen and cashed that we sent to our daughter at college. The hoops we had to go through to protect ourselves are still going on.

  46. Sherry Ellis on November 8, 2013 at 7:09 pm

    I was just at the bank, too, and the customer service rep asked me about my job as a writer. The response was a lot more positive though.  He said writers produce material that keeps on giving.  I had never thought of it that way.

  47. tara tyler on November 8, 2013 at 8:46 pm

    can always count on mish for a laugh! awesome! cheers to choosing to do nano or not!

  48. suzanne on November 8, 2013 at 9:55 pm

    Could you have a word with my inner critic LOL?!

    #toc, .toc, .mw-warning { border: 1px solid rgb(170, 170, 170); background-color: rgb(249, 249, 249); padding: 5px; font-size: 95%; }#toc h2, .toc h2 { display: inline; border: medium none; padding: 0pt; font-size: 100%; font-weight: bold; }#toc #toctitle, .toc #toctitle, #toc .toctitle, .toc .toctitle { text-align: center; }#toc ul, .toc ul { list-style-type: none; list-style-image: none; margin-left: 0pt; padding-left: 0pt; text-align: left; }#toc ul ul, .toc ul ul { margin: 0pt 0pt 0pt 2em; }#toc .toctoggle, .toc .toctoggle { font-size: 94%; }body { font-weight: normal; font-family: ‘Times New Roman’; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); text-align: left; widows: 2; font-style: normal; text-indent: 0in; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; font-size: 12pt; }table { }td { border-collapse: collapse; text-align: left; vertical-align: top; }

    Suzanne @ <a href=>Suzannes Tribe</a>

  49. Deanie Humphrys-Dunne on November 9, 2013 at 12:37 am

    You should be proud of your accomplishments as a writer! I know how you feel. Sometimes I'm a little shy talking aobut being a children's author, too. But those of us who can create stories are fortunate so we should all be happy to talk about our accomplishments.

    • Michelle Wallace on November 9, 2013 at 9:03 am

      C.Lee, you are tooooooo cute!

      Crystal, hip, hip hooray! Now let's eat some cheese!

      Tyrean, I'm going to organise a retreat for the Inner Critics… LOL

      Susan, I'm scared of online banking. I've heard horror stories of people who have lost large amounts of money… it's not foolproof…

      Sherry, that's a wonderful perspective… I never thought of it in that way…

      Tara, glad I could keep you entertained!

      Suzanne, I'll invite yours to the Inner Critic retreat… LOL

      Deanie, you are right. We should be proud of our creativity.

  50. Murees Dupé on November 9, 2013 at 9:12 am

    Congratulations on your writer acknowlegement. I know you don't like telling people that you are a writer so it must have been really hard. I have never had the guts to do NaNoWriMo and I don't think it is something I would participate in, but I always cheer the participants on. 

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