The Insecure Writer’s Support Group ~ No#105

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time.

The awesome co-hosts for the September posting of the IWSG are:  PJ Colando, J Lenni Dorner, Deniz Bevan, Kim Lajevardi, Natalie Aguirre, and Louise – Fundy Blue!

Don’t forget to visit them and thank them for co-hosting!

Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG.

Every month, we announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say.
Remember, the question is optional!

SEPTEMBER 02nd QUESTION: If you could choose one author, living or dead, to be your beta partner, who would it be and why?

I’m not sure about one single person. If it were a collaborative project, then Sidney Sheldon and John Steinbeck would be possible candidates. 
Sidney Sheldon is one of my long-time favourite crime fiction authors and John Steinbeck would add the classic touch. 
There are also quite a number of newer authors who could be possible candidates…
                                          *          *         *          *          *          *

The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in massive adjustments in education. We have some students in-class and others who have opted for distance learning. As a result we had to work on finding the balance between in-class teaching and online teaching. You can just imagine the amount of work involved…
Although most students are back in the classroom, we have to continue developing the online programme. It’s been hectic.
With this Corona virus being so unpredictable, you never know if a second wave will occur. We have to be prepared for anything, including (God forbid) the future possibility of a new virus.  

On a brighter note, I decided to give my grade 8 students a short written task as an exercise in self-motivation.
Students were instructed to reflect on the topic – Believe In Yourself – while colouring in their pages. Here’s a taste of what they produced…

It’s officially Spring this side of the world. The year end is fast approaching and I need to continue editing my short pieces. Perseverance is key. After all, it’s an ongoing process. 

I hope you have a wonderful September! Stay safe wherever you are.

Happy IWSG Day!


  1. Alex J. Cavanaugh on September 2, 2020 at 4:02 pm

    That must be tough to do both. Too bad the kids at home can’t just tune into the classroom.
    I think our first and second wave blended into one…

  2. Anna on September 2, 2020 at 4:52 pm

    Love the drawing. So colorful and festive. 🙂

    Anna from elements of emaginette

  3. PJ Colando on September 2, 2020 at 5:11 pm

    I adore the assignment to your junior high students! The title colorations are terrific and I’ll bet the words are, too.

    You are surely an inspirational teacher!

  4. Carol Kilgore on September 2, 2020 at 5:52 pm

    I believe you must be a fantastic teacher, and I’m sure most of your students love you. There’s always one, though… LOL 🙂
    Stay safe over there. “This, too, shall pass…”

  5. L. Diane Wolfe on September 2, 2020 at 5:59 pm

    That was something fun for them to do!

  6. Loni Townsend on September 2, 2020 at 6:20 pm

    I’ve seen Steinbeck pop up on other people’s lists too.

    I love how you’re encouraging creativity in your students. This whole pandemic and remote learning business is certainly throwing everything up into the air.

  7. Jemi Fraser on September 2, 2020 at 7:03 pm

    Love those students responses – so well done!
    Beleiving in ourselves in a must in this publishing journey. Something I struggle with but am working on improving!

  8. Donna Hanton on September 2, 2020 at 7:06 pm

    Loved reading Sidney Sheldon years ago, though I must say, I’m not a fan of Steinbeck (or many of the classic American authors of that period–makes me quite unpopular!!).
    What a wonderful school project you came up with. Positive vibes are what we all need right now and I think a lot of kids are more worried than they acknowledge.

  9. CD Gallant-King on September 2, 2020 at 8:57 pm

    Yup, here in Canada the kids are supposed to being going back to school any day, but we don’t know exactly when. The teacher’s union is fighting the government, the government are is making half-arsed plans to get kids back in class that make NO sense, parents are waffling back and forth about whether to keep kids home or not. I know several teachers and they went back into the school for the first time this week in six months and they STILL don’t know what’s going on. None of the safety protocols that were promised are coming to pass, and many don’t know what grades or classes they’re supposed to be teaching. It’s just a mess.

    Anyway, happy September? Your note books are a nice, positive diversion. 🙂

  10. Carrie-Anne on September 3, 2020 at 12:03 am

    Those are lovely journal pages! Though as always, it’s jarring to me to see kids these days printing instead of using cursive.

  11. C. Lee McKenzie on September 3, 2020 at 12:11 am

    Those kids did such colorful jobs on this project. During this difficult time, your assignment was spot on!

  12. Denise Covey on September 3, 2020 at 4:02 am

    Hi Michelle!
    Officially spring here too. We’re having delicious weather. At the moment, all is under control in my state of Queensland. Yet I’ve chosen to keep teaching via Skype rather than travel from the beach to the city for face-to-face lessons. I don’t ever intend going back.

    Those Year 8 reflections are beautiful. So fulfilling to see work like that.

    I wish you well with your writing projects! You’re so talented, but I don’t see anything of your work any more!

  13. Sonia Dogra on September 3, 2020 at 9:13 am

    Teaching is definitely getting tougher with the new normal. And both online and offline must be hard. You are doing a tremendous job Michelle.
    John Steinbeck has been a personal favourite. Great choice there.

  14. H A Melton-Butcher on September 3, 2020 at 10:44 am

    Hi Michelle – I’m sure working both sides of the educative necessities must be challenging – congratulations on the learning and achievement helping your kids to develop themselves. Love those results the kids gave you … amazing. Good for them. I’ve never read any of Sidney Sheldon, and never got to grips with Steinbeck – sad but true! Take care and stay sane … that’s my motto for the next six months – enjoy your spring .. winter is going to be challenging here – easy, as it’s usually not too bad! All the best – Hilary

  15. Annalisa Crawford on September 3, 2020 at 11:16 am

    What a great class project! I think more than ever, we need to believe in ourselves. Keep up the good work, and I hope it gets easier for you to navigate all the variables.

  16. Madeline Mora-Summonte on September 3, 2020 at 1:07 pm

    Keep editing those short pieces! You’re right about perseverance. 🙂

  17. Damyanti on September 3, 2020 at 5:30 pm

    I remember when I discovered Sidney Sheldon for the first time!

  18. Louise (Fundy Blue) on September 3, 2020 at 9:29 pm

    Hi, Michelle! As a retired teacher, my heart goes out to you. The combined workload of in-class and on-line teaching and trying to keep everyone safe must be horrendous. I love your assignment for your eighth graders: an important topic and coloring is calming, especially as you ease into a challenging year. Thanks for reminding me about Sidney Sheldon. I love his books, but I haven’t read one in years. Good luck with your editing.!

  19. Patricia Josephine on September 4, 2020 at 7:44 pm

    There’s stress all around for anyone having to deal with going back to school. The college here opened up for the year and we had a nice bump in cases as a result and one of our favorite restaurants had to close for a deep cleaning because a staff member was exposed.

  20. Toi Thomas on September 6, 2020 at 3:09 pm

    Sorry for my late visit. I like your choices for beta readers. It’s Spring where you are and it’s finally starting to feel like Fall where I am. So ready to wear a sweater. I wish you all the best as you continue to navigate this time of COVID.

  21. Murees on September 7, 2020 at 3:39 am

    I take my hat off to teachers like you, who love what they do and who go above and beyond for their students. John Steinbeck is a good choice😉 I hope that things keep quiet here too, and it is so stressful. So far the spirits are high here in Cape Town. I think as South Africans we’re constantly adapting, whether its nasty politics or loadshedding😋 , we always find a way to make life enyoable, regardless of our circumstances. Stay safe and keep being awesome.

  22. Melissa Maygrove on October 7, 2020 at 1:05 pm

    Girl, it’s October. 😛

  23. Tyrean A Martinson on October 7, 2020 at 8:18 pm

    I’m sorry I missed this post last month. I love the assignment you gave your students!
    Happy writing into your spring!

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