The Insecure Writer’s Support Group ~ No#48

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 co-hosts for today are: Sandra Hoover, Mark Koopmans, Doreen McGettigan, Megan Morgan, and Melodie Campbell

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

Our Twitter hashtag is #IWSG.

You can join the IWSG Facebook page:

You can join the IWSG Critique Circle:

What motivates you to write?

Writing MotivationI always wonder about this, especially since I‘ve only been writing fiction since late 2010 compared to lots of you who have been writing since childhood/early teens.

Is it for money? To empower/educate? As therapy? I know for lots of writers, it’s passion…heart!

How did you choose your genre? Or are you a multi-genre writer? Lots of writers are experimenting across genres/styles. I think that there are “X” number of books you can physically write in your small lifetime. The “X” differs from one author to the next. So bearing that in mind, shouldn’t authors stick with one genre? The flip side of the coin is this: considering the ever-changing face of the publishing industry, isn’t multi-genre the way to go?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.

Happy IWSG Day!


  1. Hilary on December 2, 2015 at 2:27 pm

    Hi Michelle – I just started the blog as I wanted to know more about the internet – but the blog has become quietly serious and revitalises me … it certainly stimulated me, when I had little around to help me. A few friends wrote that they enjoyed my letters and that I was always positive – hence “positive letters” – and I just wrote what I wanted to … and so it’s carried on – but I now need to expand. Cheers Hilary

  2. Alex J. Cavanaugh on December 2, 2015 at 2:33 pm

    So many questions!
    I wrote to read the stories I couldn’t find elsewhere. Everything that’s happened since then has been bonus.
    I’m comfortable with science fiction, but a recent contemporary short story proved I can write in another genre if I want.

  3. L.G. Keltner on December 2, 2015 at 2:41 pm

    I typically write science fiction, but the novella I just released is a holiday piece with quirky humor. I write what I write because I feel compelled to write it. Some writers are at home with one genre, which is perfectly fine. I am, it seems, okay with being a multiple genre writer. I guess we as writers can find encouragement from the journeys of other writers, but we must ultimately find our own path.

    Thanks for all you do for IWSG!

  4. Diane Burton on December 2, 2015 at 3:40 pm

    I began to write sci-fi romance because I couldn’t find enough to read. I write PI mysteries because they’re fun.

    Best wishes,
    IWSG #85

  5. Madeline Mora-Summonte on December 2, 2015 at 3:41 pm

    I write because I want to give others the same experience I get when I read an amazing book/story. And I tend to write dark fiction and horror right now, but I’ve also written lighter stuff in the past. Who knows where the future will take me and my writing? 🙂

  6. Anna on December 2, 2015 at 4:02 pm

    I write what I love to read. 🙂

    Anna from Elements of Writing

  7. joylene on December 2, 2015 at 4:04 pm

    I chose thrillers and suspense because I gravitate towards those when choosing a book or a film. Like everyone else, I like strong female leads, but I also like stories where the male protagonist is flawed and broken, on the way to making his life right. I write because…

    That pretty well covers it.

  8. Guilie Castillo on December 2, 2015 at 4:35 pm

    Good questions, Michelle… I write because I love stories, and I love storytelliing. I write to tell the stories I see teeming in the world. But it’s more than a simple “reporting”; like Mario Vargas Llosa said, “Writing novels is an act of rebellion against reality, against God, against the creation of God which is reality.” [His caps, not mine.] Writing, for me, is ultimately a reinvention of reality, a way to make sense of the world—a way to capture it, to dissect it, to understand what makes it tick. (And, by extension, what makes me tick.) But at the forefront is a love of language: how words fit with each other, against each other, in comparison to each other. Which leads to my choice of genre: literary fiction is all about reaching deeper into the soul of humanity, and doing so not just through storytelling but through language.

    If one wants to grow as a writer, though, sticking to a single genre is a bad idea. It’s like expecting to get a well-rounded diet from eating your favorite dish. As lovely as pancakes (or whatever your food dreams are made of) can be, eating only pancakes for—well, even a relatively short period of time—will result in some serious consequences… And not just to your health. You’ll probably stop enjoying them, eventually. Few things are relished more than a favorite food you haven’t eaten in a long, long time.

    I really need to listen to my own advice more often… And get on that WEP sci-fi challenge for December, eh? 😉

    Great post, Michelle!
    Guilie @ Quiet Laughter

  9. ChemistKen on December 2, 2015 at 5:02 pm

    I write fantasy because that’s mostly what I read. It’s what I’m good at. So there’s no decision for me to make. Maybe Syfy too, but I like the freedom fantasy gives me.

  10. L. Diane Wolfe on December 2, 2015 at 5:22 pm

    I wrote to inspire others to achieve their dreams.

    Hopefully multi-genres works, because my eighth book is my fourth genre.

  11. Julie K Pick on December 2, 2015 at 6:08 pm

    Hi Michelle, I didn’t realize that I enjoyed writing poetry until I ran out of things to write about during my first A to Z, and decided to give it a whirl. Now I’m grateful that I have the opportunity to write about people in the community who are helping those in need, as well as local news stories. Silly blog stories from time to time are also a nice diversion.

  12. Lori L. MacLaughlin on December 2, 2015 at 6:22 pm

    I write fantasy because it’s what I love most to read, and I love writing it. I’ve written a little sci fi, but it just doesn’t inspire me the way fantasy does.

  13. Crystal Collier on December 2, 2015 at 6:38 pm

    Hi Michelle! Thanks for asking. I write all different kinds of genres, and in recent years the focus for me has become all about the theme. What is at the heart of the story? Why must it be told? I think a strong theme is what really hooks readers (and the writer) because that is the heart of the tale.

    In this market, I think you can get away with cross genre writing. (With a few stipulations–MG to Erotica is definitely a No-no.) I think if an author has an inclination to go a different direction, they should follow it. That’s how we grow.

  14. CD Gallant-King on December 2, 2015 at 9:11 pm

    I try to write lots of different things. Fantasy, horror, mystery, sci-fi, western. The one element that binds them all together is humour. Whatever I write I try do it with a wry smile, because what good is a story if you can’t have fun with it?

  15. Lidy on December 2, 2015 at 9:27 pm

    Right now, my writing genre is yards fantasy. But I like to write what I like to read. So as a cross genre reader, you know the rest. I’ve started writing my first romance. And looking forward to tackling a mystery and thriller story ideas I’ve filedone away, in the future.

  16. Loni Townsend on December 2, 2015 at 9:58 pm

    I write my stories because I’ve got a series in my head that I want to get out. 🙂 I stick to fantasy, but the style differs depending on what I’m working on. It may be contemporary humor or it might be epic. Either way, it’s fantasy since that’s what intrigues me.

  17. Yolanda Renee on December 2, 2015 at 11:44 pm

    I write what I’ve always loved to read, horror, mysteries, romance, heck I love trying all the genres and follow where my imagination takes me. I wish I could write to please the crowds, but it doesn’t appeal to me. I don’t make any money writing. Sure, I’d love too, but regardless I simply have to!

  18. J.L. Campbell on December 3, 2015 at 12:45 am

    Hi, Michelle,
    Now I wish I’d stuck to one genre, but what I like to write different things.
    Before I was published, I was writing to be published and for the love of it.
    These days, the story ideas keep coming and readers ask if I’m doing to do another story on this or that couple.

  19. Patricia Lynne on December 3, 2015 at 1:14 am

    I started writing just for fun and it morphed into something I really love doing and don’t want to stop. As for how I chose my genre. I don’t. The story ideas come to me and I have to figure out what they fit in best. Not always the easiest of tasks.

  20. Cathrina on December 3, 2015 at 2:10 am

    I like to read so many different genres, but I mainly write YA. I write fantasy, mystery, dystopian, thriller, paranormal, and contemporary. A few of my books crossover into New Adult/Adult. More and more famous authors are writing in different genres, and I’m okay with that.

  21. Tess Julia on December 3, 2015 at 3:19 am

    You know, I always aspired to write fiction, like the great women authors whose books I devoured as a teenager. Jane Austen, the Bronte’s, Laura Ingalls, etc. But you know where things stand for me- I had a story dumped on me, and it needs to be told. But maybe when I’m through I can move on to other projects, something happier I hope!

  22. Melissa Maygrove on December 3, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    I used to write for fun and for the sense of accomplishment. Now I write for the money, too.

    I plan to cross genres, but I’ll do it with multiple pen names so I can keep them separate.

    Great post. 🙂

  23. Nadine Feldman on December 3, 2015 at 3:39 pm

    I write because I’m cranky when I don’t. When my books weren’t getting quite the audience I’d hoped for, I considered quitting, but then I couldn’t stand to be around myself.

    I wish I could stick to one genre, but my brain doesn’t work that way. I think readers would be less confused…hopefully at some point a few more people will come along for the meandering ride.

  24. Nilanjana Bose on December 4, 2015 at 7:20 am

    Dunno why I write. Pretty genre-less too, is whingey poetry a genre? No doubt I will figure out the answers in due course….thought provoking questions.

  25. Misha on December 4, 2015 at 9:10 am

    I don’t know what really got me into writing per se. I’ve been creating stories since before I could write, so one day when I was thirteen, I just decided to write one of them down.

    As for multiple genres and x numbers of books… No one said x numbers have to be in one genre. I rather write what interests me.

  26. Deniz on December 4, 2015 at 3:08 pm

    Funny, I don’t know what the motivation is. I think it’s the initial story spark, and the characters. I see one scene, and have to explore it. That leads to the next, and then I want to share the story, so I need to write more scenes…

  27. Susan Gourley on December 4, 2015 at 10:13 pm

    I think I write just because I like the tell the stories. Once I started making money at it, it has become more like work than it was. But at least it’s work that I enjoy.

  28. Doreen McGettigan on December 5, 2015 at 1:38 pm

    I’ve written 3 memoirs because the stories had to be told but I’ve wanted to write a novel or 10 my whole life.
    Next year I am going to wade slowly into the fiction pool with a few short stories and I will be open to whatever happens or doesn’t happen.
    I think as creative types we have to challenge ourselves by switching up our genres every now and then. Am I convincing both of us? Can you tell I’m nervous?

  29. LX Cain on December 6, 2015 at 2:38 am

    Good questions, Michelle. I started writing in 2009 because I moved to a place at the Red Sea where bookstores with English books were hard to find. I wrote the adventures that I wanted to read and hoped they’d entertain others too. (I honestly thought it was going to be much easier than it is. Who knew craft and technique were involved in writing?) My first novels were aimed at children and teens because I heard that was the way to attract an agent – and surely an agent was the golden ticket to immediate success, right? I did eventually attract an agent, but learned hard lessons about that too. My newest novel is just for me, a horror/thriller set in Eastern Europe that I’d like to read, and I hope a few others will enjoy it too.

    Moral of the story: things inside the publishing industry are a lot more complex and difficult than they appear from outside, and if you’re going to spend a year or two writing something you’re much better off writing to please yourself than the ever-changing industry. 🙂

  30. Denise Covey on December 6, 2015 at 5:44 am

    Hi Michelle~

    I’m a multi-genre writer as I love to experiment with genres. It’s probably better to hit on an idea/genre and go for it, but genres can be mixed. Interesting topic.

    Denise 🙂

  31. J.H. Moncrieff on December 6, 2015 at 11:44 pm

    Interesting questions. I started writing books when I was five (back then they were picture books), so writing has been something I’ve always been driven to do, and used to do just for fun (I kind of miss those days).

    When I was a teenager, my stories ranged from weepy YA (The Fault in Our Stars is a happy book by comparison) to horror, and found I really loved writing horror. As I got older though, I thought I’d focus on psychological suspense.

    No matter what type of fiction I write, there are two constants. It is always dark, and it always has some psychological aspect. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with juggling multiple genres, and I know several successful authors who have done it well.

  32. Leslie S. Rose on December 7, 2015 at 5:11 am

    I’m hooked on launching from fairy tale roots. I bounce between sci-fi and contemporary magical realism with my stories.

  33. Lynda R Young on December 7, 2015 at 6:30 am

    Writing started out as therapy for me but evolved over time. I love story telling and writing about people.
    I love anything speculative and all its sub-genres. Why? Hmm, that’s harder to answer. It started with fantasy only because I loved the escapism, but now I love people in any extraordinary circumstance.

  34. Christine Rains on December 7, 2015 at 2:34 pm

    I’ve been writing as soon I could pick up a pencil. As for my current genre, I never thought I’d be writing it. I wanted to write horror, and I still do have the paranormal in many of my stories, but romance? I didn’t want to be a romance author. It took years of learning to accept I loved writing about relationships and that it was romance.

  35. Murees on December 7, 2015 at 8:54 pm

    I think I would want to experiment with as many genres as possible. Mostly because I like diverse genre’s. Also, my writing ideas, or inspirations does take me to different genres. I”m currently writing in the paranormal romance genre because I always liked all things immortal and I’ve never been in love. So, what better way to dream up unconventional love stories? Writing definitely helps me deal with life. It is still therapeutic. I hope I never write just for money.

  36. Carol Kilgore on December 7, 2015 at 10:21 pm

    I think we need to follow our heart on what to write. Mine has always gone with a mix of danger and romance. However, my current project also has an added paranormal element.

  37. Cherie Reich on December 8, 2015 at 10:14 pm

    I didn’t start writing for fun until 1999. Then I started writing with publication in mind in 2009, not that writing with publication in mind isn’t fun. LOL! For me, I have too many characters in my head. Some of them need to clear out and the best way to do that is to write their stories down. 🙂

  38. Medeia Sharif on December 9, 2015 at 2:49 am

    I’ve written since I was a preteen, but not seriously until I was a teen. I write for the enjoyment and expression first.

  39. Jess@Fairday's Blog on December 12, 2015 at 5:35 pm

    I have always enjoyed writing and have gone through different phases in life where I have focused on one type of writing. I currently write MG and the genre picked me. I had an idea for a picture book and then thought it would make a much better book for kids. I write because I enjoy it. 🙂

  40. Michelle Wallace on December 16, 2015 at 5:31 pm

    Thank you everybody!
    I appreciate all the visits and comments! 🙂
    I’m busy and cannot respond to individual comments…even though I wanted to.

  41. Peaches Ledwidge on December 16, 2015 at 6:47 pm

    I think I was born to write. Writing is as natural to me as drinking water to live. I breathe writing. I always think about something to write. For every moment in life, I see a story. I love writing non-fiction, but I am dabbling in other genres.

  42. Nick Wilford on December 16, 2015 at 9:57 pm

    I write mainly to have an outlet and to explore other worlds and the characters that live there. It’s a fun ride!

  43. Mary Pax on December 21, 2015 at 6:44 pm

    Thanks for the blitz, and a very Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  44. Theresa Milstein on December 31, 2015 at 2:33 pm

    Ooo, such good questions. I started writing PB for my kids when I couldn’t find a book that fit something they were going through. But I don’t think I was a very good picture book writer. Since I had kids at home and then worked with 5th graders, I guess writing for children interested me most. And I started off writing fantasy because I loved the Harry Potter series so much. Why do I write? I guess because I can’t not write.

    Happy New Year!

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