The Insecure Writer’s Support Group ~ No#57

insecure-writers-groupPurpose: 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.

A big thank you to our co-hosts for this month’s posting: C. Lee McKenzie, Rachel Pattison, Elizabeth Seckman, Stephanie Faris, Lori L MacLaughlin, and Elsie Amata. Don’t forget to visit them and thank them for co-hosting!

Our Twitter hashtag is #IWSG.

SEPTEMBER 7th QUESTION: How do you find the time to write in your busy day?

Time is a contentious issue. We are always busy. Many writers hold down a nine-to-five job. We have to squeeze in family time. The thing is, we don’t always need hours and hours to be productive. Many writers write in short bursts, for example, the mum who has a full time job and a family to take care of. In this instance, sprint writing is by necessity, not choice.
My advice: just set ten minutes aside to write. I try to do so every day. It doesn’t always work out. But every moment counts! Remember your life is not lived one day or one hour at a time. It is lived one moment at a time. Make every moment count.



Eligibility: Any member of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group is encouraged to enter – blogging or Facebook member. The story must be previously unpublished. Entry is free.

Word count: 5000-6000

Genre: Fantasy

Theme: Hero Lost. It could be about a hero turned villain, a villain’s redemption, a hero’s lack of confidence, a hero’s lack of smarts, etc. It can be about any kind of hero including superheroes, mythological heroes, unexpected or unlikely heroes, or a whole new kind of hero. This theme has plenty of scope and we’re open to pretty much anything along these lines. No erotica, R-rated language, or graphic violence.

Deadline: November 1st 2016

How to enter: Send your polished, formatted, previously unpublished story to admin @ before the deadline passes. Please include your contact details and if you are part of the Blogging or Facebook IWSG group.

Judging: The IWSG admins will create a shortlist of the best stories. The shortlist will then be sent to our official judges.

Prizes: The winning stories will be edited and published by Freedom Fox Press next year in the IWSG anthology. Authors will receive royalties on books sold, both print and eBook. The top story will have the honor of giving the anthology its title.

We’re excited to see the creativity and enthusiasm that’s such a part of this group put into action. So don your creative caps and start writing. And spread the word!

Our amazing judges this year:

Elizabeth S. Craig writes cozy mystery series for Penguin elizabethcraigRandom House, Midnight Ink, and independently. She curates links on Twitter as @elizabethscraig that are later shared in the free search engine


Richard Harland finished his first novel in 1993 and resigned a university lectureship to become a full-time writer. With richardharlandseventeen fantasy, SF and horror novels published since, he went international with his steampunk fantasies, Worldshaker, Liberator and Song of the Slums. He has won six Aurealis Awards and the A. Bertram Chandler Award in Australia, the Tam Tam Je Bouquine Award in France. Writing Tips

Laura Maisano has an MA in Technical writing and is a Senior Editor at Anaiah Press for their YA/NA Christian Fiction. She’s laura-maisanoexcited to release her debut YA Urban Fantasy SCHISM, and she’s finishing up the sequel UNITY.


Russell C. Connor has been writing horror since the age of 5, and has been in the self-publishing industry for a decade. He has published 8 novels and 4 novellas in both paperback and eBook, russell-connorincluding the Box Office of Terror Trilogy and “Whitney,” an epic horror novel about hurricane survivors fighting a washed-ashore sea monster. He also designs books for clients and assists them with self-publishing endeavors.

Dawn Frederick is the founder of Red Sofa Literary, previously of Sebastian Literary Agency, and she brings a broad knowledge of the book business to the table—with multiple dawn-frederickyears of experience as a bookseller in the independent, chain, and specialty stores; sales, marketing, & book development at a YA publisher, a published nonfiction author, and an agent associate literary agent at Sebastian Literary Agency.

Michelle L. Johnson is a literary agent, the founder of Inklings Literary Agency and has a business administration background michelle-johnsonin addition to a lifetime of working with books (sales, editing, and writing) and authors (marketing, promoting, event planning), and also has been a script/story consultant for an independent film.

Ion Newcombe is the editor and publisher of AntipodeanSF, Australia’s longest running online speculative fiction magazine, ian-newcomberegularly issued since January 1998. His qualifications and employment range from horticulture through electronics into literature and communications.

Author, Public Speaker, and Executive Producer, Lynn Tincher was born just outside of Louisville, Kentucky in the beautiful city of La Grange. She has written four books, with the fifth one lynntinchercurrently in the making. Her first book, Afterthoughts was optioned for movie production by Kilted Pictures and Dancing Forward Productions in Los Angeles. It is currently in pre-production with plans to shoot in Louisville, Kentucky very soon.

                  *                    *                    *
Tara Tyler has a new book coming soon!

cradle-rock-coverRelease Date: December 1, 2016
Welcome to the forest.
Gabe and his girlfriend Ona are headed in opposite directions for Spring Break. After finding out humans might be a real part of their history, Ona is determined to dig up evidence of them in the mysterious mountains at Camp Cradle Rock. Being a logical goblin, Gabe tries to talk her out of it, but there’s just no reasoning with a stubborn ogress.
When Ona goes missing, Gabe and his friends fly to Cradle Rock to search for her and discover a village of trouble, igniting an age old war. His physical skills may be lacking, but Gabe won’t give up. With the help of his diverse group of friends, he will find a way to save his girl and maybe all beastkind. Humans, bah!
Happy IWSG Day everybody! I’m off to visit some blogs!


  1. Ryan Carty on September 7, 2016 at 5:34 pm

    That is the best advice. A little time here and there. I agree, I rarely write for hours (except during that stinky NaNo). It is the quality of the time that seems to matter.

    • Michelle Wallace on September 16, 2016 at 6:16 pm

      I’d rather put in ten/fifteen/twenty minutes every day than a few hours once a week. I’m aiming for consistency.

  2. C. Lee McKenzie on September 7, 2016 at 6:14 pm

    You can do a lot in ten minutes. And I’m always surprised when the word count is suddenly at 10K when I knew I could only put down 5 coherent words at a time.

    • Michelle Wallace on September 16, 2016 at 6:18 pm

      So 5 coherent words on a consistent basis add up to 10K? I love your brand of maths.:)

  3. Alex J. Cavanaugh on September 7, 2016 at 6:25 pm

    Every minute does count.
    Looking forward to the submissions!

  4. Anna on September 7, 2016 at 6:52 pm

    I agree. It all adds up. 🙂

    Anna from elements of emaginette

    • Michelle Wallace on September 16, 2016 at 6:20 pm

      Sure does! Before you know it, the words are into the thousands and thousands… 🙂

  5. Roland Yeomans on September 7, 2016 at 7:29 pm

    I worked 24 of the weekend’s 48 and still managed to write a page a day by telling myself that I could sit down and write one teensy-wheeny paragraph! Heck of a thing to get a job done by lying to yourself! 🙂

    I am already thinking of what to write. As a rare blood courier, I get lost a lot! You just keep floundering until you find the right road. In life, when the blows come, you just lean into them, and try to put one foot after another, right?

    • Michelle Wallace on September 16, 2016 at 6:21 pm

      I love your train of thought. I’m all for self-deception if it gets the job done!! 😉

  6. Carol Kilgore on September 7, 2016 at 7:52 pm

    So cool about the anthology. And congrats to Tara!

    Very true about writing when we can. It’s not always easy.

    • Michelle Wallace on September 16, 2016 at 6:23 pm

      Yes. It’s amazing what you can get done when you make the best of the restricted time available.

  7. Chrys Fey on September 7, 2016 at 7:55 pm

    Every moment certainly does count.

    This contest is going to be great! I can’t wait to see the submissions. 🙂

    • Michelle Wallace on September 16, 2016 at 6:24 pm

      We have so many great authors. I’m sure there will be a flood. 🙂

  8. Hilary on September 7, 2016 at 8:39 pm

    Hi Michelle – yes it’s great re the submissions – good luck to one and all. Time – we can make time … and most of us do – perhaps we just need to knuckle under a little more and those minutes will add up …

    Cheers Hilary

    • Michelle Wallace on September 16, 2016 at 6:26 pm

      It’s all about making time. You’re so right.
      Butt In Chair Hands On Keyboard is the way to go.

  9. CD Gallant-King on September 7, 2016 at 9:06 pm

    Every word counts. And once you get into the habit of spending the time, any time, every day, it will be that much easier to increase it to longer amounts.

    IWSG September

    • Michelle Wallace on September 16, 2016 at 6:29 pm

      Yes, creating the habit first…and then keeping at it.
      Sometimes it flows…goes well over twenty minutes. Other times it’s like trying to squeeze water out of an empty can. Just gotta hang in there.

  10. Jemi Fraser on September 7, 2016 at 9:07 pm

    That’s exactly how I cope! I can’t count of hours and hours of time – so I make the most of little bursts! 🙂

    • Michelle Wallace on September 16, 2016 at 6:32 pm

      Never underestimate the power of writing bursts! 🙂

  11. Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor on September 7, 2016 at 9:37 pm

    Sometimes, I think that the less time you have, the more productively you use that time, like writing in short, sharp bursts in a very focused way. The anthology contest theme looks fun – looking forward to seeing the stories that get selected.

    • Michelle Wallace on September 16, 2016 at 6:33 pm

      I agree that the less time you have, the more inclined you will be to use it as productively as possible,

  12. Lynda R Young on September 8, 2016 at 12:16 am

    A lot can be achieved in just ten minutes each day.

  13. Shelly on September 8, 2016 at 1:06 am

    Hi, Michelle. I keep a tight schedule. I’ve also let some things go. Like I don’t blog as much as I used to. I also avoid FaceBook.

    • Michelle Wallace on September 16, 2016 at 6:35 pm

      I also cut down on blogging but it’s still my number one choice of social media platforms.

  14. Mary Aalgaard on September 8, 2016 at 1:36 am

    I need to remember that writing can happen in small spurts and not wait for long stretches of free time. They don’t exist!
    I’ll message you later about teaching kids with ADD.
    Thanks for all your encouragement!

  15. Michael Di Gesu on September 8, 2016 at 2:04 am

    Hi, Michelle,

    I LOVED your last line… “Remember your life is not lived one day or one hour at a time. It is lived one moment at a time. Make every moment count.”

    I’ll definitely remember that.

    • Michelle Wallace on September 16, 2016 at 6:37 pm

      I know you’ve been struggling with writing. Just try and write a little every day. 🙂

  16. J.H. Moncrieff on September 8, 2016 at 4:53 am

    Great advice, Michelle! Whenever a fellow writer is struggling, I ask them to write one sentence a day for me. It’s amazing how often that helps. One sentence per day is better than months with no sentences at all.

    Thank you so much for your continued kindness and support. It means a lot to me. I’m not sure what I did to deserve it, but it always gives me a boost, so thanks! <3

    • Michelle Wallace on September 16, 2016 at 6:38 pm

      Yes, one sentence per day IS better than months with no sentences at all.
      With regards to the kindness/support…you’re welcome! 🙂

  17. Nicola on September 8, 2016 at 8:44 am

    Jackie Collins once said in an interview – if you just set a small target of 250 words a day, by the end of the year, you’ll have written a novel. Great post! I’m very excited about the new anthology. Great line up of judges!

    • Michelle Wallace on September 16, 2016 at 6:39 pm

      That’s a great way of looking at it! Wise words from Ms. Collins.

  18. Liesbet on September 8, 2016 at 12:35 pm

    “Make every moment count.” Well said, Michelle! Just like happiness, it is those beneficial bursts that count. On the other hand, one of the things I hate most is getting into writing mode (those rare moments when it really flows) and then having to stop before the thought process or idea is finished…Luckily, I am fortunate with my amount of time that those writing mode moments better come more often! 🙂 Great theme for the anthology. I’m looking forward to reading the winning entries.

    • Michelle Wallace on September 16, 2016 at 6:41 pm

      Yes, we gotta take advantage of the moments when we’re “in the zone” and it flows! 🙂

  19. Tess Julia on September 8, 2016 at 1:35 pm

    Hi Michelle! Spending 10 minutes a day on writing is great advice- even though I’ve taken a lot of breaks on social media, I actually have still been doing a lot of writing, but I do miss all the company and support. Great to be back!

    • Michelle Wallace on September 16, 2016 at 6:43 pm

      Social media breaks are okay if we’ve been sticking to a reasonable writing schedule. The trick is to balance it. Good to have you back! 🙂

  20. Southpaw HR Sinclair on September 8, 2016 at 3:06 pm

    Sneaking time in can be hard, but 10 minutes here and there is doable.

    • Michelle Wallace on September 16, 2016 at 6:44 pm

      It can be hard. I agree. But it’s achievable. 🙂

  21. Madeline Mora-Summonte on September 8, 2016 at 3:35 pm

    I usually like to work in big chunks of time, but you are totally right that it’s not always necessary to accomplish things. Thanks for the reminder!

    • Michelle Wallace on September 16, 2016 at 6:46 pm

      I welcome the chunks on the rare occasion…it helps to boost the word count AND boosts the confidence!

  22. Julie Flanders on September 8, 2016 at 7:06 pm

    I think I will give your ten minute idea a try. I have never succeeded at writing every day because I end up feeling overwhelmed, but ten minutes is manageable! If I can just get started I know then I’d continue. Thanks for the tip.

    • Michelle Wallace on September 16, 2016 at 6:48 pm

      That’s what I discovered. The ten minutes is a great start. Thereafter, it’s easier to increase the session to twenty or twenty five minutes when time is available.

  23. Cherie Reich on September 8, 2016 at 7:17 pm

    Every little bit of writing adds up. We need to make those moments count. 🙂

    • Michelle Wallace on September 16, 2016 at 6:49 pm

      Words become sentences.
      Sentences become paragraphs.
      Every bit adds up. 🙂

  24. Leslie S. Rose on September 8, 2016 at 9:12 pm

    Congrats to Tara! I make myself sit down every day after teaching for at least an hour of creative time. Usually, once I push through the fatigue bubble I get a second wind. It’s also a great way to avoid the gym.

    • Michelle Wallace on September 16, 2016 at 6:50 pm

      Choosing between gym and writing? I’m sure writing wins every time. LOL

  25. Denise Covey on September 8, 2016 at 9:36 pm

    Hey Michelle. My comments are being lost all over the place this morning, so I’ll keep it short. Yes, definitely agree, we can write in short bursts. We can always carve out time for what we choose to do.
    Yep. Thank you for inspiring me to expand my short story! Nearly time to send you another read if you’re up to it! I’m anxious to hear if you love it or hate it!! After being Margie-ised, I’m doing another pass, cutting and improving (I hope).

    • Michelle Wallace on September 16, 2016 at 6:51 pm

      I’ll drop you a mail as soon as I’m ready.
      Margie-ised…sounds like a wonderful process! You’re so lucky to have that experience under your belt. 🙂

  26. L. Diane Wolfe on September 9, 2016 at 11:39 am

    One moment at a time is usually all I get anymore.

    • Michelle Wallace on September 16, 2016 at 6:52 pm

      Diane, with your crazy schedule, I can believe it.

  27. Pat Garcia on September 9, 2016 at 2:24 pm

    Hi Michelle,
    I like your advice, “every moment counts” cause it does. If you only have ten minutes. Write. Those ten minutes add up and become hours.
    All the best.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat Garcia

    • Michelle Wallace on September 16, 2016 at 6:54 pm

      Start off with ten minutes…once the habit has set in, it becomes easier to increase the session to twenty minutes or more.

  28. Murees Dupé on September 9, 2016 at 9:04 pm

    Such wise advice, Michelle. One moment at a time definitely makes things easier.

    • Michelle Wallace on September 16, 2016 at 6:55 pm

      I think writing bursts also take pressure off you and allow for higher productivity in a single sitting.

  29. Tyrean Martinson on September 10, 2016 at 5:46 pm

    Yes!!! Let’s make every moment count! And, ten minutes is definitely a good amount of writing. It surprises me how much I can get done in that amount of time.
    Thanks for the thorough look at the new anthology and the editors!

    • Michelle Wallace on September 16, 2016 at 6:56 pm

      …and you are proof of this. Your productivity is amazing… 🙂

  30. elsieamata on September 12, 2016 at 12:25 am

    I write when the mood strikes. If I try to schedule my writing, it comes out sounding too forced and you can tell my heart wasn’t really in it.

    • Michelle Wallace on September 16, 2016 at 6:57 pm

      I understand. You have to do what works for you. 🙂

  31. Nilanjana Bose on September 12, 2016 at 9:20 pm

    Hi Michelle,

    Back in blogland from the summer break now. Every minute counts, so true! For writing, reading, whatever other priorities one may have. Thanks for the reminder.


    • Michelle Wallace on September 16, 2016 at 6:58 pm

      Welcome back, Nila! 🙂 Hope you had a wonderful break!

  32. Crystal Collier on September 13, 2016 at 3:53 pm

    Yay for Tara!

    One of the most prolific writers I know sets aside two 45 minutes writing bursts a day. That’s it! It definitely can be done, eh?

  33. Nick Wilford on September 13, 2016 at 3:59 pm

    Ten minutes a day definitely adds up. It’s something that we can all do if we prioritise our writing. Excited about entering the contest!

    • Michelle Wallace on September 16, 2016 at 7:00 pm

      I always say, never underestimate the power in short bursts.

  34. Medeia Sharif on September 14, 2016 at 9:31 am

    Wonderful point. Those minutes add up to a lot of productivity.

    • Michelle Wallace on September 16, 2016 at 7:01 pm

      Concentrated writing often produces good quality.

  35. VR Barkowski on September 14, 2016 at 6:16 pm

    It really is all about discipline and forcing oneself to the keyboard. Ten minutes each day adds up. Zero minutes does not.

    Much success to Tara with Cradle Rock! The cover’s fantastic!

    • Michelle Wallace on September 16, 2016 at 7:02 pm

      I’ve learned that it’s all about Butt In Chair Hands On Keyboard (or pen to paper…)

  36. Julie Kemp Pick on September 16, 2016 at 6:21 am

    Hi Michelle,

    Your advice about writing 10 minutes a day is a great way to ease writers into a routine.

    The new IWSG contest sounds like a wonderful opportunity.

    Congrats to Tara!

    • Michelle Wallace on September 16, 2016 at 7:04 pm

      Yes, it is. Once the routine has been established, then it’s easier to go for longer periods of time when the opportunity arises. Nice to see you at my place, Julie! 🙂

  37. Shannon Lawrence on September 23, 2016 at 7:56 am

    Great advice! We have to use the time we have and make our writing important.

    • Michelle Wallace on September 23, 2016 at 9:27 am

      I really admire writers who have learned to use every available writing opportunity. They grab the few precious minutes wherever and whenever…

  38. Jennifer Chandler on September 28, 2016 at 7:23 pm

    Just a few minutes here and there, moment by moment. Perfect advice! Thanks for the reminder :). I’m excited about the IWSG story contest. Hopefully, those minutes will add up and I’ll have something to submit! Fingers crossed.


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