The Insecure Writer’s Support Group ~ No#62

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.

A big thank you to our co-hosts for this month’s posting: Misha Gericke, LK Hill, Juneta Key, Christy and Joylene Butler! Don’t forget to visit them and thank them for co-hosting!

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

A warm welcome to our two new IWSG admins!
Heather M Gardner joined our team earlier this month to take over the Conferences Page. Welcome, Heather!
 C. Lee McKenzie has just joined our team on Monday as our Media Relations Specialist. Welcome, C. Lee!

We also have a brand new feature!


Please help us to give our newest blog hop sign-ups a warm welcome, IWSG style. Let’s visit their blogs and show them some love today.

Blue Fox Cafe
Kathy S Collier/Author
My Brain Injourney
The Write Project
Write Accountable
Going Solo with spelling errors
600 Second Saga
Putting the Clothes On, Taking the Gloves Off.
Northern Lights Gothic – KT Wagner
Danger, Love, and Mystery
Writers Read – That’s What They Do
Ray Pace at Large


Do you want to show the world that you’re insecure and proud? Well, now you can! The IWSG has started a merchandise store. Right now we have pens, magnets, and T-shirts available. Check out our store


Hero Lost

Mysteries of Death and Life

An Insecure Writer’s Support Group Anthology

Can a lost hero find redemption?


The Hero Lost: Mysteries of Death and Life authors started a website for the IWSG anthology – Lost Hero Anthology.

Release Date: May 2, 2017


FEBRUARY 01st QUESTION: How has being a writer changed your experience as a reader?

I’m a reader first. The writing started late.
My reading experience has been changed…forever. It’s like a double-edged sword.

First, I just can’t read with that same abandon that I used to before I started writing. Gone are the days when I would read for sheer enjoyment, curled up on the bed, fully immersed in the world of a novel…so deeply, that I became the character.
Now, as much as I try to avoid it, my writerly mind intrudes. While reading, I often reach for a pencil to mark certain passages. Reading has become analytical. I think about choices the author has made, the techniques used and how they influence my responses as a reader.
When a story captures my imagination, some thoughts that come to mind: What is it about the way a particular text is written that makes me feel and respond the way I do? What other choices were available to the writer? What is the technique the author is using here? Is this technique effective? What would be the advantages and disadvantages if I tried this same technique in my writing? Obviously it also depends on genre.

This brings me to the next point. Since I’ve been writing, my reading has diversified. I’m reading different genres: sci-fi, fantasy, steampunk, mystery, romance. They say that reading widely is important for writers. It exposes you to other voices, styles, plots and thought processes. I don’t think this would have happened if I didn’t embark on the writing journey.

It’s still hot and humid this end of the world and will continue to be like this until early April. Though I can’t be sure because weather patterns are unpredictable and seasons have changed. Anyway, it’s draining me. But I’m hanging in there…

Don’t forget to visit some new members, to pop over to the IWSG merchandise store and to check out the authors website for the IWSG anthology! I’ll visit blogs over the next few days.
Happy IWSG Day!


  1. Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor on February 1, 2017 at 7:06 pm

    You’ve summed up my thoughts on how my reading habits have changed since I started writing perfectly 🙂 I do miss those days past when I read with abandon. Nowadays, it’s much rarer for me to get lost in a book.

  2. Liesbet on February 1, 2017 at 7:26 pm

    Michelle, I share your sentiment exactly! Once you are a writer, reading is never the same anymore. While in a way, reading enriches us more now, I miss the fact that I can’t just read for enjoyment anymore! I wonder whether it is the same for chefs who eat out or musicians who go to concerts…

    Liesbet @ Roaming About – A Life Less Ordinary

  3. Crystal Collier on February 1, 2017 at 8:30 pm

    Woman! Goodness, I feel like I haven’t been here in forever. Have some cheese, eh? Reading is a totally different beast when you’re in the industry, but that’s the price we pay for being story tellers. I’m okay with it. –Especially the diverse reading part. I love how it has expanded my horizons.

  4. H.R. Sinclair on February 1, 2017 at 9:51 pm

    Reading has changed for me too. I reach for the pen to note good stuff and bad.

  5. Alex J. Cavanaugh on February 1, 2017 at 10:15 pm

    I notice things when I read, which means sometimes I can’t get fully into a book. I try not to analyze too deeply though.

  6. CD Gallant-King on February 1, 2017 at 10:36 pm

    I never really thought about it, but my reading choices have diversified since I started writing, too, probably for the same reasons you listed.

  7. L. Diane Wolfe on February 1, 2017 at 11:56 pm

    I get in edit mode, too. Between my own writing and my authors, I feel like I’m always editing.

  8. ChemistKen on February 2, 2017 at 1:04 am

    I definitely read a lot more genres now that I’ve become a writer. Sometimes I read for pleasure, but sometimes I read to learn new techniques. Definitely not the wild eyed, naive reader I was before.

  9. Patricia Lynne on February 2, 2017 at 1:12 am

    Even after all I’ve learned about writing, I still read purely for pleasure. I notice things now, but I don’t analyze the writing as I’m reading.

  10. Heather M. Gardner on February 2, 2017 at 2:34 am

    Wow. Yes. This!
    I feel the same. I used to read so much. Now, I get easily frustrated or overthink what I’m reading. I’m glad you feel the same way. It would be great to turn off the brain for a bit and just fall into the books again.
    Thank you for the shout-out. I’m so happy to be included in this group!

  11. Krystal Jane on February 2, 2017 at 7:32 am

    I hear people say that a lot, but if I find myself analyzing a book while I’m reading it, it means I don’t like it. I’m a natural editor and grammar person. I’m wired to pick at stuff, so I do analyze things when I’m done sometimes. But when I’m reading, I just want to get lost in a good story. It’s really interesting that being a writer has expanded your horizons. I’m notoriously not diverse in my reading. I do branch out on occasion, but it’s rare.

  12. Shannon Lawrence on February 2, 2017 at 8:40 am

    I actually narrowed my reading focus for awhile until recently, and am now expanding back out. I was reading primarily horror to explore it and the way it’s changed, but am back to reading mystery, memoir, fantasy, YA, etc.

  13. Hilary Melton-Butcher on February 2, 2017 at 10:37 am

    Hi Michelle – I’ve certainly learnt to look at new genres … and now my reading is much more academic … I rarely read novels, or mysteries … it’s the way it is. I do notice typos and poor grammar and poor weak, long drawn out endings … finishing with a snap would help some books. Great post though and certainly rang bells for me – cheers Hilary

  14. Misha on February 2, 2017 at 11:34 am

    I don’t usually mark passages or the like, but my brain seems to enjoy taking snapshots of stories.

    On my end of the world, it’s looking like winter might come early. Which sucks, because I procrastinated on packing away my winter clothing after moving house and only managed to do it in December. >_<

  15. Ryan Carty on February 2, 2017 at 6:19 pm

    “Since I’ve been writing, my reading has diversified. I’m reading different genres: sci-fi, fantasy, steampunk, mystery, romance.”

    Yes! Yes! Yes! A wise instructor once taught me that anyone who wants to excel should explore all aspects of any craft. Music, art, writing, masters know there is value in any form, any genre.

  16. Erika Beebe on February 3, 2017 at 1:51 am

    I have found a few books I can still disappear and enjoy. I love Holly Black and Meg cabot. She wrote a Persephone tribute series and I loved it so much. 🙂

  17. Juneta on February 3, 2017 at 4:13 am

    Double edge sword is the perfect analogy to describe the relationship for a writer with reading. Well said.

    Happy IWSG Day! Juneta @ Writer’s Gambit .

  18. Madeline Mora-Summonte on February 3, 2017 at 2:33 pm

    I’ve pretty much always read across genres, and I do find it informs my writing. Lately, I’ve been reading a lot of mystery/suspense/thriller, and even though I don’t write that genre, the pacing in those stories is keeping me on my toes with my own writing. 🙂

  19. Raquel Byrnes on February 3, 2017 at 8:29 pm

    I really have to try to quiet my inner editor, but I do still love reading. Especially not in my own genre.

  20. Yvonne V on February 3, 2017 at 11:55 pm

    I agree — sometimes it’s hard to get the sheer enjoyment back. 🙂

  21. Doreen McGettigan on February 5, 2017 at 2:34 am

    Yep, it will never be the same! I love the shout outs to the newbies! Going to visit every one of them.

  22. Nicola Burggraf on February 5, 2017 at 4:40 pm

    Like you, since writing, I’ve ventured into all sorts of reading genre, even historical fiction. ME, historical fiction!!?? – I’m more of a crime, thriller reader. But I’ve journeyed into different realms and thoroughly appreciated and enjoyed the story-telling. Luckily, I’m still able to lose myself in the pages and not worry too much about my editor/writer head. Great post, Michelle. Thanks for sharing.

  23. Carol Kilgore on February 7, 2017 at 2:49 pm

    My reading material has broadened, too, since I started writing. I’m not analytical, but for a few years after I started seriously writing fiction, I found it difficult to read for pleasure. I guess it was something I had to work through. Now I’m back to loving getting immersed in a story someone else wrote.

  24. Nick Wilford on February 7, 2017 at 9:41 pm

    I’m not that analytical, but I’ll often reflect on what worked and what didn’t after finishing reading. It’s a big part of how we learn as writers, so it’s inevitable, but it’s important to remember to enjoy it too (just like writing!)

  25. Leslie S. Rose on February 9, 2017 at 4:22 am

    Yep, I read now with highlight and post-it flags in hand. I’ve gotten super fast at my Kindle highlighting too. I’m with you on the reading across more genres. It’s also such a thrill to be able to read books written by friends. Love this crazy writing world.

  26. Lynda R Young on February 10, 2017 at 7:40 am

    It so is a double-edged sword. But so worth it in the end.

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