The Insecure Writer’s Support Group ~ No#79

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 July posting of the IWSG are: Nicki Elson, Juneta Key, Tamara Narayan, and Patricia Lynne!

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!

JULY 03rd QUESTION: What are your ultimate writing goals, and how have they changed over time (if at all)?

I didn’t start out writing with any particular writing goal in mind. A love for words and the excitement of finding out where those words would lead, was the initial factor that kept me going. Publishing a book or becoming an author never ever crossed my mind during the early days.
For me, ultimate writing goal sounds like the pinnacle of a writing journey, and since I’ve always claimed my journey as being never-ending, I don’t think that I have an ultimate goal.
Maybe I’ll be one of those writers who just wanders here and there, writing a bit of this and a bit of that, or whatever takes my fancy… though that sounds crazy… and disjointed… and all over the place.
To be honest, I still feel like I’m in the experimenting phase, so maybe “all over the place” is the perfect way to describe it. But I’m enjoying it, and that’s what matters!!
A brief analysis to try and make sense of it all:

My early writing was geared towards creative non-fiction, which I still love. I’ve been thinking about moving towards more creative non-fiction writing.
Then I discovered the drabble and I was hooked! I’m definitely a flash fiction junkie.
I’ve always loved the mystery/suspense/thriller genre, and at one stage I thought that would be the route for me.
Because of my inclination towards shorter writing, I don’t know if I want to write a full blown novel. The idea of a novella/novelette has more appeal.

So, based on my rambling above, perhaps my crazy and disjointed writing journey will lead to something along the lines of: non-fiction book, collection of short pieces/short stories and a suspense/thriller novella?

What about poetry? I LOVE my poetry?

You see what I mean?

Reminder! The next IWSG Twitter pitch event, #IWSGPit, is July 19! That’s about two weeks away! Click on the left badge and see page for details. Some great success stories have come from the first two – it could be you.


Happy IWSG Day! As a writer, do you have a set ultimate goal that you are working towards, or does it change as you move along?


  1. Ellen Jacobson on July 3, 2018 at 2:04 pm

    I really like your point about ultimate goals and having a more open-ended approach to one’s writing journey. I’d like to try writing some short stories or novellas again. It’s nice to get more immediate satisfaction as they’re often finished more quickly.

    • Michelle Wallace on July 8, 2018 at 12:44 pm

      Yes, and with the trending short attention span amongst readers, the novella has grown in popularity.

  2. Anna on July 3, 2018 at 2:57 pm

    The crazy part is, it is the journey that makes writing so grand. I think you’re exactly where all of us want to be. 😉

    Anna from elements of emaginette

    • Michelle Wallace on July 8, 2018 at 12:45 pm

      You think so, Anna? Mmm. I can’t stay in this position forever… though… 🙂

  3. C. Lee McKenzie on July 3, 2018 at 3:16 pm

    It sounds like you enjoy experimenting! I think that’s great, since you’ve discovered so many ways to express yourself in words. Happy Flash Fiction Writing.

    • Michelle Wallace on July 8, 2018 at 12:50 pm

      I love experimenting. I think it helps to develop and strengthen writing voice. 🙂

  4. Jemi Fraser on July 3, 2018 at 3:27 pm

    I am completely with you!!! I love being all over the place and dabbling in all the things! Now I’ve got a paranormal-style poking at my brain! So much fun! 🙂

    • Michelle Wallace on July 8, 2018 at 12:51 pm

      A kindred spirit! 🙂 A toast to many more hours of writing fun!

  5. Alex J. Cavanaugh on July 3, 2018 at 3:36 pm

    You’re still finding your writing legs and that’s all right.

  6. Crystal Collier on July 3, 2018 at 4:01 pm

    There’s nothing wrong with crossing several lines and experimenting. You only have to focus once you have a publishing contract and are trying to build a specific audience. In the meantime, I say enjoy!

  7. Julie Flanders on July 3, 2018 at 4:23 pm

    I think you should just follow wherever your muse is leading you at the time – if you are enjoying what you are doing that is what matters! Your writing is great regardless of the format. Happy July!

    • Michelle Wallace on July 8, 2018 at 12:55 pm

      The fun element energizes me and keeps me going. 🙂
      Happy July to you too, Julie!

  8. L. Diane Wolfe on July 3, 2018 at 5:05 pm

    Michelle, you won’t be put in a box, and that’s good.

  9. Michelle Athy on July 3, 2018 at 6:08 pm

    There’s nothing wrong with being all over the place. I always liked creative non-fiction and a variety of fiction genres. I like writing short stories, too. And there are plenty of published authors who jump around in genres.

    • Michelle Wallace on July 8, 2018 at 12:57 pm

      Many authors are crossing over to different genres… that’s true.

  10. Carol Kilgore on July 3, 2018 at 7:45 pm

    So many options! So little time 🙂
    I’m not so much fluctuating between this or that, but the more I write, the more story ideas I have. There will never be enough time to write them all.

    • Michelle Wallace on July 8, 2018 at 12:58 pm

      At least that’s one problem you don’t have to worry about, Carol 🙂

  11. Loni Townsend on July 3, 2018 at 7:51 pm

    Enjoying what you’re doing while wandering sounds like a good goal to me. 🙂

    • Michelle Wallace on July 8, 2018 at 1:00 pm

      I suppose the wandering will allow me to explore all avenues and eventually lead to something concrete.

  12. Hilary Melton-Butcher on July 3, 2018 at 11:30 pm

    Go with your intuition .. but you’ll succeed – good luck … cheers Hilary

  13. Hilary Melton-Butcher on July 3, 2018 at 11:30 pm

    Go with your intuition .. but you’ll succeed – good luck … cheers Hilary

    • Michelle Wallace on July 8, 2018 at 1:01 pm

      I’m a strong believer in listening to your gut. Thanks Hilary.

  14. J.L. Campbell (@JL_Campbell) on July 4, 2018 at 10:32 am

    You have it right. Enjoy the journey, doing you along the way.

    • Michelle Wallace on July 8, 2018 at 1:03 pm

      Thanks, Joy! I was a bit worried about this ‘all over the show thinggie…’
      It will work itself out… one way or the other.

  15. J Lenni Dorner on July 4, 2018 at 11:41 am

    Those shorter, 100 to 200 pages, 99 cent novellas sell pretty well. And there’s always also putting them all together in an anthology with a bonus other story or two, and selling that for $3.99 or whatever. It’s all good. Just keep writing.

    • Michelle Wallace on July 8, 2018 at 1:06 pm

      I actually read an article and got some great insight about the benefits of self-publishing a novella/novelette… and how they’ve risen in popularity.

  16. Nick Wilford on July 4, 2018 at 3:25 pm

    I agree, even if you achieve one goal there’s always something else to do. That’s the beauty of it, the journey just keeps going. Looks like you’ve got lots of options to explore!

    • Michelle Wallace on July 8, 2018 at 1:09 pm

      Lots of options means many different types of publishing opportunities. Not a bad thing, right?

  17. Lee Lowery on July 4, 2018 at 3:43 pm

    It sounds like you are in love with writing in all forms, so definitely just go with your gut. I find writing flash fiction is a great stress-buster. And yes, what about poetry???? Almost no one knows I even write any poetry, and it is unlikely to ever see the light of day, but I love it!

    • Michelle Wallace on July 8, 2018 at 1:13 pm

      I’m in love with different forms of writing – definitely!
      Poetry was my first love… but has since been ousted by flash fiction.

  18. Rachna Chhabria on July 4, 2018 at 3:48 pm

    Hi Michelle, its our love for words that starts us on our writing journey which ends up being a never ending one 🙂

  19. M.J. Fifield on July 4, 2018 at 8:31 pm

    What’s that quote? “Not all who wander are lost…”

    I love experimenting with different genres (poetry included) just to see if I can write it. I always decide what to do with it (if anything…) afterward.

    As long as you’re enjoying doing what you’re doing, that’s all that matters, I think.

  20. Krystal Jane on July 4, 2018 at 8:44 pm

    Poetry books and short story collections sound like a lot of fun! I want to dabble in those arenas one day, when my short fiction skills have improved. I don’t have a clear goal right now either. It’s just write and whatever. 🙂

    • Michelle Wallace on July 8, 2018 at 1:16 pm

      I know that you’re inclined towards writing very long stories. It’s a skill I need to develop. 🙂

  21. Jacqui Murray on July 4, 2018 at 9:03 pm

    To me, you sound like a purist–you love writing. You could teach it quite effectively I suspect.

    • Michelle Wallace on July 8, 2018 at 1:18 pm

      I’m inclined to be one… 🙂 though with the constantly-evolving industry, I try to keep an open mind.

  22. Raimey Gallant on July 5, 2018 at 12:46 am

    Have you heard of the book of interview transcripts with Ursula Le Guin that was just released? She passed when the book was still being edited, sadly. I just finished it. There’s a section each for fiction, non-fic, and poetry. The non-fic section was so delightful especially. It’s a short read. Pick it up or check it out if the desire so strikes. 🙂

    • Michelle Wallace on July 8, 2018 at 1:22 pm

      I definitely want to read the book. Sounds right up my alley. 🙂
      I phoned our local book store but they don’t have the book, and at the moment, it will be too expensive to place an order from overseas. The lady suggested waiting a few months when the price will drop, and it will become more affordable to import.
      Thank you for the suggestion, Raimey.

  23. Juneta on July 5, 2018 at 2:59 am

    I like flash fiction and the short story a lot too. I want to write a book not sure I can do it, but I am trying. Have fun experimenting and follow your love.

    • Michelle Wallace on July 8, 2018 at 1:24 pm

      You can do it, Juneta. 🙂
      Step by step. Word by word. Sentence by sentence. Paragraph by paragraph.
      This advice is always at the back of my mind.

  24. Lynda R Young on July 5, 2018 at 5:44 am

    I love your approach to your writing. it’s free and open. And that approach means you get to enjoy what you do.

    • Michelle Wallace on July 8, 2018 at 1:26 pm

      Thanks, Lyn.
      Free and open… plus fun. 🙂
      Sounds like a winning combination… just got to keep on producing the words.

  25. Ronel Janse van Vuuren on July 5, 2018 at 9:40 am

    Sounds like a free and open writing environment where your Muse leads you to happiness.

    • Michelle Wallace on July 8, 2018 at 1:27 pm

      It does have its challenges.
      Every writing journey does, I suppose.

  26. Madeline Mora-Summonte on July 5, 2018 at 12:20 pm

    I love how this writing journey never has to end. And yeh for flash fiction! 🙂

    • Michelle Wallace on July 8, 2018 at 1:29 pm

      I think that’s the most exciting part. It goes on and on, unlike some journeys (certain sports, for example) where the players retire due to physical injuries/old age…
      Flash fiction rules! 🙂

  27. Natalie Aguirre on July 5, 2018 at 12:25 pm

    I love your goals of enjoying the journey and what you write. That is what I’m trying to do to when I can squeeze in writing time for myself.

    • Michelle Wallace on July 8, 2018 at 1:31 pm

      It allows for a relaxing environment.
      Writing should have more fun-filled moments than stressful moments. 🙂

  28. Cherie Reich on July 5, 2018 at 2:43 pm

    There’s nothing wrong with taking a more scenic journey toward your goals. 🙂

    • Michelle Wallace on July 8, 2018 at 1:34 pm

      I’m suspended above the atmosphere, with my notebook/ pen/pencil, perched in my colorful writing balloon… a very scenic and fun-filled journey! 🙂

  29. M Pepper Langlinais on July 5, 2018 at 4:35 pm

    I write whatever I feel like, too. It’s been a terrible way to run a career, but at least I don’t get bored!

    • Michelle Wallace on July 8, 2018 at 1:35 pm

      It does sound like a terrible way to run a career… but at least it’s always fun!

  30. Louise (Fundy Blue) on July 5, 2018 at 7:53 pm

    Creative non-fiction is a genre that definitely appeals to me too, Michelle. I’ve never liked to be pigeonholed, and I think your exploration and experimentation is awesome. Have a great time writing this month!

    • Michelle Wallace on July 8, 2018 at 1:36 pm

      From a creative perspective it’s definitely awesome!
      But from a business perspective? I’ll deal with that when the need arises… 🙂

  31. Nicki Elson on July 5, 2018 at 9:52 pm

    Your muse is taking you exciting places. Follow her. 🙂

    • Michelle Wallace on July 8, 2018 at 1:38 pm

      I hope she provides many fun and exciting moments… for as long as possible! 🙂

  32. Toinette Thomas on July 6, 2018 at 12:08 am

    Sometimes I think it would be nice not to have writing goals, but I think it goes against my nature.
    A collection of short stories and poetry sounds pretty nice. I’m currently working on one myself; still got a ways to go.
    I don’t read a lot of non-fiction, but when I do I like it to almost feel like a narrative, like a story for entertainment. I guess that’s where the creative part comes in.

    • Michelle Wallace on July 8, 2018 at 1:40 pm

      Good luck with the writing projects, Toi!
      For me, creative non-fiction allows me to free write.
      I love free writing in the stream-of-consciousness style.

  33. Melanie on July 6, 2018 at 12:23 am

    I agree completely, “ultimate” goal makes it sound like we would stop once we reach it. But this feels more of a life-long journey to me! Good luck!

    • Michelle Wallace on July 8, 2018 at 1:41 pm

      Thank you, Melanie.
      Good luck and enjoy your journey! 🙂

  34. Gwen Gardner on July 6, 2018 at 2:47 am

    You’re so right. There is no reason to limit ourselves to this or that goal. But to go where the muse takes you. You’re on to something, Michelle!

    • Michelle Wallace on July 8, 2018 at 1:44 pm

      I think that having more life experiences tends to make a person more open and less inhibited, in a way, when it comes to the journey we’re on… what do you think?

  35. Tamara Narayan on July 6, 2018 at 3:17 pm

    I don’t think I’ll ever stick to one genre of writing. But I will always be interested in great characters, along with lots of drama and emotion.

    • Michelle Wallace on July 8, 2018 at 1:45 pm

      Great characters? Definitely! Loads of emotion… I second that.

  36. Patricia Lynne aka Patricia Josephine on July 6, 2018 at 5:40 pm

    Maybe you could say your ultimate writing goals is to have writing make you happy.

    • Michelle Wallace on July 8, 2018 at 1:46 pm

      Then it means that I’ve attained my ultimate writing goal.
      Now I just need to keep on writing. 🙂

  37. Tonja Drecker on July 7, 2018 at 7:40 pm

    What a wonderful attitude! I could never really pin myself down to one genre either…although it might seem like I do. And who knows where your journey will take you. At least, you’ll have fun along the way.

    • Michelle Wallace on July 8, 2018 at 1:47 pm

      I think life is short so we need to grab all the fun that we can. 🙂

  38. Elsie on July 8, 2018 at 12:52 pm

    You and I are so much alike. We enjoy writing a little bit of everything and then some! Keep having fun with it 🙂

    • Michelle Wallace on July 8, 2018 at 1:49 pm

      Cheers to our “little bit of this and little bit of that!”
      When it comes to writing, we’re kindred spirits. 🙂

  39. Olga Godim on July 8, 2018 at 10:56 pm

    Novella is becoming my favorite form of a story. I’m not sure I’m up to writing more novels, but more novellas – yes, I hope so. The ideas are there. They just need to be put down in the word file format.

    • Michelle Wallace on July 9, 2018 at 7:21 am

      Olga, I’m sure you have thousands of ideas… and you’re such a prolific writer too! 🙂

  40. Stephen Tremp on July 9, 2018 at 3:04 am

    I have a flexible framework I begin with and move along. I have structure but can and will change as I move along as necessary.

    • Michelle Wallace on July 9, 2018 at 7:24 am

      Flexibility is important because it allows us to adapt as we go along, and that’s how we expand and grow. 🙂

  41. Leslie S Rose on July 18, 2018 at 1:08 am

    My first ever goal was to see if I could write a whole book – mission accomplished. Since then, the goal is always to write a better book each time and do justice to the stories bopping around in my noggin. Whatever happens after that is gravy.

    • Michelle Wallace on July 28, 2018 at 12:51 pm

      I think that I need to finish off, edit and publish a whole book… then take it from there… 🙂 I love the “bopping around in my noggin” phrase…

  42. Jen on July 19, 2018 at 12:55 pm

    I know how you feel! I’ve always bounced around between genres and styles. I know where my voice “feels” right, but there’s also other stories I want to pursue that aren’t in those “feel right” places. I figure, the worst that can happen is I write those stories, enjoy them, enjoy the process, and then leave them alone. They’ll be out of my head and that will make room for the other stories, the ones that dwell in that strange land of “feel right” for my voice.

    I liked Alex’s comment: you’re just still finding your writing legs. I sometimes feel like that’s me, that I’m still wobbling on dry land when I’ve spent far too long at sea, drifting. My biggest struggle is trying not to worry too much about not being “there” yet, wherever “there” is.

    Keep writing, keep moving forward, and keep enjoying what you’re doing!

    xo Jen

    • Michelle Wallace on July 28, 2018 at 12:55 pm

      Jen, for a writer who proclaims that she feels like she is: “wobbling on dry land when I’ve spent far too long at sea, drifting” I’m wondering about the amazing story waiting to be released when you anchor and publish that book!!
      I’m looking forward to reading it… 🙂

  43. Lynda Dietz on July 19, 2018 at 1:48 pm

    I LOVE your writing goals! It’s wonderful that they’re so varied because it tells me you simply love to write because it makes you happy.

    My ultimate writing goals usually involve simply getting the words out of my head and hopefully making someone smile in the process.

    • Michelle Wallace on July 28, 2018 at 12:59 pm

      Lynda, I’m not really sure how much you write. I always think that your focus is editing. But I’m wrong. Keep getting the words out.
      By the way, you always make me smile, so that’s a win!

  44. Shannon Lawrence on July 25, 2018 at 11:20 pm

    I think it’s great to have wide interests. We should always be experimenting and growing in creative fields.

    • Michelle Wallace on July 28, 2018 at 1:00 pm

      Yes, we should. The more we grow, the wider the possibilities. Thank you, Shannon! 🙂

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