The Insecure Writer’s Support Group ~ No#89

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 May posting of the IWSG are:
Lee Lowery, Juneta Key, Yvonne Ventresca, and T. Powell Coltrin!
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!

MAY 01st QUESTION: What was an early experience where you learned that language has power?

I’m going to touch briefly on introversion, spoken language and creativity.
As an introvert, I’ve always had a problem with verbal communication but not actual language usage (which I think applies to many introverts). I can’t say that there’s a specific moment when I realized consciously, that language has power. But I’m using this opportunity to say that reading the book Quiet:The Power Of Introverts In A World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain, was a real eye-opener. It made me realize just how much focus is placed on spoken language, and that introverts, being naturally quiet people, have so much to offer in terms of spoken language.
A snippet from my Goodreads review of the book: “The book confirms I don’t have to be an outspoken in-your-face person, and that, more importantly, the loud ones are not necessarily the people with the best ideas. They’re just more forceful characters and so their opinions are heard more easily, even when they may have nothing constructive to say.
Quiet people often hide a wealth of creativity and sadly, this reticence can result in many good ideas not seeing the light of day.”

A final thought on the power of language by Nelson Mandela.

The 2019 Annual IWSG Anthology Contest is now open for submissions!

Guidelines and rules:
Word count: 3500-5000
Genre: Middle Grade Historical – Adventure/Fantasy
Theme: Voyagers

Submissions accepted: May 1 – September 4, 2019

How to enter: Send your polished, formatted (double-spaced, no footers or headers), previously unpublished story to admin @ before the deadline passes. Please include your contact details, your social links, and if you are part of the Blogging, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter IWSG group.

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

Elizabeth S. Craig, author and honorary judge
Dianne K. Salerni, author
S.A. Larsen, author
Rachna Chhabria, author
Tonja Drecker, author
Lynda Dietz, editor
David Powers King, author

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.

Masquerade: Oddly Suited – NOW AVAILABLE
An Insecure Writer’s Support Group Anthology
Young Adult Fiction: Romance – General/Paranormal/Contemporary
Print ISBN 9781939844644 $14.95
EBook ISBN 9781939844651 $4.99

Links: Barnes & Noble / Amazon / iTunes / Kobo / Dancing Lemur Press LLC / Goodreads

You have two options: a new IWSG anthology to read or submitting a story to the 2019 anthology contest? Or both? Happy IWSG Day!


  1. Mil Holmes on May 1, 2019 at 9:05 am

    Perhaps I should have read the question for the month. I immediately thought of my own childhood. Perhaps I will write one anyway.

    • Michelle Wallace on May 1, 2019 at 3:59 pm

      Childhood experiences are powerful because we are young and so impressionable… they stay with us for a long, long time…

  2. L. Diane Wolfe on May 1, 2019 at 11:35 am

    That’s another reason introverts tend to write so much. Trying to be heard. But those written words will far outlast the spoken ones.

    • Michelle Wallace on May 1, 2019 at 4:00 pm

      Never thought of it in this way… but it makes perfect sense.

    • Olga Godim on May 1, 2019 at 10:48 pm

      Yes, you’re right. Introverts will triumph yet! Maybe…

  3. Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor on May 1, 2019 at 1:03 pm

    Fellow introvert here – boy does your post resonate with me! Love the Mandela quote. 🙂

    • Michelle Wallace on May 1, 2019 at 4:00 pm

      It’s good to have fellow introverts. Glad I’m not the only one. 🙂

  4. Tamara Ann Narayan on May 1, 2019 at 1:40 pm

    I’m definitely one of the quiet introverts. If I get a good idea, I’ll just do it, or write about it, or let my husband know. Having a background in math helps me problem solve.

    • Michelle Wallace on May 1, 2019 at 4:02 pm

      Another fellow introvert.
      It was painful as a child but becomes manageable once adulthood kicks in.

  5. Astrid on May 1, 2019 at 1:47 pm

    I am so glad you touched in this post on the power of introverts. As a fellow introvert, I tend not to be the loudest, but my voice needs to be heard nonetheless.

    • Michelle Wallace on May 1, 2019 at 4:03 pm

      Exactly. 🙂 Introverts need to learn how to be a bit bolder. Easier said then done.

  6. T. Powell Coltrin on May 1, 2019 at 2:14 pm

    Writing lets us say things we might not have said otherwise. 🙂

  7. Christine Rains on May 1, 2019 at 2:30 pm

    Introvert here too! My verbal skills are horrendous. I’m usually very quiet, and I tend to mispronounce words. My mouth can’t keep up with my thoughts!

    • Michelle Wallace on May 1, 2019 at 4:06 pm

      Horrendous? I’m sure it’s not as bad as you think it is. Sometimes perception can be skewed.
      Anyway, you are such a good writer. 🙂

  8. Lee Lowery on May 1, 2019 at 2:49 pm

    I loved the book Quiet. A lot of insights for me. I’ve always expressed myself better in the written word. Although oddly, I’m an excellent public speaker. I’m fine when I have the floor (or courtroom). It’s all that mingling with people and chit chat that leave me mute.

    • Michelle Wallace on May 1, 2019 at 4:08 pm

      I know exactly what you mean.
      In the classroom, I’m fine… but ask me to deliver an impromptu speech to a room full of people, then I’m tongue-tied.

  9. Angela Wooldridge on May 1, 2019 at 3:02 pm

    Yes, the loud ones often aren’t the ones with the best ideas – unfortunately they’re often the ones with the best hearing that repeat the softly spoken good ideas as their own 🙁

    • Michelle Wallace on May 1, 2019 at 4:11 pm

      Eavesdropping extroverts who pass off other people’s ideas as their own? Sounds like a nightmare. 🙁

  10. the real cie on May 1, 2019 at 3:08 pm

    I write a lot but rarely get any sort of feedback. Most of the time I don’t care. I know I’m an oddball and the general public isn’t going to like what I create. Most people want to read and watch things with all the imaginative qualities of pre-chewed food.

    • Michelle Wallace on May 1, 2019 at 4:14 pm

      As long as you like what you’ve created, then you are true to yourself.

  11. Madeline Mora-Summonte on May 1, 2019 at 3:30 pm

    Excellent snippet from your book review! Thanks for sharing!

  12. Jemi Fraser on May 1, 2019 at 3:43 pm

    Love that Mandela quote!
    I always have this quote up in my classroom … never assume loud is strong and quiet is weak.

    • Michelle Wallace on May 1, 2019 at 4:15 pm

      It’s important for the introverted learners to be aware of this. That quote sums it up… perfectly.

  13. Pat Garcia on May 1, 2019 at 4:34 pm

    Yes, words are extremely powerful. I believe it is extremely difficult when one cannot express him or herself. I noticed that in my husband during the last three months before he died. He could no longer express to me what he wanted to say and he felt very frustrated and I felt helpless. I sometimes think we don’t realise the power of words and their effect upon our lives until we lose the ability to express ourselves.

    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

    • Michelle Wallace on May 1, 2019 at 4:52 pm

      It must be really difficult for both parties when somebody loses that ability to express himself/herself. I can only imagine. It would definitely heighten the importance of the power of language.

  14. Tyrean Martinson on May 1, 2019 at 4:37 pm

    I know when I talk too much (as an introvert who has forced myself to speak more), I often feel as if I have said far less of importance than when I speak fewer words and listen more. Listening and taking time to speak often have greater impact in the long run, but sadly, we (me included) struggle to listen.
    I need to read that book.

    • Michelle Wallace on May 1, 2019 at 4:54 pm

      Over time, I’ve also forced myself to speak out more. But I weigh my words carefully (as most introverts do…)
      The book is excellent.

  15. Anna on May 1, 2019 at 4:41 pm

    There is a terrible assumption made around quiet people: they have nothing to say.

    I remember battleing with talking just enough as a child. Yeah, silly but I tried it. I had read that some speak too much and weren’t listened to, and some speak too little and weren’t listened to. So I wanted to be in the middle. It never occurred to me it was the listeners that where the issue. hehehe

    Anna from elements of emaginette

    • Michelle Wallace on May 1, 2019 at 4:58 pm

      When I was a child, the “children should be seen and not heard” mantra was in full swing, so I was content to be in a corner reading my books.
      When I started teaching, it helped pull me out of that non-verbal mindset. I’m not as bad as I used to be.

  16. Alex J. Cavanaugh on May 1, 2019 at 5:25 pm

    I’m a wealth of creativity! Good to know.

  17. Mary Aalgaard on May 1, 2019 at 6:11 pm

    Quiet people conserve their words. When they do speak, it has meaning. I might write a story for the next contest. A few ideas have sparked.
    Happy IWSG Day to you!

  18. Jacqui Murray on May 1, 2019 at 7:22 pm

    The rules for the anthology were really helpful, Michelle. I like the sound of it.

    • Michelle Wallace on May 1, 2019 at 7:35 pm

      Glad that they helped, Jacqui.
      Maybe it will spark an idea for a story?

  19. Jennifer Lee Hawes on May 1, 2019 at 8:17 pm

    I’ve always had to “watch” my words. Sometimes (okay, a lot) I would get into trouble in school because I would speak before I would think. Now, that I’m back in the classroom, I realize I still have to “watch” my words. They can really impact those little people for good or bad!

    • Michelle Wallace on May 2, 2019 at 2:59 pm

      I know what you mean. The little people tend to hang onto teachers every word so you have to be so cautious…

  20. Yvonne V on May 1, 2019 at 10:43 pm

    Great quote from that book — I enjoyed it, too.

  21. Olga Godim on May 1, 2019 at 10:49 pm

    Love the snippet of your review of the Cain’s book. So true!

    • Michelle Wallace on May 2, 2019 at 3:00 pm

      Reading the book was such an aha! experience for me. Really empowering.

  22. Lynda R Young on May 2, 2019 at 12:22 am

    Yay for quiet people 🙂

    • Michelle Wallace on May 2, 2019 at 3:01 pm

      Never underestimate the power of quietness. It hides a mind that is always working.

  23. Susan Gourley on May 2, 2019 at 12:52 am

    Excellent post and so interesting. I’m going to check out that book. I know a young writer who is so painfully introverted and she is a wonderful poet. Thanks for the idea.

    • Michelle Wallace on May 2, 2019 at 3:02 pm

      The book has been a life-changer. It’s a must-read for all introverts.

  24. Lisa on May 2, 2019 at 1:59 am

    What a revelation. I do agree that those who talk a lot, and generally about themselves or their experiences, tend to be difficult to really listen to. I don’t consider myself an introvert, but know that I do have some of those tendencies, especially when it comes to talking about my writing, unless it’s with another author 🙂 Thanks for dropping by my blog…

    • Michelle Wallace on May 2, 2019 at 3:56 pm

      It’s always a pleasure to listen to authors talk about their books. 🙂

  25. J Lenni Dorner on May 2, 2019 at 3:30 am

    As a mute, I can really relate to this. (Please, feel free to not SPEAK LOUDER, because my hearing is just fine. Really, I promise.) Great post. Thanks for sharing this information and that book.

    • Michelle Wallace on May 2, 2019 at 4:00 pm

      It’s so true that some people tend to get louder when speaking to a mute.
      They sort of get it mixed up in their minds… I have no idea why.

  26. Denise Covey on May 2, 2019 at 4:29 am

    Hah, Michelle, I think most writers have some of the introvert in them. I know i’d often rather observe a conversation than participate. Learn more that way. That book sounds like a life changer! Thanks for the recommendation.

    • Michelle Wallace on May 2, 2019 at 4:01 pm

      It’s a life-changer for sure! So many aha moments… 🙂

  27. Erika Beebe on May 2, 2019 at 10:17 am

    I really appreciate your reflection. Being an introvert in an extroverted family left me feeling like a really odd duck. It’s taken me most of my life to realize I am okay too, just being me 🙂

    • Michelle Wallace on May 2, 2019 at 4:02 pm

      You are. 🙂
      Every individual is a unique human being. Imagine if we were all the same?

  28. Natalie Aguirre on May 2, 2019 at 10:26 am

    I’m an introvert too. Like Erika, it’s taken me a long time to be okay with that. And loved the Nelson Mandela quote.

    • Michelle Wallace on May 2, 2019 at 4:05 pm

      It’s taken me a long time too. Now I’m comfortable in my own skin.

  29. Cathrina on May 2, 2019 at 11:41 am

    I love the Nelson Mandela quote, true! Great Post, Michelle!

  30. Doreen Mcgettigan on May 2, 2019 at 4:47 pm

    I was an introvert until I was 30. I don’t know what happened, it still confuses me lol.
    What a busy IWSG month! SO much going on, I love it.

    • Michelle Wallace on May 3, 2019 at 4:33 pm

      That’s interesting. Maybe you’re half-introvert half-extrovert and the introvert part of your personality dominated up until 30?

  31. Juneta Key on May 2, 2019 at 8:19 pm

    Loved the quote so wise. Happy IWSG.

  32. C.G.Coppola on May 2, 2019 at 10:39 pm

    Let me say this: based off your post, I want to read that book. The brief snippet you shared was enough, so thank you!

  33. Loni Townsend on May 3, 2019 at 3:20 pm

    Love the quote! I used to not know what I was–an introvert or an extrovert–because I never considered myself quiet, but I also feel like I was outspoken. I love attention and being in front of crowds, but people exhaust me and I get anxious when I’m in a crowd. I’ve determined that maybe I sit somewhere in the middle, but leaning more toward the introvert side.

    I’ll have to check out that book. It sounds like a good one!

    • Michelle Wallace on May 3, 2019 at 4:35 pm

      Maybe you fall somewhere in between.
      The book is an eye-opener. A must-read for introverts.

  34. Lynda A Dietz on May 6, 2019 at 1:30 pm

    I love your observation that introverts may very well have powerful words to say, but they’re possibly drowned out by those with louder voices. I’m about 50/50 when it comes to the introvert/extrovert thing (I can adapt well in most situations, but enjoy the alone time and need it to recharge)—but I’ve often given up trying to express my thoughts in a group that’s filled with people clamoring for attention for their own ideas. An idea I have may even be better or more efficient, but if I have to fight to be heard at all, I just leave them to it.

    • Michelle Wallace on May 8, 2019 at 12:17 pm

      I know what you mean. The extroverts always come out on top, simply because they’re more forceful when it comes to getting themselves heard. Most of them find it difficult to sit back and listen and will usually dominate within a group setting.

  35. Carol Kilgore on May 6, 2019 at 7:17 pm

    I love the quote from Nelson Mandela!
    I also like the snippet from your review. Very good.

  36. J.H. Moncrieff on May 8, 2019 at 4:09 am

    Ironically, the loudest people I’ve known were introverts pretending to be extroverts. One of my exes was one. He completely fooled me. Took me forever to believe he was actually an introvert, because he dominated a room.

    But yeah, he much preferred hiding in our bedroom and playing video games.

    Even extroverts don’t have to be blowhards. I’m extroverted, but I have quiet moments as well, and like hearing what others have to say.

    • Michelle Wallace on May 8, 2019 at 12:30 pm

      That’s understandable that many loud people are actually “closet” introverts. I wonder if that happens with people who are 50-50 on the introversion-extroversion scale?
      According to the Myers-Brigg test, being an extrovert or an introvert isn’t about being outgoing or shy, it’s about where you draw your energy from. Also, there’s no pure introvert or extrovert.

  37. Hilary on May 12, 2019 at 11:17 am

    Hi Michelle – what an excellent Mandela quote … one we can all remember – it’s more important to consider the person you are talking to, than your own ideas. Really interesting read about the Introvert idea … thanks for elaborating on that aspect. Cheers Hilary

  38. Michael Di Gesu on May 12, 2019 at 8:40 pm

    Hi Michelle!

    Interesting post…I had no idea how introverts miss out on some much. So true about their ideas never entering the world through conversation. Such a waste! I believe a healthy balance of both is necessary in this world. Although I’m considered an extrovert, I am also and excellent listener.

    • Michelle Wallace on May 25, 2019 at 12:14 pm

      A healthy balance of both would be ideal.
      It can become a challenge, though, when extroverts ‘hog the limelight’ and introverts are reluctant to put themselves out there…

  39. Nick Wilford on May 13, 2019 at 6:44 pm

    Another member of the introvert club here… if introverts want to be in a club, that is! This resonates me because I’ve always struggled to express myself verbally. Especially when younger, when I had a stutter. Sounds like a very interesting book.

    • Michelle Wallace on May 25, 2019 at 12:16 pm

      I’m also one of those who struggled to express myself verbally when I was younger. I’m in a much better space now.

  40. Raimey Gallant on May 16, 2019 at 10:20 pm

    I may have to pick up that book. I think if the world focused less on the spoken word, we would have more options for who we chose to run it.

    • Michelle Wallace on May 25, 2019 at 12:18 pm

      Yes, I agree.
      When it comes to leadership, the spoken word is emphasized, at the expense of other forms or avenues…

  41. Shannon Lawrence on May 20, 2019 at 7:05 am

    That sounds like a book I’d enjoy and get something out of. Thanks for the suggestion/review!

  42. Damyanti on May 30, 2019 at 2:54 pm

    Another introvert here. I’d rather not think back to the days when I first discovered words had power.

  43. Morgan Shamy on June 2, 2019 at 5:03 pm

    I’m definitely an introvert!!!

    And now I HAVE to pick up that book!

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