The Insecure Writer’s Support Group ~ No#98

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 February posting of the IWSG are: are Lee Lowery, Ronel Janse van Vuuren, Jennifer Hawes, Cathrina Constantine, and Tyrean Martinson!

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!

FEBRUARY 05th QUESTION: Has a single photo or work of art ever inspired a story? What was it and did you finish it?
By nature, I am a prompt writer. Give me a picture, photo, word or phrase and away I go! It’s actually become a part of my writing process.
Three facts about word/photo prompts:
1. My five-sentence fiction pieces are all based on a one-word-inspiration. 
2. I completed a CampNaNo ( I think it was in 2016) and the initial draft of a story,  in response to daily word prompts.
3. My 2015 A to Z challenge was a series of flash fiction pieces called NIFTY NUGGETS. It showcased little nuggets of writing based on a photo, a phrase and an object, designed to encourage lean, tight writing. I aimed for a word count of under 300 words per nugget. The beautiful photos used in these pieces were provided by fellow admin and talented photographer L. Diane Wolfe.
If you’re interested in checking to see how I’ve put these pieces together, here’s a link to the third nugget – Letter C (one of Diane’s most stunning photos from the collection).
But remember that this is the initial rough piece!

So yes, I’m ALWAYS inspired by a single photo.
And yes, I’m busy editing these various projects and pieces… it’s a work-in-progress!

Can you believe it’s already February? And it’s sizzling my end of the globe. I have zero energy – that’s how bad it is.
I can’t remember it ever being this hot and humid. Remember, I’m along the east coast which experiences a subtropical climate – which is naturally hot and humid.
But recent temperatures have been crazy… abnormal!
I suppose it’s the reality of climate change and global warming…

Happy IWSG Day! 


  1. Jemi Fraser on February 5, 2020 at 6:47 pm

    Diane’s photographs are just gorgeous!
    Climate change is everywhere and it’s awful. Hoping the adults of the world start listening to our children!

  2. Alex J. Cavanaugh on February 5, 2020 at 7:57 pm

    I remember you writing to Diane’s photos.
    I knew you’ve be one inspired by images!

  3. Yolanda Renee on February 5, 2020 at 9:09 pm

    I find photo’s very inspirational! What a wonderful idea for the A to Z, but my goodness the work you put in. I hope your weather changes soon. It’s horrendous what climate change is bringing!

  4. Loni Townsend on February 5, 2020 at 9:11 pm

    While you have sizzling heat, I have snow and icy roads. I love how you have an endless source of inspiration with pictures. It usually takes a lot more for me to get going with something.

  5. Anna on February 5, 2020 at 10:10 pm

    I can send over a few snowballs if you like. We got about six inches today.

    Wacky world we live in. hehehe

    Anna from elements of emaginette

  6. Carol Kilgore on February 5, 2020 at 10:15 pm

    Art inspires me, too. Stay cool down there. I live in a normally warm location, too, but today it’s really cold for us. You have permission to tell me that next August when I’m sweltering 🙂

  7. Lee Lowery on February 5, 2020 at 11:23 pm

    Ack! I hate sizzling temperatures. So many people here bitching about the gray days, cold temps, and snow and I’m all YESSSSS!

    I’m a prompt writer, as well. I can make up a story about anything, usually some twisted, creepy version of an otherwise perfectly normal image or word. My brain just works that way.

  8. L. Diane Wolfe on February 5, 2020 at 11:59 pm

    I was delighted when you asked to use some of my photos. That one you picked, “The Mist”, is one of my best shots. Thank you.

  9. Allie Bock on February 6, 2020 at 2:27 am

    I have been reading alot of writers using photos as prompts. It’s really cool that you did Camp all with prompts!

  10. Hilary Melton-Butcher on February 6, 2020 at 8:50 am

    Hi Michelle – I remember your story behind the letter C that day … yes I have zero energy if the weather is abnormally hot. Interesting how you write to ‘a call’ … I struggle at times, but in the end a post comes about. Good luck with the weather … cheers Hilary

  11. Nick Wilford on February 6, 2020 at 12:15 pm

    Sounds like photos and prompts work really well for you. I should do more of that sort of thing!

  12. Julie Flanders on February 6, 2020 at 1:45 pm

    Those nuggets were such a great theme for the A-Z. And Diane’s pics are so beautiful! I’d love to have her talent for photography.

  13. Patricia Josephine on February 6, 2020 at 4:54 pm

    I think I met you thanks to your A to Z posts where you wrote to prompts.

  14. Denise Covey on February 7, 2020 at 3:48 am

    Hi Michelle! Well WEP has gathered around them many writers who’re inspired by a combo of image and phrase. Our current prompt is an image of a Van Gogh Painting, Cafe Terrace. Do I ever look forward to what that brings up.

    • Yvonne V on February 11, 2020 at 3:10 pm

      That is some piece you wrote for “c” — wow! Love Diane’s photo, too.

  15. Sonia Dogra on February 7, 2020 at 5:52 pm

    Wow! I loved your idea of 300 word nuggets. It’s awesome. I have tried hundred words flash fiction…Quite a few and found them invigorating.

  16. Anstice Brown on February 9, 2020 at 12:01 pm

    I love word prompts but I must admit I find image prompts tricky as I’m more of an auditory thinker than a visual one.

    It’s freezing here in the UK-I can’t wait for some warmer weather!

  17. Damyanti on February 10, 2020 at 6:29 pm

    It’s great that a single photo can inspire you… you’ll never run out of source of inspiration.

  18. Sherry Ellis on February 12, 2020 at 2:04 pm

    What a gorgeous photo from Diane! That’s great that you use photos to inspire your writing. That happened once for me, but maybe I should make a conscious effort to seek out photos and start writing stories inspired by them.

  19. Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy on February 13, 2020 at 5:23 am

    Photos are a great source of inspiration. I love that all you need is a single prompt and you’re good to go 🙂

  20. Toi Thomas on February 17, 2020 at 2:38 pm

    Yes, I agree the weather on the East Coast has been odd. I don’t really feel like we’ve had a Winter. Seems more like a long Fall, with a few really cold days and some really hot days, but mostly mild. While I’m not a fan of the cold, I do like the experience of Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall. Guess that’s just not a thing anymore.
    Your Fifty Nuggets sounds really cool. Diane’s picture is stunning.

  21. joylene on February 18, 2020 at 6:24 pm

    I used photos in my last writer’s workshop and it was amazing what they came up with and only using flash writing.

    Here in Bucerias, I’ve actually been freezing. I know, that’s embarrassing to admit since I’m in a tropical climate. But the temperature is colder than I ever remember. We’ve had lows of 4C to 14C during the night. Thank goodness it’s 25C during the day. Happy February to you, Michelle!

  22. Julie Kemp Pick on February 18, 2020 at 10:58 pm

    I also remember how well your Fifty Flash Fiction Nuggets complemented Diane’s lovely photographs. I can’t believe that was five years ago! Your unique writing style continues to get better every year, Michelle. It’s always fun to see what you’re working on. Thanks for all you do.


  23. C. Lee McKenzie on March 4, 2020 at 5:18 pm

    Writing to prompts (images or whatever) is always a challenge, but so much fun.

    As to the weather, I hear what you’re saying. We’re in spring, but yesterday we had 80 degree temps. That is not spring.

  24. Denise Covey on March 5, 2020 at 2:16 am

    Yay for flash fiction. I’m editing and turning some of my hundreds of WEP stories into a few books. Much of the flash fiction is now short stories, well over the 1,000 words.
    We’ve been sweltering since October with no end in sight. Our summers have increased by 28 – 48 days depending on which state you live in. I huddle in my air conditioned writing room most of the days I’m at home. Bliss.

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