The Insecure Writer’s Support Group ~ No#118

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 January posting of the IWSG are: Erika Beebe, Olga Godim, Sandra Cox, Sarah Foster, and Chemist Ken!

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!

January 05th Question: What’s the one thing about your writing career you regret the most?
Firstly, a Happy New Year to all! I hope that this year will be a healthy and prosperous one for everybody!

The word regret is not the word I’d use when referring to my journey because each writer’s journey is highly personalized and really unique. Remember we are not supposed to compare our journey to the next person’s journey. All I can say is – I wish I could write as fast as I read. 

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The Seventh Annual IWSG Anthology Contest Winners!

The genre was sweet romance and the theme First Love.

Thanks to all who entered – it was a record amount of entries this year.

Now we present the authors of First Love: The Art of Making Doughnuts:

The Art of Making Doughnuts – Linda Budzinski
Paper Faces – Sylvia Ney
The Real Thing – Sammi Spizziri
My Heart Approves – Melissa Maygrove
Oliver’s Girl – Michael Di Gesu
Clyde and Coalesce – Kim Elliott
My First Love(s) – Templeton Moss
How to Save a Princess – Katie Klein
The Castle of Ohno – SE White
Marmalade Sunset – Denise Covey

A special thanks to our official judges:

Author Nancy Gideon
Nancy Gideon is the award-winning bestseller of over 70 romances ranging from historical, Regency, and series contemporary suspense to dark paranormal and horror, with a couple of produced screenplays and non-fiction writing books tossed into the mix. She’s also written under the pseudonyms Dana Ransom, Rosalyn West, and Lauren Giddings.

Agent Caitlin Blasdell, Liza Dawson Associates
Caitlin Blasdell has been a literary agent with Liza Dawson Associates since 2002 with a focus on commercial fiction. Before becoming an agent, she was a senior editor at HarperCollins Publishers.

Author Susan Gourley
Susan Gourley is traditionally published in fantasy and science fiction romance using the name Susan Kelley. She is currently serving as the President of the Pennwriters writing group renowned for the annual conference.

Author Jennifer Lane
Jennifer Lane writes sports romance and romantic suspense with a psychological twist. She has published nine novels and two short stories, including Behind the Catcher’s Mask as part of the IWSG Masquerade Anthology.

Author Meka James
Meka James is a writer of adult contemporary and erotic romance. A born and raised Georgia Peach, she still resides in the southern state with her hubby of 16 years and counting. Mom to four kids of the two legged variety, she also has four fur-babies of the canine variety. When not writing or reading, Meka can be found playing The Sims 3, sometimes Sims 4, and making up fun stories to go with the pixelated people whose world she controls.

Author Loni Townsend
By day, she writes code. By predawn darkness, she writes fantasies. All other times, she writes in her head. People call her peculiar with a twisted sense of fashion, but don’t let those understatements fool you. Her behavior is perfectly normal for a squirrel disguised as a human.

First Love: The Art of Making Doughnuts will be published by Dancing Lemur Press’ imprint, Freedom Fox Press, later this year.

This is our seventh anthology! Previous titles include Dark Matter: Artificial, Voyagers: The Third Ghost, Masquerade: Oddly Suited, Tick Tock: A Stitch in Crime, Hero Lost, The Mysteries of Death and Life, and Parallels: Felix Was Here.

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The IWSG Twitter Pitch is around the corner!

The next #IWSGPit will be on January 26, 2022,
8:00 am – 8:00 pm Eastern Standard Time

Create a Twitter-length pitch for your completed and polished manuscript and leave room for genre, age, and the hashtag. On January 26, 2022, Tweet your pitch. If your pitch receives a favorite/heart from a publisher/agent check their submission guidelines and send your requested query.

Many writers have seen their books published from a Twitter pitch – it’s a quick and easy way to put your manuscript in front of publishers and agents. See the site HERE for more details.

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I just got home this morning from my holiday break. I had such an awesome holiday in Cape Town over the New Year. As you can see, the weather was perfect!
Here is a pic of the V&A Waterfront with the famous Table Mountain in the background.

The Victoria & Alfred Waterfront
is South Africa’s most-visited destination. The V&A Waterfront is an iconic mixed-use destination located in the oldest working harbour in the Southern Hemisphere. With Table Mountain as its backdrop, the 123-hectare neighbour-hood sits within the beautiful city of Cape Town, welcoming millions of people from all over the continent and the rest of the world. The Waterfront was named after the Alfred Basin and the Victoria Basin. The first basin was named after Prince Alfred, and the second after his mother. The V&A Waterfront is part of the renowned Cape Town Big 6.

Maybe I’ll post more pics next month.

I’ll be popping around to visit blogs over the next few days. Please check your spam folders because I noticed that some of the comments that I posted didn’t show up on some blogs.

Happy IWSG Day!


  1. H. R. Sinclaird on January 5, 2022 at 3:01 pm

    Gorgeous waterfront! Great sentiment on regrets–and I’m totally with you. I feel the same way.

  2. Jemi Fraser on January 5, 2022 at 3:47 pm

    I’d love to visit your area of the world one day!
    I totally agree with you – our journeys are unique and we are where we are because of all the steps we take – even the ones that take us sideways 🙂

    • Michelle Wallace on January 9, 2022 at 5:32 am

      …and there are loads of sideways steps… but they form an integral part of this unique journey.

  3. Mary Aalgaard on January 5, 2022 at 4:20 pm

    Your vacation looks so lovely! Thanks for posting a picture and a few words. I love to travel and plan to do more of it in 2022, weather, health and pandemic permitting!!!

    Congrats to all who got selected for the next anthology!

    • Michelle Wallace on January 9, 2022 at 5:35 am

      It was a lovely getaway!
      The pandemic is affecting the tourism industry and obstructing travel. Let’s hope things get better soon.

  4. Tyrean on January 5, 2022 at 4:25 pm

    I love that you won’t use the word regret! Thank you.
    Great picture!

    • Michelle Wallace on January 9, 2022 at 5:35 am

      Thank you, Tyrean! I hope that things are good with you and your family.

  5. Victoria Marie Lees on January 5, 2022 at 5:50 pm

    Happy New Year, Michelle! Yes, post more photos of your New Year’s holiday at Cape Town. It is beautiful. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to visit the harbor?

    Gosh! I only wish I was ready to pitch my college memoir. Here’s hoping maybe the next twitter pitch. All best to you in 2022!

    • Michelle Wallace on January 9, 2022 at 5:37 am

      Cape Town is one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
      I’ll post more pics next month.
      All the best to you too, Victoria!

  6. Alex J. Cavanaugh on January 5, 2022 at 6:03 pm

    You said it best – we each have our own journey.
    Congratulations to the anthology winners.
    And glad you got out and enjoyed!

    • Michelle Wallace on January 9, 2022 at 5:38 am

      It was a much-needed holiday. Now it’s back to the daily grind.
      Thank you, Alex.

  7. Loni A Townsend on January 5, 2022 at 6:18 pm

    Nice looking picture there! The weather looks fabulous!

    And I, too, wish I could write as fast as I read. I’d have so many books done by now…

    • Michelle Wallace on January 9, 2022 at 5:39 am

      At this time of the year, the Cape weather is perfect.
      All in good time, Loni. I suppose we can’t rush these things…

  8. Lee Lowery on January 5, 2022 at 6:30 pm

    What a great pic! Blue skies, blue water, mountains. What a peaceful view!

    I agree, comparing oneself and journey to others is a total waste of time and energy. Best to enjoy the journey I am on, and let others do the same.

    • Michelle Wallace on January 9, 2022 at 5:41 am

      That view is incomparable.
      Yes, embrace your own unique journey. There’s no one-size-fits-all.
      Thank you, Lee!

  9. Erika Beebe on January 5, 2022 at 6:47 pm

    I love how you address regret and our own unique writerly journeys. It’s true! I’m glad you had a wonderful vacation. Sometimes that’s enough to get our fires burning again 🙂

    • Michelle Wallace on January 9, 2022 at 5:43 am

      The vacation definitely stirred the creative juices.

  10. C. Lee McKenzie on January 5, 2022 at 7:02 pm

    No regrets! And I know you’ll keep it that way in the new year ahead. I think your picture at the waterfront says it all–lots of hope and looking to a bright future.

    • Michelle Wallace on January 9, 2022 at 5:45 am

      I love your analysis of the picture, Lee.
      A new year – looking forward with a fresh perspective!

  11. L. Diane Wolfe on January 5, 2022 at 7:28 pm

    I’m glad you got out of dodge and enjoyed Cape Town.

  12. Anna on January 5, 2022 at 8:00 pm

    I agree! It’s a journey that we need to travel. Bumps and all. 🙂

    Anna from elements of emaginette

    • Michelle Wallace on January 9, 2022 at 5:46 am

      Got to take the writerly package which includes ups and downs!

  13. Elizabeth Mueller on January 5, 2022 at 8:53 pm

    I love how you mentioned to not compare ourselves to others.

    Congrats to the IWSG Anthology Contest authors! How exciting!

    ♥.•*¨Elizabeth Mueller¨*•.♥

    • Michelle Wallace on January 9, 2022 at 5:47 am

      I’ve learned long ago, not to compare your journey to the next writer. I think that’s the best thing you can do for yourself.

  14. Shannon Lawrence on January 6, 2022 at 1:36 am

    Love your view on regrets! Also, gorgeous photo. I haven’t seen many photos of Cape Town, but it looks like a neat place to visit.

    The Warrior Muse

    • Michelle Wallace on January 9, 2022 at 5:49 am

      Cape Town is a beautiful city with many tourist attractions. I’ll post more pics next month.

  15. Miffie Seideman on January 6, 2022 at 3:23 am

    I love the idea of not feeling regret and not comparing your own journey to anyone else’s. Happy 2022!

  16. Hilary Melton-Butcher on January 6, 2022 at 8:56 am

    Hi Michelle – love the waterfront … it wasn’t developed too much when I was there – but I love the iconic scene of Cape Town and its mountain. Beautiful picture – love it! Have a very successful year – work wise and writing wise … Happy New Year and all the best – Hilary

    • Michelle Wallace on January 9, 2022 at 5:50 am

      Thank you, Hilary.
      When last were you in Cape Town? It must have been a while ago?

  17. Michael Di Gesu on January 6, 2022 at 4:25 pm

    Hi Michelle!

    How lovely! Such a wonderful pic and you look so peaceful! Cape Town looks so amazing. I hope to visit there at some point. I haven’t traveled out of the US for years, and I long to travel again. Sadly, now is not the time…

    I’m THRILLED to be in this year’s Anthology, and I can’t wait to read the other stories! Congrats to the other authors; it is a privilege to share this Anthology with them.

    ALL the best for 2022!!!!!

    • Michelle Wallace on January 9, 2022 at 5:52 am

      Michael, you will love Cape Town!
      It boasts loads of arts and culture, not to mention the amazing landscape!
      Congrats on your story acceptance into the IWSG Anthology!

  18. Natalie Aguirre on January 6, 2022 at 8:28 pm

    I wish I could write as fast as I read too. Looks like you had a great vacation. Happy New Year! I’m hoping you have a wonderful year.

    • Michelle Wallace on January 9, 2022 at 5:53 am

      It was a great vacation. Thank you, Natalie.
      I hope you have a wonderful year too!

  19. Olga Godim on January 6, 2022 at 9:14 pm

    You made me laugh. “… I wish I could write as fast as I read.” Well, I read a novel in two or three days. I don’t think anyone could write that fast. But I understand the sentiment. I’m also a slow writer and I wish I could write faster. Or more. Or better. But what is the point of such toothless wishes. We are who we are and we do things in our own ways.
    Great photo, Michelle. Sunny and summery. From my snowy Vancouver, your photo looks like a warm paradise.

    • Michelle Wallace on January 9, 2022 at 5:56 am

      Yes, we are who we are.
      I’m back home and sweltering in this humid, subtropical east coast climate.
      Enjoy the cold weather.

  20. Lori on January 6, 2022 at 10:21 pm

    You make a great point about not comparing our journeys to the journeys of others. We’re all doing the best we can!

    Great post!

  21. Rebecca Douglass on January 6, 2022 at 11:04 pm

    I haven’t so much wished I could write as fast as I read, as wished some of my favorite authors could! Now I’m wondering how many different authors it takes to keep me happy in a year…

    Someday maybe I’ll visit your country. We had tentative plans, but everything has changed and I’m not sure I’ll ever go now.

    • Michelle Wallace on January 9, 2022 at 5:58 am

      If you ever have the opportunity, then you must make a trip this side of the globe.
      But with the ongoing pandemic, we never know what’s next, do we?
      Thank you for visiting, Rebecca.

  22. Sandra Cox on January 7, 2022 at 1:23 am

    Your vacation sounds wondrous and what a beautiful spot.
    Love your attitude about regrets or lack thereof.
    Happy New Year.

  23. Denise Covey on January 7, 2022 at 3:59 am

    Ah, we all need a holiday, and the waterfront is my chosen destination too. My regret for you, MIchelle, is that you haven’t published yet, yet you’re a great writer.

    • Michelle Wallace on January 9, 2022 at 6:00 am

      Thank you, Denise!
      Publishing? It will happen one day… as long as it’s sooner rather than later, hey?

  24. Juneta Key on January 7, 2022 at 7:21 am

    I love that. I too wish I could write as fast as I read.

  25. Anstice Brown on January 8, 2022 at 5:20 pm

    Good point. No two writing careers are the same, and there are more available paths to “success” than ever before thanks to self-publishing and so on. I wish my writing speed was faster too. Hope 2022 is a good year for you.

    • Michelle Wallace on January 9, 2022 at 6:02 am

      Yes, there are many different paths to publishing success.
      Happy 2022 to you, Anstice!

  26. Toi Thomas on January 8, 2022 at 10:58 pm

    Happy New Year and thanks for stopping by my blog. Lovely picture. Sounds like a nice holiday.

    • Michelle Wallace on January 9, 2022 at 6:02 am

      Happy 2022 to you too, Toi!
      It was a wonderful holiday, thank you.

  27. Gwen Gardner on January 8, 2022 at 11:34 pm

    I wish I could write as fast as I read too! Ah well, we get there in the end.

    Congrats to all the anthology winners! Can’t wait to read it 🙂

    • Michelle Wallace on January 9, 2022 at 6:04 am

      Patience and perseverance. We’ll get there in good time.
      Thank you, Gwen. 😃

  28. Jacqui on January 9, 2022 at 3:09 pm

    Kudos on the new anthology. I love making donuts (haven’t in a while) so I bet the book will be great. I’m with you on the ‘no regrets’. What could be better than living in a fantasy world these days?

  29. Anne Doucette on January 10, 2022 at 2:00 am

    I also wish that I could write as fast as I read sometimes. Love the positive take on the question. Hope you have a safe and healthy new year!

  30. Sonia Dogra on January 10, 2022 at 6:09 am

    That’s an amazing picture Michelle. And a lot of work at IWSG. I so agree with you. Even I wouldn’t call it regret .

  31. Madeline Mora-Summonte on January 10, 2022 at 1:30 pm

    Great reminder about how we shouldn’t compare our writing journeys. We’re all on our own paths. 🙂

    • Michelle Wallace on January 11, 2022 at 6:46 am

      Exactly. We go at our own individual paces. Some of us are turtles – and that’s okay.🐢

  32. Patricia Josephine on January 10, 2022 at 5:33 pm

    Hmm, yeah, writing as fast as I read would be nice.

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