IWSG: What Inspires Me?

It's the first Wednesday of the month--and that means it's time for the Insecure Writer's Support Group post!

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 - and return comments. This group is all about connecting!

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

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

The awesome co-hosts for the May 3 posting of the IWSG are Joylene Nowell Butler, Ronel Janse van Vuuren, Meka James, Victoria Marie Lees, and M Louise Barbour!

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 3 question - When you are working on a story, what inspires you? 

I'm finding this a surprisingly hard question to answer. It's making me look at the difference between motivation and inspiration. I'm motivated to write for a variety of reasons, including inspiration. That is, one motive is that I have ideas and plots and characters in my head and it feels good to make them real. Other motives are more external: people who say they are eager to read my next book, or the hope that publishing more short stories will attract more attention to my books.

But what does "inspire" mean? Merriam-Webster says, "to exert an animating, enlivening, or exalting influence on." Vocabulary.com says, "to excite, encourage, or breathe life into." So being inspired isn't just a matter of being moved to write, but being excited to write. Inspired writing is animated, alive. That's the goal for my writing, but honestly, getting to that isn't usually a matter of magical inspiration but of a lot of editing.

So I am moved to write by a lot of considerations, from pleasure to money (okay, that one is mostly a pipe dream). My writing, though, is perhaps inspired by a combination of things beyond definition and control, and by a lot of hard work.

Speaking of the hard work...

Writer update

I sent the MS of A Coastal Corpse to a couple of my beta readers last week, then continued working on tightening the POV, finding a lot of things I'd missed and pulled it back. I'm still looking for a couple more readers; I know some of you have offered in the past and I need a better way of keeping track, because I don't know who you are. Please leave a note in the comments if you are willing to do a beta read for me.

I'm also working on a short story, an SF mystery, since I like writing SF shorts but also like a mystery. This story isn't inspired--I'm having to work very hard to make it happen, but hope eventually to have something to shop around.

I've also gotten rejections now from both the artists' residencies I've applied to this spring. I had already decided to back off on applying to more until I have some fresh work that I'm proud of and feel shows my ability. I still have my eye on some that I would very much like to try, so I'll be back doing applications for next year. 

Oh, and I have a lot of photos to edit from my recent trip, despite its having ended early. I'll be sharing those as they are ready, with my usual "Photo Friday" feature.

How about you? Share your inspiration, your progress and triumphs--or your frustrations and failures. We'll cheer for you either way.


©Rebecca M. Douglass, 2023
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  1. Good luck with the new book!

    Ronel visiting for IWSG day Joining the Creator Economy

  2. I'm happy to report that I've been writing this week. Only small stuff. Some flash fiction and some editing on a short story, but it's so nice to be happening again.

  3. That's so awesome that your manuscript is ready for beta readers. I am almost done with my first round of revisions. I'll have to do one more before I can send mine to beta readers. Hope you get really good feedback.

    1. I've struggled so with this book, this is the second time I've sent it out. Good luck with yours!

  4. I love the idea of a SF mystery. Best of luck with it!

    1. Thanks! I've done some fantasy/mystery mashups, and that's fun, too.

  5. I do hope you land an artist's residency, Rebecca. That would be so exciting for you (but probably a lot of hard work too)! Take care!

  6. I love the title of your newest book!

  7. Thanks for stopping by my blog. Editing is the one thing that does not inspire my writing, but I know it's a very important part of the writing process. I wish you all the best with obtaining a residency.


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