Wednesday, September 1, 2021

The September Insecure Writer wants to know how I define success when it comes to writing.

Yay, I made it through the summer. Well, it's almost over, but the summer of 2021 wasn't the kind of summer that I remembered in my youth. Summer used to be my favorite time of the year. But now, the temperatures are just blistering every day. Here in Utah, there has been no relief from drought and wildfire smoke that has put our AQI over 200 a couple of times. Seeing red skies and being able to just look at the sun with the naked eye because there's so much smoke in the air that it's just a dull orange spot is weird. At least I'm not having to deal with hurricanes or flash floods. Those appear to be things that people in other areas of the country are dealing with, and I think these changes are here to stay.

As I write this blog post for the Insecure Writer's Support Group, I finished eating a perfectly ripe pear and a perfectly ripe avocado. I paused for a moment thinking about these two fruits. They really were the best that they could possibly be, and that's unusual enough for me to take note. So, I'm feeling lucky today.

If you have not heard of the Insecure Writer's Support Group, it rolls around every month on the first Wednesday, and it was started by author Alex Cavanaugh. It's also frequently abbreviated IWSG. Below are some more details lifted from the sign-up page, which you can find HERE.

What is the purpose of the IWSG: 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!

What do you post, when, and where?: 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! Be sure to link to this page and display the badge in your post. And please be sure your avatar links back to your blog! Otherwise, when you leave a comment, people can't find you to comment back.

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

The Twitter handle for the IWSG is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG.

Every month, the IWSG announces 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!

September 1 question - How do you define success as a writer? Is it holding your book in your hand? Having a short story published? Making a certain amount of income from your writing?

My answer: Success as a writer is just finishing something. If you have the wherewithal to finish, congratulations, you are a writer in my opinion. Success as an author is a different story. Success as an author (to me) means that you can live comfortably on the income from your published works. There are a variety of ways one can accomplish this, including the traditional path and the self-publishing path. I suppose you could even accomplish it by only writing one book and then get the majority of your monies that you live on from public speaking (I've known a person or two who have managed to do this based on Olympic medals they have won). As a caveat, I do not consider myself a successful author by any means. I do consider myself to be a successful writer. So I'm full of all kinds of advice on the act of writing, including the number one thing that has been useful to me: **learn to type**

But "typing" isn't as important as it used to be, with speech-to-text options available. Additionally, editing isn't as important as it used to be either, as most people don't seem to care about grammar and spelling anymore. I regularly see misspelled words on news broadcasts, in official government correspondence, and in periodicals that shouldn't have misspellings in them. The only periodicals that don't have these anymore are the best in the industry...things like The New York Times or The New Yorker. But I see misspelled words practically everywhere else. My conclusion is that no one cares enough anymore about the written word. My own personal take on this has been to adapt. Rather than to tilt at windmills and try and correct all the spelling errors, I've just accepted them. I don't make a fuss and just read on, letting go of the things that used to irritate me. I think this is good, because I see mistakes everywhere, and I just don't want to be that unhappy all the time.

Thanks for visiting.

The awesome co-hosts for the September 1 posting of the IWSG are Rebecca Douglass, T. Powell Coltrin @Journaling Woman, Natalie Aguirre, Karen Lynn, and C. Lee McKenzie!


  1. It is true that some people can write one book and never write another like Harper Lee and still have a comfortable career while someone like James Patterson puts his name on about 500 books a year.

    I tried Google's speech-to-text and it was terrible. It would put the sentence in right and then change it to something completely nonsensical, so I don't think the technology is really there yet.

    Product manuals are something where quality writing has really gone downhill in recent years. Mostly because these Chinese-made products they apparently write the manual in Chinese or Mandarin or whatever and then just Google translate it to English without anyone actually looking at it to see how much sense it makes. That's even starting to carry over to the descriptions on Amazon now. The quality of writing is definitely not being valued much.

  2. I'm glad you're feeling lucky. I measure success by just writing regularly and finishing something too.

  3. The latest hurricane brought a mess.
    I do see misspelled words on news sites a lot more often now. Not only aren't they pausing to check the facts, they aren't pausing to edit, either.

  4. I loved your description of the pear and the avocado. Made me want to get up and find some of my own while I do the blog hop. And that is certainly a writing success.

  5. We all must find our own success. I hope one day you find success as an author.

    I think the lack of editing is indicative of publications that are trying to do too much with too few people. With not enough time to get everything done, the editing slips through the cracks. But criticizing these things opens you up to Murhpy's Law, so it's best to just let it go.