The Insecure Writer's Support Group (IWSG) is a place to share and encourage, where writers can express their doubts and concerns without appearing foolish or weak. It's a great place to mingle with like minded people each month during IWSG day.
Every month there's an optional question which may prompt folks to share advice, insights, a personal experience or story. Some folks answer the question in their IWSG blog post or let it inspire them if they're struggling with what to say.
This month's question is:
"Win or not, do you usually finish your NaNoWriMo* project? Have any of them gone on to be published?"
Check out how people have answered this month's question, as well as the other insecurities and writing topics they may have shared by visiting the IWSG sign-up list here. If you want to see how I answered the question, have a look below.
*Note: NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month, an insane challenge where people try to write a 50,000 word novel during the month of November.
|Image via The Graphics Fairy|
"Oh, my god!" I screamed. "Why is there a hairball on my manuscript? That's disgusting!"
I looked over at the large gray cat snoozing on the settee. "Did you do this, Simon?"
Simon lifted his head, yawned and peered at me with half-opened eyes. "Keep it down, lady. Some of us are trying to sleep here."
"Sleep? How can you think about sleeping at a time like this? I leave you alone for just a few minutes and look what happened. Couldn't you have deposited that thing somewhere else?" I shook my head in disbelief. "Or better yet, since you're a time traveling cat, can't you go back in time, redo the whole thing and cough up that hairball on the dock instead of inside of my boat?"
"Geez, lady. No need to get so worked up. It's just a bunch of stupid papers." Simon stretched his front paws in front of him and then rolled over on his back. "Besides, if you didn't want anything to happen to it, you shouldn't have left it out on the table. Now, scratch my belly."
"You don't deserve to have your belly scratched." Simon turned over and glared at me. I glared back. After a few minutes, I looked away. I should have known better. Simon always wins staring competitions.
I sat next to Simon, scratched behind his ears and sighed. "Now what am I going to do. I just printed that out so I can do some final edits before I send it to some beta readers."
"Use your nails, lady." Simon turned his head slightly so that I could scratch under his chin. "What's a beta reader anyway?"
"They're people that offer to read a draft of your story and give you helpful advice about how to make it better. I'm just about finished revising the novel I wrote during last year's NaNoWriMo and really need to get some other people's perspectives on it."
"Good luck finding anyone, lady. Nobody wants to read a stupid cozy mystery set in a marina."
"But, it's got a cat in it. Everyone likes cats."
"Oh, please. The cat in your book is stupid. If you were going to write about a cat, you should have written about one like me."
"It's enough that I have to live with you, Simon. The last thing I want to do is write about you too."
Simon jumped down from the settee and walked over to the galley. He washed behind his ears and then stared at me pointedly. "Hey, lady. It's time for my afternoon saucer of milk. Hop to it."
I held my nose with one hand and picked up my manuscript gingerly with the other. "Okay, just let me clean this hairball up first."
This month's IWSG question was a good reminder that I need to do something with last year's NaNoWriMo project. The working title is "Murder at the Marina" and it's a cozy mystery (around 70,000 words) featuring a reluctant sailor turned amateur sleuth. And, yes, a cat features in the mystery. Fortunately, she's a nice cat, not a crotchety old cat like Simon.
I'm a few weeks away from having a draft ready to send to beta readers for review. If you're interested in being a beta reader, leave a comment or shoot me an email at thecynicalsailor (at) gmail (dot) com and I can send you more details.
If you want to read about my first experience with having my writing critiqued and beta readers, check this post out.
Have you ever participated in NaNoWriMo? Did you win? Did you go on to publish your project? Have you ever had a cat cough up a hairball on anything important? Interested in being a beta reader for me?
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