Wednesday, 7 September 2016

IWSG September: Finding time to write and introducing the IWSG Anthology Contest 2016!

Hello everyone! It's been a long time since we last spoke - there are several reasons for this, the main one being that I've been to four weddings in the space of two months (including my own, and one I was bridesmaid for at the weekend). However, I'm back now, well rested (kinda) and ready to write once more!

I have the huge privilege of being one of the co-hosts for this month's IWSG - I'm so excited! What better way to reacquaint myself with you all than getting to visit lots of fantastic blogs?? Your other awesome co-hosts for this month are:

C. Lee McKenzie, Rachel Pattison, Elizabeth Seckman, Stephanie Faris, Lori L MacLaughlin, and Elsie Amata!

First things first - this month's IWSG burning question is: How do you find the time to write in your busy day?

I have a confession to make: I haven't written anything since about June, apart from a brief writing session sitting in the airport on my way back from my honeymoon. Wedding fever and juggling a new job have essentially taken over my life for the past few months, but now that my wedding season is over for this year, I'm determined to pick it back up again. So I've decided to make a pledge to you all to ease me back into the writing game - while I can't promise to write every day, I'm going to write 500 words at least a week. I know this may not sound like much, but I think it'll be a good way to get back into the swing of things for now. And these 500 words don't have to be on my novel - I'm including blog posts in that word count too, so my blog doesn't get neglected either!

And now, onto the exciting news of the day!!

Announcing the 2016 IWSG Anthology Contest!

Last year’s contest was science fiction – parallel world/alternate history, and the result was Parallels: Felix Was Here. This year, we have a new theme and invite all members to submit.

Eligibility: Any member of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group is encouraged to enter – blogging or Facebook member. The story must be previously unpublished. Entry is free.

Word count: 5000-6000

Genre: Fantasy

Theme: Hero Lost. It could be about a hero turned villain, a villain's redemption, a hero's lack of confidence, a hero's lack of smarts, etc. It can be about any kind of hero including superheroes, mythological heroes, unexpected or unlikely heroes, or a whole new kind of hero. This theme has plenty of scope and we’re open to pretty much anything along these lines. No erotica, R-rated language, or graphic violence.

Deadline: November 1st 2016

How to enter: Send your polished, formatted, previously unpublished story to admin @ before the deadline passes. Please include your contact details and if you are part of the Blogging or Facebook IWSG group.

Judging: The IWSG admins will create a shortlist of the best stories. The shortlist will then be sent to our official judges.

Prizes: The winning stories will be edited and published by Freedom Fox Press next year in the IWSG anthology. Authors will receive royalties on books sold, both print and eBook. The top story will have the honor of giving the anthology its title.

We’re excited to see the creativity and enthusiasm that’s such a part of this group put into action. So don your creative caps and start writing. And spread the word!

Our amazing judges this year:

Elizabeth S. Craig
Richard Harland
Laura Maisano
Russell C. Connor
Dawn Frederick
Michelle L. Johnson
Ion Newcombe
Lynn Tincher

Best of luck to every who enters! I can't wait to read the results!

How do you find the time to write in your busy day? Do you have a set writing plan, or do you just see what happens? Will you be entering the IWSG Anthology Contest this year?


  1. It makes me feel better to know that I'm not the only one who has dry spells when it comes to my writing. I really struggled for a while there, but not I seem to be much more focused on it. I wish I could blame lack of time in my day for why I don't get as much writing done as I would like, but sadly I only have myself to blame. :-)

  2. Hi,
    Congratulations on getting married.
    Yes, I do write every day and I have developed a chart in excel. I also think we have some excellent judges for this year anthology. The genre is fantasy and I am not a fantasy writer but I wish all of those who are the very best and I do hope they enter.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat Garcia

  3. A little writing each day is a good way to start!

    Thanks for co-hosting!!!

  4. I so understand how life takes over. Great goal: 500 words a week as you ease back into the writing habit. Thanks for co-hosting September's IWSG.


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  6. Yep, it's not so easy to write every day or even every month when life shouts in your ear - "Stop! It's me time!" I've been unable to write anything since last Winter. I'm about to begin university to study an MA creative writing, too, so I need to get my mojo back, big time!

    I will, time allowing, enter the anthology contest this year. Exciting!

  7. Thanks for co-hosting and congrats on the wedding! Yeah, life can really put a hamper on writing. After getting married, finding a job, dealing with school loans and getting pregnant, I'd barely wroteanything months/years in between. Started writing again on a regular basis and blogging only a few years ago. Good luck with your goals and getting back into the writing game.

  8. And that's how you do it. One goal at a time. Here's wishing you epic success, and in this season of life, it's totally okay not to be writing. I didn't write for a year around getting married...other than poetry.

  9. Five hundred words a week will motivate you and soon you'll be writing even more.
    Thanks for co-hosting today.

  10. 500 words may not sound much, but those bite sized chunks all add up. Good luck with your resolution and congrats on your marriage :)

  11. Life can certainly get in the way sometimes, can't it? Congratulations on your marriage!

  12. My plan is to start writing a short story for the contest next week. If it doesn't completely suck, I will enter.

  13. You have a really great excuse for not getting writing done. Thanks for co-hosting and announcing the contest.

  14. Congratulations on your marriage! I believe that's an excellent excuse for not writing :) And thank you for co-hosting this month. WOW! That's a lot on one plate.

    I took a break from writing all summer and thought a lot about how and why I write. Suddenly, and I mean out of the clear blue, this idea hit me and I've been sitting down at my computer on my off days and after work, researching and writing. It doesn't always come in a furious torrent, more like those rivers that trickle and fill during a mountain storm. I'm just along for the ride, fingers at the keys, ready here we go! Best of luck in your writing. Take it slow. You'll return to your rhythm! Cheers!

  15. Congratulations on your wedding! :)

    Good luck with getting back into the swing of writing. It sounds like an achievable goal. You can do it!

  16. Thanks for co-hosting, Rachel. Congratulations on your wedding! And, hey, 500 words is an excellent start. You'll be back at full speed in no time.

  17. Congrats on the wedding and thanks for co-hosting this month. Starting slow like you're doing will help you get back in the groove. Best wishes.

  18. Congratulations on your wedding, and surviving the other three! Good luck getting back into the writing groove. Thanks for co-hosting the IWSG this month.
    Mary at Play off the Page

  19. You haven't written anything since June? I guess I've got you beat. I haven't written anything for a couple years I guess. Other than blog posts--I consider that writing so I guess I've been writing.

    Nothing wrong with 500 words a week! Maybe I should shoot for 50 and see what happens.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

  20. Best wishes for a long and happy marriage. Wow! What a busy year. You have legitimate reasons for not writing every day. I spent the first year of my retirement procrastinating. No excuses, except maybe fear of failure? I don't care if it's a paragraph or a sentence, anytime you write something you are ahead of the game. Kudos for getting back into the groove. Good luck!

  21. I hope you have a blessed marriage!

    500 words a week can make a huge difference if that's all it takes to get into the writing groove again. :-)

  22. I wasn't writing fiction back when I got married, but I will say don't regret that time for yourself! The adjustment can take awhile. And congrats!

    Having said that, if you want to challenge yourself a bit and have some writing support, the group blog I'm with, The YABuccaneers, has a fall writing bootcamp that just started. I link to it in my post. It's free and basically a way for writers to set goals and check in with each other for a set amount of time. We have a Facebook group too. No pressure, just thought I'd share since you write YA we follow e/o on twitter!

    Here's my September IWSG post - my secret tool for finding writing time

  23. Great opportunity for story writers.

  24. I remember reading about writer Stephen King--- I used to be his number one fan until he wrote a book about me--- and he said he wrote every single day except for Christmas and his birthday. Then he admitted he lied about Christmas and his birthday--- he writes then, too. A lot of us need to be more like that.

    Nissa at

  25. Thank you for co-hosting #IWSG for September, Rachel. Congratulations on your marriage and best wishes! Writing about four weddings could produce an interesting story!

  26. You have some very valid reasons for being away from your blog! I can't imagine four wedding all in a bunch.

    Glad you're co-hosting with me today!

  27. Congratulations on your wedding!! I wish you and yours all the best. Thanks for the info on the newest anthology and for co-hosting this month! Wow...

  28. Hey, 500 words a week is a good start. Up it a little each day and you'll be tearing up the typewriter soon enough. Congrats on the wedding!

    Thanks for co-hosting this month's IWSG!

  29. I think it is a great goal. Writing is writing is writing. It all counts. Thanks for co-hosting too. Wishing many blessing and much happiness in coming marriage.

    Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

  30. Congratulations! How exciting! I'd say that's a very good reason to not write for awhile. I can relate. I haven't written much lately either. Family stuff going on. We have to put family first. Writing will be there when things settle down.

    Thank you for co-hosting!

    co-host IWSG

  31. Oh pshaw--weddings do take priority over writing anytime. Enjoy the moments of your life. Congratulations!!

    JQ Rose

  32. Yes! Weddings take priority! Congrats!! Your goal to ease back into writing sounds like a good one. :)

  33. Congrats on your wedding! Thanks for co-hosting. Your goal is awesome - exactly 500 word a week better than nothing. Keep going!

  34. Hi Rachel
    Nice to meet you and congratulations on getting married. That's a big step and naturally you need to devote a lot of time to your significant other. I've been married for 34 years and yes, it felt like we married yesterday.

    Writing 500 words a month is a goal. Setting goals is important. I'm sure the writing bug will strike and light up your world. Good luck.

  35. Glad that you are starting at a manageable stage Rachel so you can ease back into writing. Thanks for co-hosting IWSG with Alex and his ninja helpers.

  36. Congratulations on your wedding. What a lovely way to spend the summer.
    Five hundred words sounds great. I'm a slow writer and don't ever set a goal of how many words or pages to write. Just do the best I can.
    Thank you for co-hosting.

  37. Congratulations on your exciting new life changes. It sounds like you will be back in the swing of things before you know it :)

  38. I think you can forgive yourself for not writing - getting married - plus the other weddings - you were busy enough.

  39. Any words count. Congratulations on your wedding!

    Thanks for co-hosting!

  40. My goodness, you really have had a busy summer. Congrats on your marriage! Sometimes we have too much "life" going on to find time to write. But we're not quitters, and we'll get back to it eventually. Good luck with your 500-word goal. You can do it!

  41. Thanks for hosting, Rachel! Isn't it fun! Hey 500 words is 500 words you didn't have last week! No forward movement is ever small. Keep on keeping on. Congrats on the marriage!

  42. That's a lot of weddings! Congratulations on your own nuptials.

  43. Having a realistic weekly target sounds a great idea. Good luck.

  44. Welcome back Rachel. I hope your wedding was lots of fun. Your new writing goals sounds very reasonable. I know you will crush it. A great competition for IWSG.

  45. Thank you for co-hosting this month.

  46. Congratulations on your marriage!
    500 words a week are better than no words.
    Every word counts.
    I believe in consistency, so bursts of writing on a regular basis is preferable to a huge chunk of writing now and again. Just my thoughts.
    Thank you for co-hosting the IWSG this month.

  47. Congratulations on your marriage. I think it's safe to say most of us would have taken some time off writing to get married. It is one of the most important days of your life. Plus, I totally get how a new job can throw you off your schedule a bit. Thank you for co-hosting this month and best of luck with your weekly word count.

  48. Congratulations on your wedding! Sounds like you have a lot of great stuff going on! Setting a smaller word count goal per week seems like a great idea! It's not quite as intimidating as 1000 words/day!

  49. Getting married seems an excellent reason to take a hiatus from writing. May you and yours find happiness for many years!

    @mirymom1 from
    Balancing Act

  50. Congratulations on your wedding! I think dealing with all the details that comes with planning a wedding (and all the post-wedding details too) is a good excuse for taking a break from writing.

  51. Congratulations! You sound like you have had plenty to do, and getting back into the swing of things in the fall is just about perfect planning!

  52. I agree with the others who say you've had the perfect excuse not to write. ^_^ Hope you get back into the swing of things with ease.

  53. First off, congratulations!

    I'm down for 500 words a week. I'm currently revising my manuscript, changing it from 3rd person to 1st, and that means adding words that weren't there before, so I believe I'm writing. lol I've also noticed a lot of us go through lulls at the same time, which is great to see, despite how depressing it can be. :)

    Thanks for co-hosting and stopping by!


I love chatting and meeting new people :). Thanks for stopping by!