writers / writing

#IWSG Does Your Writing Surprise You?

writers group

Welcome to the August 2019 edition of Alex Cavanaugh’s Insecure Writers Support Group #IWSG. We get together the first Wednesday of every month to post our thoughts, fears, or words of encouragement for fellow writers. Our purpose at IWSG is to share and encourage. Writers 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!

Click the link for details on what that means and how to join. You will also find a list of bloggers signed up to the challenge that are worth checking out.

I am honored to be a co-host this month along with awesome IWSG co-hosts:

Renee Scattergood   http://reneescattergood.com/ 

L.G. Keltner   http://lgkeltner.blogspot.com/ 

Tamara Narayan   http://www.tamaranarayan.com/ 

Jacqui Murray https://worddreams.wordpress.com/ 

Sadira Stone  http://sadirastone.com/ 

Please go by their blogs and thank them for co-hosting this month!

One more housekeeping note: Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG.

The August question: Has your writing ever taken you by surprise?

I guess the most surprising thing about my writing is how it won’t let go of me. If I don’t write, I feel out of sorts. When I walk the dog, I’m thinking about plotting. As I finish one book, I’m already planning the next. In my head, it’s a Best Seller–the blockbuster breakthrough. Even when it ends up an also-ran, I keep writing.

The Navy SEALs say you have to get comfortable being uncomfortable. If that’s writing when I know I might be wasting my time, spending hours on a book that won’t pay for itself, or knowing my writerly day has no emergency break, I’m there.

Words can’t express how much I don’t care about any of that. I’m a writer.

More IWSG articles:

Creativity, Life, and Writing

How Writing Cures What Ails Me

What publishing path and why

Pitfalls to Publishing


Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers, and the Man vs. Nature saga. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, blog webmaster, an Amazon Vine Voice,  a columnist for NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, The Quest for Home, Fall 2019. You can find her tech ed books at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning

145 thoughts on “#IWSG Does Your Writing Surprise You?

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  4. Love this, Jacqui! And I hear ya. I get antsy when I don’t write. And sometimes I go back and read old projects, where every so often I run across something I wrote that makes me say “How on earth did I come up with that? That’s pretty good.”

    Here’s to more surprises! (good ones, though. No bad ones. 😀 )

    Liked by 1 person

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  6. I totally relate to your your comment about feeling out of sorts when I’m not writing. Life simply wouldn’t feel right without being able to write something, whether it’s a book, a short story, a book review, a blog, or anything else. I think the thing that surprises me most is that how the enthusiasm hasn’t waned in 40 years.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Jacqui, I really love reading these posts with the good questions. Your answer really hits home, too. I especially love what you said here, “Words can’t express how much I don’t care about any of that. I’m a writer.”

    Liked by 1 person

  8. My writing often surprises me when I come back and read my thoughts years later. I can’t believe I wrote so well then. The best cause writing procrastination? Is the false belief that you can’t write at all. If you want to be a writer write.

    I want to be a writer; however, wanting to be rich impedes me. I fiund a donate link on one of the blogs that I am working on: http://www.King2897242377.wordpreass.com

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Great food for thought, Jacqui, especially now that I have been writing my No Excuses Fitness book! Like many, I think about topics as I walk my dog and have been known to dictate into my phone onto Google docs while walking. I suppose my surprise is that some days words fly out and 3000 words later, I’ve accomplished something!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I’m always surprised at the end of my edits when I recall how crappy that first draft had been, Jacqui. I also plot and re-write entire dialogues in my head while doing odd chores. Another thing that surprises me? it’s when I’m reading a paragraph, and decide to add something to it. Because I don’t want to lose my train of thought, I go ahead and quickly type it out. Only to realize at the next paragraph that I’d written that same sentence before.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I like when you write, “The Navy SEALs say you have to get comfortable being uncomfortable.” I’m not sure my insecurity and guilt is the same as being uncomfortable. But writing and plotting in my sleep might mean I’m a writer.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Hi – and thanks for hosting! What an uplifting post. Writing is a bit like sneezing; it can’t be helped. And it happens much more frequently. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Totally unrelated, but I love your background photo 🙂

    Yes, writing gets you by the face and won’t let go. I’ve had some long breaks while doing other things that absorbed all my time and energy, but the stories don’t go away (though there’s no denying that the more I write, the more they come, so maybe if I held out long enough they’d let me be).

    Liked by 1 person

  14. At a literary conference once poet Apirana Taylor said, “I set out to write a short story about Napoleon but it turned out to be a poem about a seagull.” I know the feeling. Without such surprises, where’s the fun?

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Gosh, I’m late to the party. Lots of commenters today.
    I blush to admit I didn’t have time to write the other day and I felt like a kid playing hooky, a guilty pleasure. Though I think if it would have been for more than a day I would have gotten twitchy:)
    Looking forward to the second Crossroads.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. “get comfortable with being uncomfortable” – what a fascinating concept, almost philosophical.
    I love being inside my stories too, although it doesn’t necessarily mean I’m writing. Sometimes, daydreaming, being in my heroes heads is enough for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I completely agree. When I’m not writing, I am out of sorts, but sometimes, I don’t recognize that what I need to do is write! I’m getting better at noticing that, though. Thanks for co-hosting!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I wish I understood this compulsion. Wonder if anyone’s done some kind of study on authors and where this drive inside them comes from? It may “afflict” people for many different reasons, but the result seems to be the same.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Whenever I complete a book and hold it in my hands, I am surprised. I still can’t quite believe I am able to write and publish a book. You are right, if I’m not writing, it just doesn’t feel right.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. I am often surprised by my writing. Years ago when I started writing, I wanted a sweet heroine. Before I finished three pages she became mean and selfish. I threw that away and started over. The same thing happened but it took about 5 pages of writing! Another try and about 7 pages in she was doing it again. The darn character was getting sneakier even with me. I threw the whole thing away and told my friend about it. She was aghast that I threw it away. Her advice: Never throw any writing away even if it is not doing what you want.
    The same thing is happening with the short story I’m working on now. I have introduced new characters I did not have planned. I still do not have the ending. None of them seem to want it to end I guess.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. I’m always surprised by my writing – in so many different ways. And yes, it just won’t let go of me. I struggled to get one book going, and now, I’ve got multiple projects in the fire. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. Thanks for co-hosting today!

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Hi Jacqui – it’s funny how we all get hooked … I’d have never have thought I would – it definitely wasn’t something that I thought would happen – but saw me through the time with my mother and her BIL. Now I appreciate the support and positive! Take care and all the best with continuing on with your books – cheers Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

  23. I completely relate to that ‘get comfortable being uncomfortable’ quote. I have become more comfortable talking about my writing over the years, but there’s always something new to get uncomfortable about!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. You have mirrored my feelings exactly. It is probably easier to get off heroin than stop writing, yet each time I’m about to publish a book I have such terrible doubts. I know it’s rubbish, I’m convinced it’s a disaster. Win an award? Why? Suspicions abound. But I can’t get off the treadmill.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Ha ha! Neatly expressed in the last line. Surprised? I am sometimes surprised by the variability in the flow of ideas and output. Sometimes they flow. Sometimes they just won’t. Nothing I can do to either temper down the flow or speed it up. I am learning that this is how a creative process might often work.

    Liked by 2 people

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