Wednesday, December 1, 2021

IWSG December 2021 with news on NaNoWriMo, What's Next, and Advent

Before I begin, please note this is a multi-subject post. 
Please feel free to read what you want and skip other parts.

Insecure Writer's Support Group

The Insecure Writer's Support Group is an excellent place to find encouragement for your writing practice, writing profession, and writing moments. Many thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh for founding the group with this hop! 

Many thanks also to the co-hosts this month: 

OPTIONAL QUESTION: In your writing, what stresses you the most? What delights you?

This is one of the questions that I almost want to skip because I don't have a definitive single answer. The reality is, I am stressed and delighted by many parts of the writing process, depending on the project. I am delighted by some first draft writing and yet completely stressed by other bits of first draft writing. The same goes for revision, editing, and the last bits before publication.

Generally, though the most delightful and stressful time for me is the day my books go live and published. I'm excited, but also terrified there are terrible typos in there. In fact, there are always a few terribly tenacious typos that make it through to the final publication - even in all the traditionally published books out there. I just don't want them in my books. :)

Stepping Down as the Instagram Volunteer Admin

 This was tough for me. I enjoy Instagram and I appreciate all the encouragement and wonderfulness that is IWSG. However, my health has been an issue for a while now. Between three part-time jobs (I count writing as one of them), volunteering nearly eight hours a week, and my health stuff, something had to give. So, I stepped down and thankfully, Juneta Key stepped up. 

Thank you, Juneta!

And, a big thank you to the entire IWSG Volunteer Admin Team! 

Despite Recovery, I Won NaNo and it surprised me

If you follow me on IG or Facebook, feel free to skip. This is essentially what I shared there.

I wrote more than 50,000 words in 29 days. I honestly wasn't sure I could, given the sinus surgery I had in late October and the sinus headaches I've had since, as well as a whopping bit of Menieres Disease vertigo on Sunday (I had too much salt and caffeine on Saturday). But I did it. And this is how I did it. +I wrote every day for one to two minutes somehow, somewhere.

+I had some Nano Buddies.

+I went to a NaNo Sprint via Youtube, but left when I felt tired.

+I went to a live IG writing sprint with Marissa Meyer, but left when I felt tired. (Marissa Meyer is a local author in my area, and she is the author of the Lunar Chronicles, and many other novels. I don't "know" her but I follow her on IG.)
+If I could, I wrote between 2-5 sessions a day. Again, 1-20 minutes per session, depending on the day and session. +I wrote in my journal and counted that. +I wrote on my laptop and counted it. +I used dictation/talk to text and counted it. +I counted my podcast for my church. +I counted my bits on IG, Twitter, and Facebook toward my word count for the month.
+I rewarded myself for every word written. I congratulated myself. Told myself I was awesome for attempting. (I know this may sound silly, but it made me happy.)
Is it all on the novellas I had hoped originally to write? Nope. Do I feel bad about straying from my original purpose? Nope. Once I realized how hard surgery recovery would be, I threw out that plan and just counted any writing. Somehow, I wrote more than I have at this point in any National Novel Writing Month. Usually, the last day is a scramble, but not this year. I finished early. I am glad I wrote. And it is messy. And I am happy with all of it.


I am continuing to write. The Rayatana 3 book is underway. I am also working on a few other projects and rediscovering my "delight" in writing. 

I am continuing my part-time jobs but with reduced hours.

I am mainly focused on healing up and getting stronger. 

A Note on Volunteering and Why it Matters to Me

I was a Girl Scout who took my oath pretty seriously as a kid and volunteering is something I have often seen as a "duty" of honor and sacrifice.  As a Christian, I have felt incredibly blessed by the love of Jesus in my life, and I have wanted to share that love with others.

Because of this background, I have been volunteering a minimum of twenty hours a year to a maximum of twenty hours a week since I was in early elementary school in a variety of ways throughout the years.

I think volunteers make the world a better place to live in for everyone, and I used to feel I needed to volunteer at church, in my community, and in the world.

My church does go out and do acts of service in the community and in the world - but I am trying to limit myself even with that. The week before my surgery I made chili for a Habitat Build group and that was fun to create, but I was glad someone else collected it and served it because I knew that would tire me out. I have to measure out my energy while I'm healing.

I need to get stronger, which means I need to focus on self-care, which is something I struggle with. I recently discovered The Spoon Theory, which is helping me understand how many spoons I might have to work with each day. 

Slowing Down for Strength

So, I guess that's all to say, I'm slowing down, doing a lot of prayer and soul-searching, and figuring out how to love myself like Christ loves me, to heal and to rest in God's love, and not see it as necessary to go out and immediately do something with that love for others. I have to let it build up a bit, help me gain muscle mass in my body, mind, and soul. I need to rejoice in the love of God in the moment and live with strength, not busy-ness. 

And, so that brings me to Advent, of which today is the first day.


The theme of the first week of Advent is Hope.

Scriptures for Day 1:

A voice of one calling: “In the wilderness prepare the way for the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain. And the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all people will see it together. For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” – Isaiah 40:3-5


In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. - John 1:1-5


Lord, Thank you for this day. Thank you for your light which shines in the darkness. Thank you for preparing a way for us to see your glory in Christ. We hope and pray for your glory to be revealed and for all people to know you and rejoice in your steadfast love. We place our hope and trust in you. Amen.

I have an advent side project going on, so I will be working on these throughout the month of December this year, in the hopes it will be ready for December 2022.

Hope all is well with you!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!