Wednesday, July 6, 2016

IWSG: Wednesday, July 6, 2016: What Am I Doing?





Happy July to all 
the IWSG members
making the rounds today!

It's the first Wednesday 
of the month ~ 
the day when members of the
Insecure Writer's Support Group
share their writing struggles
and offer their encouragement
and support to other members.





To visit the IWSG website, click here.

To become a member of the IWSG, click here.

Our wonderful co-hosts who are stepping up to help IWSG founder Alex J. Cavanaugh are:

Yolanda Renee , Tyrean MartinsonMadeline Mora-Summonte
L. K. Hill, Rachna Chhabriaand Jeffrey Scott .

I hope you have a chance to visit them and thank them for co-hosting.
I'm sure they would appreciate an encouraging comment!
~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Share your struggles suggests the IWSG newsletter.
Okay. 

I struggle.
I feel like a fake.
I wonder what the hell I'm doing trying to write a book.



Word by Word
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved


I have to constantly beat back voices that shout:
"You're too old!"

"You're wasting your time!"  

"Nothing will come of this!"

"What makes you think you're finally going to get it together
and complete this thing?"

"Look at all these amazing, productive writers everywhere!
What's wrong with you?" 

My husband keeps asking: 
"Are you having fun? 
Is this really what you want to do?"

He's been retired for a a year now,
and out the door he runs almost every day,
lathered in suntan lotion and swinging his pickle ball paddle.
He's ready to play and can't fathom why I want to write.
It looks too much like work to him.



Terry Serves at Fort DeRussy
Waikiki, Oahu
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved



So the IWSG Day's new, featured question came at a good time:
What's the best thing someone has ever said about your writing?

It made me stop and remember the encouraging things
people have said about my writing over the years:
Heartfelt.  Passionate.  A strong voice.  Lucid.  Vivid.  

But the best thing, the one thing that keeps me going,
is what a composition professor told me:
"I think you have a book here."

I won't tell you how long ago I heard those words.
It's embarrassing.

But I grasp those words like a shield as I beat back the voices.
I am not a fake!  
I know I'm a good writer.
I just haven't written a book before.

I've had a complicated and challenging life,
rich in experiences,
but I had to make choices that didn't include writing books.

Now is my time. 
I can do this.

And yes, Honey, contrary to what the tears, fits of despondency,
and late nights fighting with my computer suggest,
I am having fun.  
There's nothing I'd rather do.

Well, except travel some of the time.



Riding Down from the Top of Mount Solaro
Capri, Italy
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved



Happy writing in July!



41 comments:

  1. Hi Louise, I wish I had your talent for writing but alas, I don't. I am O.K. with it, though, and I always enjoy your posts and photos. Sending you warm hugs and much love, my cherished friend. :)

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    1. Oh, Linda! You have no idea how much your constant encouragement means! You buoy me up over and over. And when things are dark, you shine a bright light into the blackness with your kind words and your inspiring posts! Thank you, my dear, dear friend!

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  2. Now,is Terry playing doubles, or against 2 ladies ? That looks like hard work to me, and for your writing, keep on, that book is there, and it will all come together some time. Like me with my quilts, all waiting to be actually quilted, after the far easier part of cutting and sewing has been done. I think I can do it, but hesitate beyond reason. I see your Dad wrote " It was four o'clock in the morning and we were wide awake "... that's a bit like down here as Wimbledon tennis begins at 12 midnight NZ time.I so enjoy your Friday posts, your Monday to any other day posts, and you write from your heart. Waiting for the next chapter in your life.

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    1. Thank you, Jean! Your quilt analogy was perfect! I've got hundreds of pieces of writing, letters, reports, photographs, maps, memories, newspaper articles, blogs posts, annotated books and bibliographies, and it's overwhelming at times. How do I sew all the pieces together and finish the quilt with beautiful quilting?

      And I do hesitate beyond reason. Your words made that crystallize. I'm afraid I'll fail: the book, my dad, the North and its people, myself. That's the first time I've written those words down. That's why I feel like a fake. I interact with writers, I blog, I cobble words together, I belong to the IWSG with it's amazing members accomplishing so much, heck I have two cousins who've written wonderful things and a sister who has published two books, and I'm afraid all my work will come to junkthat no publisher would publish. I think that's called "fear of failure!" Okay, now I've named the boogieman, maybe I can beat him down! I've got to stop hesitating, holding back, and be brave.

      Thank you, yet again, Jean for being such an amazing, encouraging friend. Sending you a big hug!

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    2. Oops, forgot to add that Terry was playing doubles at Fort DeRussy. It's a drop-in group most of the time, so you play with whomever shows up.

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  3. Here's one for you. I LOVE your writing. I just need to find time again to visit my beloved bloggers.

    I always feel like a fake, but honestly we're all pretty much faking our way through life. :)

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    1. Thanks Teresa! I so hear you! I've been struggling trying to get around to my blogging buddies too. It has been a crazy year so far.

      I so much prefer feeling competent, but I have learned sometimes you do have to fake it. Like when you have to walk onto an oil rig in a Kansas field and do your job as a newbie wellsite geologist when all the roughnecks on the rig want to run you off because a woman has no business being on a rig. That was actually easier than faking being a writer because at least I had the adrenalin rush of being pissed-off!

      Happy writing, Teresa!

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  4. Fort DeRussy...
    Oh, my it has several decades since I've been there. Memories...
    As for you, the title of your blog and the things you have written there certainly show you're a writer with a formidable talent. You just have to put it into a book. It'll come. (And let me know when it's out...)

    Diana

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    1. Thanks so much for the encouragement, Diana! I'll get there! I just have to keep reminding myself that I can do it, even when I feel like a talentless fake!

      I have lots of memories of Fort DeRussy. It's one of my favorite places to do standup paddle boarding. I love to rent my paddle board there because the guys are always so military polite. And they carry my board to the water's edge, although I'm perfectly capable of lugging it there myself. Dare I add they are always so buff and cute? I'm SUPg, Terry's playing pickle ball, and then we meet at the Outrigger Reef's Shore Bird for mai tais! Ahh, bliss!

      Have a good one, Diana!

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  5. I so much enjoy these posts. You must be a good writer to keep my interest!
    Renée

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    1. My heart jumped when I saw your name, Renée! I had no idea that you were reading my posts! I was so excited to find you again, and here I haven't yet written that big catchup email! Ron (Troke) and I have written back and forth numerous times in the past few years, and we always wondered where you were and what had happened to you. He was thrilled to find you too! I loved seeing your Facebook photos of you and your family. You have such joy in your face in your photos.. I'm happy for you and the life you have made. Thank you for your kind comment! I'll carry it with me as I write! Sending you a hug!

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  6. You do have a book there! We read about it every Friday and keep coming back for more.
    Going to the gym is work, but I enjoy it. And the results. You just keep writing.

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    1. I will, Alex! You are always so encouraging! I try to be tickety-boo in my IWSG Day posts, but this time I decided to come clean and admit I'm caught in a big suckhole of insecurity. I always try to be positive in my posts because I don't want to drag others down by whining.

      The gym, OMG! I've been working and working there, trying to build my strength up. One day I will do a pull-up!!! Kudos to you for hitting the gym.

      Happy IWSG Day!

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  7. Enjoying it is the key indeed, then it isn't so much like work. Swinging a racket takes work too and at least writing you won't sweat and get all eww lol

    Just have to fake it until you make it and keep on writing away.

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    1. You've got to be the most positive guy, Pat! You always make me smile! Can't wait to read your post today!

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  8. We all feel that way sometimes. One thing that's always stuck with me--not even sure where I heard it; probably at a writing conference--was, "The only difference between a published writer and an unpublished writer is persistence." Just keep at it and you'll get there. As long as you don't give up, success is guaranteed. :D Happy writing to you as well!

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    1. Thanks for understanding, L.K. Persistence is an important quality in just about everything! I have published newspaper articles and even a short story, but the the brass ring is that book in print! I will get there! Have a good one!

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  9. Well-said! I don't know what I'd do with my time if I didn't write. You can only read so many books.

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    1. Thanks, Jacqui! Of all the things I do, writing is the thing that fulfills me above all others. It's also the most maddening! LOL! Take care!

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  10. Great post. You had me smiling. Great compliment too.
    Hope you are having a great IWSG day.
    Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

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    1. Thanks, Juneta! I'm glad that I had you smiling! That's an updraft under my wings! I'm having a great IWSG Day now that I've gotten all the errands and grocery shopping out of the way. LOL
      I'm looking forward to visiting your blog again as I make my rounds! Have a good one!

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  11. You know what sometimes keeps me going (from Stephen Covey's book that I read a gazillion years ago!)....Begin With The End In Mind. Imagine yourself holding your completed book. Think about how accomplished you'll feel. How proud of yourself! It would be SO VERY EXCITING! And, of course, don't let that nagging voice in....your own giving you all these reasons why you shouldn't! I certainly love following along on your journey!

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    1. How wonderful to hear from you, Audrey! And thank you for the excellent suggestion and kind encouragement! I hope you, Alain, and the girls are doing well! I think of you so many times! Sending you a big hug!

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  12. It may seem silly, but we all need a little bit of stress in our lives to keep us going. A balance of good and bad are for reference only. hehehe

    Anna from elements of emaginette

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    1. You're right, Anna! We do need some stress to motivate us! Thanks for visiting and leaving a good reminder of a valid point! Take care!

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  13. Hi, even if you heard those words of praise a long time back, they are still relevant now, all that you need to do is to devote some time to getting that book together.

    Rachna Chhabria
    Co-host IWSG
    Rachna's Scriptorium




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    1. Thank you, Rachna! And you're right ~ you zeroed in on my biggest challenge. I have always struggled with time management. But I am determined to get there! I hope you had a great day co-hosting yesterday!

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  14. Love it! Of course it's fun - even when it's crazy! My hubby thinks I'm a bit of a nut too :)
    I've never seen pickle ball before but that looks like a blast - with elements of tennis and badminton.
    You'll get that book written - it only takes time - and you'll get there at the right time. Good luck!

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    1. Thanks for the encouraging comment, Jemi! Pickle ball is becoming really popular, and my husband has really taken to it. But we're even, because I think he's a nut to spend so much time on the courts ~ looks like way too much work to me! LOL Have a good one!

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  15. So long as you're enjoying the process and the project is meaningful to you, that's all that matters! Only writers truly understand the joy of writing -- everyone else thinks we're nuts!

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    1. Thanks, Debra! I think most people love or hate writing ~ It's hard to be indifferent. But there is nothing like being "in the flow" whatever your passion! Have a good one!

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  16. Yes, you can do this!!! And, travel. :)
    Happy Writing!

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    1. Thanks for the vote of confidence, Tryean! The two things I am compelled to do in retirement are write and travel. I will do both! Have a good one!

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  17. Oh-my-gosh are we on the same page. Daily, I ask myself those same questions; including, I'd have so much more time if I didn't waste all this time pretending to be a writer. Thanks so much for sharing this. You are not alone. And come to think of it, neither am I. All the best, my dear.

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    1. Thank you so much, Victoria! I laughed with relief when I read your comment! Writing is tough, and it's reassuring to find kindred spirits! Have a great day!

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  18. Mahalo for visiting my site for July #IWSG. Your first photo above supports your comment about liking Hawaii. Your comment about being too old to write gave me a good chuckle. After retiring, writing became my life. If I'm not reading, writing, researching, or editing, I am attending writer-related gatherings or meeting at some coffee shop to discuss writing. But for anyone who asks for my advice: if it's not fun for you, do something else. Glad to hear you are having fun!

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    1. How encouraging to read your kind comment, Gail! I'm loving having more time to write now that I'm retired. I thought I'd be doing so many more things, but I get so much satisfaction from writing, photography, and traveling that I really don't care about other things I thought I would take up. It's great to hear that you are having a fun retirement too! Take care!

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  19. Write and travel! my mantras as well. Here's hoping you get a load of both done ere long!

    Damyanti

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    1. Hi, Damyanti! I read in your bio that you live in one of my favorite cities, Singapore. I've been there for a couple of brief stays, and I loved it. It's a while ago, because the New 7th Storey Hotel we enjoyed staying in, was demolished in 2008. We stayed in the Pan Pacific too, but it was as much fun as the 7th. I truly hope to return to Singapore one day! Have a great weekend!

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  20. I have to admit, it's been a seriously long time since anyone has said anything very supportive or encouraging about my writing. But I've also been very lackadaisical about my writing until just a few years ago.
    Oddly, I seem to get more negative comments than positive. And these from people who have really never read anything I write. They too can't figure out why I do what I do. They consider it work. When I tell them I WANT to right they roll their eyes or pretend they didn't hear. At least it seems that way.
    Keep up the good work. Do what you enjoy!

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    1. Hi, Jeffery! Thank you for you're kind and thoughtful comment. I think that people who don't write can't begin to understand what drives us as writers. Among other things, it takes a lot of time to produce a piece of writing, and you can't see the results the same way you can hear a piano piece or watch a painting appear on a canvas. It's tough to make a living in writing, in the arts. Certainly I had to have a "real" job (teaching), which I did love btw, but it left me with little time and energy to spare for writing. I have four siblings, and we all have multiple talents in the arts: writing, music, singing, acting/theatre, textures/fabrics, and painting. But we all had "real" jobs: lawyers, teachers, and an engineer. Our artistic endeavors have, by necessity, been avocations.

      I realize now that there truly are phases in one's life, and I've made peace with that. I finally have time and energy to devote to my creative side. Perhaps your being "lackadaisical" about your writing was driven more about other responsibilities and pressures that took precedence. And even if not, now you're in a phase that allows you more time and energy to pursue your writing goals. As my sister Donnie always says to me, "It's all good." And it is.

      And btw, I think blogging is a genre of writing, and I enjoyed your post! You keep up the good work too! So what if some people in the world don't get it! Take care!

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Thank you for your comments! I appreciate the time and energy you put into making them very much.