Wednesday, March 4, 2015

IWSG: March 4, 2015 ~ Start with One Bite

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, 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 today are
Chemist Ken, Suzanne Sapseed, and Shannon Lawrence.

Visit them, thank them, and follow them (if you haven't yet).

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"You should really write a book!"

Have you had that said to you?

I've heard that, 
but it's intimidating.
How do you write a book?


When I retired, I decided to write that memoir 
that's hounded me most of my life.

So I went to my favorite bookstore,
got a big cup of coffee,
and tackled the reference shelves.

A title jumped out at me:
You Should Really Write A Book:
How to Write, Sell, and Market Your Memoir
by Regina Brooks and Brenda Lane Richardson.


The universe spoke!

I bought it and read it
from cover to cover.

The book has lots of useful information,
but one piece really took hold:
Build an online platform.

Now that was a first bite 
of the elephant I could chew.

A Manageable Bite

It's not enough to write well
and have compelling memories.
Publishers looks for writers 
with an established online audience:
a platform.

I didn't let my gift
for screwing up royally 
with computers stop me.
I waded in and started a blog.

Go for it!

It took effort and time
to figure out how to blog,
but it was worth it.

Blogging let me experiment 
with my writing
and led me to the IWSG.

When you blog, 
you put yourself out there
exactly as you choose.

Summoning the Nerve

You can try different things.
You stand or fall on your own.

As people read your blog, 
you get feedback, 
and you discover what works and what doesn't.
You find your voice and direction.

Blogging takes courage.
persistence, and a thick skin.

Take a Chance!
Ride # 3 ~ The Biggest Male

When I fail, 
I get up and keep going.

On that rare occasion 
when somebody posts a nasty comment, 
I pop out my lethal velociraptor claws 
and zap it into blogger oblivion.

By some good fortune, 
I stumbled across the IWSG.
and that has been awesome!

A Yummy Bite

It helps to have a supportive group 
that understands your struggles.

Just hearing what others experience,
and knowing that they got to where 
you want to go
keeps you slogging.

You learn from their experiences,
and they encourage you.

So tackle that book hounding you ~
Experiment with your writing in a blog.
Develop an online platform.
Connect with the IWSG.

Write that elephant bite by bite.
I'm chomping along!


  1. my blog started out a way to bitch about Bush and the asshole republicans..ended up being an after everyone telling me I should write a I started my far all I have is a title..Jackie's book..sigh*

    1. Aloha, Jackie! I so understand. I didn't start my memoir for an embarrassing number of years. Then I decided to start with the blog, and it got me going! Maybe one day, you'll start your book with one little bite! Have a good one!

  2. A good plan, Louise. And you will get that book done when the time is right and all comes together.
    I have always been told to write a book too, mostly by Ron as he knows 'the details' of my life. Sometimes I tap into that 'book' in my head and can see where to go. Other times I become very overwhelmed by it all and choose to just live in the present and leave the past where it is.
    Who knows?

    1. Thanks, Jim! I'm still falling and floundering, but I'm making progress! It will come together! Small bites are what work for me, because it is overwhelming when I contemplate the whole thing. I would buy your first copy! I bet you have a great story in you. As for Ronnie ~ He could so write a children's series on Ms SD ~ so if he gives you grief about writing, give it right back! Take care!

  3. Sweet photos and good advise. All accomplishments come with small steps. Are you still having fun? More snow here.

    1. We are having a blast, Barb! I love Hawaii, and I hope to return every year. I was looking for images I could use for eating an elephant, and walking to the beach, I suddenly remembered feeding my elephant in Thailand. No one wants to eat a sweet elephant anyway! Have a good one!

  4. haha the way to be, just keep on going at it. That take care of the elephant in the room.

    1. You're my inspiration, Pat! I'm working on getting week ahead on my posts, although this Hawaii jaunt is using up some of my already started posts! Have a good one, my friend!

  5. Everyone thinks writing a book is so easy, but it's not. It takes a lot of work, and goes beyond writing.

    Awesome pictures! I love elephants. I would live to ride on one some day. :)

    1. Aloha, Chrys! I know about how hard the writing part is, and I've helped my published sister market two of her books in different ways ~ that's harder than writing. I love elephants too ~ Have you read Jodi Picoult's "Leaving Time?" It is a fantastic book with oodles of info about elephants. Riding an elephant was tops on my bucket list, and I've done it three times. Now I want to volunteer at an elephant rescue place! I hope you get to ride that elephant!

  6. Hi Fundy! I really like the elephant pics!!.. great memories huh :)
    I found thsi post really inspiring, and encouraging. I started my blog becaue I wanted to build up my writing 'stamina', I feel more confident about writing now

    1. Aloha, Dawna! Terry and I had the best time riding our elephant in Thailand ~ and feeding it afterwards! Thanks for your kind comment. I really love what you write on your blog. You have a distinct voice and write really well. As for stamina ~ You are amazingly productive! I'll be by to catch up as soon as I can. It's so hard to squeeze in blogging time here in Honolulu. Keep on writing! Take care!

  7. My dear friend Walter, who has passed away, always said " Nancy J, you should write a book" and lots more words in a similar way, he always called me by that nickname, one Christmas posted me THREE books on " How to write a book" and your words have encouraged me once again. But I feel with a blog, it is a great start, and have been told, "You need to grab your readers on the first page" Louise, you are off to such a good start, or is it already the middle?? Do you have a title? I will go to your links, thanks again.

    1. Hi Jean! Thanks for your thoughtful comment. I'm not in the middle yet! Getting consistent on my Friday northern posts has really helped me. Where I'm struggling is with the research, because I see my memoir as history, especially in what is still to come. I'm struggling with accessing newspaper and parliamentary records from 50 years ago, but I'll figure it out. My initial title was "Human Refuse," but I've decided that that is too negative (My brother thumped me with that!). We'll see. It will happen. I encourage you to write! It's so much more manageable starting with one piece at a time. I'm not an outliner. My story takes me where it wants to go. And there is so much more than I realized when I first started. My research has led me to surprising and shocking things! Fortunately I've written enough smaller pieces throughout my life that I understand my writing process and don't get discouraged when I founder and flail! I hope that you and your hubby are having a good day in NZ.

  8. Congratulations on making your journey. Glad you decided to write. It took me a year or two of writing a page or two before it occurred to me to write a whole book. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

    BTW, if you're addicted to Bejeweled, stay away from Candy Crush. It takes the Bejeweled idea and makes it into a wonderful game that's far more fun.

    1. Hi CK! I know better than to start another addictive computer game! Thanks for confirming my intuition! Wow! Fun story about how you decided to get going on a book! At least you had a lot of pages to start with when you made that decision! Have fun co-hosting today!

  9. Louise, I am very glad you have decided to write. Your blog posts are so much fun, informative and bring me much joy, and I am sure they brings others as much joy! Your photos here are fantastic. I love elephants, they are such majestic, gorgeous and sensitive creatures. To be cherished.

    I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you profusely for your very long and very kind comment on one of my recent blog posts. You touched my heart greatly and I really appreciate that you have taken time out of your busy schedule to read my posts on a personal level. I feel honoured to know you, you are a lovely person.

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Linda! You are a sweetheart, and that comes through in your inspiring and uplifting blog! Your words always inspire me to keep going! We all need wind in our sails ~ Thanks for blowing!

  10. Zap him into oblivion - awesome!
    Just one step at a time. You've done awesome with your blog so far.
    Cool you got to feed the elephants as well as ride one.
    And yes! Definitely could use you as a co-host in April.

    1. Thanks, Alex! Yes, it was cool to feed our elephant. I wanted to ride straddling his neck like some others were doing on several of the others. I asked my mahout, and he said, "You want to die?" Our elephant was the biggest male and only tolerated our mahout. We were in Khao Lok two years after the tsunami struck, and our mahout told us that the elephants went wildly running for the nearby hills before it struck. We heard some terrifying stories while we were there. I'll be happy to co-host in April. I have it on my calendar!

  11. Oh my, the elephant photos. I had a hard time reading because I wanted to just keep staring at them. Truly magnificent animals. LOVE your photos. And I think you're brave to work on your book ~ it's definitely not easy ! But imagine how amazing you'll feel when it's all done!!! I can't wait to read it.....

    1. I'm so glad that you enjoyed the photos, Audrey! I'll never forget our ride into the Thai jungle on our elephant. Or feeding him afterwards! I thought it would be fun to contrast me feeding the elephant with me metaphorically eating the elephant of writing a book. Our hotel has internet in the lobby, but we're in the one room that picks up the internet. So when Terry is asleep, I can stay up late and work. When I'm out in the lobby there are too many things going on to really focus. I keep checking your blog, Girlfriend! Are you still looking for a new computer or just a busy, busy mm? XOXOX!

  12. Thank you for the photos. They're great! I like the 'eating an elephant one bite at time' metaphor. It's better to enjoy the process than to sweat over how much is on your plate. If only I could take my own advice! ;)

    1. I'm glad that you enjoyed the photos. Adrienne. I can't seem to do a post without photos or images. Must be that visual learner in me! Have a good one!

  13. I love the artistic and poetic juxtaposition of text and images. The elephant photos are lovely and speak volumes all by themselves. Thanks for putting such an encouraging post out into the blogosphere!

    1. Thank you, Stephanie! I'm glad you got what I was trying to do! Have a great weekend!

  14. Love this. My hubby and I rode elephants in Africa and it was amazing. Great analogy.

    1. Thank you, Karen! I'm so glad that you enjoyed it. I would dearly love to ride elephants in Africa! I'm sure that it was a wonderful experience for you and your hubby! Take care!

  15. Perfect, Louise.......I agree blogging is the perfect place to try something, to learn something and to experiment.

    NOT TO MENTION find lost friends, right !?! RIGHT!

    My foyer (pronounced FOY YAY!!) 'smiles" ~ into blogdom has channelled me into a world of photography. My writing skills certainly have improved but my excitement has quadrupled+ when I take a photo and make the it my own. Learning the ins and outs of "what to do next" is challenging but things start to fall in place as they should.

    Your writing skill is so easy. It draws the reader (me in this case) in and clips along effortlessly.

    Keep at it Louise and just maybe that BOOK will appear before your very eyes.

    I do believe the waves are calling you!
    HEY, maybe a book will happen on the islands and that you may have to stay there longer because the islands fulfill your creative mind. Just a thought!!


    1. Thanks, Ron! I have you to thank for this blogging venture of mine, because you got me going!

      We are having the best time here. A big day is a swim in the Waikiki surf. The climate is heavenly! Terry is napping now. We could easily stay here longer than 26 days.

      We went on a four mile walk to go to the original baker of malasadas on the Island. They're a doughnut-like treat that originated in Portugal and was introduced to Hawaii in 1952. They are wildly popular.

      I've managed to knock out four posts while I was here. Three were partially done before I left home. Now I just have to worry about my northern blogs on Friday, and catching up with comments. Fortunately, I need less sleep than Terry, so I can work on the posts later at night. Terry is napping now.

      It's happy hour, but I'm not sure that I'll get Terry out for it. I can't really drink two mai tais every day! LOL Soon I hope to get a Facebook post out with some photos.

      That book will come! I've just got to make the most of every moment. Terry is loving retirement so far.

      Hugs to you three!

    2. Hey, Ron! I forgot to say that you are a fabulous photographer! I'm glad you share your talent and world with us. I love the photo aspect almost as much as the writing. It's wonderful to be able to share my photos with others. Take care!

  16. The very best part about blogging is the great writing community that you become a part of. One of the most supportive out there, for sure.

    Best wishes!

    1. You're so right, Mark! When I ventured into blogging, I had no idea of what to expect. The best discovery of all was meeting all these amazing people. I've made friends from all around the world. And I love the IWSG! Have a great weekend!

  17. Wow! What an inspirational and positive post! And there are pictures of elephants! I too am terrible, TERRIBLE at computers. Seriously. But you need to do what you have to to reach your goals, right? You should be incredibly proud of yourself for doing this. And write that book!! :)

    1. Thanks for your encouraging words, CG! I am working on the book. It's not going as fast as I had hoped, but I am making progress. Computers can have me tearing my hair out and in tears, but hater flailing and wailing, I figure it out! Have a good one!

  18. You go right on and write anything you want. Love the photos. Hi Elephant.

    1. Thanks, Sheena-kay! I'm so glad that you enjoyed the elephant photos! I had fun going into the archives and reliving that trip to Thailand! Have a great weekend!

  19. Great pics!!! Keep on writing! And thank you for that positive post! I want to ride and elephant now, and then write a story about it. :)

    1. Thanks, Tyrean! I can't seem to work fast enough to get everything roiling around in my brain down on paper. Oh well, one word at a time. I hope that you do get to ride an elephant. It was a magical experience! Take care!

  20. Great advice. I love the pictures! Looks like so much fun. Good luck with your memoir!

    1. Thanks, Shannon! I keep plugging away at it. Fortunately I understand my writing process, so I don't get discouraged as I work through it. I just wish that I was faster! I'm glad that you enjoyed the photos. that was a magical day for my husband and me!

  21. Hello Fundy,
    I just love those elephant pictures!
    I agree, a blog is an excellent way to test one's ability to write and get started with an audience.
    But since I went through the process of writing a book myself (a thriller set in South Arfica), I can tell you that rising any editor's interest is another story. And even if you get one positive feedback from an editor's "reading circle", it still doesn't mean the editor him(her)self will agree to publish, especially if you are not someone known....
    Writing takes a huge amount of time during which you can't do much other.
    Also in the US you have to go through an agent, I heard, and there are fairly heavy costs before a book gets out....
    So if you choose to go along and tackle this "elephant", you'd better prepared mentally!! ;-)
    On the other hand I think it is always a very interesting challenge and even if you are not published, your family and friends will be very grateful.
    But again you might have found THE story editors are after and it could well become a hit!!!
    Go for it, you're a winner!!
    Keep well and enjoy the coming day :)

    1. Your comment made my day, Noushka! It is so uplifting! I think it's fabulous that you wrote a book! I know that it takes a monumental amount of work!!!!! You should keep submitting it; sometimes it takes a lot of submissions! I'm hopeful that eventually I will find a publisher for my book, but at least I'm getting part of the story out through my blog. We shall see. Thank you for taking the time to leave such an encouraging and thoughtful comment! Have a lovely weekend, my friend!


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