Wednesday, September 7, 2016

IWSG: Wednesday, September 7, 2016: What Helps Me Find Time to Write.

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:
C. Lee McKenzie , Rachel PattisonElizabeth SeckmanStephanie Faris, Lori L. MacLaughlinand Elsie Amata.

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

Happy IWSG Day to everyone making the rounds!
I'm home now ~ for another week.
I'm planning to accomplish more writing
this fall in Victoria than I managed last year.

Next Stop:  Beautiful Victoria
British Columbia, Canada
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

Do you like the new feature for IWSG Day? 
I certainly do!

It's fun to respond to questions about writing;
but what I truly enjoy is reading
the inspiring answers of other IWSG members.

I'm hoping to get some galvanizing ideas,
because I struggle with the topic of September's question:
How do you find the time to write in your busy day?

I work in spurts fueled by pressure.
I've never been able to settle into a schedule.

I've been writing a memoir, and it's proven
to be much more difficult than I'd imagined.

What keeps me moving forward with my memoir
is my Friday Northern blog post.
Were it not for my blog, I'd have given up long ago.

Lots of Hot Coffee Helps Too!
Aurora, Colorado, USA
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

When I started writing several years ago,
I had no idea how to proceed.
I had piles of letters, photographs, and maps  
and a morass of memories that I had skirted for decades.

Things that happened during my time in the North
changed how I felt and behaved in the years that came after.
Some things affected me profoundly,
and some things I did as a result haunted me.

The only way I could wade into the emotional muskeg 
confronting me was with tiny steps, a blog post here, a blog post there.

Sometimes I'd attempt a series, 
like my inner gingerbread man posts,
thinking I could handle it, but I couldn't.
I'd drop it abruptly with no explanation.

I was clueless about blogging,
and the most unexpected thing happened.
Bloggers reached out and supported me.

I was shocked.  
I had no idea such a thing could happen.

So slowly I began writing what I could look at,
following my father's letters chronologically,
and floundering through the cold, wet muskeg.

Northern Muskeg
Flickr:  Rover-Thor   License

I'm not all the way there yet.
I may be the slowest memoir writer ever,
but I'm making progress,
I may actually get it done!

If it weren't for the amazing people I've met through
blogging and the Insecure Writer's Support Group,
I wouldn't be writing at all.
I would have given up in despair.

The pressure of getting that next Northern post out
locks me into a weekly writing schedule
that keeps me moving forward almost every day.

I'm more binger than scheduled, but I am writing.
It's not finding time, more squeezed by a deadline.

Through this process, 
I can't believe how much I've learned about writing,
and how much better I understand my life.
I've become kinder to that younger me.
I can look at her and perhaps understand her.

Not all of this is connected with the North, of course,  
but it's my experiences in the North that sent me spiraling.

Gotta go!  Gotta binge on Friday's post!  LOL
Happy writing, Everyone! 

My Family and I Exploring This Summer
Cape Split, Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia, Canada
Photo by Barbara MacBeath
© All Rights Reserved


  1. I don't know that you're the slowest memoir writer ever; I've been pretty slow in writing mine.

    1. Thanks, Sage! It helps to know there are talented writers like you out there who engaged in the struggle to create something so challenging. You have a wonderful way of evoking time and place in your writing, rich with detail, emotion, and meaning. Keep at it because I, for one, want to read your memoir! Take care!

  2. That's awesome this group has kept you going! That's why I started it.
    Keep at those Friday posts. We enjoy them.
    You are going to a very beautiful place soon.

    1. I'm so grateful to you and the IWSG, Alex! Thanks for the encouraging words. I'm very excited about my return to Victoria next week! Have a great day visiting the members of your inspiring group!

  3. "I've become kinder to that younger me.
    I can look at her and perhaps understand her."

    That's what it's all about! I'm glad that writing and blogging are helping you reflect and understand.

    1. You're right, Debra! Writing has made it possible for me to understand my past and to find some peace. It's been a painful process, floated along with many tears, but it's carried me to a good and forgiving place. Happy Hump Day to you, my friend!

  4. I find blogging to be therapeutic for me, Louise, and I admire and appreciate your talent for writing! I love all your photos.

    1. When my book is published, Linda, you are going to be in my dedication! You have no idea how much your support and encouragement have meant to me. I often feel like I'm the last person out in a whiplash line, and you've stuck with me through all my erratic inconsistencies! For that I am beyond grateful! Sending you much love!

  5. The support of the writing community is phenomenal. I can commiserate about how long it's taking to write that memoir. I thought turning a short story into a novella would be easy. Hah! Everything comes in its own time. Best wishes.

    1. Thank you, Diane! Writing is really challenging, isn't it? It's certainly the hardest, but also the most fulfilling, thing I do! I'm grateful to you and the other IWSG members for all your wonderful sharing, commiseration, and encouragement! Best wishes right back at you!

  6. Hey, you'll get it done as you keep on keeping on. Traveling here there and everywhere can make it take a bit longer though haha

    1. Of course you're right, Pat ~ Traveling here, there, and everywhere does make writing take longer!!! You have no idea how much I have appreciated your constant encouragement, by your example and by your comments which mean a great deal for me. I think all that you have accomplished is amazing and inspiring ~ not to mention a whole lot of fun! You are the definition of persistence, and I admire all that you do with your writing!

  7. I think memoirs may be the hardest things to write--because there's so much emotion involved. I started writing one about my special needs brother, and I'd get like 300 words down and have to stop to clear my sinuses, eyes, and emotions. If you're making progress I say that's awesome. Let it take as long as it needs.

    1. Thanks, Crystal! You are so right about the emotions memoir writing brings out. I can't imagine how difficult it would be to write about a special needs brother. Talk about emotion! But no one would understand his struggles and his humanity better than a sister. I taught lots of special needs children during my career; my heart always went out to my students and to the families who loved and supported them. It's not an easy path to travel, but there are many surprising awards. Take care!

  8. I do like the questions. I can only whine for so long. hehehe

    Anna from elements of emaginette

    1. You're so right, Anna! I can only whine so long, and then I need to problem solve and overcome! Not to mention laugh! But sometimes it's nice to know someone understands how tough writing can be! Take care!

  9. Even though I didn't answer this month's IWSG question, I like the new feature, and I enjoy reading everyone's answers. I learn so much, and I am consistently inspired. :)

    1. Well said, Madeline! I, too, learn a lot and relish the inspiration! Happy writing to you!

  10. Glad to hear blogging helps you with your writing!

  11. What an awesome answer! Bloggers and fellow writers have saved my sanity on more than a million times.

    1. I'm glad to hear that, Elizabeth! I think those who write uniquely understand what we're trying to do. As much as my husband loves and supports me, he can't imagine why I would choose to write. He keeps asking me if I'm having fun and enjoying what I'm doing! LOL

  12. Your Friday posts are so real, from your heart and your Dad's writings, and the memories. But your words add so much more to each one, And if it does take a long time, in the course of things, will that really matter a lot? Last week, I had huge plans for finishing some sewing and quilting, but life intervened. The one thing I was so thankful for was one item was finished ahead of my friend's birthday. Others, well,like your writings, they will get fitted in when I feel well enough to tackle more. Fondest greetings from a cold morning down here, snow north and south of us, and frosty lawn this morning.

    1. Thank you for your kind and encouraging words, Jean, especially when you've had a really challenging week! Here's hoping your needles are soon flying again. You create such lovely things and spread joy when share them on line or give one to a friend. Take care and enjoy all the beauties of spring!

  13. You guys are so on the go. I don't know how you find time to write. It's harder for me when I travel than when I stay put! Understanding ourselves better - writing is good for that, isn't it?

    1. Hi, Barb! Finding time to write is challenging, and I don't have as much time as I'd like, but it certainly is rewarding and informing. I've been known to set up my computer on a bathroom sink in a hotel to write. And I travel everywhere with a powerstrip and an extension cord. Home is definitely easier, but I'm cursed with wanderlust! LOL Have a great weekend!


Thank you for your comments! I appreciate them very much.