#IWSG – Role-play Reverie

Why am I getting repetitive? Because it’s that time again.

Yes, that one.

Created  and hosted by the Ninja Captain himself, Alex J. Cavanaugh, the Insecure Writer’s Support Group monthly blog post is here and so am I, insecure, although a chunk less since I’ve finished another WIP draft for this year’s NaNoWriMo.

I finished the revision before Thanksgiving so had a few days grace. And time to worry about this post and my WEP-IWSG flash on the theme of Footprints. But for the latter, don’t expect another Sparkle tale as she’s off-duty after a tough month. Instead, I’m revisiting another character’s world.

More insecurity/stress inducing -great for the MS, not- is the editing.

I’m trying to get my head round modern grammar rules: en-dashes, em-dashes, ellipses, etcetera. Whatever I learnt at school in the last century seems wrong—or old-fashioned. Was that last em-dash correct? Just when my fuddled brain sees the light, I get hit for six. [In cricket terminology. In baseball lingo, a homerun?]

Do editors differ in terms of style? AP or Oxford? Brits or Yanks?

Plus, this post comes with a warning: I’ve still got old IWSG posts to visit from months back – buried in the daily avalanche of emails. A never-ending avalanche. So, expect a visit in 2020. You’re filed.

Anyway, on to the IWSG monthly question which will result in more fascinating posts elsewhere.

December 4 question – Let’s play a game. Imagine. Role-play. How would you describe your future writer self, your life and what it looks and feels like if you were living the dream? Or if you are already there, what does it look and feel like? Tell the rest of us. What would you change or improve?

My fingers fly furiously over my keyboard. Finished correcting my latest novel—Book 8 in the Snowdon Shadows series. Yet more challenging cases for DI Sparkle Anwyl. Yet more animating accolades for Roland Clarke. Grin inanely, autograph another book, drink another toast with my agent. Life is great and comfortable for me, my wife and our furry family. Exotic escapades entice. Relaxed, warmth spreads from my chest to my body—to everyone.

Screech of brain-brakes.

Book 1 isn’t even ready. Is it Book 1 or just backstory? My fingers and brain are cramped. Sparkle is only a DC—Detective Constable. The ending feels flat. No agent. No publisher.

The only MS is my chronic illness.

So, hold the Role-play Reverie.

I fear I’m writing to leave a legacy of words to a family who doesn’t care. Most of our money goes to them—not to even an editor who can tackle my mixed-up words/grammar. Why bother to write?

To sleep, perchance to dream.

Because I dream of someone having a use for my scribblings—once I’ve found the best way to end the current WIP.

Is publication ambitious or justified? Necessity or luxury? Reality or Role-play?


The awesome co-hosts for the December 4 posting of the IWSG are Tonja Drecker, Beverly Stowe McClure, Nicki Elson, Fundy Blue, and Tyrean Martinson!

(You must agree these guys all have commitments too—but they are the best. Ticker-tape applause for all of them—plus toasts too.)

Purpose of IWSG: To share and encourage. Writers can 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!

Every month, we announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say.

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time – and return comments. This group is all about connecting!

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG.

Every month, we announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say. 

38 thoughts on “#IWSG – Role-play Reverie

  1. Huge congratulation on both NaNo AND being selected for the latest ISWG anthology.
    Sadly I hear you on the MS beast. It thrives on stress, and as the temperatures here ramp up it is in its element. My brain has gone out to an extended lunch and hasn’t invited me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The MonSter keeps pounding away, EC. I’m sorry to hear yours is no better. Does it ever take a break?
      On the one hand (or foot), my writing is getting somewhere, but on the other, I seem to have created more work/stress/frustration down the line.
      Or is it the best way to keep my brain from crumbling?


  2. Two big congratulations, Roland! First for completing NaNoWriMo (Something I’d never have the guts to tackle); and drumroll, congratulations for having your short story selected for the 2019 IWSG anthology!!! All the best to you and your writing in December!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Louise. I never expected my short would get accepted as I’ve never attempted MG. As for NaNo, that’s become an annual habit – plus, I’ve learnt to subvert the rules. Watch out for my debrief.


  3. Congrats on appearing in the latest IWSG anthology Roland. Awesome. I’m looking forward to your next WEP entry even if no Sparkle. I admire your grit living with MS. You’re right. Keep the stress to a low level.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. When I started your ‘dream’, I forgot it was an idyllic future and was ready to applaud you! Now, I get the ‘screech of brain brakes’ (great phrase). I don’t think my family cares much for my books either except that monthly little check that will come in whether I live or die!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Huge congrats on the anthology win! And on whacking away at the new draft of the novel. You’re getting there. Don’t give in, don’t give up, and let those voices out on paper. It’s so much better than trying to live with them all in your head.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Rebecca, and congratulations to you too. I value my beta readers – you and Jemima. Struggling with edits and trying to ignore the MonSter tearing my head apart. Not ready to give up. Better to fight on paper.


    • Although I met my NaNoWriMo objective, I’m not sure the win was as amazing as those who write 50k from scratch. My next post will attempt to review my NaNo journey.
      Seasonal greetings to you too, Michelle.


  6. Happy Sunday Roland. Congratulations on your Nanowrimo WIN and your selected story for the IWSG Anthology. Can’t wait to get my hands on that one.
    Shakespeare died before he saw his work in print, so sleep and dream in comfort. Your words are read and appreciated. Publishing takes time and a lot of hassle so take heart in your followers’ wise words and NEVER give up.
    Merry Christmas Jolly Joy writing. See you on WEP Footprints. My saved posts list for 2019 is I’m sure just as long as yours … so we’ll bother the bloggers together in 2020 ! Ha. Your remote Clarke cousin.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The IWSG Anthology selection makes the writing seem worthwhile; although, I don’t plan on switching to MG as my main area. Maybe once or twice more. Something for WEP in 2020?
      I suspect my Footprints piece will be classed as Adult Fantasy from a style measure.
      Have a relaxed season of reflection and festivities, distant cousin.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Thanks for stopping by my blog. Thanks again for the encouragement.
    Congrats on Nano and your anthology entry. I look forward to your WEP.
    I too am late visiting people, but hey, that’s life.
    I look forward to your dream and more Sparkle stories.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I think it’s natural to want to share your stories with as many people as possible. So keep trying to get them out there. I think every little bit of writing we do is building a legacy. Here’s to a productive 2020!

    Liked by 1 person

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