#IWSG – Rituals and Rites

As the first Wednesday of May approaches, I’m attempting to write my IWSG monthly blog post. But I’m celebrating the release of the IWSG anthology, Voyagers: The Third Ghost due out on May 5, 2020, which includes my short ‘Feathered Fire’ – so I can’t be Insecure.

First off though, I’m grateful the Ninja Captain himself, Alex J. Cavanaugh created the Insecure Writer’s Support Group as they do such amazing things for writers, from the annual Anthology to friendly advice for all us vacillating writers. Many thanks, Captain Alex, for keeping me inspired to keep scribbling and submitting.

There are more details on yesterday’s release here:


Anyway, on to the monthly question which I wanted to evade this time. Too much backlog or too much celebration? Whichever, so as usual apologies in advance for the slow visits on my part – I’m still wading through earlier IWSG-day posts, including last year’s. And now there’s the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge posts which accumulated in April.

May 6 question – Do you have any rituals that you use when you need help getting into the ZONE? Care to share?

Zone ritual 1 – Space Clearing

Zone ritual 2 – Mug of Coffee

Zone ritual 3 – Close emails & open Power Thesaurus, Scrabble Word Finder…………….

Or are these evasion rituals? Or desperate measures? Although, not as distracting as going into an online game. Time to dive down a rabbit-hole for a few hours.

The truth is that I tend to turn to the notes scribbled in one of my notebooks. I’m a plotter so over time I scrawl ideas, then plotlines or directions down. So, when the moment to write in Word or Scrivener becomes immediately crucial – like now – I have a roadmap…or a skeleton plan.

Okay, how do I get there: dream or lying in bed musing. My muse works the night shift with me.

However, as a retired journalist, I’ve been forced to create articles instantly – cold with no coffee, dreams or muse, but usually rough interview notes. Deadline looming as the clock ticks. That entails a messy rough draft and a rapid re-write.

A fifth draft and beta readers are a luxury in comparison.

Time to wanderlust for an idea for the next IWSG Anthology competition – when I’ve finished raiding a tomb.


The awesome co-hosts for the May 6 posting of the IWSG are Feather Stone, Beverly Stowe McClure, Mary Aalgaard, Kim Lajevardi, and Chemist Ken!

(As always, you must agree these guys are the best. Especially as they all have concerns, fear and insecurities. But they fight on, so ticker-tape applause for all of them – plus toasts with the best brew available.)

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.

30 thoughts on “#IWSG – Rituals and Rites

  1. Cleaning up my writing space actually is a really helpful writing ritual for me. I can understand why it might feel like a procrastination tactic, but honestly, I find clutter to be really distracting. So having a nice, clear writing space really does make it easier to focus on my writing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Some weeks I hated them, Alex – especially when I had to write 20+ newspaper reports in three days. The only solution was writing to a boring formula – and repetition/copy-&-paste.


    • As I replied after ‘writers need something’ – although I’m not in the Hemingway club, even if he lived some of his life here in Idaho. Anyway, my wife can’t start her day without coffee – the alarm has to be set to allow for percolation.


  2. I’m so lucky, Roland! Every morning when I stumble out of bed, Terry has a pot of coffee waiting for me. Coffee starts me going and keeps me going. My little evasion is Words with Friends. I envy you your experience at cold writing articles. That must have been excellent training. I took a couple of journalism courses and a photojournalism course at Cal State Fullerton, but I discovered I had too much polite Canadian in me for a journalist. I did work on my university paper for two years, but I always about a week to work on each feature/article. Elementary teaching turned to to be my niche. I loved working in the field as a geologist, but my first husband was paralyzed and that ended that! Deadlines are powerful motivators for me! all the best, my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’d have made a poor teacher, unable to hold the kids’ interest. Also, I suspect I’d have abandoned journalism if I’d worked as a general journalist. My ‘polite’ streak steered me towards equestrian journalism and related country/rural issues. I only remember tackling one controversial issue – a major doping incident – and that required careful investigation and reporting. Tragically the rider involved was later killed in a riding-competition accident – one of several in the same year, introducing a safety overhaul.


  3. Ha, ha Roland, love the step 1, step 2 approach… Discovered that you are a retired journalist ! My youngest Paul, an aspiring one … Have now ordered my Anthology, paperback, and have to start writing for this year’s one … Backlog ! I have some saved posts of yours … from 2018 ! If you didn’t spend your time virtually flying over Notre Dame,beautiful as it well may be ….
    Anyway, congrats on a job well done for the Anthology, promotion and reviews and your constant support and comments on the IWSG members’blogs. You are a pillar of this community.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wish your youngest all the best on his journalism journey – may it be rewarding. Enjoy the anthology, Susan. I’m struggling with the theme of the new challenge – Dark Matter is way beyond my understanding. Although I wrote a lot of SF in my teens and edited a fanzine, so maybe my muse will help me. I’m feeling guilty for not visiting enough IWSG blogs – backlog-blues.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Congrats on the anthology Roland – I just got notification that the pre-order had hit my Kindle. It’ll be next up after the one I’ve finished & I’m much looking forward to it. I did go through a period when I dreamt of the story which I was in the process of writing – I rather miss that, so must get back into a daily writing practice, as that seems to be what triggers the process. Love your step 1, 2, 3 approach – especial thanks for the tip about Scrabble Word Finder! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Enjoy the anthology when you get to it, Debs. I admit that my daily writing practice comes in spurts – like during NaNoWriMo. As for the Scrabble Word Finder, that’s the only way I can think like Sparkle Anwyl – mnemonic finder.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Congrats on the anthology. I just started it last night. The OCD in me makes me start at the beginning instead of jumping around. I’ll have to check out your story. Love your routine. Sounds like mine. LOL Wishing you a good writing month.

    Liked by 1 person

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