#IWSG – Altered States

Another new month dawns, as does the Insecure Writer’s Support Group post. Where would I be without the Ninja Captain himself, Alex J. Cavanaugh who created the Insecure Writer’s Support Group? Lost in some cultural desert as IWSG 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 focused on my real goals. Especially at this difficult time when world news is so depressing – from Covid-19 to environmental degradation.

Before I forget, I’m attempting to stay motivated so I can write another short story – an entry for 2020 IWSG Anthology Contest. It’s a challenging theme again – Dark Matter – so my old brain is attempting to re-awaken my initial leanings. More about the contest at:


June was a confusing month, filled with distractions from my WIP writing/editing. However, the promotion surrounding the launch of Voyagers: The Third Ghost on May 5th has continued to inspire me. Here’s one of the last posts referencing that anthology:


Anyway, on to the monthly question which worried me – even when the blocks fell away – or rather the chocks were pulled aside. At least, I’ve attempted something – hopefully coherent and entertaining if not useful.

Supposedly– the question is optional! 


July 1 question – There have been many industry changes in the last decade, so what are some changes you would like to see happen in the next decade?

I may be a plotter but not when it comes to the distant goal of publishing even my current WIP. That strategy is as flexible as my decreasing writing budget. A few months ago, I had the money for an editor, but it’s been frittered away on other non-essentials.

Which? Too many to mention. Or am I being too vague – or evasive? Let’s just call some escapism and some household.

Well, not exactly all unrelated to my writing. There was the graphic image for my WIP:


Graphics by Jonathan Temples – 

…and that was based on future publishing potential. Graphic novels do seem to appeal to fit with a generation of shorter-attention span, minimal-readers. Also, we are becoming visual consumers so why not. Or it could be adapted into cover art if the traditional route survives.

And I sense the traditional will thrive in some guise, whether it’s e-books, audio-books, or page-turned paper touchables. OK, there may be a more visual offshoot related to Virtual Reality technology, but like graphic novels, words and stories will be crucial elements.

Genres will be as fluid as they seem to be whenever I glance at Amazon or Book Bub. I don’t suspect my genre – crime/mysteries – will diminish since it’s endured for decades, nor other genres I tend to read like historical fiction and fantasy.

However, I’m wary of predicting or planning for anything. I write what inspires me, not what seems marketable. If the industry changes, my manuscripts will gather dust and become my legacy – or scraps to be recycled. Anyway, my minimally-selling debut created no precedence – even in waste of space or dust-gathering.

One prediction though: the IWSG Anthology will continue for the near future as it’s a worthwhile exercise. So, I remind you again to check out the details of the next IWSG Anthology competition here:


Stay sensible, safe, and inspired, please


The awesome co-hosts for the July 1 posting of the IWSG are Jenni Enzor,Beth Camp, Liesbet,Tyrean Martinson, andSandra Cox!

How can I be repetitive asking you to agree these guys are the best? Especially as they all have concerns, fears, and insecurities. But they struggle 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 – Altered States

  1. Good post. I especially like your reminders to us to all be supporters of each other. I have no idea what publishing will actually look like in 10 years, but I had a few sort of rant-y thoughts about what I’d like, mostly about NOT letting Amazon get a monopoly.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree that graphic novels are going to continue to do well. I’ve been impressed by the depth and interesting concepts that have been coming out recently. I also love your graphic for your WIP.
    I love crime and mystery too, especially from the Golden Age, and I hope they continue to do well.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Graphic novels are coming into their own. I couldn’t believe when my daughter suggested I get one for her daughter’s b’day. Had no idea she loves them. Grandson, yes; granddaughter? Really. (How sexist is that?) Anyway, have fun with the anthology entry.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Diane, it’s easy to reach that erroneous conclusion/belief. Yet, the suggestion of a graphic novel came from one of my female beta readers. And all gamers are male – like my wife LOL. How are we misled?


    • I agree, Olga – books will survive…as they have since runes and hieroglyphs. And storytelling is even older – and I suspect, so are graphic novels; well, tales with pictures. Cave paintings?


  4. Happy IWSG Day, Roland! I just can’t seem to cozy up to an ebook. I love the feel of an actual book! I’ve blown my book budget to hell today, having ordered three. I’m going to have to hide the books when they arrive ~ Just kidding, after 35 years of marriage, Terry knows me well. I, too, write what inspires me. I don’t have enough time left to waste on something I’m not passionate about. Take care, my friend. We will get through this. You take care, please!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks Roland for all your hard work on promoting the anthology and posting updates on tips for Dark Matter. The ‘short span attention young readers…’ you are far too harsh, they have always existed and plenty of younger generation serious readers out there, mine and their friends for starters ….. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd is my favourite Agatha Christie, love your cover; my version is Penguin 50’s red and white… boring…..
    Wishing you a restful summer and good luck on your WIP.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve become a crotchety old fogie, Susan – I’ve been struggling to interest any of my family – steps and blood – in reading anything properly. People wanted free copies of my debut novel in 2013, but didn’t read it. Now, with the anthology, I can’t persuade any one to read it – despite handing out free copies. At least, I hear/read of people reading – or is that 😉 fake news?

      Liked by 1 person

  6. To write what’s marketable. Actually I think that’s another thing we’ve seen in the last decade. In India we have a flood of writers attempting mythological fiction. We have hoards of mythological references and everyone’s got a story around them. Which isn’t bad but I’d like to see people do other stuff too. We need children’s books so badly.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m trying to regroup, Denise – saving up for that essential editor. I had managed to ‘ring fence’ the editing budget, but our UK account took a large hit from an annual non-writing sub – one where the company failed to advise us in advance.


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