#IWSG – Distracted Writer?

September has been another of those catch-up month – sporadic fail – after I was ill in August. In short, backlog has multiplied.

Therefore, this month’s Insecure Writer’s Support Group post crept up before I’d found the time/energy/motivation/space/whatever to visit last month’s visitors. Apologies to you all – or is that excuse getting stale?

Anyway, I can’t disappoint the Ninja Captain himself by missing a month – especially as he’s such a stalwart follower. Thanks Alex J. Cavanaugh for creating the Insecure Writer’s Support Group where you can find better answers to this month’s challenging question.

October 7 question – When you think of the term working writer, what does that look like to you? What do you think it is supposed to look like? Do you see yourself as a working writer or aspiring or hobbyist, and if latter two, what does that look like?

My image of a successful working writer is possibly Ernest Hemingway, at the end of his life an Idaho resident – like me, but I avoid the drink and guns, or the suicide ending.

7th October 1939: American writer Ernest Hemingway (1899 – 1961) works at his typewriter while sitting outdoors, Idaho.
(Photo by Lloyd Arnold/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

When I started down my writing path, I took the journalist calling – like Hemingway sin estimulantes. In fact, I was interested in warcos, such as Hemingway’s 3rd wife Martha Gellhorn. But I wandered along sylvan paths following country pursuits, and my image of a writer scribbling in notepads evolved into a writer at a typewriter with a wastebin of discarded pages.

Even now I have the image of a serious working writer in their dedicated space transforming the notepad scribbles into a manuscript – albeit on a laptop. Whatever the means, that still means dedicated time -a space of regular time set aside each day to go to that space and work. Yet, J K Rowling was forced to use coffee shops and why do I see Mary Wesley writing in her garden?

There’s as many different types of writers as genre variations multiplied by sheets in a ream.

Time to answer the hardest question: what sort of writer am I?

First, a retired equestrian journalist with a notepad/recorder and a desktop PC.

Second, a writer who aspires to release another book into the world, probably set in Snowdonia.

Third, a distracted writer who too easily finds other things to do whether that’s wading through and deleting endless emails, sleeping, or attempting to beat a game.

Are role-playing games my version of Hemingway’s addictions?

Or fourth, at this time of year, I transform into a NaNoWriMo writer. Come November and I usually manage 50,000 words plus in the month. Most of my draft novels were written or revised in November – although one was written at the same breakneck speed one April.

Does that make me a hobbyist? Or a spasmodic writer? That fits the spasms in my limbs/nerves as well as the tingling tattoos of my MC, Sparkle Anwyl.

For the record, I’m prepping my 2020 NaNoWriMo entry called ‘Lost Sheep’ with a premise linked to Sparkle:

A retired Welsh farmer faces challenges to his faith when his legacy is threatened.

Clue: Grandfather.

My thanks to Debs Carey for triggering my NaNo brain with this insightful post:


 Also thanks to Fundy Blue who encouraged me to contribute a post the IWSG Anthologies blog today:


And a footnote: Hemingway disapproved of the 1939 Idaho photograph, saying, “I don’t work like this.”

Hemingway on Writing


The awesome co-hosts for the October 7 posting of the IWSG are Jemima Pett, Beth Camp,Beverly Stowe McClure, and Gwen Gardner! 

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. They are truly the best.

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 someth

24 thoughts on “#IWSG – Distracted Writer?

  1. Love this. Distractions as your stimulant. I expect many of us can relate. For me, social media and the rabbit hole of the internet are two of those distractions. Um, woops. But no, this is okay, because it’s IWSG Day!
    I’m intending to think about plotting for something for NaNo at some point soon… So you’re further along than me! Best of luck in your prep, and lots of good words sending to you as well.
    PS: Is the fire extinguisher for those moments when it all gets too much and you have to stop the laptop from exploding/setting alight/being set on fire by an irate writer? 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Apologies for the delay in answering, your comment got lost in a swamp of messages/email/spam – and other distractions.

      Anyway, good luck with your NaNo prep – and with the word smithing in November. My skeleton outline has reached the ‘pre-climax’ moment, when the characters will decide the outcome – in November. I will keep tinkering, although I have a key flash fiction piece due next week.


  2. Happy IWSG Day, Roland! I’m going to do NaNo too. You’ve had a rough summer. I hope that fall is easier! I’m really happy with your post on the IWSG Anthologies blog. You really came through with great text and photos. Have a good one!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I think you’ve described a working writer in every aspect, although as Lee himself said, some things get put aside for a little while. I reckon they get picked up again when we’re good and readyn- and up to it.
    And I know you’ve been super busy in September – thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Woot for NaNo! I hope you win! I haven’t been cranking out many words lately, and with the way life is going, I don’t expect to up that quantity any time soon, so No NaNo for me. I hope you’re doing okay, with the bad air quality lately and shift in seasonal plants.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Of course Hemmingway didn’t work like that. Where’s the bottle?

    I’m with you on the NaNo thing, too. I’m getting more and more hooked on using the energy of that month to draft a new story. I just hope I can have the last one in a good place before I hare off after a new one.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh Roland, if I hadn’t just hurt my back, I’d be doing a little dance. So delighted to hear that I’ve inspired you & the very best for NaNoWriMo. As for Distracted Writer – I think your output is remarkable even without your health issues, so with – well I take my hat off to you sir.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Good luck with NaNo, Roland. I don’t do it. I know myself and it isn’t my cup of tea. That being said, I admire all of you who do. Those were the days, weren’t they? When Hemingway’s method of writing worked well. Give me a laptop any day. LOL

    Liked by 1 person

    • I admit NaNo is tough – in fact, Diane, I struggle but it gets me out of bed/recliner and doing something other than gaming. Not sure I could revert to the Hemingway’s approach anymore – even with a laptop and a pint of the best draught.


    • I first learnt about Hemingway’s journalism when researching warcos – war correspondent – like his third wife Martha Gellhorn. Otherwise, we tend to see him as a fiction writer – so, I understand J.S., it’s his novels that are well known.

      Liked by 1 person

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