#IWSG – Expectations Dashed

Like for last month’s Insecure Writer’s Support Group post, I’m back grinding keys – well, mis-stabbing…hunt & peck fail. So once more, this post has been assembled over time- please bear with the jumble.

No change with progress on Fevered Fuse – and other writing. That- has ground to almost nothing. I did manage my bi-monthly WEP/IWSG Challenge flash – another Sparkle & Kama incident: https://rolandclarke.com/2021/04/21/wep-iwsg-april-challenge-freedom-morning/

Writing even briefly about my Welsh duo might ensure my mind stays focused on Fevered Fuse even if that’s all. There’s no sign of a co-author – not even a glimmer. Did I expect one to turn up? Yes – initially. But then I realised any talented writer has their own projects so why work on someone else’s dream/delusion.

1st Expectation Dashed.

Mind break I.

I’m back at the keyboard, attempting to address the main reason I’m here – the monthly IWSG post.

First, thanks to the Ninja Captain, Alex J. Cavanaugh for all you do – and thanks for creating the Insecure Writer’s Support Group without whom my writing would be non-existent…and March’s post might have been ‘farewell’.

Second, my thanks to all those whose encouraging comments ensure I scribble onwards.

Anyway, don’t forget to visit real writers via the IWSG site, and for better answers to this month’s challenging question.

Insecure Writer’s Support Group

Although the question is optional, I’m again tempted to answer.

May 5 question – Has any of your readers ever responded to your writing in a way that you didn’t expect? If so, did it surprise you?

In general, my followers here have been more encouraging than expected. However, that’s never surprised me as many are writers themselves, so they understand the need for recognition and positive feedback.

Back when I released my first (and only) novel into the world, Spiral of Hooves, I expected mixed reviews as few authors can claim 100% 5* feedback. However, although I received some 5* reviews, one reader reacted in an unexpected way given the background to the book – a reaction echoed in a couple of other places.

For those unfamiliar with my background, I was an equestrian journalist and photographer as well as an event organiser. More of my equestrian career can be found in this dated interview just before I retired in 2010: http://horseytalk.net/HorseyInterviews/RolandClarke.html

Roland Clarke (Eventing Magazine) & Jane Perry (Horse & Hound) interviewing winners at Tweseldown Horse Trials. Photo: Nick Perry (H&H)

So, I knew ‘eventing’, the sport at the heart of my novel. Yet this reviewer said, ‘It’s missing an understanding of the horse world that makes someone who is immersed in it want to read the book.’

Guess what my reaction was.

Annoyed, yes – and frustrated. I also laughed as other reviewers from the horse world rated it worth at least four stars. I admit there were elements I knew might be controversial – like the foxhunting debate. But not the world I worked in, even if I was a poor rider. And I’d researched anything alien to my life, by reading and talking to experts.

2nd Expectation Dashed.

Mind break II.

At least, this was a minority opinion. Although, something discouraged people from buying the novel.

When those you interact with express their interest and say they ‘can’t wait until the book is out’, you expect a flood of readers – from riders to officials. Well, I did – vainly. Not even a trickle of sales or a smidgen of reviews. Same applied to family desperate for a copy.

3rd Expectation Dashed.

Suffice to say, I wrote a sequel, Tortuous Terrain, but one that may never appear – not that I’m expecting it to. It was enjoyable to write though.

Hilda Donahue and Tuff Stuff climb Cougar Rock at Tevis. Photo by Gore/Baylor Photographyhttps://eventingnation.com/hilda-donahue-tackles-the-tevis-cup/

Lessons learnt?


Research – Readers – Reviews – Reasons – Reactions – Recognition


The awesome co-hosts for the May 5 posting of the IWSG areErika Beebe,PJ Colando,Tonja Drecker,Sadira Stone, andCathrina Constantine!

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.

For more on the IWSG monthly post and links to other participants visit:


9 thoughts on “#IWSG – Expectations Dashed

  1. Expectations lure us to the edge of a precipice where there are plenty of those who would like to push us over. But there are always those who are willing to extend a caring hand to pull us back. Keep on believing in what you do and others will be will to support those dreams.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Roland, thank you for your courage and kind words for all the hard working from this group.
    Thank you also for returning to the world of horses, which is at best controversial, especially between the British isles and The United States. Again, food for thought and humbleness.
    Those of us , whose horse is running a tat wild, myself included, are comforted by your wise posts.
    Take care. Blustering winds, showers and sunshine, here in Toulouse, France.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s funny, but I think there is a long tradition of authors being accused of making up unrealistic stuff just where they copied from life, so take it as a compliment! I will keep hoping someone will turn up who can work on the book with you, though I see the force of your argument. Still–a writer suffering from writer’s block? Or someone who feels like the well has run dry? I know that I have gotten myself writing again on occasion by working on other peoples’ stories as a beta reader or editor.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I think some people’s horse world is different from other people’s horse world, but they think theirs is the ‘correct’ one. I’m finding similar things with the guinea pig world, having moved from the one I ‘grew up’ in, to another, where I have no ‘history.’ I have some different ideas from them. And certainly my horse friends in Norfolk are not in the big competition horse world elsewhere!
    You know your world, and (s)he didn’t belong in it 🙂
    Hugs xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi, Roland! Sorry I missed you on IWSG Day. You likely don’t know that my husband suffered a serious heart attack and heart failure on April 10th, five weeks ago today. So our lives have been chaotic. I’m starting to get my feet under me, and Terry is coming along. He had a few scary days, including right after IWSG Day, so my blogging has been pitiful. I’m glad to see you here! I loved “Spiral of Hooves,” and I hope somehow, someway you’ll get more published. By the way, you are a real writer! You actually have a fascinating published book! Wishing you all the best, my friend! Take care!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Louise, I’m sorry to hear your news, but I’m glad Terry is ‘coming along’. May he continue to recover and get stronger.

      I appreciate your comments about my writing, and I just hope more will follow, especially as all is quiet on the co-author front.

      As you say, ‘Take care my friend’.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.