#IWSG – Writer Success?

Passing on the monthly Insecure Writer’s Support Group post is a decision I face and resist each time, even if it’s tempting to succumb to failure. But not this month.

As for July’s family medical crisis, that was resolved, although I suspect there may be others out there.

So, the monthly question made me answer again, so please bear with more confused thoughts.

Okay, here goes.

Well, first I must thank the Ninja Captain, Alex J. Cavanaugh for all he does – 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. Apologies for failing to reply to every comment recently. I try at least to press ‘like’ when I’ve read them. Maybe I’ll attempt an all-inclusive answer next time.

Anyway, don’t forget to visit more active writers via the IWSG site, and to read 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.

September 1 question – How do you define success as a writer? Is it holding your book in your hand? Having a short story published? Making a certain amount of income from your writing?

Writing success – a dream for six decades.

When I was a teenager, I spoke as a teenager, I understood as a teenager, I thought as a teenager, and expected writing success. But when I became a retiree, I put away teenage dreams.

Okay, that’s a simplified statement – and a crib from 1 Corinthians 13 – so, I’ll elaborate.

As a child, I never expected real success, but as a teenager scribbling shorts and novel ideas, I hoped I’d get at least a short story or two accepted by magazines. My first rejection dashed that dream, stopped me submitting, and led to me self-publishing a sci-fi fanzine. Yes, it contained stories by other people and me – but understandably short-lived at 2 issues.

I put away any ambition as a fiction writer for five decades, although I was published as a journalist – purely factual articles. In my early 20s, I had a brief stint as a sub-editor on The Field magazine, then went freelance for a few years, before becoming a photographer – briefly again.

Fast forward to 1994 – via organic produce, green politics, videos and films – and I was back writing as a journalist, focusing on equestrian sports, mainly eventing. My first novel, my first fiction acceptance was taking shape, but it wasn’t finished until I retired. So, Spiral of Hooves was released as an e-book on Monday, December 9th, 2013, by Spectacle Publishing. For a few months, I felt successful as a writer, but I was insecure and dissatisfied. Dissatisfied with the slow sales, mediocre reviews……and the lack of a physical book to caress. However, that was released on Monday, August 7th, 2017, the second edition – re-edited, updated, and self-published as Spectacle had been bought out.

Thanks to the Insecure Writer’s Support Group , I got the chance to write and submit shorts to the annual anthology. Eventually, one story – Feathered Fire – was accepted and published in Voyagers: The Third Ghost in 2020. However, to date that is my only published short.

So, is that writing success? My wife says getting my novel published means ‘yes’.

For me, I see others submitting regularly and getting their writing out there. That’s ‘success as a writer, especially if the response is good and there’s more to come. However, there are one hit successes as well-but they’re rare, although amazing.

My writing is dissolving into dreams and screams…marinading forever. My co-writer never emerged so Fevered Fuse will remain unfinished, while Sparkle and Kama may make brief appearances in WEP/IWSG Challenge posts – as long as I can type sense.

Maybe one day things may change.

Apologies, that’s all until my next post – October’s IWSG post and then the WEP/IWSG Challenge a couple of weeks later.

The awesome co-hosts for the September 1 posting of the IWSG are Rebecca Douglass, T. Powell Coltrin @Journaling Woman, Natalie Aguirre, Karen Lynn, and C. Lee McKenzie!

How can I be repetitive asking you to agree these guys are the best? Well, they are – 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:


11 thoughts on “#IWSG – Writer Success?

  1. I think we’re all starting to see that “success” isn’t a single event. You have been successful–hell, I’ve never had a novel accepted by a publisher, and I think I’m at 3 short stories. But we aren’t successful just once. I feel your pain, as that damned disease steals your ability to get the brilliant stories out of your head and onto paper. At this stage, I don’t know if you get “success”.

    But every single word you manage to put on this blog or add to a story is a triumph. So you’ve got a lot of triumphs, and I’m glad you keep managing bits and pieces of Sparkle and Kama’s story.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the encouragement, Rebecca. You may not have been accepted by a publisher, but your books sell & have good reviews.
      I hope there’s a way to ensure my blog stories survive in the same way other formats do, so someone can read about S & K after I’ve moved on.


    • Thanks Alex. You’re right, my journalism was successful and paid…better than fiction, although maybe that’s quantity over quality – lol.
      And I’m not giving up if my mind and fingers manage.


  2. Strange – I too got put off writing fiction as a teenager – our egos are so fragile at that stage (mine still is).’ Time to write fiction’ seems to be something we then have to wait for – filling our need to communicate via the written word in other ways.
    Maybe we confuse ‘success’ with ‘celebrity’ in this modern age? I certainly don’t want to be a celebrity!
    And thanks for hitting ‘like’. It’s enough to know you’ve read it 🙂 I do it too, simply to get through as many comments as possible. Then if I’ve time I can relax and comment properly.
    I just bite off more than I can chew… consistently.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi, Roland! I’m still making the IWSG rounds ~ LOL! I absolutely consider you a successful writer! I’m glad that you are continuing to participate with the IWSG each month. Hang in there, my friend! And take care!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you Roland for posting again this month. Hang in there we love your writing, always an enjoyable read. Keep writing. Screams and dreams indeed, feel the same way; and occasionally the screams hush and the dreams become real with words on printed page. So hurray for all us dreamers and scream the frustration out so it is lost in the woods.

    Liked by 1 person

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