Wednesday, June 7, 2017



Guess this is as good a day as any to remember to blog. With the warmer weather its hard to be sitting inside on the computer while everyone is out swimming, hiking, or generally soaking up the sun.

Not me though. I'm a white girl! And I don't mean that just racially (sorry if you are offended); my well developed summer tan looks like most people's winter pale. My skin will burn to the point of blisters if I leave my shade too long. To the dismay of most of my family, I quit sunbathing for the sake of social acceptance a very long time ago.

I do allow myself to pink-up for walks in the park or woods, small amounts of yard work, and the occasional swim in a back yard pool. Everybody needs a bit of summer fun - even me.

So how is the writing going for you this time of year? Do you have to modify your writing time to catch early morning or early evening coolness? Or to work around kids, partners, or other's vacations? Or do you simply QUIT writing for the summer and save yourself the frustration?

This month's IWSG question: Did you ever say “I quit”? If so, what happened to make you come back to writing?

  Well yes, I have said "I QUIT!" and meant it. Like a smoker (or any other addiction), I did quit writing - well, quit writing on my books and short stories. For about three years, or less. I was writing blog posts, and comments, and even started a SOP at the day job.I wrote emails - like really long ones - and critiques for writing partners, and quite a lot of book reviews. Even wrote some story starts.

So I have quit writing. And came back. And quit again. Repeat.

One of the things that bring me back to writing is a thought provoking question that has surfaced several times over my blogging/writing career and goes something like: if I'm not actively writing, can I still call myself a writer (author)?

The question terrorized my guilt for a few months, which is probably when a good many of those story starts smeared a word document. I did not agonize over it for long however. I realized that many famous celebrities are not "actively" participating in their professions either. Athletes, actors, singers, musicians, models. And even some writers.

When I took the pressure off myself to produce non-stop, I again found my enjoyment in the craft of creating stories. Of spending time letting the voices in my head out onto the page. I would still be a writer even if I was never published. I will still be a writer even if all I ever produce is flash fiction for blogfest prompts.

Having my short stories published occasionally is AWESOME as incentive to continue to write. And I still pull out my story starts and the trilogy and do some serious writing/editing. I do hope one day to be a famous author and have my books sitting there next to Stephen King, Joy Fielding, Jodi Piccoult. But writing is a hobby, and I doubt I will ever QUIT forever. I enjoy it too much. Even when I hate it.

If you are new to the Insecure Writers Support Group click here for the details on this once monthly blog hop. You can visit other participants and sign up on the list if interested in participating yourself. Be sure to thank our host Alex Cavanaugh, and June's co-hosts JH Moncrieff, Madeline Mora-Summonte, Jen Chandler, Megan Morgan, and Gwen Gardner.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

When there's too much pressure, it's tough to write. But writing every day isn't a requirement.
I don't get much sun outside of yard work as I fry to crisp as well.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I have a healthy pale glow, too.

I've been writing almost 40 years so I doubt I'll ever quit either.

Natalie Aguirre said...

I don't sunbathe either. Not healthy, but I do love to go for walks and be outside. Glad you found a way to enjoy your writing again.

Pat Hatt said...

I keep my pale shine, making the snow jealous lol even if there is no snow in summer. When it gets too much pressure time to step back indeed and just go at ones own pace.

Carol Kilgore said...

I'm a paleface, too. Still love summer, though :)

Chrys Fey said...

I am super pale, too. So I stay indoors. lol

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Donna - I've had my burning days in South Africa ... but being here - the wind burns, which is almost as bad - as one feels cold from the sea breeze - home jerome brings the red jelly colour out!

Writing - I have to say I never thought I'd write as I do - amazing turn around after 60 years! Still I'm here and I will be around - cheers Hilary

farawayeyes said...

HA, HA, HA! I titled my IWSG Post the same as you. Imagine that! If I'm not careful, I tend to burn to a crisp also, but I don't let that stop me from spending as much time out of doors as possible. The sun don't shine as much in Idaho as it did at Tahoe, but it is the country of the Big Sky and distant horizons. Got get the kayak out as soon as possible.

I actually keep trying to quit writing and keep coming back. I guess my brain needs an outlet for all the crazy. And, those characters, SHEESH! They bug me to death to get their stories out there. Does that make me nuts?

So glad you have never given up completely. You're far to good, imaginative, and creative for that sort of silliness.

Olga Godim said...

Yeah, a pressure to perform can take the pleasure out of any task, especially a creative one like writing. Creative activity should be enjoyed, not forced. Then an occasional publication becomes a moment of pride and happiness. And yes, you're a writer. A published writer too.

Juneta Key said...

Glad you did not quit for good. Enjoyed the post. Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

Michael Di Gesu said...

Hi, Donna!!!!

Feels so GOOD to visit your blog. Especially on IWSG day. I totally get what you are saying. I don't really write anymore, just blurbs, edits, etc. but I still consider myself a writer. I just can't seem to get it together. Life is just too damn stressful and I get disappointed easily and move on AGAIN.... Looking for another place in Chicago. Ugh. The market here has escalated to a ridiculous level. As like Florida, I am getting priced out of the neighborhoods I'd like to live in. Should have held on to the loft a little longer. I would have made some decent money on it instead of losing a bit. Life... ugh. Lol

I smile when I see your FB posts of all your OG meals during your road trip. Nice to know you are really enjoying your job. Yay, you.

ANYWAY.... wish I had some spectacular news to tell. These past few months have been particularly rough for me with Melissa Bradley dying and yet another disappointment with BG. Won a pitch contest with the KNIGHT agency, and after the agent read the first three chapters, he passed. UGH. So close again and ending up with nothing. He did say to submit to him if I had another property. So as I have always suspected, the subject matter wasn't right for him. It seems to scare all the agents. Why, I don't understand. They publish hundreds of books a year dealing with child abuse... so why not this one? Perhaps the military aspect... it can't be anything else.

Sending you tons of hugs....

Tara Tyler R said...

today was a cool 68, so i had a lovely time sitting outside to do some writing this afternoon =) but i know those hot temps are around the corner! and i'm over sunbathing, not for me anymore, so i'll share some shade with you!

and it's awesome to get those short stories published and write when you feel it! good for you!

happy summer!
Tara Tyler Talks

Denise Covey - Author said...

You're not a quitter, Donna. Your writing is too awesome and you come up with the darndest ideas. Meanwhile, keep out of that sun. Obviously you're never moving to Oz. It's summer all year round. When would you write?

Cathy Kennedy said...

Good prompt! I think we're all quitters but like you pointed out our addiction can't be squashed completely and once we take that hiatus it feels right again to pick up. I'm not author...well, I have one self-published children's book but I don't consider myself serious just yet and maybe I never will. I'm just enjoying having fun with it and if it goes somewhere then great and if not that's okay, too. I do hope to get into the groove of writing for children again and this time illustrate my own stories. That's the once thing I took away from this year's A to Z Challenge - the discovery I had some art talent after all. Have a good evening. :)

Mandy 'n' Justin said...

I don't blame you for not going out too much in the summer. I hate being hot, sticky, and sweaty. And because I don't go out much, like you, I burn easily. It is a good excuse to stay in and get more writing done. :)

With Love,

Misha Gericke said...

I also have a really fair skin, so I generally avoid the sun.

As for quitting, I contemplated it a few times, but I never go through with it. But I have given myself a break recently because the pressure of my life along with pressure to write was burning me out.

dolorah said...

Alex: hmm, our ninja captain is bright, not dark. Interesting.

L Diane: writing does seem to be a career for you :)

Natalie: I enjoy it; and we always find a way to continue what we enjoy.

Pat: Pale shine, lol. love it.

Carol: summer is pretty awesome.

Chrys: can't really see the computer screen to write outdoors anyway.

Hilary: I gotta say, when its all drizzley outside, I seem to write more. Your weather is perfect for the writing you choose to do.

FAE: well, us 60's gals are on a wave length.

Olga: You are an inspiration to me.

Juneta: thanks :)

Michael: well, this is a surprise. I was thinking of you lately and composing an email in my head. Guess I'll get it sent.

Tara: there is enough room under my shade :)

DX: you are sooo sweet Partner :) I'd move to OZ; you have shade. And my umbrella is portable, lol.

Cathy: Hello Missy. Definitely explore that children's book creativity. The world needs more color. Its always good to rediscover a creative outlet.

MnJ: any excuse to write in a comfortable environment :)

Misha: Breaks are good for recharging. I get a lot of writing done in the first couple months back. Good for you.

Diane Burton said...

Smart to stay out of the sun. Does more harm than good. Taking off the pressure to produce can bring back the enjoyment. Did that. That's when the enjoyment returned. Best wishes.

Nicki Elson said...

"I enjoy it too much. Even when I hate it." - haha, very funny and true, I suspect, for most writers.

June is the month I vowed to kickstart myself back into writing, and at the moment, I am, in fact, waiting for the sun to lower a bit before I wander out to the porch with a glass of wine and my laptop. Heat and sun are not for me.

J.H. Moncrieff said...

Summer for me means being able to write outside, on my deck, which is heavenly! As long as the neighbours aren't too noisy, I can get some good work done.

I've had my breaks from fiction writing too, when journalism articles consumed me. Sometimes it happens. I don't think it means we're any less a writer.

Cherie Reich said...

I tend to avoid the sun and outdoors. I'm allergic to most seasonal pollen stuff. Plus, I can't wear sunscreen. And I really don't like bugs. *shudders*

Writing has a way of pulling a person back in. :)

Arlee Bird said...

Writing as a hobby removes the pressure of feeling the need to be published. I probably need a dose of positive constructive stress in my life so I probably should be pushing my own writing more. For now I'm a bit complacent with my intermittent blogging, commenting, and watching TV. I too avoid the sun as much as I can, but I do need to walk more. I find inspiration walking as long as the sun is not beating down on me with too much heat.

Arlee Bird
Tossing It Out

Jay Noel said...

Yup, I've quit. Many times. Some would say I've quit and stayed quit since 2015. I've been dealing with so much stuff in my personal life, I was too drained to write.

But I'm hoping to get back to it soon!

Paula Radell said...

Thanks for co-hosting! I'm new to the group and as I read your post, I realized I used a few of those clichés, not because I was in a hurry, or because I'm lazy (procrastinator, yes, but not a slacker) -- it's because that's what I envisioned my characters doing as I wrote the scene. I'm still on the first draft so I'll make a note to go back and see if I can come up with better descriptions.

I enjoyed your post.

roth phallyka said...

I don't get much sun outside of yard work as I fry to crisp as well.