Wednesday, April 5, 2023

#IWSG: First Book Blues and Other POVs

It's Insecure Writer's Support Group Day! 

If you'd like to join us, CLICK HERE

First, please help our writing buddy, Mary Pax, fight cancer by buying a book or making a donation. Every bit helps. Thank you!

Thanks to our host, Alex Cavanaugh, and this month's awesome co-hosts, Jemima Pett, Nancy Gideon, and Natalie Aguirre!

This month's optional question is: Do you remember writing your first book? What were your thoughts about a career path on writing? Where are you now and how is it working out for you? If you're at the start of the journey, what are your goals?

Many of you long time bloggers have already heard this story, but I'll tell it again!

Do You Remember Writing Your First Book?

I wrote my first book, Givin' Up the Ghost, in 2011. I wrote the first draft in third person POV. It was flat as stale soda, which is to be expected, really, because first drafts do tend to suck. But out of curiosity I decided to play with the point of view, so I rewrote it in first person POV. The first draft still sucked lemons, but it came alive in a way that the third person version had not. My MCs personality came into play and the interactions with the other characters clicked. 

I'm often told that people love the characters in this series, but the whole body of work had other issues; structure problems to include dead ends and disappearing characters, too many characters, etc. This is where my inexperience really showed itself. Long story, short, I unpublished the series. I hope to rewrite and republish these earlier books at some point in the future. 

Where am I Now?

Twelve years on, and I'm not much further in my writing journey, though I have a few things published: 

  • a novella, A Scandal in Boohemia
  • won first place in the 2018 Insecure Writer's Support Group anthology contest with my short story, A Stitch in Crime (Tick Tock: A Stitch in Crime)
  • placed runner up with my Elephant in the Tomb flash short story (I got published and won an Amazon card!) 
  • various other stories in anthologies with other writers.  
I count these all as wins in my own small way!

I participated in NaNoWriMo in November and finished two novellas to make up the 50K words. It's a great way of getting the words down. As they say, you can't edit a blank page. 

As of now, I'm working on several novella series' which I hope to complete this year and publish next year. 

Thoughts on a Career Path in Writing

Recently retired, I now have more time to write and focus on writing. Finally! While I have aspirations, first and foremost I write for myself. Because I'm compelled, it's my calling, even though/if/when I'm not making money. 

Where are you at in your writing career? 

What are your writing successes (or horror stories, gasp!)

What are your writing goals? 


  1. Congrats on retiring! It sounds like you've got some great projects in the works. I write for myself too.

  2. Hi Gwen, your first book Givin' Up the Ghost sounds interesting. I agree with you that changing the POV really makes the manuscript sparkle.

    1. My book got good reviews, for the most part and generated lots of attention. But I knew it wasn't quite right.

  3. Those sound like wins to me. Hope you revisit your original books someday.

  4. I hope you do rewrite them as they were delightful stories.

  5. It sounds like you're moving forward and that's all any writer can do. I mean, could any of us stop? hehehe

    And all successes are great successes. Especially in this industry. Congrats!

    Anna from elements of emaginette

  6. Congrats on writing for yourself! That helps keep the love alive!

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