I want to thank the authors from FIRST LOVE for their contributions to the IWSG Anthology Blog this past year--hard to believe it's been a year! And as 2022 comes to a close, we are wrapping up our 7th IWSG anthology volume of posts with a Potluck of advice, final thoughts, and future happening to share. Hope you enjoy!
The Main Course in our Writers Potluck is some advice:
How to Break a Block
If the block is simply lack of motivation, I break it with music. A killer playlist energizes me and helps me focus. When writing “Clyde and Coalesce,” I listened to 80’s rock. Now I’m working on a trilogy of superhero novels, so my current favorite is “Superheroes” by The Script.
If the block is due to me feeling disconnected from the story, it’s often because I’m writing a boring chapter. In that case, powering through won’t help. I have to rethink why the chapter is there at all. Filler must be cut! If it’s boring but important to the plot, I let the character’s personalities shine more. They’re snarky and fun when I let them be.
Kim Elliott -- CLYDE AND COALESCE
There are several things I try when I feel stuck, depending what's causing it. If it's a lack of inspiration, I try doing other things that inspire, like changing scenery (even something as simple as a walk around the block or a visit to a friend's house) or reading a book or watching a movie for fun. Sometimes remembering what you like about a good story is all it takes.
If it's burnout, I try not to make writing feel like work. I give myself permission to write what I want, just for fun, and try to turn off my inner editor. Sometimes there are deadlines so it's not always possible but remembering what you love about writing and emphasizing that is key.
If it's a story issue requiring problem solving, I try to actively think through the issue, then walk away for a bit to other duties. Over the next few days, while doing something mundane (folding laundry, washing dishes, taking a shower), something might come to me. If not, when I sit down to think about it again after the break, my mind is cleared enough to come back to it with fresh eyes, which can also help. If it doesn't, talking it over with a writer friend is super helpful!
If it's life circumstances getting in the way, sometimes you have to give yourself space and time. I had a hard time focusing when I was exhausted during pregnancy and when I was in the middle of a big move. It's okay to take care of those things first--they can take up your whole mental energy--and then come back to writing when you're ready.
Sammi Spizziri -- THE REAL THING
And for Dessert, some sweet
Parting Thoughts with Hopeful Aspirations
Contributing to this anthology has been a thrilling and challenging experience. I’ve learned so much, and I’m grateful for the opportunity. As we head into the new year, I’m drafting book three in my superhero trilogy while continuing to promote Heart of a Hero, which was published in November. 2023 will be a busy year, but I'll keep my eyes open for writing contests that pique my interest. You never know where they might lead!
-- Kim Elliott - CLYDE AND COALESCE
Reflecting back on 2022, being part of the FIRST LOVE anthology has definitely been a high point for me. So many great stories, great authors, and amazing and supportive readers! I was thinking the other day about what it means to be in a "toxic environment" -- one that promotes death and discord -- vs. an environment that supports life, health, and growth, and am so grateful to be part of a writing and reading community that genuinely lifts people up and helps them succeed. My goal for the coming year is to take time to appreciate the journey and the hard-earned growth, and to be sure to spread the love!
-- Linda Budzinski - THE ART OF MAKING DOUGHNUTS
It has been fun working on the anthologies for the IWSG. They have brought together such a great bunch of writers over the years and hopefully helped them on their author journey. Dancing Lemur Press is proud of the seven books we produced and thanks the IWSG admins, members, and judges for all of their hard work over the years.
Dancing Lemur Press has five books slated for release next year, including several of my own! Kicking it off February 7 with In Darkness: The Vampire, it will be the first books I’ve written in years and I’m excited.
-- L. Diane Wolfe - Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C.
I have been honored to moderate the IWSG Anthology blog. I've loved working with and getting to know the authors and have learned so much from them about writing and the publication process. I hope you have too! -- Tara Tyler (Author of Reset from TICK TOCK A STITCH IN CRIME and Sentient from DARK MATTER)
May you Enjoy the Holiday Season and
Write with Glee in 2023!