Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Insecure Writer's Support Group February Edition: Follow Your Own Light

Good morning and welcome to the February Edition of the Insecure Writer's Support Group. If you aren't familiar with the IWSG or if you want to sign up, click HERE and you'll soon be on your way to joining us for our monthly posts of insecurities and encouragements.

There's a corner in our tiny house that is stacked with boxes. Yesterday I went through those boxes and did some pruning. While doing so, I found a box I thought had long been discarded. It was filled with old files of old story ideas. Tucked into one of the old notebooks was something I'd written two Septembers ago:

In order to move forward some things must be left behind. In order to grow there must be pruning. Things must be trimmed back and tied up before they can stand on their own. 
Then the supports are removed and you realize how deep your roots go.

Pairing down from 1600 sq. feet to 700 sq. feet definitely required some pruning but there were things I refused to let go of. The storage shed under our carport can attest to that. Cleaning out the clutter-corner also showed me there are things I'm clinging to that should be let go. Things that are clogging up my creative arteries. They aren't bad. In fact, they are things that people SEE and LOVE and WANT. The problem is they aren't really the direction I should be headed.

We all have a light that shines on the path we need to take. It's a dim light and there are always brighter ones trying to distract. For YEARS I've let the brighter, flashier things steer me down smoother transitions and less pot-marked roads. Sure, I tell myself, it will be rough going but at least the hope of success appears closer.


Yesterday I unboxed those old stories, let them breathe. I boxed up some of those flashing lights. A few I have to tend to before I can say goodbye completely but the freedom in shedding some dead skin is such a relief. In letting go of what I thought was the best idea, I found - no - rekindled a deep passion, a passion I thought had died three years ago.

Funny but it was still there, shining, begging me to turn around, asking my feet to dance. Am I insecure about this decision? No. Just a little annoyed by what people may say. But just a little, only because the last thing you need when you FINALLY get on the Right Road is nay-sayers telling you what you SHOULD be up to.

Follow your own light, Dear Reader. It's the only way to forge your own path and write your true story. And don't be afraid if the road looks rugged. It's in the brambles and the hedges and the dark forests that the mysteries lie.

Write Wild!


  1. Yes to all of this! It's been the hardest lesson of my life, and I finally feel as though I'm taking it to heart.

  2. "Follow your own light," great words of wisdom. Your writing in this article is wonderful. You really know how to paint a picture with your words. Also, as I was reading about you uncluttering the clutter corner, I started thinking about my own clutter room. It's time to tackle that clogged up mess.
    Go. Create. Inspire!

    Mary at Play off the Page

  3. Nadine: Thank you! It's been a lesson I've been after all my life as well and the freedom that comes from finally realizing where YOU belong and not where others want to put you is life changing!

    Mary: Thank you so much! LOL! Glad I could "inspire" you to tackle that clutter! I always hate starting a de-clutter project but once it's done I feel so much better!

  4. This was so lovely! I am a reformed "hanger on of things" and regularly purging my household. Case in point: boxing up books, some new and never read, for my teacher cousin's classroom. If I have new YA books sitting around, wouldn't they be of better use in the hands of teens with few resources? YES!

    The Marie Kondo book about the magic of tidying up is one of those bestseller crazes, but I read it recently and see why. Seeing the value of what you own is so key. Sometimes when we face why we hang on to an item, it's for reasons that don't make much sense. I really liked that book; it's a quick read, check it out if you haven't!

    I'm writing about social media overload today with a few resource links on how to better focus your efforts: My IWSG post: Stephanie Scott

  5. I love to purge the old from my life its cleansing and invigorating. :-)

    Anna from elements of emaginette

  6. Sometimes those old stories can really lead you somewhere. Trust me!

  7. What fantastic advice! "Should" is such a dangerous word and yet we hear it so often.

    Good for you for following your own light.

  8. Beautifully written. Before we moved, I found one of the first manuscripts I ever wrote, back in the 90s. It was interesting to see how much my writing has changed since then, although I liked the beginning. I'm sure if I read past the first chapter I would have cringed at my ability to plot a full book at that age!

  9. February co host visit (smile) Blessings!

  10. I also discovered my boxes. Some had writing for 25 years ago! They were written on a Smith-Corona manual typewriter. At least now there are computers.
    Did I keep them? Good question.

  11. Oh I love, write wild and I love discoverer in old notebooks and wondering what I was thinking when I wrote thst. I also love the freeing feeling of letting things go. Good luck in your new home.

  12. Oh I love, write wild and I love discoverer in old notebooks and wondering what I was thinking when I wrote thst. I also love the freeing feeling of letting things go. Good luck in your new home.

  13. Hi Jen. A wonderful attitude to life. But i'd find it hard to throw away old story ideas...


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