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Wednesday, September 6, 2023

Happy Anniversary - IWSG September 2023

Welcome to IWSG Day. The goal of this blog hop is 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 haven for insecure writers of all kinds. IWSG is the brainchild of Alex Cavanaugh
Thank you to September’s co-hosts: J Lenni Dorner, Sonia DograPat Garcia , Sarah - The Faux Fountain Pen. and Meka James. To find posts from other contributors, click here.

This month's topic: The IWSG celebrates 12 years today! When did you discover the IWSG, how do you connect, and how has it helped you? Feel free to elaborate on your connection with the IWSG as we celebrate another milestone.

After reading today’s optional question, I scrolled back over the years to the first IWSG post I wrote twelve years ago for that inaugural IWSG. That summer we’d been preparing for our only child to go to college and I felt like life was running away from me. Other than blogging and some freelance work, I’d given myself a break from writing for a couple of months. But now our girl was gone and I struggled to get back to my writing routine.  My topic was one most of us could write about today, the push-pull about how to prioritize writing time when the rest of our lives drive us in other directions—pretty much a universal theme.

I’m fairly incredulous when I think of how my life has changed since that first essay, but one thing that has remained consistent over the years has been a monthly reminder to write an IWSG post. No matter how I’m feeling about writing or life in general, I make myself sit down and pound out a piece. To my knowledge, I’ve never missed one. Twelve times twelve. A hundred and forty-four essays. I may not have achieved other writing goals, but at least I know have staying power.

But IWSG means more to me than sticking it out over the long haul. When I’ve been anxious, frustrated or uninspired, individuals in this group have provided thoughtful suggestions and challenges to get me moving again. At the lowest time of my life I wrote a post and the sincere comments I received helped me inch forward through my worst days ever. There is a kindness in this community for which I am always grateful. And while I’ve only participated in one anthology (The Insecure Writers Support Group Guide to Publishing and Beyond), I was tickled to see my name in print there. Even now I'm proud that my essay demonstrates a clear voice.

IWSG is all about community. I’d be remiss if I didn’t take this time to extend my thanks to Alex Cavanaugh for founding and growing IWSG to the online writing resource that it is today. And to the administrators and all those who have co-hosted over the years, please know how much I appreciate your efforts.

As we all know, writing can be a lonely practice. For me, IWSG means once a month, I see beyond my keyboard, beyond my quiet house to all those folks putting their unique thoughts out to the IWSG world and find comfort in knowing I am one of many.

What has IWSG meant to you?