Hello and welcome to the May Day edition of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG). On the first Wednesday of every month the IWSG meets to share their goals, insecurities, and writing challenges. If you’d like to join or lurk around to see what’s happening, you can link to the other members here.

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This month’s optional question is “What was an early experience where you learned that writing had power?” For me it was reading Anne Frank’s The Diary of a Young Girl in grade school. I read this book four or five times between grade five and twelve. Here was a girl my age(s), who faced a tragic end in a concentration camp when the words ran out, mentioned only in the forward and the echo of the empty pages before I reached the back cover. When I read her words, I felt her essence flutter in the pages. This handful of stories written by an adolescent girl taught me more about empathy then I could have experienced in my privileged childhood. I spent hours staring at the ceiling, contemplating how many other Anne Franks died in those camps. She wasn’t just a character or a distant historical figure, she was my friend. That is a formidable power for a small book to have.

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beaked hazel says “hooray for spring!”

April’s been good to me. The Frye (literary) Festival is in full swing in my hometown of Moncton, NB, I became a fox-winning poet, had a short story accepted for Kaleidotrope in 2021, and I received my contributor copies of Unlocking the Magic. Check out this gorgeous cover:

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My favorite short story writer, A. Merc Rustad (now writing as Merc Fenn Wolfmoor), wrote the story directly before mine in the book, and that makes my imposter syndrome get up and start yelling louder than I’d like. But also… WHAT A THRILL OMG.

In a twist, my favorite novelist retweeted me a few days ago, which was… unexpected.

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that explains all those notifications

See, Neil Gaiman answered a tweet I had tagged him in a few months back, which had a turtling effect on me as an introvert. I put the masterclass away for a few weeks until it felt safe to go back. In writing this new tweet, I didn’t tag him, and so felt comfortable tweeting about how the class was inspiring me. Not shown in the above screenshot is the entire thread, where I finish up by calling Neil a modern-day muse which I meant but probably would never have written had I known he would read it (blush, blush). My inner introvert felt safe with no tags and no hashtags, guessing this tweet would get my usual two or three likes. It was up to 551 this morning. Happily, this time around it didn’t have the same turtling effect on me, though I do think if Mr. Gaiman’s going to keep using my tweets to sell his masterclass he should come over and have spaghetti with my family or something *wink*

I hope April was good to you as well, and I have my fingers crossed that May is going to be gangbusters for all of us insecure writers.

Cheers, and happy writing!

 

 

9 thoughts on “IWSG and the power of words

    1. thanks Alex! I enjoyed your post, especially with the writerly movies coming out this month. Sadly I couldn’t comment without a google account. Not sure how to fix that one. If you see this, let me know so I can hit the other blogger blogs as well. Cheers.

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  1. Awesome with the anthology! That’s so exciting! And I totally hear you on the OMG when it comes to having Neil Gaiman peeking in on your tweets. 😀

    Books like the Diary of Anne Frank are all the more heart-wrenching because they’re true. But yes, words have power. I remember listening to my grandparents tell me stories about the Japanese interment camps. They were taken from their homes in California and moved to a camp in Poston, Arizona, losing almost everything they had in the process. But that never kept my grandma down. She used to laugh as she told me that she became director for her camp and got to boss my grandpa around. He would pat her hand and say “she never stopped, even after the war ended.” Words like that stay with you. At least my grandparents were able to find some smiles despite the situation.

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    1. They sound like amazing people. I remember being young and listening to David Suzuki talking about his time in the internment camps. It was the first time I learned of them and I was horrified. The same feeling comes over the children camps today.

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