IWSG 90: Make Your Bones


This post was written for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group where we share our encouragement or insecurities on the first Wednesday of the month, to join the group or find out more click here.



Erika BeebeOlga GodimSandra CoxSarah Foster | Chemist Ken


What’s the one thing about your writing career you regret the most? Were you able to overcome it?

It’s a good question. My one writing regret was getting published so easily way, way back. I didn’t earn my bones and once my small indie publishers—there were three of them—closed their doors within months of each other; it left me shell-shocked.

I know of others that dived back in and, to be honest, it would have been wiser if I’d done so too. But I’m an overly emotional being and folded instead.

It takes work to come back from something like this. I ride my motivation like waves on a rocky shore. Sometimes I feel strong and pound away at the rocks. Then there are other times when it ebbs away, and all is serene.

No matter how strong my motivation is, I try to remember:

“A winner is just a loser who tried one more time.”

George M. Moore, Jr.

I admit my tries are separated by gaps where I regroup, but I’ll keep going. Trudged along until the stories stop coming.

I’m hoping to read some inspirational posts this round.

What’s kept you going before your success?

63 responses to “IWSG 90: Make Your Bones

  1. RIGHT ON!!! Your quote says it all. Not everybody bounces back the same way and at the same time. Some of us emotional people that are highly empathetic need time. We too often forget that everybody is different . So keep on remembering that quote, a winner is just a loser who tried one more time and you will get where you want to go.
    All the best.

    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

  2. I go through ebbs and flows in my writing too. I definitely haven’t easily bounced back from some of my life challenges, and it’s affected my motivation to write at times.

  3. I so appreciate the need to gather courage to start again. I’m in a similar situation with my writing and developing my Website. In both areas, I’ve looked for support to help me develop skills I need to move forward.

  4. Such a great quote! I often need to regroup. Sometimes it’s only a matter of a few minutes and some deep breaths, sometimes it takes longer and a lot more chocolate. 🙂

  5. Hi Anna,

    I LOVE the quote. With my journey, I have OFTEN fell back from life getting in the way of my writing journey, but now, after twelve years, my story was chose for the IWSG anthology…my first published work. I am thrilled and ready for the next challenge. After so many rejections on my other projects, I am going to dive into self publishing. It’s time to get my stories out there. After all, I am NOT getting any younger. LOL When you are ready, you will take the steps needed. Even highly sensitive being, me included, have their time to shine.

  6. Love the quote. Like you, my work ebbs and flows. That’s the way it’s felt, esp. the last few years. I can be gun-ho then goof off. You’ll find your rhythm. Hang in there.

  7. You and I had very similar experiences as newly published authors. Nothing like a plunge into the icy sea of reality to teach you about this business. Glad you kept going. Here’s to a successful 2022!

  8. You’re right. Persevering is everything – in writing and in life.

  9. For some of us, these things have a season. Winter is the gap for regrouping. But you definitely won’t have a fall harvest if you don’t have a spring planting and summer of tending. And no worries – the seedlings of your stories will never stop coming! Wow. That got all metaphorical, didn’t it! 😆

  10. Keep moving forward, lady!

    What kept me moving before my successes in writing is my love for writing! It’s my escapism! I love it…

    ♥.•*¨Elizabeth Mueller¨*•.♥

  11. Oof, yeah, a blow like the publisher closing would make it hard to get going again. I hope you have your bones now, and I hope 2022 brings you good luck in all things, especially writing!

  12. All three closed? That is terrible. I know it happens, but I’ve spent 13 years fighting to make wise choices so DLP can continue and never goes under. Just keep writing and remember your love of it.

  13. I love that quote Anna. I believe in you 🙂

  14. I can’t imagine how hard it is to come back from an emotional punch like that. My head whirls just thinking about it!
    Hoping 2022 brings you some well-earned joys in the writing department!

  15. Ebbs and flows feels very very accurate about a lot of aspects of my life, but especially about writing and other creative endeavors. When it’s ebbing, I try to trust that flow will come again, rather than driving myself crazy trying to chase it. @samanthabwriter from
    Balancing Act

  16. Sometimes it takes longer to bounce back that at other times, but I think it’s important we process our lows before forcing ourselves through them. It makes us all the stronger and better in the future!

    The Warrior Muse

  17. That is a great quote, Anna. For a minute, I thought we were going to have the same story but they differ slightly. For some of us, the writing path has been a winding one.

  18. I would’ve suffered a lot from that, too. It’ would’ve taken me a long, long time to get back to it. I’m glad that you did, though. ❤

  19. Oof! Having one publisher close would be hard enough, but all three, yeah I can see how that blow would hit harder. Bouncing back isn’t easy and letting yourself ease back in once you go through that grieving process makes sense.

  20. Those publishing houses closings would be a blow to anyone. How disappointing! You deserved time to lick your wounds and take a look at what you really want to do. That quote is perfect. I’m going to swipe it. Thanks!!

  21. Excellent quote! I’m discovering that my emotional state influences my productivity more than I wanted to admit. The past year has been tumultuous on a personal level, and it shows in my output. Knowing this can help me take better care of myself–if I pay attention! Happy writing in January.

  22. I was part of a small indie publisher for five years, and I share a corresponding pain. Right out of the gate everything seems like it will be so easy — that all of the pieces will just fall into place and everyone will just ride on that wave of good energy indefinitely. So when the Scylla and Charybdis of time and money constraints inevitably appear, things can quickly fall apart. I’m glad you made it through to the other side. Happy New Year!

  23. I love your analogy with waves, Anna. Very relatable. And that quote is priceless. “A WINNER IS JUST A LOSER WHO TRIED ONE MORE TIME.” I’m not sure if that’s a positive or a negative way to look at success, but it is truly realistic! Have a fabulous 2022 and success with your writing – one step/story at a time.

  24. Love the quote. Persistence wins on the rocky journey. Nice analogy.

  25. Well, I can’t say as I’ve had success yet, so I have no before and after viewpoints to compare. I bet your stories will never stop coming.

    May 2022 be a good and productive year for you!

  26. Hi, Anna, I’ve experienced the demise of a small publisher as well, and it sucks. Great quote–I think perseverance is so important. I think the times I’ve persevered well are when I pivoted and tried something new.

  27. Happy New Year, Anna!

    A great quote to keep in mind as we begin this new year!🥰

  28. I can understand why it would be hard to come back from a blow like that. I’m about to start querying, so my focus is on finding a publisher. It would be devastating to find one and then have them close up shop. I hope you’re able to work through it and achieve your writing dreams in spite of that setback.

  29. I definitely hear you on this, Anna. I hope that you never give up. Thanks for always being so positive to other writers while struggling with your own writing. Hope you have a safe and happy new year!

  30. That’s a great quote. I like it.

  31. Success comes in many forms. You have written a story, got published. That is success. Keep going, and every time you add words to your WIP, that is moving forward.

  32. I love that you say when inspiration ebbs, “all is serene.” You don’t beat yourself up. A friend said years ago, “It’s fine for artists to have a decade or two of bad work or no work.” I was only about 50 then, but I really absorbed her long term view. I am a writer, that’s what I do, and my stack of works is tall. But life is more than writing. Last year I dillydallied all year over a solo show and a memoir (which I had been given a grant to write). They never happened. When I suddenly got an urge to write a different play this year, I launched into it with full commitment. First draft is half written, five weeks later. What I learned? When something screams out to be written, you just write it. Rest and rumination time is part of the process. If we all wrote non-stop, our cities and landfills would be smothered in books and no one would have time to read them. The reasons for a slow or silent period usually emerge later –or are obvious at the time.

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