The first Wednesday of each month, the members of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group gather together to discuss our fears, successes, failures, hopes and goals. We are a fun gaggle of goons and you should totally consider joining us. Sign up HERE. We also have a nifty Facebook group that could use your contributions. Our Twitter hashtag is #IWSG


Last year, I was five posts into the April A to Z Blogging Challenge. I had taken on the month long challenge with no real theme, and was flying by the seat of my pants each day, hoping an idea worth writing (or reading) about would magically appear out of the void. Some days were better than others.

I had two goals- 1. Meet new blogging friends. 2. Find a renewed passion for writing this blog. Success on both fronts.

As I will be in Mexico all next week (and was far too lazy to pre-write blog entries), I am not participating in the challenge this year (and it looks like many of my blogging friends have decided not to participate as well). I have been pondering the difficulties I had last year, which have continued into this year, in solidifying a theme for this crazy blog. Over the past few months, I’ve found myself writing more about, well writing, and the sorts of things that inspire me (family, memory, art). The blog readership hasn’t improved at that much, but my excitement about writing each Wednesday has.

Finally, almost by accident, I may have found what I want this space to be- A representation of the things and people that populate my writing world.

With the emergence of a more concrete theme, I came to another conclusion. I am done posting flash fiction or poetry here. Sharing it rarely felt successful, and I’m questioning my motivation for doing so in the first place.

Asking for a beta reader from time to time is still on the table, and I am always willing and wanting to share the fiction and poetry I write. I hope those of you who visit for IWSG will come back other Wednesdays and share your thoughts and ideas, suggestions on what is being discussed. You’re all such swell folk, and I’d love to get to know you better.

Questions- Is this *theme* a good direction for me to take with Residuals? Is wanting a theme even a good idea? What keeps you coming back to a blog? 

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About fenster

There are some who call me, Tim?

21 responses to “IWSG-April”

  1. Chrys Fey says :

    I could never fly by the seat of my pants for A to Z. I am too much of a planner and organizer.

    Do what you think is best for your blog. You should be excited to blog, without any doubt or questions.

    • fenster says :

      I wish I were better organized. It should be a goal, but who am I kidding? I’m in my mid 40’s and have been flying by the seat of these pants for far too long to do anything differently.

      Thanks for the advice on the blog. I totally agree.

  2. J.S. Pailly says :

    I know there are blogs that do quite well with no set theme. If it works for them, that’s great; but for me, having a theme makes a huge difference. And I’ve found that the more narrowly defined my theme has become over the years, the better my blogging has become (at least in my opinion).

    • fenster says :

      It’s a solid opinion, and I think we are in agreement. I’ve bounced around on this blog for years, wondering what I wanted it to be, thinking it was okay to be random at times. I find that less interesting now. Thanks for stopping by.

  3. Stephanie Scott says :

    I always hd to plan out my posts for A to Z. I haven’t done it in several years but I usually comment on posts.

    Here’s my IWSG for April Stephanie Scott YA Author

    • fenster says :

      Yeah, I think I’m using the Mexico trip as an excuse to not participate this year. I loved the interactions, but sometimes it was hard to set aside the two or three hours it took to be an honest participant. Good on you for commenting.

  4. Alex J. Cavanaugh (@AlexJCavanaugh) says :

    Theme is certainly essential for the Challenge.
    If your theme is your passion, then yes, go for it here. I blog about what I enjoy – movies, music, books, etc. It’s carried me along from the beginning.

    • fenster says :

      In retrospect, a Challenge theme would have been a much better plan, but I am terrible at planning…or at least that is the excuse I give myself. Time to learn a new skill I guess.

  5. Liesbet says :

    Like you, I don’t really have a theme or direction with my blog and I like to write whatever I feel like. Many people say a blog needs a niche, but I think that is only important if you want to monetize it or have only one topic to talk about. 🙂 That being said, somewhat of a focus makes it easier to come up with topics in a less “cluttery” way. Luckily for me, the name of my blog “Roaming About” can cover quite a bit, from wandering (physically) to wondering (mentally)…

    I think your new direction fits what you want to achieve and enjoy perfectly. Tying it into one sentence is very cool and helpful. Well done! I keep coming back to your blog, because I am interested in what you have to say and I like your sense of humor.

    • fenster says :

      The new direction feels right, and I hope it remains broad enough to include all sorts of writing ideas. Also, I adore your blog. Reading about your life intrigues me as it is so vastly different from what my experience has been. It is eye opening.

      • Liesbet says :

        Oow. Thank you, Ryan! I do hope to follow your lead one day and only post once a week, on Wednesdays (since it coincides with the IWSG day), but I always have so much to share… I ought to explore a bit less and stick to “real writing”. 🙂

  6. KT Wagner says :

    I admire anyone with the patience and fortitude to write a blog post a day for a month! Once a month is about my speed. 🙂

  7. Michelle Wallace (@mishy1727) says :

    Your writing voice was the thing that captured my attention.
    With regards to your blog direction, go with your gut!
    How’s the poetry coming along?

    • fenster says :

      The poetry is on the shelf, resting. I’ve found a few more places to submit, but both require three more pages, and I’m not sure I want to mess with this collection. I’ve been pondering submitting a single poem to several places. I just need to decide which is the strongest set of stanzas.

  8. Beth Camp says :

    I wish I could say that Mexico was my reason for not participating in that A-Z challenge this year. Like you, I’m a pantser and have written poetry for several years at the last moment for A-Z, but not this year. Instead I’m focusing on getting my current wip ready for beta readers.

    Additionally, something happened this week that helped me look at blogging in a different way (I currently post on two blogs — one for writing and one for ROW80).

    I’m ‘supposed’ to report my writing progress in 2x each week via my ROW80 blog for A Round of Words in 80 Days. I really appreciate this writing community, but recently, I’ve found it more difficult to write 2x a week about what I was doing.

    Yes, I agree that finding a theme (aren’t we supposed to ‘brand’ ourselves?) would help . . . but I had just signed up for a newsletter put out by another writer. His first newsletter came in, personal, full of energy, and just authentically fun. I realized that my blogging doesn’t ‘have’ to be anything other than celebrating this particular week, whether doubts or accomplishments. Somehow that made me feel lighter. Now if only I was in Mexico! Have a lovely time.

    • fenster says :

      These are wise words. Thank you for sharing them. This week, I am celebrating my safe return from a fantastic trip to Mexico. Maybe I will blog about that today.

  9. Ellen says :

    I have mixed thoughts on themes. In some ways, I like them because I know what to expect, but in other ways I don’t think they’re necessary because it’s the person’s voice and personality that draws me in, no matter what they write about. If they write in an engaging way (like you do), then I’ll be interested in whatever topic they write about.

  10. jmh says :

    The best thing I ever did for my blog was come up with a theme that resonates with the people who would love my books. What type of fiction do you write? Who’s your target market? What topics would they find interesting?

    Write for your readers, and you’ll see a huge difference.

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