Wordless Wednesday + IWSG

St. Michael's Square in Paris, France – May 2014


At the beginning of every month, as part of the Insecure Writer's Support Group, I take a look at my successes, share the ways I hope to improve in the next month, and provide inspiration (if I have any).

Looking at last month's IWSG post, here's how I improved:
• My vocabulary. I started looking up synonyms and wow! What a difference it makes!
• I came up with a blog plan; I actually got a schedule on the calendar! Yay! (Anyone know of a good calendar app for blog post scheduling? None of the ones I've tried have worked.)
• I wrote more simply and focused in one e-mail. One. It was both the hardest thing I've ever done (in writing) and the easiest. It hurts your brain to find a way to convey a feeling and a message in only a few words. Kudos to all of the awesome writers of the world who can do it seamlessly. Any secrets?
• Took control of my Europe planning. There is still a lot to do, but far less than there was before. Check out this post to see all of the planning I've done.
• Seeing all of the books I've read this year gave me confidence. New goal: 10,000 pages by 2016. I'm at 8,900-something. Shouldn't be too hard, right?

Things To Improve On:
• Drink more hot tea. I've been feeling really anxious recently, so I think tea could help.
• Comment on more blogs. Hopefully Writing 101 will help me with that. :)
• As usual, write simply and incorporate more vocabulary.
• Be creative and take risks. Like writing this or shooting this.
• Incorporate better research into my blog posts. Tell stories, be imaginative. Don't just rehash ideas and quotes.

So, thoughts? Did you see much growth in yourself in October? What would you like to improve on for November? Are you participating in NanoWriMo? Share! I'd love to hear! :)


  1. I stand by the hot tea. Love it!

  2. I think the type of tea might make a difference (no expert though). Very impressed at how organised you are, I've seen a lot of organised people today and really must emulate them.
    (Re travel plans, if you have time, the catacombs in Paris are well worth a visit).

    1. Any suggestions on hot tea? Just the warmth tends to calm me down. And I never add any sugar. :)

      Thank you for the Paris suggestion. I've heard they are worth a visit. I'm not sure we'll have time this visit, but if we, by chance, do have time, I will be sure to check them out. :)

  3. Hello Mandy! I'm visiting you as an IWSG co-host and i'm so glad i did. You sound like a kindred spirit, especially regarding travel. I'm an English teacher, so I have the vocabulary sorted, and yes, synonyms are awesome. I use the right click in Word to find better words and it works a treat. Also love to travel, with Europe, especially France, as a favourite destination. I wish you and Justin many happy trails. And I hope to see you at my blog and I will visit you to keep up!

    Denise :-)

    co-host IWSG

    1. Yay kindred spirit! Please tell me you pulled that line from Anne of Green Gables! :) I will certainly be checking out your blog and will consider following along. How can I not if we are truly kindred spirits? ;)

  4. And I forgot to congratulate you on your improvements! And any questions about Paris, send me a line!

    Denise Covey November co-host IWSG

    1. Thank you for offering to answer any questions I might have about Paris. I'll definitely let you know if I come up with any! :)

  5. You've read a lot this year. My reading has fallen behind because I listen to audiobooks, and have recently been listening to a lot of indie writing podcasts. Sounds like you have some good plans. I had wanted to participate in NanoWriMo this year, but editing has taken longer than I'd hoped, so starting my next story is a little behind schedule.

    1. Don't audio books count as reading? I mean, you may not be getting the full "book experience" but you are definitely following along with writing style and taking in new vocabulary. Even podcasts, I think, can help you become a better writer. Or maybe that's just me… :) Good luck finishing your editing and starting on your next story. I never did understand how anyone could ever finish editing. In my opinion, that is one of the hardest parts of the writing process.


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