Reading vs Writing seems to be the best title today. I thought I might as well do my half-yearly Reading Challenge update along with my IWSG post today, because the two are connected.

Insecure Writers Support Group badge

This is my Insecure Writers Support Group post, in which we share our successes and failures as writers, our insecurities, in fact. Anyone can join in, just sign up at the IWSG Sign-up page, write a blog post on the first Wednesday of the month, and go back to that sign up page to link with everyone else–or a goodly sample. Our host is Alex J Cavanaugh, and cohosting this month are:

PJ Colando, Kim Lajevardi, Gwen Gardner, Pat Garcia, and Natalie Aguirre!

Reading v Writing – what happens when you don’t write

Last month the question asked what would you do if you couldn’t write any more. I gave a frank answer. This month I’m giving a quick update on my reading challenges, and at this point I realise the truth of reading vs writing.

When I can’t write, I read.

Of course, the reason for not writing is the physical problems I’ve developed over the last seven months, but they came to a head around late January, and I’ve been tackling the issues, both physical and mental, ever since.

By the way, I must give you my sincere apologies for all the typos that slip through in my posts. Despite paying more attention to them as I realise how bad the typing is, I still miss some, every time.

Not spending time at the keyboard, and not being well enough to spend a lot of time outdoors, or at least on my feet outdoors (and certainly not bending over and gardening)… means the TBR has taken a hammering.

My half-year Reading Challenge report

I’m rarely ahead of the target on anything other than Alphabet Soup at this time of year. So consider these numbers…

  • Finishing the Series Challenge – 5 completed (minimum requirement)
  • Non-Fiction Adventure – 6 out of this year’s target of 10 read.
  • Alphabet Soup – only 4 letters left!
  • Mount TBR Challenge – astoundingly, 30 read out of 36 (83%)
  • Spacetime Reading Challenge – 9 out of my target of 10 (without counting the prequel for the Cassa series!)
  • Goodreads Reading Challenge – writing this a week before posting – 46 out of 52 (88%) – 20 ahead of schedule!

And I’m now drafting reviews for September posting! That does mean I need to read about a dozen more books before the year ends, but I don’t see that being a problem.

Read widely, in and out of your genre

I think I’m doing that.

Strike while the iron’s hot

But I’ve realised I need to put some effort into making my Junior book come to fruition if it’s going to be worth doing at all. And I think with the work gone into it, and the help I’ve had from others, I should make that effort.

The purpose is to have it on my book stall for younger readers. It’s a paperback. It doesn’t really have a life on an ereader, and I doubt whether I’ll sell it otherwise. I’m nearly halfway through my event bookings for this year. It needs to be out SOON! Without rushing the drawings, I need to concentrate on getting the paperback laid out, lovingly illustrated, and printed.

Will I be doing the Craft Fair circuit next year? Big question. The staff are incredibly helpful. They make it easy for me to set up and take down the stall by unloading my car for me direct to my table, and clearing as well, and putting my banners up. They are superb. I enjoy getting out and meeting people, talking books, and socialising with the other stall holders. It’s very good for my mental health. But I’m still very tired afterwards. I may only do my most local fairs next year. Which will work well enough for the book with the local title!

And I have finally found the hat I needed to cover my hair loss… not chemo related, just age-genetic.

Strangely enough, I find it easier to draw than to write. Hand writing is like a spider crawling over the page, although my signature, and ‘best wishes, Jemima Pett’ flow beautifully when needed! I think drawing requires more of a shading technique, even on lines, than forming letters. I’ve made a start, anyway.

Hopefully next month I can announce the book launch!

This month’s question

99% of my story ideas come from dreams. Where do yours predominantly come from?

IWSG July 23

Certainly my flash fiction is heavily prompted by dreams. I think when I’m writing longer, my fictional world tends to inhabit my dreams, and I come up with solutions or next steps as a result. Several times I’ve gone to bed thinking ‘where on earth is this going?’ or ‘how on earth do I get him out of that?’ and wake up with the answer.

The classic example is when I was writing Princelings #4, when Mariusz is narrating a prequel (lots of shady dealings with Mariusz around). The whole twist in the book came one night when I went to bed thinking, yes, but where is he going? Woke up thinking ‘X is double-dealing him’ and just had to change one sentence X had said earlier on to fix the whole thing!

PS The Traveler in Black and White (Princelings #4) is on sale at Smashwords this month! Lots of people start with this one (and give great reviews).

Click to see my special offers this month!

Reading vs Writing | #IWSG

14 thoughts on “Reading vs Writing | #IWSG

  • 5 July, 2023 at 8:33 am

    Hi Jemima – life gives us challenges doesn’t it – not lemonade! I hope all goes well … I hope to crack through a few more books in the next few months – with thoughts – Hilary

    • 5 July, 2023 at 12:22 pm

      I like to read when I can’t write too. It sounds like sticking to local fairs next year is a way for you to enjoy them but not getting too worn out.

  • 5 July, 2023 at 8:48 am

    Wow, sounds like a busy time. Good luck with everything — reading challenge, review writing, book launch and all! Take care and wishing you the best!

  • 5 July, 2023 at 2:28 pm

    You are indeed busy – and I like to read outside, too. I hope some of your medical issues get resolved but I’m glad to see you are plugging on.

    • 5 July, 2023 at 8:48 pm

      I decided that some of my artrtitis-related problems might be not getting enough exercise, so I went for a walk today at the garden, where there are lots of benches to stop at if needed. I’m not sure it helped the knees, but it was good to be out.

  • 5 July, 2023 at 5:33 pm

    Guess I can forgive the typos 🙂 I’m glad that drawing is easier for you than typing or writing.

  • 5 July, 2023 at 6:59 pm

    Hi Jemima. I’m impressed with how much you do achieve. Wishing you improved health… and inspired guinea-pig-dreams.

  • 5 July, 2023 at 7:05 pm

    If it makes you feel any better, I haven’t noticed any typos.

  • 5 July, 2023 at 9:23 pm

    Nice hat.
    I also read a lot, no matter whether I write or not. Reading is where I lose myself away from reality.

  • 6 July, 2023 at 2:29 am

    You’re lucky that your dreams answer you. I wish my dreams would cooperate.

  • 6 July, 2023 at 6:55 am

    Hi Jemima! Your hands are full. And ‘wow’ for the reading challenge numbers. I mean, I used to think I read a lot. But look at you! Well done!

  • 6 July, 2023 at 9:47 am

    Impressed ? Staggered by such efficiency, capability, creativity – and a keen sense of humour too. Being able to draw must be wonderful –
    Yesterday, WordPress seemed to put me in detention, but I committed, at last, to a title for my WIP.

  • 9 July, 2023 at 7:56 am

    It was fun to catch up with your doins’ and events.

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