Would I ever quit writing? That’s effectively the question today.

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:

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What would make me quit writing?

I’ve had the odd month or two recently when I’ve not written anything much… not in the way of fictions or non-fiction. I’ve generally written blog posts, and maybe something else like a shopping list. And some of my blog posts have required creativity and I’ve added a haiku.

But I think we’re talking about more creative writing than haiku (which I like and find non-taxing).

I think there are two possibilities: not enough time, and disillusionment

Not enough time

There are several things I have stopped doing although I’d like to do them, put they no longer fit into my lifestyle; or not with in the time available. Art, or painting, is one. The only artwork I did while I was in Norfolk were my Princelings illustrations. They improved with time, as do most creative activities. But I’ve joined the local art society, and I expect to do some painting again, not just playing about with the Sketches app on my iPad.

Sowerby Row
Sowerby Row, for Traveler in Black and White (Princelings 4)

If that pushes out my writing creativity, well, it could happen. Although it would have to become a higher priority. I can’t see it taking over for the time being.

Although time devoted to marketing my books could take time from both writing and painting!


I think the only thing that’s likely to stop me writing anything worth reading by other people, would be complete disillusionment with the whole process. That could be coupled with depression, and the feeling that I’m useless, it’s all a waste of time, and all that comes with the Insecure Writer baggage.

I mean, even if I stop trying to write books, I’ll probably still be blogging.

Quit Reading?

As an adjunct to the writing question–would I ever quit reading? I can’t imagine not reading, but I am seriously dis-enamoured of the books on my shelf at present.

I have discovered I am completely off thrillers, especially psychological thrillers, and even more so with protagonists suffering from mental health issues.

How much do I need this pain in my life right now? We’ve had enough to cope with over the past couple of years, and the world is pretty mad out there, so why read about it for ‘pleasure’?

Recently abandoned booksWhy…
The Making of Mrs PetrakisDire family life, rape, abortion, plus random jumping about the timeline
The Perfect LifeControlling partner, unstable protag, depression, property search, fantasy life, tension
Jurassic JailBlurb promises much of the above
Taylor’s ArkEpidemic, plus really clunky writing
and several I took off my TBR list because of their blurbs promising more of same…

It is possible that the glut of psychologically twisted protags in new releases (and books released in the last three or four years) is forced on us by the trad publishing industry, because that’s what was selling before the pandemic. And on their schedules and reaction time, they probably have at least two more years of stuffing it in our faces.

Well, I’m not reading it. I’m looking for something lighter, something more uplifting, something relaxing.

Indie authors could jump into that slot very quickly, if I’m not the only one feeling this way (and I suspect I’m not).

Responses to global stress

I wondered whether I was imagining this, but I thought of societal reaction to World War 1 : the light and fluffy 1920s dance era. Jazz, right up to the Great Depression… which produced noir. In the Second World War, the films were either uplifting (None But The Brave, The Cruel Sea) about heroic combatants (and those left at home, like Mrs Miniver), or they were light and gentle (Disney classics, Wizard of Oz). Even Gone with the Wind and the musicals of the time are either heroic or cosy, or a mixture.

So I suspect the taste for the pre-covid ‘nasty’ series will change. I hope so. Or maybe it’s just me.

Maybe there’s nothing better than a good zombie apocalypse dystopia to get you over a pandemic with two mad leaders (and I’m not counting N Korea there).

And now…

Don’t forget to get busy with your Sweet Romance entry for this year’s IWSG Anthology call.

I don’t write romance. But I’m beginning to think it might be just what I need to sharpen up my brain.

Weird and Weirder is out tomorrow

The fourth in my series of flash fiction collections comes out tomorrow 8th July. There won’t be another until it’s time for a winter collection!

weird and weirder

 Applebooks~~~ Kobobooks~~~ B&N~~~ Amazon~~~Smashwords

and check out my entries in the Smashwords Summer/Winter sale, throughout July.

July 2021 #IWSG | Quit writing? Or Reading?
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32 thoughts on “July 2021 #IWSG | Quit writing? Or Reading?

  • 7 July, 2021 at 9:40 am

    Sometimes our tastes for reading changes for a whlle. At the moment, I enjoy a good psychological thriller as long as there is hope threaded within for a better world.
    Have a great month of July.

    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat Garcia

    • 7 July, 2021 at 6:00 pm

      ah yes… the thread of something positive running through. I’d like one of those. In fact the ones I finished that I enjoyed – Dangerous Women, The Rose Code – had that.
      Thanks, Pat. Have a good July yourself 🙂

  • 7 July, 2021 at 12:30 pm

    Congrats on your new release. I could never imagine not reading. My reading tastes have been changing lately, and I’ve been reading a wider range of genres than I used to. I don’t read so many fantasies anymore, even though I write in that genre.

    • 7 July, 2021 at 6:01 pm

      Hi Natalie, thanks for the congrats. Yes, I used to read a great deal of fantasy, but I’m not into the dragon and high castle stuff any more. Spec fic still works for me, though.

  • 7 July, 2021 at 12:40 pm

    I also miss art! I love your illustration. I think there is certainly plenty of hope that things are going to shift for the better…

    • 7 July, 2021 at 6:02 pm

      Thanks, Steph! I’m thinking about a book just of the Princelings illustrations…maybe coloured 🙂

  • 7 July, 2021 at 1:32 pm

    Congratulations on the upcoming book!
    So many of the books coming out are downers with characters who are vile. I read for fun, not to be depressed.

    • 7 July, 2021 at 6:03 pm

      That’s the perfect description, Alex. Downers with characters who are vile. Thanks!

  • 7 July, 2021 at 2:56 pm

    Choice is the key, in reading and writing. Daily changes in life and vocation. It’s what life is all about!

  • 7 July, 2021 at 3:39 pm

    Congrats x 10 on the new release. Never stop writing!! I’ve found that my tolerance level has gotten lower with age – I’m with you – if I pick up and book and its promise isn’t realized, I put it down, permanently!

    • 7 July, 2021 at 6:04 pm

      You’re right – it’s the tolerance level… plus the size of my bookcase and the length of my TBR lol

  • 7 July, 2021 at 4:51 pm

    Congrats on your new book! I juggle the genre of books I’m reading depending on my mood. Thank you for sharing the cool sketch. I’m not much of a visual artist myself, but admire the talent in others. Happy IWSG Day, and hope you had a good holiday weekend.

    • 7 July, 2021 at 6:05 pm

      Thanks, Adrienne. I hope you had a lovely holiday weekend. I just had a weekend 😉

  • 7 July, 2021 at 4:55 pm

    Interesting that two of the bloggers I follow are both considering taking a break. I am older and also considering this. I am published so I achieved my goal but I find I spend all my time writing. I’m interested in exploring other crafts I have stored in my craft closet or maybe travelling locally to farmers markets or learning the ukelele. Let me know what you’re planning.

    • 9 July, 2021 at 6:32 am

      I think completing my two series has left me without a clear idea for a novel. Maybe taking a break will help that. I realise I need to promote them more, so I’ve found out about ‘craft and gift’ fairs in my area, which accept book stalls. I’m doing my first in September.
      I’ll just see what happens on the writing front 🙂
      I have several friends who have joined ukulele groups and they’re having a great time. Good luck with it!

  • 7 July, 2021 at 5:00 pm

    Disillusion is a good word to describe how I’ve been feeling about my writing lately.

    • 7 July, 2021 at 6:06 pm

      You’ve been very productive – and I saw another cover from you on Facebook today, but didn’t stop to read the details. How about a holiday?

  • 7 July, 2021 at 11:13 pm

    I love your drawing.
    I also share your view on people probably preferring to read more uplifting fiction during the pandemic. I certainly do.

    • 8 July, 2021 at 7:06 am

      Thanks, Rosemary. It’s always good to hear one’s not alone in these views. Thanks for visiting.

  • 8 July, 2021 at 1:36 am

    You are definitely giving me a reason to keep writing, and to keep writing the cozies! I agree about the reading, but I don’t think there’s ever been anything that would push out the writing for me—though travel makes for a lot of postponement.

    • 8 July, 2021 at 7:05 am

      Yeah, just keep going, putting one word after another 😀

  • 8 July, 2021 at 3:13 am

    Hi, Jemima! Congratulations on your new book! I’m sitting here trying to think of a light, funny, uplifting book, and my mind is blank. I just finished “All the Light We Cannot see” by Anthony Doerr. It was magnificent, but definitely not light or funny. But well worth the read. It’s a Pulitzer Prize winner and deservedly so. Have you read Roald Dahl’s “The BFG” or James and Deborah Howe’s “Bunnicula?” They always made me and my students laugh. We’re all awakening from this Covid nightmare. I think things will improve in a lot of ways! Hugs to you!

    • 8 July, 2021 at 7:04 am

      I know I had ‘All the Light…’ on my list and think I read it with my book club some years ago. I read the BFG, which was great. I must check out your other recommendation. Thanks!

  • 8 July, 2021 at 1:35 pm

    I hear you about the gritty books having no appeal right now. I’ve found an indie romance author who mixes mythology and urban fantasy with romance. I’m enjoying it very much! (I haven’t read much romance in the last decade, so this new interest of mine must coincide with the pandemic.) If you’re interested, check out Nicole Hall on Goodreads.

    Ronel visiting for IWSG day Obstacles to Overcome and My Podcast is Live!

    • 8 July, 2021 at 6:49 pm

      Thanks, Ronel. Come to think of it, some people who’ve gone off gritty books might enjoy mine!
      I’ll check out Nicole Hall, thanks.

  • 9 July, 2021 at 5:27 pm

    Bravo on your new release! Way to go! I’m always looking for a positive read. Life itself is too sad at times. And I need the books I read to have a solid ending. Life isn’t always neat and simple, but I need my fiction to be so. All best to you!

    • 10 July, 2021 at 7:43 am

      Thanks Victoria. You’ve got it…positive read, solid ending!

  • 15 July, 2021 at 2:06 pm

    That is a really interesting list of reasons. I think we’re all feeling a bit of all of that right now. I’ve definitely done the thing where I’ll be in a mood to read a certain kind of book, read a few of them and then be done with it, both cutesy popcorn books (romance, cozy mystery) and really deep stuff with twisted protags. Because your mood shifts after a while. That makes total sense to me.

    Congrats on keeping the writing going. Have a great day.

  • Pingback:Book Review | What You Can See From Here ~ Jemima Pett

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