IWSG Post 11: Writing to be read. I never looked back once I said yes. #iwsg


[I wrote this post as a member of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group where we share our worries and also offer support and encouragement to each other on the first Wednesday of every month. If you’re a writer like me and you’re looking for a bit of support, you can click the link and sign up here]


As a kid, I was so consumed with fear about doing the right thing.  I never stopped to think, it’s ok to be human and screw up, how we all screw up at some point. I also never thought, hey, maybe someone else might feel the same thing I do.

Because of this fear, I’ve also had a constant war inside of me with wanting to be heard and fearing what others might say once they listened, or read what I have written. I’ve grown since then.

I’ve been writing my whole life. Short stories to cope with change and emotion and boys and friends. Back then, I didn’t think much about sharing my writing with anyone except me.

High School opened me up to the possibility how others might like what I write. Believe me, it wasn’t my own revelation, but the coaxing of a great mentor to join a writing group. Not just a high school group, but her own own circle.

Scared? Heck yes, I was.

Today’s post topic is, “What was your very first piece of writing as an aspiring writer? Where is it now? Collecting dust or has it been published?”

It took me awhile to figure out which piece I could actually say was the first one. I decided to go with length and the first time I shared my novel idea with others.

I don’t remember ever having a title for this piece. I was a sophomore in high school with so much life spinning in my head. History was always dear to me though. I could see it. I could think about motive and possibility. So naturally, my first long writing project took a little of my own past growing up as General Conference Mennonite, a pacifist, and combined it with my studies about William Penn, Quakers, and their motive for relocating to America in the early days. I loved reading about the light they believed everyone had inside. I loved thinking about a kid game, the Oregon trail and the wild world of survival.

That was it. Then I made my main character a mute by choice, who only talked to trees. She’d witnessed so much persecution at the hands of the law, of the church, nothing seemed safe.

Trees were safe.

So that was it. I made it 100 pages in and stopped.

I still have a hard print out on old perforated printer paper. I still have a floppy and maybe a jump drive with bits and pieces.

Will I finish it? Possibly. Ok yes. I supposed a story so dear to me at one point in my life still deserves to be told.

How about you? Do you have a story you started and still needs to be finished? When do you know when to start it again?

I want to take a moment to thank the awesome hosts from the IWSG group!

Thank you …

Tamara Narayan
Tonja Drecker
Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor
Lauren @ Pensuasion
Stephen Tremp
Julie Flanders

And I hope you all have a great rest of your week 🙂

About Erika Beebe

Author, dreamer, and a momma to a couple of wonderful kids, I try to live life everyday in hope and inspire others along my way.

Posted on August 3, 2016, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 35 Comments.

  1. Wow, that sounds so interesting, and sophisticated for a sophomore! I definitely think you should look at it and see if it’s something you might finish!

  2. I have dozens of shorts I couldn’t finish. It was the biggest mystery of all–how does anybody finish a story. Eventually I barrelled on through. 🙂

    Anna from elements of emaginette

  3. You should go back and finish it. Although you might end up rewriting some of it since you’ve grown as a writer since then.

  4. Yes I have one of those but I’m not ready to write it yet.

  5. Glad to hear that you’re planning on revisiting it someday. Some MSs seem to need time to ripen (I have a few of those on the shelf). I call it my stew pot.

  6. That does sound like a wonderful start. Mute by choice–who wouldn’t want to get to know that character?

  7. I think that sounds like a really great premise! I love history too. Have you ever read any of Ann Rinaldi’s books? She writes historical fiction so well, I’m pretty sure the woman has a time machine. 😉

  8. That sounds like an excellent story! I was never one much for history, but I love historical novels. It fascinates me how a time that has passed can still feel so real today. I look forward to the day you finish it!

  9. I love your energy and positivity, Erika. Definitely don’t give up on your story. It absolutely needs to be told and read by the masses. I would love to know about the safety she finds in talking to trees. Please, don’t give up.

  10. That’s incredible that you were invited to their circle when you were a sophomore. So very little of my early writing has been saved. The only writing I still do have is from college from freshman to senior year. And I have it in a binder, seperated by genre and in chronological order. I have my current writing and WIPs saved in documents and folders.

  11. I still struggle with the whole “it’s okay to make a mistake” thing. What I’m [usually] willing to forgive in others I still have a hard time forgiving in myself. But I’m trying.

  12. I’m glad you still have your old story. I love the idea of the girl talking to trees. I hope you finish it some day. I’d like to read it!

  13. I think your main character is fascinating! I love the idea that only trees are safe. That sounds like a story that should definitely be finished.

  14. I love your main character and the thought that only trees are safe. That sounds like a story you should definitely finish!

  15. It’s a blessing to have had an early mentor, someone who believed in our work and encouraged us to keep going.

  16. I’m still working on my first story. I started it almost ten years ago, and I’m determined to finish it, no matter what!

  17. I have one book that I started and never finished. It had great characters that I loved, but it wasn’t going anywhere. Maybe I’ll pick it up again someday, but not without outlining it first. Your story sounds so intriguing, and if it is dear to your heart, I’d say go ahead and write it. It will take work as you’ve surely progressed as a writer, but what fun to give it life! 🙂

  18. I keep going back to one book that I started and never finished. It’s like it won’t allow me to give up on it. I like the premise of your story and it sounds like something worth following through on. My problem is I vacillate between the story I’m working on and the story I keep returning to. Then I get all flustered and feel like I’m not making progress on either. I should probably shelf it until I complete something else.

    Thanks for visiting me during the A to Z challenge. I’ve been away from blogging since the challenge because of family health issues. It’s nice to be back, but it’s hard after being away for so long.

    Take care,


    • Hi Melissa. Thank you for stopping in. I think being a writer is complicated because we are like scientists, creating formulas for success and other formulas emerge in the process. I wish you much luck 🙂

  19. authorcrystalcollier

    You never finished? Granted, I have several unfinished projects, but not the first major love. Do you still love it?

    • I do still love it. I think I got away from writing for so long that when I finally got back to it I was struck with so many stories as once I started writing them out first. I honestly forgot about it until the post topic came through our newsletter and I had to sit and think about it…and the short story it stemmed from. Thank you for stopping in Crystal 🙂

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