It’s that time of the month again, first Wednesday, which means, it’s Insecure Writer’s Support Group:

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

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I periodically struggle with self-doubt and lack of inspiration. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking I’m not producing anything good.

Luckily for me, I have tremendously talented friends who inspire me with their love for their art, their passion, and their commitment. I approached several of these friends and asked them to write a guest post for this blog. The questions were simple: how did they get started? What inspires them? What obstacles have they overcome? How do they find the courage to keep going?

The replies they sent me were simply amazing. You can view all of these guest posts under the topic “Inspiration”. There are two pages with posts by eight guest bloggers from a variety of arts. I think you’ll agree with me that their words about what they do are truly inspiring.

As for news, I started writing today new words for my revised draft. As per very consistent feedback from judges of three writing contests, the first draft needed a new hook and more conflict between the main characters, and I think I finally found good solutions for those problems.

Wish me luck!

Insecure Writer #117

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This is Jess Purser, artist and illustrator, and owner of Castle On The Hill on Etsy. She lives in England and I love her whimsical style.

I had the chance to interview her for the Inspiration series by my guest bloggers, and here are her answers:

1- How did you get started in painting and art?
“I’ve been drawing for as long as I can remember. My mother went to art college and wanted
to study fashion, but unfortunately, wasn’t able to move from Yorkshire all the way down to London in the late 50’s – my granddad was petrified something terrible would happen to her! So when I came along, she taught me all she knew – that’s my ‘formal’ training in art! I kind of took a break in my teens and early twenties, thinking it was silly to be drawing pretty little ladies, although I always doodled little patterns.
When I heard of Etsy, through a friend, in 2007, we were living in Spain near my parents, who had moved over there a couple of years before and who needed help as my dad had become terminally ill. I couldn’t work full-time in case my parents needed me, and also because my eldest daughter was only 2 at the time. So, I started drawing and painting and trying to find my own style again. That style quickly reverted to pretty little ladies again!”

2- What inspires you?
“It’s a bit of a cliché to say everything inspires me, but it really does and depends on the mood of the day. Like this morning: I’ve been working on digital art more recently, trying to perfect it (although I’ll never abandon the canvas completely!) and work on perspective, too – that’s a weak point of mine. On my way to the post office, I was sort of looking at flowers and houses in a completely different way – thinking about which colours I would pick out for the light and shade and where the horizon and vanishing points would be. I’ve never really had the urge to draw houses before, but there it was. I find flowers quite difficult, almost impossible to capture, because their colours aren’t flat: if you look at a petal under a microscope, it is covered in bumps and textures, each reflecting light off its’ surface, so the different hues are bouncing off in all directions, making the overall colour so rich and velvety. I wish I could capture that! Something I’d like to paint more of at the moment, is mermaids. I made a few tiny paintings a while back, which are now postcards, but I’d love to do some more mysterious ones…after my current projects have finished!”

3- What obstacles have you had to overcome?
“Time and self-doubt are the two big things that hold me back.
We have a 9-year-old and a 12-month-old, so it isn’t always easy fitting artwork time around that and household chores, but we’re lucky to have a baby who is often happy to entertain herself to a degree, as long as I’ve laid out a few interesting toys/pots and pans/musical instruments for her to play with. My eldest daughter is wonderful with her little sister and at an age where she’s able to help out if needed, which is great.
Last week was a bad one as far as self-doubt goes. Sometimes I get so close to the edge of just throwing out all my paints and closing the Etsy shop completely when I see other, way better and more talented artists around, or feel that the art world is saturated and I’m just floundering around, not really getting any further or doing anything well enough. Sometimes the guilt creeps in and I feel the house is a mess and why didn’t I clean round the taps or hang up the washing – what a terrible mother/partner/human I am.”

4- How do you find the courage to keep going?
“I just have to remember that it’s impossible to keep up with everything perfectly – nobody can. Maybe we can just do our best, in our own ways, and try to make other people happy at the same time.”

Anne Elliott and Captain Wentworth - Persuasion Print - 5 x 7 - Jane Austen


The Book Lover - Paris 1962 - Armfuls Of Books - Large original painting 20 x 28

Paris Dance Studio, 1911 - 8 x 10 print

Jane Austen Pride and Prejudice - The Bennett Sisters Go Bonnet Shopping - 8 x 10

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WRITING...?is the best way for me to be

“It’s funny how life sometimes tells you what you’re supposed to do rather than finding it on your own. In fact, I accidentally started writing. I know, that sounds completely nuts, but let me explain.
I’ve always liked writing…my 2-3 pages stories in elementary school were really more like 15. Essays really weren’t all that scary. I even wrote stories with friends just for fun. Yet, I never really considered writing as something I could do. I had “written” it off (haha!).

I was a really quiet and shy child, and in order to overcome that, I ran for student body treasurer of my junior high school–and won, even though I forgot my own name during my speech. This huge embarrassment led to me deciding to join the speech team to gain confidence.
I played the violin, sang in choir, participated in every facet of theatre, and continued on the speech team and even placed in competitions. I started out as a theatre major, music minor in college, but soon realized I wasn’t at the level I needed to be for that to be a realistic aspiration. (Of course, my college also hosts the state’s Shakespearean Festival, so the competition was pretty fierce.)
Fast forward many years later, in fact, birthing six children later…
I was contemplating what my life mission was supposed to be and one of my friends suggested I start writing. OK…. so I started a blog. That was intentional. Writing book and media reviews and family-oriented articles, however, started out as a beautiful accident.
An editor was looking for someone to write about their experience watching a live streaming of Time Out for Women–the first time it would be broadcast over the internet. I volunteered, thinking someone would interview me for my comments….

…long story short, I was wrong. I was supposed to write the whole article! This “accident” spawned into writing book reviews and family-focused articles for And now, I’ve recently just-about-finished writing a book, which was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done (which is a completely different story).
I have had several personal experiences that have kept pushing me through this. I started writing nearly three years ago and I haven’t looked back, though it took me a few decades to realize this path was one I could and should take.
My steps were small and scary at first. I had so much self-doubt (still do) and I had no idea what I was doing. I’m not saying it’s easy now, but I can say that I love what I do. Expressing myself, helping and inspiring others, and creating something with words is the best way for me to be me. Taking the first leap was intimidating–what if I can’t do this? What if I fail?

But, what if it turns out completely awesome?”


FullSizeRenderThis is Wendy Jessen, blogger and writer, and mom of six. You may find her at Musings, Miracles, & Mayhem.

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Brekke Felt is a photographer and today’s guest blogger for the Inspiration series. You may find her on Facebook under Felt Photography and Studio 15 Portraits.

“I like to tell people that I’ve been doing photography since before it was “cool”. These days photographers seem to be plentiful and it can be a stressful career to pursue. And it is! But you really can’t walk away when it’s been inside you for so long.
I got the bug in high school, but I didn’t ever take a formal photography “class”. I went to a very small school for the arts and for fun one day they taught the kids who were interested how to use a darkroom. I was hooked! By the end of my senior year I had built my own darkroom in my parent’s basement (where it still sits, gathering dust). I was pretty much self-taught, but this was long before the days of digital, when mistakes got expensive if you made a lot of them and you learned to get your exposure right pretty quickly. To this day the smell of developer and fixer baths fill me with happiness.

I photographed my friends a lot, but even then, I loved to photograph little kids. Some of my favorite images are ones I did of my niece. I loved dressing the kids in costumes or setting up cute situations I could photograph them in.
My love grew from there and I let run wild. I didn’t think anything would ever convince me to switch from film to digital, but the advancements and the cost of operation convinced me to try it, though I do still shoot on film from time to time.
Today, I specialize in photographing children. As a child I had a very vivid imagination and that has carried over into my adult life and is translated in the images I do. I LOVE the minds of children. There is no limit to their dreams and their imaginations and that is what inspires me the most. My own children have been and will continue to be my favorite subjects, and they tend to bring me back to my own childhood and bring out the creativity in me.

I photograph schools, dance studios and sports and events, but I always make time to work on my personal projects, which usually include children in custom costumes and fun scenarios. I love what I do so much that I could never actually call it “work”. So I don’t go to work, I go to play and I LOVE to play.
A little about me: I am a wife to my husband of almost 17 years, mother to four amazing children and one beautiful angel. I am a Certified Professional Photographer and proud member of the Professional Photographers of America (local and national levels). I love to compete in the International Photographic Competition and am working towards a Master of Photography in the PPA. I am continually striving to grow my craft and improve my skills. In addition to photography I also love to write, ride horses, bake cupcakes, and play with power tools.


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It’s that time of the month again, first Wednesday, which means, it’s Insecure Writer’s Support Group:

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!


What if the thing you loved the most to do was strange to others around you? Now imagine if, once a year, you had the chance to rub shoulders with over 700 people who share the same passion as you do?SM15_logo

Welcome to the Tribe, indeed. You are no longer a stranger.

This is what the LDStorymakers writing conference represents to me. The chance to learn, to mingle, to be inspired. To be reminded I belong to a tribe where everyone feels the same passion about writing and stories.

This year, Martine Leavitt was the keynote speaker (and she also taught an intensive class). It was an amazing speech and her words touched and inspired and burned a fire in the minds and hearts of so many of us who had the privilege to be there. It was definitely the highlight of this year’s conference.


I couldn’t possibly do justice to all her wonderful words. Below are some quotes compiled by a friend.



Insecure Writer #120


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  • Michael Di GesuJune 5, 2015 - 1:40 PM

    Conferences are AWESOME… I went to several this year and I am revved up for the SCBWI Summer Conference in LA in just a few short months. YAY!

    They are amazing for inspiration and meeting peeps from all over the world…

    Glad you had an awesome experience at yours…

    I just dropped in to say hi from Alex’s huge list…

    Nice to meet you, Lucinda….ReplyCancel

    • LucindaJune 6, 2015 - 3:16 PM

      Thank you for the visit, Michael! You are so right, conferences are such a great way to meet other writers and be inspired!ReplyCancel

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