A Mickey Mouse Operation: IWSG

12:00 AM Elizabeth Seckman 72 Comments


The Insecure Writer's Support Group  posts the first Wednesday of each month. 
Hello and thanks to our host, Alex Cavanaugh and to his co-hosts, Nancy ThompsonMark Koopmans, and Heather Gardner.


Last week my day started with me stepping in poop, and even though plenty of people wished me "hope your day gets better"s...it didn't.

Honestly, it got worse.

In my rush to pack and send boy #2 (Cole) out the door and on his way to Florida, he got a mediocre dinner and fresh-from-the-dryer-before-the-waist-band-dried swim trunks to stuff in his bag as we ran to catch his bus.

Next stop...Disney World!
We did a quick check: undies, sun block, wallet, Disney confirmation.

All good!

Or so we thought.

Cole ordered his tickets to Disney online and forgot to put the card back in his wallet.

I never thought of it. I'd been busy all day making sure I got chapter edits into the publisher.

So, off my three-hundred pound lineman goes with $100 in his pocket and a week's worth of meals to buy ahead of him.

He could stretch it and make it last, right?

Real soon, I start having visions of him partying like the Donner's and fear for the safety of his room mates.

But it's almost midnight and nothing I can do, so I head to Mail Chimp to work on making myself a nice, professional newsletter to let my readers know a new book is coming soon.

Problem was, I was as clumsy and confused on the site as a monkey is with his opposable thumbs. Yeah, he's got them, but beyond picking bugs off his neighbor, he doesn't really know how to use them.

That was me. I was filling in the boxes, but had no clue what I was doing.

Still reeling from sending my boy off in a frenzy, I realize my life is more upside-down because I'm constantly busy trying to make this writing thing happen.

I had to ask myself: is it worth it?

Am I wasting my time? Bringing unnecessary chaos to my family? Should I go back to social work where the toughest day was talking a teen off a ledge...I mean that I was good at!

Writing? In this, I feel like I'm in over my head.

Am I even smart enough to do it, because come on...let's be honest...writing goes way beyond putting words on paper.

Stressed and fed up, I headed to Facebook to whine to my fellow Daydreamers*.

Pretty soon I was surrounded by support and the fabulous Brinda Berry even posted, "shoot me an email if you need help".

I wanted to cry. People are too good to me.

The next day, the sun rose and I made arrangements to wire money to Cole.

It cost me $12 to put another couple hundred in his pocket.

But I had to do it...the child had to eat.

Cole and Ms. Pre-Med

And he sent me this thanks after dinner. He assured me this little lady is working her way through med school, so leaving a big tip was for a good cause.

 See? It's turning out all right.

I'm raising socially conscious boys who will learn to double check their bags for themselves.

Or that you can fail, and there will always be friends (or parents) to help you out.

And then there is the ultimate truth: the crazier life gets...the better the story.


*Daydreamers Anonymous is a private Facebook page for serious writers who want support. To get an invite, find a daydreamer (like myself), befriend them and ask them to bring you in. It's that easy...you don't even have to know the secret hand shake.

72 comments:

  1. But knowing the secret handshake makes us eligible for door prizes, right? It is indeed a great group of writers.

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    1. I like that idea Jeff! Though I will probably be the first to forget and mess it up.

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  2. wait wait wait...you said you were going to wire ME money!! you liar! hahaha...you can never give up. just breath more often. you are such a fabulous writer it hurt my heart to even HEAR you THINKING of not wanting to do it!! oye vey girl...oye vey.

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    1. I was supposed to wire you wire...to reinforce the underwire...silly girl!

      You're a sweetheart Tammy. People like you keep me ignoring the dirty dishes in the sink to get another couple hundred words written.

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  3. I think that girl's "tips" are big enough already! :p

    I know how rough it is when you get busy, and you start to doubt yourself, and think you aren't giving enough time to the people around you. But it will balance out, so don't stop! I love your books!

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    1. She definitely has the "tips".

      And thanks. I appreciate that. You're right, some days are worse, some are better balanced. And I think being new, there is more pressure to get the word out and keep producing to stay relevant. It's hard.

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  4. Sure he had to leave a big tip!!
    We sometimes wonder if it's worth it. But if the writing wasn't causing chaos in our world, something else would be. So might as well enjoy the writing.

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    1. Always wise! My husband says this all the time. I wear rose colored glasses when remembering my "office" days, but he remembers long days in court and the many times I got emergency calls over holidays.

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  5. My family have had to put up with a lot due to my writing. I don't 'think' they mind. Although if it started to interfere with their meals, they might start minding a bit more :-)

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    1. Isn't that the truth! Start messing with their food and they can get beastly. And by nature, I hate for life to be out of control. I like my ducks to walk in order. I think I feel the chaos faster than they ever do.

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  6. That does sound like a bad day!

    Life has a way of getting crazy how ever hard to try at least if you're writing you know you are following your dream.

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    1. So true. You're right. Thanks for making me feel better!

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  7. Oh my gosh! Elizabeth you made me laugh so hard. I am right there with you. What is any mom's nightmare? (especially this Italian momma) Your kid won't have enough to eat right? LOL Looks like he made out just FINE. He is adorable, BTW.

    Nothing worthwhile is EVER easy, like finding time to write. I have to fight my way through the guilt of taking time for me, when my house is a hot mess and I have so many other commitments and things I know I should be doing. But I really believe it's important to find a little balance, so you get a chance to do what you love, and take some time for you.

    Ask yourself if you really loved social work so much, do you miss it? Like you would miss writing if you gave it up?

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    1. All the Italian food I've eaten over the years must have changed my genes Jaybird!

      There are days I miss social work. I loved working with the kids. But then when I am honest with myself, there were plenty of times when I got held over at court until all hours of the evening; staying up all night getting paperwork done; and of course there were the emergency middle of the night and holiday calls.

      So, yeah I'm lying to myself when I say life would be simpler.

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    2. Oh, and I would never give up writing. If I ever stop, the plan will be to return to it when I retire ;)

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  8. Hope today is going a little better. And, we totally need a secret handshake! :)

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    1. About that handshake...one of the reasons I was never a cheerleader is that I always forget the dance moves...so if we make a hand shake, I suggest it is really easy and has less than three moves. :)

      Like knuckle bump; elbow bump...I could remember that. Throw in more and I'll get it all mixed up!

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  9. Glad you were able to get help from the Daydreamers. I worry about that end of things, too. I hate technology and try to avoid it. Something I will eventually have to get over, I suppose. :-P

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    1. I need to take a day and force myself to do it. I know a lot of it is just becoming a familiar and NOT going into it thinking I'll mess up from the get go.

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  10. Oh too funny!
    How kind of you to help out that struggling young girl.
    And what a thoughtful, kind boy you have...
    They are all porn--I mean prone to being forgetful, huh?
    THAT was an honest typo I decided to leave in and I hope it does not offend you. IT was just too--too.
    ~Just Jill

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    1. Not offended at all...laughing my butt off to be truthful!

      I'm a fan of twisted punnery!

      He is a thoughtful boy. I'm sure he'd have loved to left her his number in case she needed an escort home from a hard day at work.

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  11. I'm so crazy and a worrywart. I'd be imagining my child STARVING with a little hat thrown on the ground and singing for change. lol

    Good to hear it all worked out.

    And...how sweet that you mentioned me. I really meant it. I saw no email from you. So, did you figure it out? Need help?

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    1. I decided to wait until I have at least an hour without somebody yelling, where's my socks and what can I eat? With the fourth and company fast approaching, I figured I was setting myself up for failure trying to do this under mental duress!

      So, you may be hearing from me soon. And seriously...thanks Brinda, just the offer switched my mood from sour to partly sweetened. :)

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    2. I was in Mailchimp last night and made a newsletter to go out from Readerlicious.com--the group site I'm with. It took less than 10 minutes. Are you on Google +? If you are, we can do it through Google Talk. You can share your screen (or I'll share mine) and walk you through it.

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    3. Brinda, you are priceless!! I will try it once more on my own and see if my bad attitude from my bad day roll was shutting down my brain. If it's still just technology stupid me, I will be sending an SOS email!

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  12. *hehehe* This could so happen to me. But you got it worked out and that's all that counts. Plus, you now have another story to tell ;)

    What would we do without each other?

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    1. I'd have quit a long time ago. Normal people don't get why we do this to ourselves and would totally think we were crazy and try to get us to quit to save ourselves.

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  13. How sweet of your linebacker to help that girl with getting through pre-med. I hope he has fun there too! And I'm glad that your next day got better. Writing is such an odd creature. It eats you and transforms you. I'm glad you weren't really thinking about giving it up, because writing is totally worth it!

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    1. Yeah, he's thoughtful like that :)

      I don't know if I ever could honestly give it up. But I think I could totally go Emily Dickens and just write and pile manuscripts in my closet because I get tired of the business end of it all.

      But I have you guys...you keep me online, even if it's just to whine!

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  14. Oh Liz! What a story! And love that boy of yours! You are always living so many amazing adventures!

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    1. If only those adventures included party hats and exotic locales...

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  15. Hi, Elizabeth.

    Glad you got it all sorted out! YOU ARE A FANTABULOUS WRITER!!!!! Don't give it a second though! WE ALL ADORE YOU! Keep on WRITING!

    Your amazing sense of humor and passion for life are key ingredients for a successful writing career. NOW, we ALL KNOW LIFE/DEMENTORS get in the way to create much havoc.... SO we just GO WITH IT and do the best we can.

    Sending you a cyber hug ....

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    1. Thanks for the cyber hug!! I know you know all about the dementors, but with friends like you, I'm pretty sure I can build an immunity to them. You know how to give motivation with a capital M!!!

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  16. Honey, we all feel this way. It looks like you've gotten tons of support already, but we love you and we all know what an amazing writer you are :)

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    1. You guys...you're gonna make me cry! But that's good. It's good to feel loved :)

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  17. LOL I'm so glad your son was thoughtful enough to help this girl pay for her pre-med.

    Just have to agree with everyone else, we all know what a great writer you are and it's definitely worth it for you to continue! :)

    P.S. Didn't know you used to be a social worker. I did too! I definitely don't miss that. Although sometimes the writing process makes me feel like soon enough someone is going to be talking me down from the ledge. ;)

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  18. I'm glad it all worked out. :) Love your last line about the crazier things are the better the story - so true!

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    1. Thanks Kimberly! And yeah, eventually all things work out.

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  19. I love the Daydreamers page! So nice to connect so easily to everyone. As for your lack of confidence, don't let it get you down. This is a marathon, a super-duper long marathon. So pace yourself. And if you ever need any promo help or advice, let me know. I've learned a lot along the way and had a lot of help, so I'd be happy to pass what little I do know along if it'll help. (((hugs)))

    I'm Alex's minion this month, lucky me!!

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    1. Ahh Nancy! Thanks for the hugs :)

      (And I will be pestering you...I can use all the promo advice I can get!)

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  20. I love that you have a network of friends to lean on. Having people to reach out to is so important. Glad all is well =)

    Elsie

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    1. We do have a great support network...even our IWSG day is a major boost to the spirit!

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  21. Daydreamers is awesome! I'm glad things worked out and the lovely young lady got a good tip. I worry that I don't know enough to do this whole writer's thing either. I feel like I'm fumbling around in the dark a lot. Fortunately, I haven't fallen into any pits with spikes yet!

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    1. I just downloaded one of your stories...it came highly recommended by a friend who read it, so you must be doing something right!

      (And am I bad to take comfort in a smart gal like yourself feeling insecure?)

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  22. Pity there isn't a handbook for all the complicated stuff we need to know how to manage in life. Still, with persistence, luck and common sense, we manage to do all right. :)

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    1. Hmm...maybe some smart lady will write a hand book. Is there a "Writing for Dummies"?

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  23. Am I in? I'll have to check. You can always yap at me for help. This writing thing can be really tough. You know you can use that talking off a ledge thing for other writers. I had to use it on two last week. It's nice not to feel alone. Yes?

    For the record, I have no idea what I'm doing either. It sure as heck surprises me when something seems to work.

    Seems Cole is having a great time in Florida. :)

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    1. I think you're in...if not, you will be!

      You don't know what you're doing? I'm throwing the BS card on that!

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  24. I'm sure your son thought the pre-med gal had a couple of things going for her 'ahem', but still had to be a gentleman and giver her a healthy tip.

    Sounds like you've had quite the eventful day...I'll send you some chocolate and coffee....express mail! :)

    Have a great Fourth!

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    1. Reward me like that and I'll make whining a way of life!!!

      Thanks Mark. Friends like you make my day!

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  25. Oh how this sounds like me sometimes (except I only have 2 gremlins to raise (: ). I'll have days that start at crazy am to high crap noon and ends at sh*t pm. But I'm really sorry to hear you your day brought you so down. Hold on to the positive. You're raising awesome kids, and if the writing takes a little longer, it's ok. You've got great support all around and things will get better. Looks like they already have. (((HUGS))) (=

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    1. That whole pacing thing is something I need to learn.

      And I do have support...you guys are all awesome! (((HUGS))) back at ya!

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  26. Sometimes I think it's worse when life picks at you. Sometimes a major set-back or family crisis has the opposite effect. It slows life down and crystalizes what is important. Here's to you being such a great mom.

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    1. Thanks Julie. I make a lot of parenting mistakes, but I must be doing something right...I have some seriously awesome kids!

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  27. Sometimes life happens and it would still happen even if you would not write. The difference would be that you would be missing one of your favorite joys. Write on, Elizabeth! Dwarf Cheering Squad is all on for you!
    Dragon hugs!

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    1. Yay! A dragon hug! How could I not feel warm and fuzzy (or scaly) now? And you are again, the wisest of creatures. Writing is my bliss...I must remember that!

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  28. Oh boy what a day indeed! ANd you know, I ask myself that question a lot too... and I always come back to the fact that it brings me to life--gives me a little slice of something all my own that I relish in. And you're so right--the wealth of supporters around us--peeps whom we've never even met--is astounding and rejuvenates us in so many ways. We all have separate lives, but have each other too. Pretty darn cool!
    And that pic is too cute--looks like he's keeping himself occupied. I'm just a hop skip and jump away from Orlando so you just let me know if you need anything for your sons. It's no problemo. ;)

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    1. Aren't you the sweetest?! He's home...safe and sound, but thanks for the offer...you're too much.

      And you're right. Writing is more than just something we enjoy...it is what brings us to life.

      The support is the icing on the cake!

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  29. Oh Elizabeth you do crack me up!
    Hooters? How I love America! LOL Love it! :D

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    1. You know what they say about the cracked pots giving the best light!

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  30. Getting into writing has been hard for me, my OCD about the house used to stress me out and I never did anything creative.
    I'm slowly managing to incorporate more writing though, and worry less about what the house looks like. With a five year old and a husband it's never going to be spotless, and I get more pleasure from writing than cleaning.
    I'm definitely growing as a writer, as I type this a huge pile of ironing, which has overspilled onto the floor, is staring at me trying to intimidate. I may do it tomorrow ...

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    1. There used to be a time when my house was clean, now I ask everyone to call ahead. ;)

      And you're so right, writing is way more fun than cleaning.

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  31. Hey Elizabeth,

    Yes, I'm backtracking to this post. I've been so busy with signing autographs that...well, you understand the hell that can be the life of a celebrity.

    Like so many others, I'm honoured (honored) to the point of sobbing uncontrollably that you continue with this here ,"IWSG" aka "I Was Seeking Gary". Thank you so much :)

    I understand that a frantic, upside down holiday can get in the way of your writing. Of course, life and its crazy quirks can make for a heck of a story. Or something like that.

    Yes, I'm still your starstruck fan!

    Gary :)

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    1. Of course I'm seeking Gary! You're right, the frantic can be fun...in hind sight!

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  32. You've got this! If you want to talk teens off a ledge, write a book about it, lol. Then you'll be writing, doing what you do best, and I'll finally have a YA book on my shelf, written by Elizabeth Seckman. :P Glad your kiddo is being kind to future American doctors.

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    1. LOL. Hmm, "Teen on the Ledge"...that's a pretty good title. ;)

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  33. Are you kidding me? You've got this! Don't make me walk 115 miles over there to remind you. :P

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    1. Is that really all that separates us? We totally need to do a signing together or something!

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  34. Great story, Elizabeth. And I'm sure your linebacker appreciates a Mama who looks out for him the way that you do.

    M.L. Swift, Writer

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    1. He was very grateful...for the bale out and the telling of the father not to yell at him because, well, crap happens.

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  35. You are meant to be a writer. The chaos is going to happen, unfortunately. You raised good boys, so the chaos could be worse but isn't. :)

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    1. Thanks Medeia :)

      Yes, I do have good boys. Forgetting to take your money is peanuts.

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