If you ever did stop writing, what would you replace it with? 10 Things

Insecure Writers Want to Know

Replace my writing time?

I can find lots of things to fill my time. Hiking. Biking. Camping. Reading. Gardening. Spending time with my husband and the kids and grandkids. Adventures would abound! Did I tell you we have a new canoe?

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All this sudden free time. I’ve never been one to just sit around and do nothing. Baking. Decorating. Organizing. Cleaning—yes, I’d finally have time to do it without feeling guilty that I should be writing a book synopsis or a short story or newsletter or blog post or essay or gathering followers on social media.   

But alas, I am a storyteller like my father. I am compelled to write. Is it a curse or a privilege? I believe it can be both!

Well, I finally did it. I wrote a two-page, double-spaced synopsis of my college memoir. And a one-page query letter. I was helping a fellow writer obtain her book-coaching certificate from Author Accelerator. I was her practicum client.

Writing a book synopsis helps a writer get to the heart of their story. It boils the inner and outer conflicts down to the main events and why they are important to the protagonist. Specific details are needed to show the logic of the story. And—man! Is it difficult to do. My synopsis is 723 words from a 55,000 plus word manuscript.

But a synopsis helps a writer to think about the main topic[s] of their story. To consider the story’s audience. It gives the writer some threads to talk about in interviews or essays.

Here’s the opening paragraph of my synopsis:

“My father tells me I’m not smart enough for college, and I believe him. It traps me in a fear of failure. I had struggled in primary school. My third-grade teacher suggested I repeat the grade to strengthen my reading and math skills, but my father said no. His children don’t fail. We work harder. And I do. But he never believes I can become college material, no matter how much I accomplish. When I think of college, his words haunt me.”

This is the baggage Victoria brings along as she attempts to obtain a college degree.

The best way to end a synopsis is to end with the takeaway, the statement—or point—you want readers to remember as they finish your book. Here’s mine:

“I not only prove to myself that I can accomplish college, I also become a published author and teach writing classes. I show my family the possibilities when you believe in yourself.”

Please feel free to offer any comment on the first paragraph or my takeaway for my college memoir synopsis. Any insight would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

I’m still waiting to hear back from Zibby Books whether they want to publish my college memoir. I haven’t heard back on any of the contests I submitted to. I’ll keep you posted.

I am offering FREE writing workshops at the Maple Shade Library in Maple Shade, New Jersey. If you are in the area, I’d love to see you there. I’m encouraging participants to bring their works-in-progress in order to ask specific questions. I want to help you finish your manuscript to the best of your ability.

My next FREE workshop will be on Thursday, June 15, 2023, at 6 p.m. We will be discussing how and why all genres in fiction require story building. I’ll offer some specific questions for writers to ask in order to help them understand how to create their logical worlds.

Come, stay as long as you can. Ask questions. I’m happy to help you with your manuscript.

Here are the particulars:

Creating a Logical World for Story – 6-15-23 at 6-7:30 p.m. Please register here: https://www.bcls.lib.nj.us/events/6446

Maple Shade Library
200 Stiles Ave.
Maple Shade, NJ 08052

Now I’m off to see how you’ve tackled this month’s question. I am extremely thankful for all of you for being my sounding board and advisors on this scary writing and publishing journey.

Thanks for stopping by my little spot on the web. Please come again!

This post was written for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. I’d like to thank our co-hosts for June: Patricia Josephine, Diedre Knight, Olga Godim, J. Lenni Dorner, and Cathrina Constantine. Please visit them if you can.

Our group posts on the first Wednesday of every month. To join us, or learn more about the group, click HERE

*Please note* I will be unavailable in July. I’ll see you again in August. Have an awesome June and July, everyone!

30 thoughts on “If you ever did stop writing, what would you replace it with? 10 Things”

  1. I’d find a lot to replace the time I spend writing too. I really liked your first paragraph of the synopsis. You showed a bit about the challenges you faced when starting college. Hope you hear from the publisher soon.

  2. Hi Victoria,
    College memoir ? Not sure I’d dare, but your class are lucky.
    This week, a wonderful lady asked if I could do something for her.. Very simple – go to an archive searchroom, next county, do some work for her, copy amazing 19th C photos, negotiate copyright – All of this would be hard for her, because two disabilities conspire to make her life difficult. Instead of frivolous writing, can be useful.
    And I have baked and iced a cake for my husband, birthday today.

    • Happy Birthday to your husband, Esther. You are so generous to help the lady with her tasks. This is how people should be. Helping others. Bless you!

  3. From what you offer of the synopsis, I’m already invested in wanting Victoria to succeed among all these obstacles. Great stuff. I also have plenty of other things to do that would fill my time if I stopped writing, but I think I’d always feel something was missing.

    • Yes, Nick. I would feel something was missing from my life if I stopped writing, too. Thank you so much for your kind words about my synopsis. Truly appreciated. Have a great day!

  4. I love your list of things that would replace writing. Those are the kinds of things that usually take the place of my writing, and I’m looking forward to wanting to do those things again. (I linked to my post when I signed in to comment)

    • Hello and welcome to Adventures in Writing, Charity! I’m so glad you stopped by.

      Yes, I find these tasks favorable to writing, sometimes. At least they can be easier than writing. Sometimes. Have a beautiful day!

  5. There are lots of things you can fill time with if you’re not writing, but that doesn’t matter when all you want to do is write. =)

    • Hello and welcome to Adventures in Writing! I’m so glad you stopped by.

      That is so true, Patricia. Thanks for your note. Have a beautiful day!

  6. Filling non-writing time never seems to be an issue. The question is… does writing always draw you back in? Sounds like it does for you as well.

    Maple Shade? I wonder if you’d be interested in sharing some of your workshops with us at the South Jersey Writer’s Group (unfortunately the 15th is our monthly in-person meeting in Barrington).

    • Hello and welcome to Adventures in Writing, Eden! I’m so glad you stopped by.

      I would love to share a workshop with South Jersey Writers. I belonged to the group when I lived in New Jersey. I don’t choose the Maple Shade Library dates. The librarian gives me the available dates. Perhaps I can help out in September or November at the South Jersey Writers’ group. Just contact me through my webpage. Have a beautiful day!

      • We’d be glad to have you. I’ll mention you’d be interested to Gerri and Krista.

        Re; the library… I understand. These days libraries have very booked schedules for their community spaces.

        • Thank you, Eden. Maybe, when my free workshops are not on a SJ Writers meeting day, you can attend. The schedule of free workshops is under my Workshop Events tab on my website. I’d love to meet you and see you there. All best to you!

  7. I like the synopsis. The only thing I might do is separate it out into even shorter paragraphs for emphasis. I’m not sure that would help or not, but it might be something to try stylistically.
    Congratulations on your class and on your writing!

    • Thank you, Tyrean. A good suggestion. The synopsis should be 2 pages, double spaced. That’s the hard part.

      I appreciate your kind words. Have a great day!

  8. Wow, Victoria. There’s such a disconnect in your father’s thinking. He tells you that you’re not smart enough for college and then says that his children don’t fail, they work harder. That must have been really crushing! You definitely proved him wrong on not being smart enough for college, because with all your hard work, you succeeded. I hope your book is published because I really want to read it.

    • Thank you so much for your kind words, Louise. I really need to hear them. I’ll certainly keep you posted as to when and how my memoir will be published.

      Have a beautiful day, my dear!

  9. Always do what you Love. Filling your life with things to keep you busy will never be fulfilling and will create a void that will haunt you forever.

    • Thank you, Bill. You are so right here. Everyone should do what they love. Life is too short not to. No one should merely fill their life with meaningless “stuff to do.”

      Thank you so much for sharing your perspective at Adventures in Writing. It is truly appreciated. Have a beautiful day!

  10. I remember when I was learning to write a synopsis for my novel. It was probably the hardest learning I’ve ever done. My (imaginary) hat goes off to you. Your synopsis seems to hit all the important points. You obviously did a great job with it.

    • Thank you so much for your kind words, Olga. I truly need to hear them.
      And yes! Writing a synopsis for a book is definitely hard work. More power to you for creating your own novel synopsis. Have a beautiful day!

    • So true! Determination gets us through. Thank you so much for visiting Adventures in Writing. I truly appreciate your comment. All best to you!

  11. Thank you so much for your kind words, Louise. They are appreciated more than you realize. My writing endeavors are crawling forward. Thanks for asking. Have a beautiful day!


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