Monday, February 24, 2014

Interview with Alex J. Cavanaugh


As a writer, do you have bouts of insecurity? You're not alone! Alex J. Cavanaugh joins us today to share about the Insecure Writer's Support Group. 

Welcome Alex! What is the IWSG? How did it originate?

Thanks, Karen! It's great to be here. The Insecure Writer’s Support Group started with a comment I made in an email exchange with another author. I told Rusty he needed such a group and then it hit me – why not start one? I announced it in August 2011, opened a sign-up, and on September 1, we had our first group posting. It was a huge success and began to grow.

The IWSG is now three things! It’s the original blogging group that posts the first Wednesday every month, with around three hundred members. Right after the group hit the two-year mark, we opened the IWSG Facebook group, which is over five hundred members strong. We also launched the IWSG site, which is a database of sites, resources, and other databases for writers. There is something for everyone now!

Sounds great. How does the group work?

The blogging IWSG posts the first Wednesday of every month. Writers sign up on the list, grab the badge, and on that day post either about their insecurities or words of encouragement for others. Then they visit other members of the group.

The Facebook IWSG is open for anyone who wants to join and has four themed days – Motivational Mondays, Wow It’s Wednesday, Fun Fridays, and Saturday News and Promo. Members can ask questions and get support from others.

Can any writer participate? If so, how do they go about it? 

Any writer with a blog can join the main IWSG that posts monthly. (It has to be a blog site where others can leave comments.) They can go here to get details and sign up – http://www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com/p/iwsg-sign-up.html

Any writer on Facebook can join the Facebook IWSG. It’s a closed group, so just request to join. (That’s just to keep spammers out.) Then you are free to comment and interact. (Ironically, I am not on Facebook, but I have several awesome IWSG site co-administrators who run it.) The Facebook group is here - https://www.facebook.com/groups/IWSG13/
What is your favorite aspect of the IWSG?
The way everyone comes together to support and encourage one another. Since I can’t visit everyone on the list, it’s nice to know members are reaching out to others. The comments and emails from writers who are so thankful for the IWSG fill me with joy. For many, it’s the group that keeps them going. The IWSG has been such an amazing blessing. 


It is wonderful to have a great support system - ones who understand the challenges of writing. Thanks for joining us today, Alex! Appreciate the info and the support you and the group provide for writers. :) 

You are welcome, Karen. Happy to share with other writers!

Alex J. Cavanaugh has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and works in web design and graphics. He is experienced in technical editing and worked with an adult literacy program for several years. A fan of all things science fiction, his interests range from books and movies to music and games. Online he is the Ninja Captain and founder of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. The author of Amazon bestsellers CassaStar, CassaFire, and CassaStorm, he lives in the Carolinas with his wife.

For more info visit:

The IWSG Site

How do you handle your writing insecurities? 

Happy writing,

Karen

57 comments :

  1. Hi Karen and Alex, I had not heard about such a group... so thanks for sharing. I do get a lot of support and inspiration by reading other blogs, but I see how such a specific group could be helpful.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great interview. Loved hearing how IWSG started. I may join once things slow down a bit in my personal life and I can get to my writing more.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks, Karen!

    Marja, you are welcome to join us.

    Natalie, would love to have you.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wow Alex, I can't believe that the IWSG started in an email exchange like that and has grown into something so huge. I see the posts everywhere and I'm not even an author lol.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Marja,
    It's a great idea, isn't it? The writing community is so supportive! :)

    Natalie,
    Thank you. Alex makes the interview process easy! I too, enjoyed hearing how it began. Thinking the same as you, may join when some things settle down. :)

    Alex,
    It's always a pleasure to have you stop by. You are welcome anytime!

    Keith,
    It is amazing, isn't it? Back when I started blogging I had no idea the support found in this great community!

    Happy writing,
    Karen

    ReplyDelete
  6. The IWSG has really grown. The website was a great idea.

    ReplyDelete
  7. It's a great group to join. Lots of support and encouragement.

    Heather

    ReplyDelete
  8. Diane,
    It has! I didn't know about the website until recently. Such a great resource! :)

    Heather,
    It's nice to meet you! Thanks for coming by. I agree, it is a wonderful idea! :)

    Happy writing,
    Karen

    ReplyDelete
  9. I have lurked on other writer type forums on the Internet and read through name calling and bashing and poo slinging that goes on with each other. Alex has a well structured group and is the only writer type group that I would probably ever post to because I know he and those who run the site would never let it get out of hand. Thanks ISWG for offering a place where everyone can go to post.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Keith, all came from an exchange with Rusty.

    Gossip Girl, and we intend to keep it positive and upbeat!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Good Monday to you both. Very interesting concept here. Must say, I like the name of the group. :) Makes me wonder if all writers aren't at least a little bit insecure.

    I like the emphasis on keeping it positive and truly motivational.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Great shout out for the best group ever. Thanks, fearless leader.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hi Karen and Alex - this is a great post .. checking out how the ISWG got going - I've loved reading some of the posts, even though I'm not a member ... and good to know you have to ask to join, to keep the 'baddies' out ..

    You really have set something up that is so useful to others .. and then are keeping it fresh .. congratulations Alex and his team, and also to Karen for this guest post with Alex .. cheers Hilary

    ReplyDelete
  14. Thank you Karen and Alex! I had not heard of this group, and it sure sounds like the idea took off like a rocket! There are a lot of insecure writers out there :) Its great to have a place to support budding and established bloggers too. I would wish you great success, but I think you already have it!
    Ceil

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thanks, Hilary!

    Ceil, feel free to check out the site and either group.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Thanks Karen & Alex! I've enjoyed getting to know so many different people through IWSG.
    The first wed is always great reading post from so many writers.

    ReplyDelete
  17. The IWSG is awesome. It has definitely been the thing to kept me going on many occasions. I love reading everyone's posts and knowing I'm not alone. It's cool how it has progressed over time.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I initially felt too insecure to join, but I'm glad Alex gave me a nudge. IWSG has been great.
    Thanks, Alex and Karen.
    xoRobyn

    ReplyDelete
  19. IWSG is amazing and I'm glad to be a part of it. Thank you Alex for helping take this piece of greatness to the masses.

    ReplyDelete
  20. David and Shell, you're not the only ones who enjoy the first Wednesday so much!

    Robyn, so glad you finally joined.

    Sheena-kay, trying to do what I can to help writers.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Great interview on both sides here!

    ReplyDelete
  22. The IWSG is set to take the writing world by storm!

    It caters for all types of writers, from all walks of life… the traditionally published/self-published/unpublished/yet-to-be-published… even if you've fallen off the "writing wagon", then the members will help hoist you up...
    No matter what stage of the writing journey you’re at... it’s the perfect writer’s haven!
    Great interview. Thank you Karen.
    ...and God bless you Alex!

    ReplyDelete
  23. I have always enjoyed the IWSG posts I read on so many blogs, but until this interview I didn't know all about it! Reading people's posts always inspire me and I think it is wonderful to have such a strong support network cheering each other on. :) Thanks for sharing this interview. Nice to hear from Alex and to learn more about the IWSG. Maybe I will sign up one of these days, instead of just commenting on the blogs of other IWSG members. :)
    ~Jess

    ReplyDelete
  24. I signed up for the IWSG quite early in my blogging adventures, and was thrilled to have discovered such a classy and supportive bunch. The writers I've met through IWSG have really helped me become a much more confident writer.
    It's great to see Alex over here getting the word out!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Gossip Girl,
    I agree! It is great to have the support and a safe place for writers to hang out and share. :)

    Rhonda,
    I think we all have challenges with insecurity at one point or another. Nice to know we can share those ups and downs with other writers. :)

    Susan,
    Alex makes interviews so easy. He is a wonderful help to us all!:)

    Hilary,
    I agree, it's great to learn more about the group and how it started. So glad you enjoyed it! :)

    Ceil,
    I think you are right. It seems like it would help writers of all kinds, you know? :)

    David,
    Those first Wednesday posts are great, I agree. Love this whole idea! :)

    Shell Flower,
    You know, that's a good point. It is nice knowing we are not alone. So thankful for that! :)

    Robyn,
    Alex is a great one for helping us all, isn't he? Thanks for hopping over! :)

    Sheena,
    It's nice to see what's going on with other writers too, through the IWSG posts. :)

    Carole,
    Good to see you! Thanks a bunch for coming by! :)

    Michelle,
    I'm with you - I like that feature that it helps writers from all walks and genres. What a blessing! :)

    Jess,
    I know, I didn't know a whole lot about the group either til now. I may sign up too, just need to look at my schedule and figure some things out. We may be reading each other's posts before long. :)

    Kirsten,
    I like that, that writers feel safe and more confident. What a great testimony to the success of the group! :)

    Happy writing,
    Karen

    ReplyDelete
  26. and IWSG has been so influential, the one time to whine and it's perfectly A-Okay!!!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Hi Karen and Alex, I joined IWSG last January and my only regret is why did I join so late, why not earlier. I love the IWSG posts.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Tammy,
    I like that idea, and continue to be amazed at the level of wonderful support. :)

    Rachna,
    Well, I hear you, am kind of wondering that myself (and why haven't I joined yet). It's a great community. :)

    Happy writing,
    Karen

    ReplyDelete
  29. I tell every newbie writer...you have to do IWSG. It was such a blessing to me!!

    ReplyDelete
  30. Nice post. He really is a well rounded talented person.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Always love to hear what Alex has to say. I know I see IWSG everywhere and love the posts. If I felt like I had the discipline to add the monthly post commitment to my schedule, I would for sure do it. Maybe someday soon =-) Baby steps, right? Nice to meet you Karen.

    ReplyDelete
  32. I think IWSG has been a wonderful thing for a lot of writers. I've seen many of the posts with encouraging comments from other authors/bloggers. It's good to have support in an otherwise lonely occupation.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Thank you, Michelle!

    Jess, please join us.

    Kirsten, that's good to hear!

    Rachna, glad you are with us now.

    Elizabeth, thanks!

    Emilyann, please join us sometime. You can do it!

    ReplyDelete
  34. Elizabeth,
    I think you are right! Newbies need to know about it. And veterans too. :)

    Lilith,
    He is! And a blessing to us all. :)

    Emilyann,
    Nice to meet you too! Alex always has great things to share. :)

    Sherry,
    You're right, it is a lonely occupation, and this type of thing helps a lot! :)

    Happy writing,
    Karen

    ReplyDelete
  35. What an amazing service! I'm going to have to join. I keep seeing these buttons everywhere... I've met so many great people who are part of this, and I love the way it's bringing everyone together.

    ReplyDelete
  36. I've been doing IWSG for a year, maybe two. That badge and the purpose of the group was calling out to me. I'm glad I'm part of the community.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Stephanie,
    I know, it's nice to read the posts each month, isn't it? Let me know if you join! :)

    Medeia,
    I like that - they were calling out to you! :) I can see why!

    Happy writing,
    Karen

    ReplyDelete
  38. Yes! I've not joined because of time but I love that such a group is there and so many people I know are a part of it. :)

    ReplyDelete
  39. Alex's heart of encouragement, gratitude, and care for fellow writers has overflowed into the design of IWSG. Although I think that many writers continue to keep this spirit going, it originally came from Alex, and I am thankful to him for starting it all going.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Fantabulous interview, Karen and Alex! Alex has just the best heart. What a wonderful guy. I want to join IWSG as soon as Christopher is back on track. Thank you Alex! For all the support you give. It means the world to all of us.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Jennifer,
    It's nice to read the posts, isn't it? Such a great idea that benefits all of us. :)

    Tyrean,
    You said it well. Alex is one of a kind. We'd do well to follow his example. :)

    Robyn,
    Thank you, amigo! Alex makes it easy. He's a great guest! I'm with you. It does mean the world to us.:)

    Happy writing,
    Karen

    ReplyDelete
  42. Stephanie, please join us!

    Tyrean, thank you!

    Robyn, I appreciate that.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Love IWSG. It's not that I need to vent every month, but being there to hang out with my groupies is too much awesomeness to wrap up in a single post. =)

    ReplyDelete
  44. The monthly gathering of writers is something I look forward to. IWSG was a brilliant idea.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Great post about the IWSG, Alex! I'm so glad that you started this warm and inviting group that continues to flourish. Karen, Thanks for interviewing Alex!

    Julie

    ReplyDelete
  46. I followed Alex's link over ~ interesting and informative interview!

    ReplyDelete
  47. Crystal,
    So what you're saying then is that the only thing that could make IWSG better is cheese, right? :D

    M Pax,
    It is a brilliant idea! Even though I don't participate, I enjoy reading the posts. :)

    Julie,
    I too, am glad he started this warm and inviting group! Thanks for coming by. It's good to meet you! :)

    Fundy Blue,
    Thanks for coming over! Glad you enjoyed the interview. It's nice to meet you!

    Happy writing,
    Karen

    ReplyDelete
  48. Crystal, that's great to hear!

    Mary, the members make it brilliant.

    Julie, so glad you enjoy it.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Thanks for the interview, Karen and Alex. This Aussie author's never hear of the IWSG. Sounds fascinating. I'll have to head over and check it out.
    Blessings,
    Dotti

    ReplyDelete
  50. Thanks for the heads up on this group, Alex, and to you Karen, for having her. Great stuff!

    ReplyDelete
  51. Dotti,
    You are welcome! So glad you enjoyed it. :) Maybe IWSG will pick up a few members from your neighborhood. :)

    Susan,
    You are welcome! It's a wonderful thing to share with others in this way! :)

    Blessings,
    Karen

    ReplyDelete
  52. I like the IWSG. It's manageable at only once a month and it connects me with a lot of people I might not have met.

    ReplyDelete
  53. C. Lee,
    Thanks for stopping by! You're right, once a month is manageable for people. Another good reason to join!
    Happy weekend,
    Karen

    ReplyDelete
  54. Dorothy, please join us!

    Lee, glad you enjoy it.

    Thanks again, Karen!

    ReplyDelete
  55. Joining this group has been a wonderful experience. I wish I hadn't waited so long to do it.

    ReplyDelete
  56. What a great idea! I'll have to check this out. Thanks for all the info.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Toinette,
    I am hearing that from so many people! I think it's a wonderful thing. Thanks so much for coming by! :)

    Lisa,
    I hope you get a chance to check it out. I read many of the posts and they are a great help.

    Happy writing,
    Karen

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your input. Have a blessed day!