IWSG: Collecting dust or not?

It’s IWSG time, where writers across the world gather to share their writing experience and/or insecurities. (See below for more info on the Insecure Writer's Support Group.) The IWSG million dollar questions this month are: What was your very first piece of writing as an aspiring writer? Where is it now? Collecting dust or has it been published? 

In real life, I’m a cleaner not a dust collector, mostly. In fact, I’ve been known to pick up a drinking glass that someone was using and place it in the dishwasher, only because it "seemed" to be abandoned. This type of activity rarely bodes well with others. However, cleaning does have its benefits. I’ll explain more on that later. 

My first stab at writing was in the sixth grade when I wrote this play about teenagers.

The story was a romance, in accordance to my eleven-year-old viewpoint on love, circa the 1960’s. I also ignored privacy rights and personal boundaries and named the characters after my friends. Additionally, I wrote plays based on childhood stories (e.g., The Three Bears), while my classmates acted them out on stage for our small school's student body. I directed the plays. 

I also received a kiss on my cheek, off stage, from one of the actors, a random boy, and I liked it. This confession has NOTHING to do with this post. It's only a memory flareup to share. 

Recently, my cleaning uncovered some of my first short stories, written thirty years ago on an old manual typewriter. When I read them, I laughed, but still they adhered to my heart like static cling. I also cleaned out my attic and found the typewriter that I wrote some of those shorts on.

Only two children’s stories of mine have been published and that was in the mid-1980s. 

I sold the magazine five pieces, but only two were published before they stopped publishing the read-a-loud section. 

A couple of years ago, I self-published my A-Z compilation of short stories, but other than that everything else is collecting virtual dust. 

Therefore, I am a writer of many stories and one unfinished book that are collecting dust.

The IWSG was created by Alex Cavanaugh and assisted by awesome helpers. The Insecure Writer's Support Group website supports writers with writers and helpful information. Check out the sign up list here.


  1. Hi Teresa - good to see you ... it's good to know you're still writing - the A-Z is a very good way of putting together a body of work ... that unfinished book needs to be dusted off - and then finished ... cheers Hilary

  2. Hooray for all writers. I do hope your dust collectors can be revived.

  3. Oh, that Teen Agers books is adorable! You should submit to journals and such with your shorts. I know it is a daunting process to figure out which ones are appropriate for what, but I think that is a good way to get your name out there so people will then come looking for your shorts collection.

  4. Love the old typewriter, wish I still had mine. Don't look at your writing pieces as collecting dust, more like waiting for the right opportunity to be published. For a change of pace, put the typewriter back in use and see if it helps complete the book. Good luck, my friend. You can do it.

    Thoughts in Progress
    and MC Book Tours

  5. Give the dust a good blow and then away the publishing can go.

  6. You still have them and the typewriter? That's amazing.
    My wife cleans like that. She'll put away stuff while I'm in the middle of using it.

  7. Love the typewriter!!! I've got my old manual upstairs in the attic :)

  8. Aw, how cute! I can't believe you still have your old stories--and that typewriter! ahhh! I remember some of my old stories, but I don't think I have them still...yet I don't remember throwing them out.... One day I'll pull them out and share them with my son. And he'll laugh at me. A lot. ;-)

  9. I remember my sisters wrapping together their books they wrote with yarn. Great you still have it. And maybe that ol' typewriter will be worth money someday as an antique.

    Stephen Tremp
    IWSG Co-Host August 2016

  10. Oh, I LOVE your play manuscript!!! I remember doing that--making a little book and tying it together with yarn. I don't have any of my own but I have one my mother made when she was a girl.

  11. What a sweet post! And I adored the typewriter. How quickly we forget the old technology that was only a few years in the past.

  12. That makes two of us. On the collection of many works, I mean. :-)

    Anna from elements of emaginette

  13. How cool that you wrote plays. I would've loved to do that when I was a kid. :)

  14. Far more results than I. Congratulations.

    My first story at eight was also a romance but about a perch and a bullfrog.

  15. I hope you aren't getting rid of the typewriter! And very cool on finding the stories and stuff.

  16. Your memory flare-up had me smiling . . . such a sure sign of a writer. The A to Z short story collection sounds like an ambitious project. Congrats on your successful publication.

  17. Writing on a manual typewriter made me feel like a real writer!Too funny about using your friends' names in your teen romance!


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