Renee Writes

#ISWG: New Motivation

For those who don’t know, the Insecure Writers Support Group is open to all writers to share their fears, doubts, and concerns, as well as your triumphs. So if you have something to share, visit the link at the end of this post!


I’ve been really struggling with my writing recently. As per normal, it’s because of brain fog issues related to Hashimoto’s Disease. It can be extremely frustrating, especially when I’m aching to write, but my brain is so muddled I cant focus.

But I’m always looking for ways around it, and every once in a while the universe comes through for me.

The other day, I got an email from the ProWritingAid crew. For those who don’t know, ProWritingAid is a really good editing tool. I use it regularly (along with a few others). They’re definitely worth checking out if you need help with checking grammar and other issues in your stories.

Anyway, one of the things they had in the email was a competition. They teamed up with BeemGee for the Plot of Gold competition. For 30 days you get a free premium BeemGee membership, and you have those 30 days to create an outline for a new novel. They send 10 emails over the 30 days with tasks you have to complete. The top winner gets a lifetime premium membership to both BeemGee and ProWritingAid, which would be absolutely perfect for me.

But here’s how it’s motivated me to get out of this slump I’ve been in! 

I’ve been working on trying to plan out my new novel series as well as the new serial, and well, when your brain doesn’t want to work, it’s really difficult to focus. The creativity side of things is still there, but I just can’t stay focused long enough to get what’s in my head onto the screen.  It’s also hard to stay focused on any one thing when you’ve got tons of things going on in there.

BeemGee is a browser-based story development tool. The thing that works great for me is it starts with the characters, and all of my stories are built from the characters up. So far I’m still on the first task, which is getting all your characters in there, but they make it so easy. I just have to answer each question… and there are dozens, as well as tutorials for each question to help you answer it. It goes deeper than the general questions you see on character sheets too.

But it also helps you build the plot and everything else involved in planning the story up to and including the outline. Each task in the competition is set to help you work through using their tool so that you get a finished outline in about 30 days. I’m actually going to plan out both stories I’m working on this way, so for the following few months, I only have to focus on writing.

Now that I have something that helps me to stay focused on the little tasks, I can finally get some headway on the big task. Maybe I’ll even be able to take part in NaNoWriMo this year. That’s always the hardest part of planning a story for me is staying focused. If you’re a story plotter, what is your biggest obstacle to getting your stories planned out? CC

Co-hosts for the October 4 posting of the IWSG are Olga Godim, Chemist Ken, Jennifer Hawes, and Tamara Narayan!

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  1. 7 October, 2017    

    Hi Renee!
    Sorry that you’ve been struggling with your writing.
    I ‘m sure the ProWritingAid will help keep you on track. It sounds really nifty.
    Hang in there! 🙂

    Writer In Transit

    • 9 October, 2017    

      Thanks! Not too long ago I was pumping out anywhere from 5k to 10k words a day. I miss those days. Hopefully if I get my health under control again, I’ll get back there again. 😀

  2. 7 October, 2017    

    Sounds like an awesome prize! I hadn’t heard of BeemGee but it looks interesting. I may have to check that out…

    IWSG October

    • 9 October, 2017    

      I hadn’t heard of it before I got the email from ProWritingAid either. I could be wrong, but they could be very new. They seem to still be adding new stuff and some of the pages are still under construction, so this contest might be a launch boost for them. It’s been so helpful so far though. I do highly recommend it. Take care!

  3. Angela Wooldridge Angela Wooldridge
    6 October, 2017    

    Hi Renee, That sounds like a really useful process, it’ll be interesting to hear how it works out

    • 9 October, 2017    

      I’m trying to post more about my writing process and progress, especially when something works really well for me. Of course, what works for me won’t work for everyone, but you never know until you try. Thanks for stopping by! 😀

  4. 5 October, 2017    

    Sounds like a great package and prize opportunity. I hope it helps you to become productive. I have to say, I have never plotted a novel completely before starting writing, but never say never…

    • 9 October, 2017    

      I have to plan my novels or I go off on tangents. The joys of “Ooo shiny” syndrome. 😀

  5. mlouisebarbourfundyblue mlouisebarbourfundyblue
    5 October, 2017    

    Hi, Renee! I’m sorry that you are contending with Hashimoto’s Disease. Thyroid issues run in my family, but fortunately I’ve avoided them. I appreciated the information on ProWritingAid. I’m traveling right now, so I’ll check it out when I get home shortly. I’m glad that you’ve found a great motivation tool. With all the groundwork you’ll be doing for Plot of Gold, you’ll be good to go with NaNoWriMo. Good luck!

    • 9 October, 2017    

      Thanks so much! I hope so. I haven’t been able to participate in the last couple of years because I’ve had so much going on. I didn’t have the time to prepare and I’m definitely not a pantser.:-D

  6. 5 October, 2017    

    What an interesting process. I will have to check it out. I recently found StoryShop created by Sean Platt, Johnny Truant and Dave Wright from Sterling and Stone. I find it inspiring in the planning too. Great post. Juneta @ Writer’s Gambit

    • 5 October, 2017    

      I’ll have to check that one out too. I just love how BeemGee uses the same basic story building process that I do…they just organize it better. Makes it easy to adopt. I’d really love to find an app that allows you to easily build a timeline. I’m not sure what it’s like with this one yet since I’m only up to writing the plot points.

  7. 5 October, 2017    

    Sorry for your health-related problem. Sometimes, I have trouble focusing too, but in my case, it is probably old age. No medication for that darn malady.

    • 5 October, 2017    

      Hi Olga. Thanks for visiting! A lot of people try to tell me it’s because I’m getting older, but I refuse to believe that. 😀

  8. Lee Lee
    5 October, 2017    

    My biggest obstacle to getting my story planned out is that the characters just up and decide they want to go in a different direction than I plotted. I’m starting to see some wisdom in the pantsters way of writing.

    • 5 October, 2017    

      I do that too. That’s why I start the story with the characters because they essentially write the story for me. If they’re writing the story even throughout the planning stages, it’s a lot easier to stick to the plan. BeemGee seems to focus on building the story up using the characters as a roadmap, which is perfect for me.

  9. 5 October, 2017    

    Sorry to hear about the HD, Renee. Life can be tough enough without help. I will check out BeemGee tool. I could really use the help. Have a great day.

    • 5 October, 2017    

      Thanks. I’m always looking for things to make writing easier for me to get around the issues I have. I think you’ll like it (if you’re a planner). It’s been great so far and I’m only on the second task. 😀

  10. 5 October, 2017    

    There are times when I have to be motivated. I will check out the ProWriting. Looks awesome.

    • 5 October, 2017    

      Yeah, it’s really working out great so far. My brain still doesn’t want to focus, but it’s making it easier to get things done.

  11. Debbie Johansson Debbie Johansson
    4 October, 2017    

    Nice to meet you Renee! I haven’t heard of this writing tool before, so thanks for the information. I’m glad you found something to help keep you motivated. Best of luck with the the competition!

    • 5 October, 2017    

      Hi Debbie! Nice to meet you too and thanks! I think it’s fairly new. I didn’t hear of it until I got the email for the competition. It’s great so far though.

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