#IWSG October 2016: When is your story ready, in case you missed it, & #book drive donations.


Created and hosted by the Ninja himself, Alex J. Cavanaugh, the Insecure Writers Support Group posts the 1st Wednesday of every month. Click the image to learn more or sign up.

Monthly Question: When do you know your story is ready?


The smarta$$ in me wants to ask the question, “ready for what?” When is your story ready for sharing, ready for editing, ready for publishing? Who knows… I guess, for me, this question is asking when is your story ready to be shared with others, whether on a blog, in a message to a select few, or with an editor in preparation for publication.

This is a tough one. I don’t always know in the same way for each story. Sometimes the story is ready only after it’s been self-edited enough. Sometimes it’s ready when the story feels complete and satisfying in a way that I no longer feel I need to add to or improve. Sometimes the story is ready when I’m tired of working on it. It really depends on the story and where I am emotionally.

And now on to the updates and in case you missed it.

This blog has been through so many changes over the years and I’m not in a place where I want it to change again, but it may have to. Some of the blog hops I participate in are either ending or changing and I’m feeling anxious. My movie review hop is ending, but I’m still going to try to review one movie a month. I feel like the love of cinema is an important part of me and my creative process that I should share with anyone who might want to know something about me from reading this blog. Also, the Question of the Month and Flashback Friday host has decided to walk away from those hops for good and personal reasons. I’ll miss him and am curious to see what direction these hops will take now that he’s seeking replacements. I threw my name in the hat, but I’d be happy with whoever he chooses. I just want these hops to continue. I really enjoy them.

So…now… let me choose my words wisely. Amazon(dot)com and I had a bit of a tiff recently. I’m seriously considering publishing my email correspondence with them as a free PDF download on this blog for anyone who’d like to read them. They are shocking, sad, and terrifying all at once. If you want to know the summary of our tiff, check out the article I wrote about it last week, by clicking the image below.


I mentioned it before and here’s the results. I’ve updated all my books and am ready to release my children’s books on my birthday. If you have a moment, please enjoy my unboxing video.

And last but not least, I’m trying a wacky campaign that may not go anywhere, but since I’ve only shared it with family and friends so far (I don’t count Twitter), I won’t feel too bad if no one supports it. I’m used to my family and friends ignoring anything involving my writing, excluding my mom and a handful of others who are my biggest supporters. Again, if you have the time, I’d love for you to check out my campaign video.

Don’t say it enough; thanks bunches for visiting this blog and reading my babble.


When is your story ready?
Do you handle unwanted change well?
Ever had a tiff with Amazon? Should I publish my emails?
Any thoughts on my new children’s books?


After hanging out with Alex, be sure to stop by and visit this month’s co-hosts:
Beverly Stowe McClure,
Megan Morgan,
Viola Fury,
Madeline Mora-Summonte,
Angela Wooldridge, and
Susan Gourley!


Click here to visit other IWSG blogs and sites to receive and share more inspiration and support. (This month, I’m #71).

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

Published by

Toi Thomas

I like reading, writing, cooking, dancing, movies, and music. I'm a big kid and choose to see the world in my own special way. Yes, I'm educated, but I haven't let that stop me from being who I want to be. I'm a wife, teacher, author, blogger, and more.

12 thoughts on “#IWSG October 2016: When is your story ready, in case you missed it, & #book drive donations.”

  1. Toi,
    I looked at your video. One question. Have you thought of presenting to your school system and surrounding region school systems. Maybe they would be interested in financing your idea. If you are planning to do it so that it comes out in a big way, you will have lots of work to do once the idea catches on.
    So the school systems are maybe very interested.
    Shalom aleichem,

    1. Thanks for the suggestion. I’m working to connect with school systems down the road for speaking engagements, but so far, my home school doesn’t even like the fact that I write. I’m not a certified teacher, so they really don’t care what I’m doing. With that in consideration, going to the school system at large seems too intimidating. I’d probably have better luck going to a neighboring school system. Who knows? Maybe I’m wrong and someone around here is actually interested in what I’m doing.

  2. I had no idea Amazon cared that much about titles and classifications. I do kinda understand wanting to change the “Companion” title because that usually accompanies a fiction work with more background information, side stories, etc. It may be presented in an academic manner, but it’s still fiction. You have definitely piqued my curiosity on their reasoning, though.

    I had an issue a few months ago where Amazon deleted several of my reviews. I had heard plenty of stories about this happening to other authors, but I complained to Amazon anyway. Amazingly, the reviews showed up again a few days later – I have no idea if it was a just a glitch or if my complaint actually got through to someone, but I’m certainly not going to complain or dig too deeply.

    Good luck with all your upcoming changes to your blog!

    IWSG October

    1. I’m not planning on quizzing and grading anyone on the content of my books, so the label study guide seems a bit offputting. I’m confused about your point on the use of “companion” in the title. What you’ve described is exactly what I’ve written. Seems to me, all the timelines, character descriptions, and side stories I wrote would be good “companion” material, especially since it’s not presented in an academic form. The only reason I consider it nonfiction is because I first wrote it as blog content and spoke directly to my audience explaining my process along with the other content. I think Amazon made a bad call. They have no idea what I’ve actually written and just assume it’s something that it’s not. But thanks for offering your thoughts. I may just be a bit stubborn on this one.

  3. Hi Toi, Nice to ‘meet’ you & thanks for visiting my blog 🙂
    as far as blogging decisions go, if you’re passionate about it you should definitely continue. Blogs tend to morph a bit over time anyway, so go with what feels right to you.
    All the best, Angela

    1. Thanks for the encouragement. I will do my best to keep it up, but I’d prefer to do it within a group or hop. It’s like a support system.

  4. I liked the “ready for what” answer. It’s true because “ready” can mean a lot of different things to different people.

    So cool to see that box of books that you received. Exciting!

    Good luck with whatever you do on the blog. I’ve been doing a lot of rethinking about my blog as well.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

  5. Thanks for the encouragement. Sometimes I think maintaining a blog is harder than writing, but it’s just as much as part of me as writing.

  6. I think when it pertains to any creative field you never know until you know. For me especially when I’m painting it is an instinctual thing. I just know that the journey is complete but there are no markers or guidelines that I follow to get there.

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