Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Hangin' With The Cool Kids @ Insecure Writer's Support Group



I'm very late to a party filled with cool, smart people--Alex J. Cavanaugh's brain child, the Insecure Writer's Support Group. Why did I join?

  1. I'm a writer
  2. I'm insecure about being a writer
I've always written, even before I labeled myself a writer. And I was a writer long before I put myself "out there" for all to see my attempts, achievements, and failures. 

In my regular life, I'm not overly insecure. Sure, I have moments of insecurity, but who doesn't? No, the lingering insecurities are reserved nice and special for my writing life. Heck, I'm even insecure about joining IWSG late. How weird is that?

To introduce myself, here's a brief history of my professional writing journey:
  • Completed a writing course at the Institute of Children's Literature. Awesome and rewarding experience, by the way.
  • Ezine publications. *Polite applause*
  • Print magazine successes. *Hearty applause*
  • Wrote three novels. *I did it! I did it!*
  • Signed with my literary agent. *Choirs sing*
  • Submitted to editors. *This is it! This is it!*
And then...crickets.

Here's what I've learned: when there's too much time between successes, it's easy to forget about them and only focus on the string of bad news. Writing this post reminded me of the important learning stages that go hand in hand with a writer's journey. And it reminded me that there've been plenty of Yes moments mixed in with the No moments.

So thank you, IWSG, for helping me remember the peaks when I sometimes focus on the valleys. And thanks for the reminder that we can't have one without the other.

Do you sometimes forget your peaks, and focus on your valleys? Are you neurotically insecure about your writing?


46 comments:

  1. I'm insecure about my ability to transfer the ideas in my head down onto paper. But I don't think it qualifies as a neurotic insecurity because I'm pretty sure it's true.

    Welcome to the IWSG!

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    1. Ha! Love that! Yes, I share that same insecurity. Thanks for the warm welcome :)

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  2. "And it reminded me that there've been plenty of Yes moments mixed in with the No moments."

    And thanks for reminding me, Julie.

    Welcome to the club. :)

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    1. Thanks, Linda! Yes, sometimes those acceptances get forgotten, but I'm glad we can look back on them as we also look forward to more :)

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  3. "Writing this post reminded me of the important learning stages that go hand in hand with a writer's journey."

    Amen to that. I look back on my writing journey (a very bumpy one) and see how far I've come until I had the complete belief in myself and my stories to decide to go with indie publishing. I have grown so much over my years of writing and querying, waiting, and writing more. I wouldn't trade any of it.

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    1. Julie, all of it takes so much courage, right? Congratulations on going indie. SO many pluses to that path these days.

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  4. I am just beginning Julie, and have a lot to learn. I enjoyed reading about your own journey this morning and your a lot further along than I! sandysanderellasmusings

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    1. Sandy, I wish you lots and lots of luck as you begin your journey! Thanks for the visit :)

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  5. Thank you for sharing your journey!

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    1. Fida, thank YOU so much for the visit!

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  6. Welcome to the club! I haven't been here long either and this is a great bunch of folks to get to know. Glad you're here.

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    1. Elsie, thanks so much for the warm welcome. It's fun meeting new writers!

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  7. "when there's too much time between successes, it's easy to forget about them and only focus on the string of bad news."

    I'm writing that down! It is soooo true!

    Happy IWSG, Julie. It's a pleasure to know you.

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    1. Joylene, thanks so much for stopping by!

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  8. Welcome to IWSG!

    Learning is definitely a big part of growing and developing as a writer. Looking back, I see distinct things about my developing skills and corresponding limitations during the three main phases of my development as a serious writer over the last 21 years.

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    1. Carrie-Anne, I'm so impressed that you've been a serious writer for 21 years. Thanks so much for the visit.

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  9. Really good that you're looking at what you have accomplished. Brava to you. And my goodness you have. :)

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    1. Thanks, EW. I have to force myself to remember the successes, or they'll get lost in the rejections :/

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  10. Insecure is an understatement. Trust me, even after publication there are doubts like "Sales are in the toilet!" "I got a bad review?" "Will my publisher publish my next book?" "You mean I have to rewrite it again?" And my favorite..."So I've sold --- books and I'm still in the red with my publisher. In other words, I'm broke."

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    1. OMG, Laurisa, you made me smile. You reminded me of multi-published, awesome writers who still have insecurities.

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  11. I think you're making me depressed! NO just joking. You have great successes. If it were meant for everyone to have non-stop success throughout their careers, there'd be no room for the growth you're talking about. We learn from moments of doubt and trials to grow in trust, strength, skills and endurance.

    Congrats to you for your successes and those most amazing moments of growth!

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    1. Oh no! I don't want it to make you feel depressed! Focusing on successes, no matter how small, help me to stay in the game :)

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  12. My IWSG post is all about the peaks and valleys. Mine come at me like a rollercoaster. It's giving me whiplash. I do tend to focus on the negative more than the positive, but I let the positive buoy me through the harder times.

    Stay focused on those peaks and learn from the valleys. But keep going, no matter what you do.

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  13. Thank goodness the writing valleys are full of friends to give you a boost back to the peaks.

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    1. Amen to that, my friend. Thank YOU for that!

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  14. Welcome to the IWSG, Julie! You can't be too insecure for us.
    There's an ebb and flow to everything in life. We just have to hang on to those high moments to get through the low.

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    1. Thanks for the warm welcome, Alex. I'm already in love with this group of awesome people.

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  15. I tend to go from thinking, wow, this is it! This is the book that's going to get published and win accolades and make my parents proud! To thinking, omg this is such utter crap I don't even know why I bother writing a query letter for it.

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    1. I know EXACTLY how you feel! Heck, I'm feeling that way now after just reading through a first draft. Oy!

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  16. I haven't joined IWSG yet, so you shouldn't feel bad about joining late. I do want to join sometime :)

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    1. Trisha, join, join, join! We can be late joiners together :)

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  17. I think we all need support. And what better place to get the right kind of support for serious writers than the Insecure Writer's Support Group! I think it's time I joined. :-)

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    1. Elizabeth, join! Such kind people (as you can see from the nice comments)

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  18. Thanks for putting words to some of my thoughts. I can be so elated at what I perceive as a small victory in my writing endeavors, then feel completely down several weeks later if I'm not sensing some ongoing positive results. You are right; we need to remember the peaks as much as we tend to dwell in the valleys.

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    1. Soooo true! Why is that? I don't know, but it's definitely a reality. I hope you focus on each of your successes.

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  19. Silly me! I left a comment on the post before this one thinking it was your post for IWSG! I should have looked for the IWSG-symbol! This my first time that I am participating in IWSG and I am #304 on the list.

    You are right about the need to remember when we do well in order to get through the times when things seem to stand still.

    Best wishes,
    Anna
    AnnasAdornments for Insecure Writers March 6th

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    1. Anna, I'm so glad we're in the #IWSG together! Thanks for stopping by :)

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  20. I think we're all insecure about our writing from time to time. You're right, we need to celebrate the successes more. Great post!

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  21. Most people outside of the blogosphere don't know I want to be a writer, including most of the people in my "real life"; that's because I'm insecure about my writing and I'm shy about showing it to most people.

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  22. Nuts! My comment didn't post before... I said you're awesome. And that ALL writers are pretty much insecure.

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  23. I could be queen of that group! Right there with you, Julie. (you know...)Thanks for the reminder. I did forget about the successes...I mean completely blanked them until I read this. So needed this post, my friend. *hugs*

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  24. Happy International Women's Day, Julie1

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  25. I queried my book to a publisher in June of 2011, it was accepted in September of 2011. It is coming out sometime this summer, almost a full two years after I queried. Yeah, I hear the crickets. All the time.

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  26. Lovely list!! You've come a long way, and obviously your writing is good or you wouldn't have this list! :) Keep truckin' and writing!

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  27. You just hit on a very important truth of the writing life, one I haven't really thought about. Loads of time can be inserted between writing successes. I think you just guided me to one of my insecurities, why it's so hard at times to keep on keeping on writing...

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