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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

#IWSG: Insecurities



It's the first Wednesday of the month and that means it's Insecure Writers Support Group time. IWSG is the brainchild of Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh Thanks, Alex, for starting this group and keeping it going. And thanks to this month's awesome hosts Charity Bradford, S.A. Larsen, AJ, Tamara Narayan, Allison Gammons, and Tanya Miranda!

I wish I had advice to give those struggling with insecurities. We all have them. It’s part of our makeup as writers. To be a good writer, we have to be sensitive. Not just feel emotions, we have to be able to write so well that we elicit emotions in our readers.
That’s a tough job.

So being sensitive people, we are easily hurt when someone says our “baby is ugly”—aka, rejection. Not just formal rejections from an editor or agent, but by critique partners when they point out what isn’t working in the story. Or a family member who thinks we just sit around all day and drink coffee. (Okay, we do a lot of that, too.) Nobody but another writer knows how hard it is to put words on a page (or screen) in a cohesive way that forms a story. When we don’t receive positive support, we hurt.

We read how we need to toughen up, develop a thick skin. Yeah, right. We throw our heart and soul into our work, an editor loves it enough to give it life, and a reviewer thinks it stinks. Ouch. How do we deal with that? Not read reviews? Then we might miss those 5-star reviews that make our day and give us that proverbial pat on the back we need.

Working in solitude, we often feel alone. In online writer groups like this or groups that meet in person, our peers bolster us and help us deal with insecurity. Hurray for the Insecure Writers Support Group where we can let our insecurities hang out and know that someone (many someones) will offer words of comfort and encouragement.

As a reminder, here's the purpose of IWSG: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Happy Writing and don't let insecurity get you down.

Click here to find others on the Insecure Writers Support Group Blog Hop. Or go to IWSG on Facebook to see who’s blogging today.

58 comments:

  1. It helps when we know we're not alone. I have so many supportive blogger friends who delight me and keep me going. This once a month foray of IWSG is invaluable. :-)

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  2. Yes, we do need to know that we're not adrift alone in the sea of writing and publishing.

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  3. Agreed, and the IWSG has helped me so much with practical advice as well as simple support and empathy. Because both are equally important.

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    1. You're right, Angeline. Sometimes all we need is someone who says "I've been there."

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  4. Great post! Thank you Diane! It sure does help having this group. :-) Have an awesome day!

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    1. Thanks, Tracy Jo. Hope you have an awesome day, too.

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  5. Goodness do I hear you! Rejection sucks. We do have to pass through it though if we plan to succeed in this industry. How else would we grow and strive to be better?

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    1. Right on, Crystal. I've learned more from rejections & critiques than any book or article on writing.

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  6. Yes! Sometimes our insecurity is the reason the words don't come. What if they're bad? Great post, Diane.

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    1. Thanks, Patty. I keep thinking about Nora Roberts' quote "I can't edit a blank page." Isn't that the truth?

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  7. Hear, hear! We are in a very tough field. To survive with our emotional skin in tact< I think it helps to develop really good stress coping skills. Rejection (or even acceptance) can be major stressors and if we make sure to take time for us, to build our inner strength we can cope and move on :).

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  8. There are moments like the one I'm living right now that let the heart soar. Those moments sure soften the tough ones.

    Here's my link if you'd like to drop by :-)

    Anna from Elements of Writing

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  9. It is tough to get criticism from anyone, but especially family. But then again, tough reviews just make me want to work harder on the next piece.

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    1. People, esp. family, want to spare our feelings. What I want is thoughtful suggestions on making my work better.

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  10. Love this! Support is great. It is hard to face the kinds of rejection and critique we must if we want to grow, but then you see the growth and you know it's worth it. Doesn't end all insecurity, but it certainly gives you more confidence in the process.

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    1. Tricia, you said it so well. If we don't grow, we stagnate.

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  11. I have no physical 'writerly' support.
    The online support definitely keeps me going!

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    1. Michelle, I have the most wonderful writing group. We're a local chapter of Romance Writers of America. Because we're from all over Michigan, sometimes our meetings take up an entire Saturday (if you include the driving). It's so worth it to find a supportive group. Online groups like IWSG really help.

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  12. I love being a part of IWSG! Receiving all the support and encouragement is wonderful, and I always hope I give at least some of that back to others. :)

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    1. Sometimes we give and other times we need. This group is great for atta-girls/boys and empathy. We need both.

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  13. I love that "tells us our baby is ugly" line. Made me smile.

    And I agree, writing groups are invaluable. Sometimes you just need to be with someone who gets you.

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  14. You've described it perfectly. I was just thinking about it on my walk this morning. I want people to tell me what to do to improve, but I want to hear it delivered in the nicest way possible.
    Play off the Page

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    1. Tact is so important. I, too, want to know what my work needs, but I don't need to be bludgeoned with it.

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  15. After a while, I do feel that we get thicker skin but...rejection will always hurt no matter what. I think we just handle it a little easier or know how to get past the hurt faster than when we first started out.

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    1. So true, Chrys. We have to remember it's one person's opinion.

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  16. IWSG is always helpful to me when I'm feeling insecure. Just knowing others out there are facing the same thing and offering encouraging words really motivates me.

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    1. It's a great feeling that we are not alone.

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  17. I SO appreciate IWSG! It's been a big help. Nice to "meet" you in the blogosphere!

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    1. Thanks, Nadine. Love your blog. It's great to meet you, too.

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  18. IWSG has been the inspiration I needed to realize I'm not alone. I appreciate it, along with the opportunity to connect with other authors & soak up all the great advice!

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    1. I'm so glad my friend Nancy Gideon (IWSG #98) suggested I check this group out. I haven't regretted joining. Love connecting with writers who don't write in my genres. Wouldn't have found them without IWSG.

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  19. Hi Diane! It's a lot easier to say we need that thick skin than it is to develop it. Goodness knows I've shed enough tears (and hidden even more heartbreak) over harsh words. Here's the good news: It is possible to grow that skin. After years of stressing over all the things you mentioned, I've finally reached the point where I can take it. The subjective nature of reviews and rejection finally makes sense. I understand it for what it is--finding the right audience.

    Here's hoping we can all reach this point and stay there. Yeah, understanding doesn't always keep the insecurity away.

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    1. You bet it's easier to say than develop that thick skin. We just try.

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  20. It definitely does help to know that we aren't alone. It helps me a great deal to know that I"m not the only one whose work has been rejected before it finds a home with the right place.

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    1. Hitting the desk of the right editor or agent at the right time isn't luck. You do your homework (research) and take advantage of opportunities.

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  21. This group is wonderful. We all have times when we are feeling low and this group never fails to lend support.

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  22. It's the five reviewers who loved it that trump that one that didn't. I do read my reviews because I would miss the good ones and I learn from the bad ones.

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  23. Developing that thick skin is hard work. I'm getting better at it, but no matter how good I get, I know poor reviews and critiques will still hurt. It's great to have this wonderful support group to keep us thinking positively!

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    1. Hard work, indeed, Lori. Thanks for stopping by.

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  24. This is so true. I will probably never develop a thick skin but I can learn to handle the negative stuff in better ways.

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    1. Maybe you could write a post on how to handle negativity, Karen. I'd read it.

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  25. I love all the different perspectives I've read today on reviews through IWSG. I'm working towards developing a thicker skin but after 15 years it remains the same, though I am developing indifference.

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    1. I try to shrug off negativity. It's hard.

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  26. Hi, Diane,

    SO true, we are SENSITIVE creatures, BUT that's what makes us special! As you had said, it is not easy putting words on "paper/screen."

    Sadly, rejections of ALL sorts are a part of life and we all need to deal with them the best way we can. Like Alex said, read reviews, you don't want to miss the good ones, BUT we can learn from the bad ones too... if they are constructive and not destructive.

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  27. I completely agree with this post! I often feel alone in my writing, because I have no writer friends IRL - that's why IWSG is a godsend for me, because it allows me to connect with other writers :)

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    1. We learn so much from each other. Great group!

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  28. Reviews can be helpful, or hurtful, or just brighten the day. Rejection is just another part of writing life. Thank goodness we all can encourage each other.

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    1. We are so lucky to have found this group.

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  29. thanks for the positive pep talk, we definitely can use other people in our same shoes to talk to! i'm so glad i'm part of the iwsg too!

    and you've been so kind supporting Pop Travel - I really appreciate it, Diane!!

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    1. You're welcome, Tara. Pop Travel introduced a fascinating concept. I'm always intrigued by stories out of the ordinary. Wishing you good luck with it and your new story.

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