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Wednesday, October 7, 2015

#IWSG: Roller Coaster Ride


It's that time again. The first Wednesday of October. The Insecure Writers Support Group meets once a month online where writers share and encourage each other. 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 TB Markinson, Tamara Narayan, Shannon Lawrence, Stephanie Faris, and Eva E. Solar.

This is a crazy business we’re in. It has more ups and downs than an amusement park ride. One minute we’re flying high from a good review, a terrific critique, validation from a beta reader, a new contract/release. Then we get the reverse and we’re in the dumps.

How do we keep a level head? That is probably the $64,000 question. Not only is it difficult to deal with a bad review or critique, we can’t just bask in our success. Sure, we can celebrate a new contract and/or release. For a day or two. Same with that pity party. No dwelling on failure.

Wait. There’s no such thing as failure. Each disappointment is a learning experience. Not sure about you, but there are days when I’ve had enough learning.

We are such perverse characters. Usually, we deal well with success. We don’t let ourselves get swollen egos—not publicly, anyway. When we announce our accomplishments, we share rather than boast. But hit us with any form of rejection and we’re devastated, paralyzed. We think we’ll never be good enough.

The only solution to success and “learning experiences” is Nora Roberts’ advice BICHOK: butt in chair, hands on keyboard. An injection of confidence helps, too.

So the next time you’re on that roller coaster ride, remember why you got into this business and get back to the writing.


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.

60 comments:

  1. Awesome reminder. When I hit one of those moments, I go back and read reviews from people who loved my works. Finding that audience, people who really connect with your writing, that totally makes it worth the journey.

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    1. Crystal, you are so right. It is worth it.

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  2. Great post! A screenwriter friend of mine once said, "You can't fail, you can only quit." I try to keep reminding myself that each step of this journey is what makes up the next step (sometimes it's harder than others and if the Universe wants to send down some awesome goodness I promise not to get a swelled head! ;)).

    Happy IWSG day!

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    1. Love the quote, Marie. Very true.

      Happy IWSG Day to you, too.

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  3. Yes: BICHOK. It is a roller coaster, but it's what we love. And it's much better than my jobs that I hated.

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    1. Too true, TBM. Writing is better than jobs I've loved, to.

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  4. Definitely a roller coaster ride. I recently got rated a one, twice by two separate readers in goodreads. It was definitely a downer, but we keep on going, don't we?

    Connie

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    1. Oh, Connie, condolences on the 1s. Yep, we keep going.

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  5. So true!
    "There are day's where I've had enough learning." LOL Love it. I agree with all of this, I also try to tell myself that without the lows we wouldn't truly appreciate the highs . . . and come on, maybe it's stopping us from becoming arrogant pompous writers. Or something. lol

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    1. Loved that: "lows stopping us from becoming arrogant pompous writers." All right, already. Stop with the lows. I'm not arrogant or pompous. I hope.

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  6. Nice. Get back to it, might be my mantra for the next while. I've hit a dip or bump in the road.

    Anna from Elements of Writing

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    1. Go for it, Anna. Maybe we can smooth out that road ahead. Where's a construction crew when you want one???

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  7. But in chair, hands on keyboard, and turn every electronic device into silent mode. It hard enough to wade past the muddy waters of self doubt and pity, no need to add to the muck.

    And, just write. Keep writing. Write about eveeything. It's like cliff diving. You may live and you may die, but if you're going to take a dive off a steep cliff, it might as well be going to be at full speed with the intention of making a huge splash. :-)

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  8. I read one of the writer who sparked the idea that I wanted to write. Reading a few favorite passages always helps me start writing again. I remind myself that if I quit, I will be always haunted by what might have been. Great post. :-)

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    1. Horrible words "what might have been." I'm so grateful to my family and friends for all their support so that I could go after my dream. Groups like IWSG and my RWA chapter keep me going.

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  9. Its definitely a roller coaster ride and each disappointment is a learning experience. What we must do is keep writing :)

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  10. You can't fail, only quit. Love that. It's not disappointment, it's learning. Some great advice/support here. Thanks, Diane, you ALWAYS seem to provide the right words of wisdom when I need them most.

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    1. Wow. Thanks, Margo. I was trying to pick myself up.

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  11. Go with the flow. The only certainty is that things will change. But what a ride!

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    1. It is indeed, Nancy. Despite all the "learning experiences" I'd rather do this than anything else.

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  12. It is hard to remember those highs when you are stuck in a low...but you are right... the next high is just around the corner. Keep your head down and write!

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    1. You are so right, Melissa. Thanks for the encouragement.

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  13. Great advice! I think as authors we have to learn to move like the characters in The Matrix: dodge the bullets, catch the good stuff, bend, twist, jump!

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    1. Ooh, a Matrix lover. I just caught the middle of Reloaded with Trinity on the bike dodging cars and bullets. You got it, Megan. Jumping is scary but what a thrill.

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  14. Hi,
    Beautifully said. The only way to overcome is to keep going. Don't quit.
    Shalom,
    Patricia

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  15. Yahoo! Back to writing - oh yeah! My next story is waiting for me. Our next stories are waiting for us.

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  16. Yep, writing is the cure. Years ago I was in a ladies' room at a conference washing my hands when someone walked in and said, "Oh, you're here. I'll have you sign my book." I had no idea how this person knew who I was (early days of Internet and no Facebook), and it creeped me out a bit. That's when I figured out it was good not to buy into any press, good or bad...just keep focusing on the work.

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    1. A stalker? Or a real fan? Hard to know. Focusing on the work is great advice.

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  17. Love that Nora Roberts thing. Never heard that before.

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    1. LOL, Karen. I'd seen the initials for a quite a while before reading what it stood for.

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  18. Because of the roller coaster feeling I stopped reading my reviews––good and bad. I just got too shook up by them. Not saying I couldn't handle them, but they would derail my productivity, so I decided to leave them to the readers.

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    1. Good idea, Patricia. Anything that stops writing should be avoided.

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  19. "Not sure about you, but there are days when I’ve had enough learning." That just may be my favorite thing that anyone has ever said!

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    1. Thanks, A.J. Funny how things hit you when you're writing a post at the last minute. LOL

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  20. I think we should all put our heads together and come up with a solution to fighting that 'pain', Diane. One thing I've tried is to pick one of my many characters and hammer out on the keyboard how that character would deal with rejection. Sometimes its a wise approach and other times it borders on a Quentin Tarantino style. But it is a great release and sometimes the actual writing is very cool :) Wishing you a lot of fun this week. Thank you for the post. It is comforting to know there are so many of us that suffer the same anguish at times. But we are a tough species! :)

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    1. Nicola, I love your solution to rejection with your character. I'm going to try that. Yep, we are a tough species.

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  21. Such good sentiments. I'm always telling myself that failures aren't failures if you learn from them. But I have to keep reminding myself of that. Cake helps too!

    Visit my blog at www.angelinetrevena.co.uk/blog/

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  22. Sometimes it helps to go back to a good review or a fan email or a well-written scene to remind us of the positive.

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    1. You're right, Diane. What got me past my latest "learning experience" was an email from a writer I respect who gushed about how great my book was. What a pick-me-up! You can bet I'll reread that one.

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  23. Too right! Words don't write themselves. I guess I "need" the roller coaster, or I'd have quit a loooong time ago...

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    1. We are such perverse people, aren't we? We worry when thing are going "too" well and worry when they aren't.

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  24. A rollercoaster ride is such a good description for a writer's life. Thanks for the reminder to Keep calm and get the butt back in that chair!

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    1. Getting my butt back in the chair is what I need to do. Thanks for stopping by, Lori.

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  25. Were you reading my mind? Because this is exactly what I've been dealing with and just what I needed to read. Thanks, Diane!

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    1. Of course, I read minds, Chrys. Read Margo's comment above. :-) Glad I could help.

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  26. Truth was spoken here today! Truth!
    Yeah, we are all in the same leaky boat.
    :)
    TY
    Heather

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    1. Leaky boat is right, Heather. We're paddling and bailing. Ah, land ho!

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  27. I once heard a group of writers call Nora Roberts a "workaholic." She was supposedly at some writers' conference and everyone was sitting around the pool, talking and hanging out. She was in the corner by the pool, typing furiously on her laptop. At the time, I thought, "I think I'M a workaholic then" because when I wasn't at my day job, I was writing! I still don't see how it can be a bad thing if it's something you love doing.

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    1. I think that's a good description of Nora. That's the reason she's so prolific. She is also one of the nicest ladies I know. .

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  28. Great advice! I feel like I've had to much "learning experience" sometimes, too. :)

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  29. Wonderful and timely advice. I was on a high from placing a short story, and then bam, three rejections in about a week's time. I need to get those stories right back out there.

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    1. Sorry about the rejections, Shannon. That's a bummer.. Congrats on placing a short story. Yep, get those stories right back out. Good luck!

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  30. Hi, Diane,

    You are so right. We do get devastated with rejections... and we do need to GET OUR BUTTS back in the chair and write... Thankfully we have our wonderful community to share our ups and downs... a very calming presence in our lives....

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    1. You nailed it, Michael. I am so grateful for this supportive group.

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