Wednesday, 5 July 2017

IWSG July 2017

Time for our monthly installment of the Insecure Writer's Support Group, which allows us writers a place to vent our worries and doubts, with the addition of an optional question. Hosted as ever by Ninja Cap'n Alex J. Cavanaugh, today's co-hosts are Tamara NarayanPat HattPatricia LynneJuneta Key and Doreen McGettigan!


Today's optional question: What is one valuable lesson you've learned since you started writing?

Hmm, this kind of plays into what I've been thinking about over the last couple of days, especially after reading this awesome post yesterday by Sarah Allen. I've got the usual insecurities that come along with releasing a book or any piece of writing into the world, and with my launch coming in September and sending copies out to people in the hopes of getting some positive feedback, it's at that stage where it all feels much more "real".

I'm not naturally very forthcoming, so all of this takes a big effort for me. Asking people to take time to read something I've read - there are all sorts of other ways that time could have been used, surely? Why should people be interested in anything I do? I've always felt like I've just "got away with it" - anything that goes down well must have been a fluke. But I need to stop feeling like that. I need to listen to and trust those who are giving an honest opinion, while benefitting from the insightful advice they offer.

Because deep down, what I've learned since I started writing is that I can achieve things if I stick at them long enough, and I should be proud of that. I put off writing a book for long enough because I didn't think I had the discipline. Now that I've done it, I need to back it up by taking ownership. I want to be a lot of good things - good husband, good father, good writer. I work at them all the time. If I can make a difference to how someone else feels, that's a great achievement - something real.

What lessons have you learned from writing?

You can check out other IWSG posts here. Meanwhile, there's lots going on with the group as it goes from strength to strength. Check out the exciting news below and get involved!

Submissions are open for the anthology The IWSG Guide to Writing for Profit. This will be a non-fiction book like our Guide to Publishing and Beyond.
Word limit: 500-1000 words.
Submission eligibility: All members of the IWSG Blog Hop, IWSG Facebook group and/or members of our IWSG Goodreads Book Club. It’s free to join any of these groups and a great benefit to be a part of these communities.
Deadline: July 31, 2017
MORE INFO HERE.


A reminder about the upcoming IWSG TWITTER PITCH PARTY IN 3 WEEKS' TIME!

Hashtag #IWSGPit
DATE: July 27, 2017, 8:00 am to 8:00 pm Eastern Time
All writers and authors are invited to participate in our very first Twitter Pitch. Create a Twitter-length pitch for your completed and polished manuscript and leave room for genre, age, and the hashtag. On July 27, Tweet your pitch. If your pitch receives a favourite/heart from a publisher/agent check their submission guidelines and send your requested query. MORE INFO HERE.

And finally we received fantastic news recently that the IWSG website placed 19th in the Writer's Digest Annual 101 Best Websites for Writers! This is a clear recognition that the group is making a difference to the lives and careers of writers, which is all down to its many wonderful contributors. 

38 comments:

Laura Clipson said...

I'm the same, I'm not naturally forthcoming at all, so I know once I get to the marketing stage it will be really difficult for me. You're right, though; if people say they've enjoyed their writing, trust their opinion and trust that you're a good writer.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Take ownership - that's a great way to put it, Nick.

JeffO said...

One of the things I've learned is that, if you want to get it done, you have to do it. That means writing when you'd rather be watching TV or sitting on the porch, watching fireflies, and squeezing in a half hour or hour when you're still bleary-eyed and waiting for the caffeine to jump start your system. Speaking of which, I gotta go!

Karen Walker said...

I, too, find it difficult to ask others to do something that impinges on their time and energy. But we must learn that it's ok to ask. Everyone has the right to say, "no." Most folks really do want to help others. Yeah for you, Nick, that you've accomplished what you set out to do. So happy for you.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Yes, it's hard to ask someone to help out and review or sometimes even to just critique what you're writing. That's awesome how you are owning it and working at your writing everyday. I think everyone gets nervous around release day.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I think the idea of "taking ownership" is spot on. So many of us downplay our talents, our successes. We need to stop doing that! :)

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Once you taste that achievement, then you realize you can do even more.

Jennifer Hawes said...

I used to think the same thing. Why would anyone put the time and effort into my novel and give me constructive criticism/feedback? Then I understood what a CP was and their value. And beta-readers, of course. When it's a two-way street, it doesn't seem so awful to ask for help.

Pat Hatt said...

If one wants it done, they sure have to just do it. Can't sit around and think forever. Way to be at your sea.

Loni Townsend said...

I struggle with the feeling that I'm bothering people when I try to get them to read my work. I'm such a busy person, what makes me think they have the time to spare for me? Sometimes, it's tough to get past it. Good job working your way through it.

Shah Wharton said...

I hate marketing and wish I could set out courageously and 'take ownership' successfully. Alas, I doubt I'll ever sell much as I am not a natural 'publisher'. I like writing but everything else is way out of my comfort zone. Probably whey I earn most of my living from ghostwriting! :)

Shah X
http://shahwharton.com

Chrys Fey said...

Sticking with something is the way to achieve a goal or dream. Writers can sometimes struggle to take ownership. I still don't like to say I'm a writer/author in public and to strangers. I'm working on that.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Yes, take ownership of your achievements! You are a great writer!

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Great insight into yourself. I work on being better at all my roles too. Mother, wife, sister, friend and writer.

Liz A. said...

Sounds like you've learned a good lesson. It's all a journey, isn't it?

cleemckenzie said...

Just do it is a great motto. Again. Again. Again. Each time improving and learning along the way.

Patricia Lynne said...

I feel weird asking people to read my stuff too. There must be better writers out there, right? It always floors me when someone says they like what I wrote. In fact, this past weekend, I had someone tell me they thought I was a good writer (and they weren't a friend or even an acquaintance. Just some stranger who bought my book.)

steviet3 said...

Yes, stick at writing Nick and you'll be amazed at what can be achieved. It might not be what you had originally intended, but the results will surprise you just the same.

The Cynical Sailor said...

Discipline + ownership sounds like the winning combination. Just received the ARC and am really looking forward to reading it. :-)

Mark Noce said...

It's not easy to share so much of our writing, which is very personal, with a larger audience. One of the paradoxes for being an author, I suppose.

Christine Rains said...

It isn't easy to share our babies with the world, but it's so important to get other eyes on our work. You're a fantastic writer. Keep on putting yourself out there!

Lynda R Young said...

Sticking with it is a great lesson to learn. The rewards are huge.

Gina Gao said...

This actually speaks to me because I used to be not forthcoming at all. Thanks for sharing!


www.ficklemillennial.com

Stephen Tremp said...

Nick, I could not agree more. Take ownership that's what's it's all about. Simple yet effective.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Nick - you've done such a lot ... apart from other things - it's getting over the next threshold and then being ready to move on with other work ... keep going and all the best = believe in yourself ... cheers Hilary

Cathy Keaton said...

It's so hard to have confidence in yourself as a writer. Definitely see where you're coming from there. I hope as we master the craft we gain more confidence. Perhaps more will come with time, like all the things we're aiming for.

Annalisa Crawford said...

A good lesson to learn. You've put in all the work, you should enjoy the positive feedback :-)

Deborah Drucker said...

It is an achievement to have written a book. I can relate to what you are saying about being insecure in putting your writing out there. I often feel very vulnerable especially with fiction writing, never know how it will be received. And there have been several times I have written a blog post and thought it was not so great and was surprised with positive feedback. This tells me it is hard for writers to judge their own stuff. And it does feel risky to put our creations out there.

Carrie-Anne said...

Some of the things I've learnt are how to write better, more natural-sounding dialogue; how to write third-person omniscient without that dated, obnoxious God-mode I grew up reading; and the art of creating original characters and storylines instead of forcing everyone to be a cipher or adhering to what you think you're supposed to write about (e.g., teenagers and preteens serving as more than cookie-cutter characters in "problem" novels).

Olga Godim said...

Believing in yourself is one of the hardest lessons for an introvert, and many writers I know fall into this category. Keep believing, Nick!

Joey Resciniti said...

That's the big fear there - to have wasted someone's time. I read a post recently about "imposter syndrome." I think I have that pretty bad. I can't even use the word "writer" to describe myself in real life. But if sticking with it is the hard part, I'm most of the way there.

Best of luck with your launch!

Nicki Elson said...

Asking for help is the hardest thing about publishing, I think. But people know they can say no so when they say YES it means they want to read your stuff, so you should feel great about what you've accomplished already.

Michelle Wallace said...

Stick with it. You're doing a great job, Nick!

Cynthia said...

Congratulations on your upcoming book launch, Nick.

I too can be reluctant to ask others for help. I think what's important is to ask the right people for help, people you know you can trust.

Crystal Collier said...

THAT stage... I'm not a huge fan of that stage, but you just have to hope you've done your best and your readers will love it. Because they will. =)

I think 90% of this business is about pressing forward with something, despite setbacks, discouragement, and failure. If we don't have the grit to make it through all of that, there's no way we'll be able to handle reviews and the periodically disappointing sales reports. Here's to sticking with it until it sticks to you!

Darla M Sands said...

You are braver than me, afraid to share my 'love children' with the world. On that note I'm pretty busy writing (hurray! The dry period lasted way too long) but am really enjoying the ARC you sent. It's such a nice way to wind down before I sleep (until I can't keep my eyes open any more!). Blessings to you and your endeavors.

Sherry Ellis said...

Ownership is a good lesson to learn. I've learned patience. It takes forever to get things "out there."

Neurotic Workaholic said...

One thing I've learned is that it's important not to let other people's criticism of writing get to you too much. I took a fiction writing in college and wrote some stories that weren't that great, but the criticism from my classmates was even worse. It was so discouraging that I stopped writing for a long time. But now, when I sit down to write, I put the negative words of people like that out of my mind; it's the only way I can keep going.