Insecure Writers Support Group – June 2013


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Apologies in advance that this post is quite long and isn’t really my normal whiney type of post for IWSG.

I remember the day that I wanted to write. My friend Jayne had been writing for a while, but needed some direction. I persuaded her to go to a class at our local adult education centre, and to offer support, I said I’d go with her. I didn’t have a clue what to expect, thought I could possibly bluff my way through the class. I didn’t even consider that we might get set homework which would mean I would actually have to write some fiction lol.

That very first class was a complete turning point in my life. The tutor started by recommending that we keep a “writers notebook” to jot down ideas for stories, observations we’d made, snippets of overheard conversations blah blah blah. I’d been journaling for a few years. Filling notebook after notebook (most of which I still have) with snippets of my life, descriptions of events and daily musings, so that recommendation sounded like fun!

When I got home I went to my stash (I didn’t need to buy one, come on!) and started to scribble down ideas, collect info, take photos and write down the thoughts that had been fluttering around my head for years.

It was like a lightbulb moment! And within a couple of weeks I’d half filled that book (I still have it…it’s notebook No1…I’m on notebook No39 now lol) and had written 2 short stories. Sitting here now, I remember the excitement I had. I remember how eager I was to learn, to soak up every single piece of information I could, to help me become a “writer” :)

Unfortunately I didn’t finish the course (it was on a Tuesday afternoon, and both me and Jayne found it more and more difficult to get there). So Philip Kane if you’re reading this…THANK YOU!

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So here I am, 2 years and 7 months later and I’ve finally realised…it’s not a race. I’ve been putting too much pressure on myself. Those of you reading this who know me in real life will know that I throw myself into things 110% if I’m passionate about it. I’m like a sports car (I don’t look as good, obviously) trying to go 0-60 in 0.4 seconds. I need to slow down, get that excitement back, and I’m forming strategies to help me with that (like the 2 week break I’ve just had which worked really well and I won’t hesitate to do again when I’m feeling worn/burnt out).

This month I will be focussing on “fun” writing and trying to recapture the innocence I had back in 2010 before I knew all about publishing, agents, Kindle and the shit prospects I face as an aspiring “author” with a very slim chance of ever publishing a novel.

So I guess I’m not insecure as such this month, but I’m definitely re-evaluating. In the writing community I am a mere toddler, and you know what they say about your childhood? They’re supposed to be the best days of your life :)

Incidentally: The first piece of homework I had to submit for the writing class? Mr Kane liked it and actually asked if he could put it on a web site :)

I think I’ll always feel insecure about my writing, it comes with the territory, but, I think the key is not to stress. To take a moment to breath and just concentrate on being the best writer that you can. The rest will just fall into place at some stage and if it doesn’t, does that really matter? If my dream is to be published and then I achieve that, I’ll just have to come up with a new dream ;)

So what are you feeling insecure about today?

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43 thoughts on “Insecure Writers Support Group – June 2013

  1. Great post! I have days when I feel insecure simply because I do not finish as much as I want these days. I like the quote on the picture of the poster. The idea we are toddlers in the world of writing should make it fun! ~ Becca

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    • Your writing is great CC, but, i know me telling you that isn’t gunna make a blind bit of difference….we need to believe in ourselves before we can believe other people ;)

      You’ll get there honey, I’m sure of it :)

      xx

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  2. It’s definitely not a race. Ease back. You’re in it for the long haul. Pace yourself. Enough jogging metaphors?
    Wouldn’t it be nice just to write ’cause you love it? I always try to keep that in mind. If it stops being fun or fulfilling on some level, I know I need to make some adjustments. Write from a place of passion, not necessity (internal or external). Words respond to love and attention :)
    Great validation though with your first assignment. Congrats :)

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  3. Oh, Vikki, I’m so glad you wrote this post, and you expressed what I’m feeling beautifully.
    Strangely, I get slammed a lot because I write for the love of writing, to the point that I’ve begun to feel insecure about that! I’m supposed to write for publication, I’m supposed to be upset by how long it takes to get to that point. I’m supposed to be mad that writers who aren’t all that good are published and perhaps I never will be published at all.
    But you want to know a secret? Deep down, I don’t really care. I just love to create stories. It makes me happy. :)
    I hope you can find this place too. It’s a great place to be. Recapture that innocence and you’re golden.
    (And your post isn’t too long at all–especially when you compare it to some of mine. ;) )

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    • Thanks Kirsten, so it hit a nerve ;)

      No no no, dont you DARE let anyone make you feel like that about your writing just because you do it for fun! :) Theres this huge divide between “hobbyists” and “working” writers and personally, i think thats wrong. SO WHAT if you do it for fun! People go fishing, build models, play chess, its no different :)

      Its so stereotypical isn’t it…you say you’re a writer, people want to know what you’ve published….GRRRRR!
      In my very humble opinion, there is a difference between being an “author” (who publishes books) and a “writer” who is ANYONE who enjoys “writing”….regardless of whether they’re published or not.

      Excellent, good for you honey for not caring, I’m with you there, or trying to be :)

      Thanks honey xx

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  4. Sometimes ignorance if bliss. I keep learning new “rules” about how to write. Then I read a book where the rule book is tossed out the window. Confusing as hell

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  5. I’ve learned so many rules lately I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed! The best advice I got from a conference is follow the rule unless you can break it well. I want to be that writer that breaks the rules well.

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  6. It’s so true about this feeling like a race! Sometimes I look around and see what everyone else has accomplished and wonder what I’ve done with my life. It cna be hard to calm down and enjoy the process. Thanks for sharing, that’s a an inspiring story.

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  7. A really great post! So many good points – and very wise! It is so easy to lose the joy of writing, especially when it becomes a job or a chore. We humans are so easily dissatisfied. We drive ourselves too hard and constantly strive – which can be a double edged sword. I just read a lovely post about writers and striving which you might enjoy (I thought of your post when I read it) The Link is here
    http://blog.nathanbransford.com/2011/02/writing-striving-and-great-gatsby.html
    I love your comment about childhood too!

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    • Thanks Jane :)

      I think i have to really decide if i actually want it as a job? It seems to me that the writers i know who it is a “job” for kind of fall out of love with writing…not sure i want that :(

      Ooooo, thank you honey…will check out that link!

      xx

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  8. Great post! And yes it’s definitely not a race, and I too need to remind myself of that and stop fussing and flustering. This summer I plan to do lots and lots of reading, with my emphasis on learning to read like a writer. Also to work on more writing prompts. And yes too to also re-discover that moment of pure joy when I realized that I too wanted to write. Ah those halcyon days! :0

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  9. Lovely post! *relate face* I’m still a writing toddler but I am finding it fun again, too. It’s best to for me to write what I want, what I enjoy. Life’s phases change all the time. Along come new aims, new dreams, new issues, different perspectives and priorities. There’s no race – only your life to live at your pace. I admire your attitude. Now I’m more focused on my own writing, I need to find the discipline to write lengthy blogposts like yours! ;-) [Ah, that goes for my comments, too - Ed.] Good on you, Vikki! *hugs* xx

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    • Thanks Tessa :)

      Oh totally…writing what you want, when you want! Unfortunately, if you end up with a publishing deal, it doesn’t work like that, well, unless you’re VERY successful ;)

      Good for you honey and good luck!

      xx

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  10. It is one the main reason I participate in the WriMo’s because it’s just about the writing and nothing else. The pure joy of it before you have to deal with the minutia of tasks necessary for you to actually get published. I wrote a post about a quote from John Vorhaus. “These days I can’t wait to write.” It’s on my wall to remind me.

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    • Thats very true Sydney, Nano is all about writing for the fun of it, and why i love it so much too :)

      Ha ha ha, thats a great quote! I might have to stick it on my wall too!

      Thanks honey xx

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  11. Gah! Typed a comment and then mis-typed my blog add and hit the wrong button to send by accident. Gawd knows where that ended up! What I was saying was… that this is a very sensible post. Burnout is horrible and if the pleasure goes out of writing, what’s the point? I used to feel I needed to race until I began to notice how ‘un-young’ so many writers are. It would be fantastic to ‘make it’ – but as you said, does it really matter? All we can do is plod on and try to enjoy what we’re doing in the knowledge that everything we write is probably better than the last thing we wrote!

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    • Ha ha ha, thats funny Linda :)

      Oh yes, there is nothing wrong with being published in our later years ;)

      Spot on Linda! Im a big believer in the more you write the better your writing will be!

      Thanks honey xx

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  12. Hi Vikki! I found you thanks to the IWSG list. This is a wonderful post. I LOVE that you said that “it’s not a race”. That is so true and I’m as guilty as anyone at thinking that I’m running out of time and need to get things done NOW. Ugh. Thank you for this post! Very enjoyable :)
    Nice to “meet” you!
    Jen

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    • Hi Jen and thanks for stopping by :)

      Awwww, thanks honey :)

      Whats that famous quote? About stopping to smell the roses? I need to do a lot more sniffing lol

      Now, slow down girl ;)

      xx

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  13. Hello Vikki! I certainly hope I didn’t post two comments but after I submitted the first one it vanished! If you get two, I apologize. I found you thanks to the IWSG list. I really loved this post and I especially love that you said that writing “is not a race”. I am as guilty as anyone at thinking that if I don’t do something NOW I’ll fall behind some imaginary deadline I feel that I must meet.
    Thank you for this encouraging post!
    Nice to “meet” you!
    Jen

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  14. I’m one for passionately throwing myself into things…trying to learn balance with that and the only reason I’m slowly getting there now is out of neccessity. Keeping the fun in writing is important too, so I look forward to seeing your ideas.

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  15. Pingback: Insecure at Thirty-four | The b9mind

  16. I agree, Vikki, it’s definitely not a race, but it’s hard to accept sometimes when you see your friends becoming published one by one. You’re happy for them, of course, but you want it for yourself too. It’s important to finding that balance. And, as you say, writing should be fun, not something you’re constantly whipping yourself over (except when you have a deadline :-) ). Best of luck!

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