Insecure Writers Support Day – December


Bloody hell, where do I start!

Today is Insecure Writers Support Group Day, the brain child of Alex J Cavanaugh it’s where a whole lot of writers post about their insecurities, once a month, and get support from fellow participants. Seriously, I urge you to join! You will soon discover you are not alone πŸ™‚

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Ok, back to my post…..

If you’re a regular reader you’ll know that in 2010 (my first Nano) I ended up with a 65,000 word unfinished story entitled, But Not Forgotten. I did a spell check on it last year, and this year I’ve tinkered with it, a bit, only the first 10,000 words. I then decided a few months ago that But Not Forgotten wasn’t working and gave up on it (a previous IWSG post). But there has been something haunting me about it ever since. So I submitted the first 4,500 words of it for my critique in my Faber class (see the response here ) telling the tutor that I was unsure about it, couldn’t finish it and wanted to know whether I should.

Was that complete madness? Looking back now, probably. I’d considered it to be 2nd draft (after a spell check and slight tinkering) but, if Chris Baty is right and what you’re left with at the end of Nano is actually draft zero, then what I actually submitted was first draft lol.

The response, (you can see if you click the link above) wasn’t good and although I know, deep down in my heart, every single word they said and suggestion they made was true it’s still left me questioning whether I’m cut out for all this? Whether I can actually do it, be a writer I mean. When do you draw the line? When do you admit defeat and come to the conclusion that you will only ever be a writer as a hobbyist and that you’ll never have any commercial success? I’m not motivated by money, but, having given up an actual “job” to pursue my writing over 2 years ago I’m now feeling that perhaps that was a bad idea and that I should just go get a job?

But I got the answer I wanted, right? It’s crap, bin it! Lol

So now I have the daunting task of starting again. A new story with the same characters. A new POV and only part of the existing plot line. I don’t even know where to start! Lol. In June I have the opportunity to pitch to a room of agents and publishers….SHIT! It’s a great opportunity, and I don’t want to blow it, but will I ever have anything that’s good enough?

I’m hopefully starting on it again this week, but I said that last week! *takes deep breaths and reaches for the alcohol* I now understand why there are a lot of writers out there with drink problems lol πŸ˜‰

I hope everyone else is having a better month…..will pop over to as many as I can today πŸ™‚

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42 thoughts on “Insecure Writers Support Day – December

  1. I’d say carry on. You really want to do this and you’d regret it if you didn’t. I don’t know you that well, but I do know, you will do it.

    A new story with the same characters. A new POV and only part of the existing plot line — you said that and that’s what my nano was If you love your characters as I love mine, then do it. trust me, if you don’t they will haunt you forever πŸ˜€

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  2. Hi Vikki,
    Hey thanks for the ping over to Scenic Route! That was such a fun post for me to write– I was so happy to remember the good times when it came to my writing.

    On to your critique. It’s got to be tough to see how much reworking it might take to make the story into the one you imagined when your first sat down to write it, but hang in there! The first revision, they say, might be the hardest, because you’re learning everything from scratch. It might help to remember that with every mistake you make, you’re learning something new. You’ll learn your craft, not by reading about it in the abstract, but by applying it to your own work.
    I know you want this, so don’t let this setback make you question yourself. You say something about this story haunts you? Find out what that is! When you do, I think you’ll be glad you followed your heart.

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    • You’re welcome Kirsten πŸ™‚

      It’s been really daunting, but, I think I’ve been looking at it all wrong. The words re-write are very scary….so, I think, looking on it as a brand new project makes it more exciting πŸ™‚

      It’s the characters that haunt me, the fact that I created these people and I’ve left their lives up in the air for 2 years! Lol. I need to give them some kind of conclusion don’t I πŸ˜‰

      Thanks honey xx

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  3. The only way to do it is to carry on and you love doing it so there’s no choice in not carrying on, therefore, you will do it πŸ™‚ Logic see πŸ™‚ Not easy I know. I’ve spent two years with my first wip. It’s hard but I believe ultimately worth it.

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  4. I think that just because something has bad reviews and seems too much work to finish doesn’t mean you should give up. There’s always another idea just round the corner and you seem to have so many things on the go all of which will be better than something you wrote in 2010 because you have learned so much since then.

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  5. The one thing that stuck in my head when I went through a similar process with Can’t Live Without was this: All writing is re-writing. I can’t remember who said it, or where I read it, but there is a fundamental and important lesson to be absorbed in this. All writers have to re-write. All of them. First, second, third drafts, they all have to be worked on, refined, re-written. What you’re going through, Vikki, doesn’t mean you aren’t good enough to be a writer – it means you ARE a writer! And the re-writing of But Not Forgotten (or its successor) is the work. The trick is, I think, to remember this while you are writing your first drafts. Most of it will be rubbish, and that’s not only fine, it’s expected.

    Good luck with it, honey xxx πŸ™‚ Come June you’ll have something wonderful, I know it.

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    • Thanks Jo πŸ™‚

      I totally understand what you’re saying, but, the idea of re-writing is what has freaked me out. Re-writing 65,000 words? *gulp* πŸ˜‰

      So I’m not looking at it like that, I can’t…..I’m looking on it as a new project, something to get excited about, something to sink my teeth in πŸ™‚

      I know I will have to re-write at some stage in the future, but I think the thought of re-writing something I wrote 2 years ago has been freaking me out. Hopefully, in the future, re-writes will be of a current project so that won’t feel so daunting, does that make sense?

      Xx

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  6. There are already some wonderful comments here for you Vikki. I am just beginning to rewrite my ‘zero’ draft from NaNo and I am starting to get a taste of the effort needed to write the story I wanted to tell. It is extremely difficult but I know that every small improvement is working towards something. I not quite sure what that ‘something’ is exactly but years from now I will hopefully say it was worth it.

    It’s tacky but I heard a proverb that read ‘Sailors never learn on calm seas’ Being challenged is how we learn. It’s the best part of life. When you pitch to these agents, enjoy the challenge and give yourself a break for doing something that beginning writers like me only dream of doing. It’s a tough gig but you’re awesome and you will rock it! Cheers

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    • Hi Clayton πŸ™‚

      Wow, good for you honey, getting stuck in straight away! I so wish I’d done that and not waiting 2 sodding years! Lol

      No, not tacky at all, I’m a big believer in the fact that we can learn more from our mistakes than we can from our successes πŸ™‚

      Ha ha ha, thank you so much honey πŸ™‚

      Xx

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  7. Dearest Vikki, my grandmother always told me if it isn’t messy then it isn’t good and while she was referring to food I think the same message can be applied to all aspects of life. If it isn’t a challenge, an obstacle or a struggle then the outcome of the journey doesn’t seem to mean as much.

    You get it?

    Simply put, don’t give up or give in. Your time, effort and hard work will pay off, it just isn’t your moment. Be patient and know that everything in this life happens in its own time but it doesn’t mean it won’t happen. All the best.

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  8. If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well. It’s a shame in a way you have to tackle it again so soon for the course because you might feel more inspired and able to think about it without the pressure of time. If you love the characters and the basic premise of the story, don’t let them go πŸ™‚

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  9. I’m not going to tell you to keep writing, but that’s just because I don’t believe you could quit now even if you decided to.

    June is a long way off. You know some of the things wrong with your story so you can improve it by then.

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    • Ha ha ha, you’re right Patsy, I don’t think I could quit either πŸ˜‰

      Yep, you’re right, I have plenty of time! The first draft, the 65,000 words too me 10 days 2 years ago, so I’m sure I can manage to write a different novel from scratch in 6 months πŸ™‚

      Thanks honey xx

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  10. I always thought that if things that were really worth doing were easy, then they wouldn’t be worth doing in the first place.
    Tautological as that may be, it rings true for writing. To quote another cliche; it isn’t where you end up that’s important – it’s the lessons you learn/memories you make/people you meet/places you discover on the way that make the journey worthwhile.
    You’ll make it Vikki, and you’ll take us all there with you. Keep writing (here, there and everywhere). x

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  12. Yes I agree with Patsy, I dont think you would be able to stop. Now as I happen to know the new plot, its realy good guys. Cant wait to read.

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  13. Don’t give up! It is worth it, and you will get it. Not every story is worth the effort, but that doesn’t mean it’s a wasted effort. You’ll grow, and your writing will deepen. Great IWSG post!

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  15. I believe that most authors have at least one early story they wrote that didn’t get published and for good reason, but these stories are important because they help us learn and grow as writers. We discover what works and what doesn’t. We find our writer’s voice which helps us find our character’s voice. I’d say keep going. Work on your new W.I.P. Believe you can do it and you will.

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  16. Don’t worry about being a writer. You are already a writer. Don’t define yourself by being published, completing a novel or commercial success. Labels aren’t useful. As writers we are very good at being hard on ourselves. As to re-writing, it’s one of my least favourite things so I do empathise. But often it can result in work we never imagined, so it’s all part of the creative process and although it’s hard slog, it enables us to produce polished gems.

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