Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Just Keep Writing (An IWSG Post)

Hello, all!

It's the first Wednesday of the month, which means it's time for another action-packed installment of the Insecure Writer's Support Group!

(Assuming you're all familiar with this by now, but in case you're new, please click on the above link for more information as well as a complete list of participants...)

This month's awesome co-hosts are: Ronel Janse van Vuuren, Mary Aalgaard, Madeline Mora-Summonte, and Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor.

This month's (optional) question asks, "It's been said that the benefits of becoming a writer who does not read is that all your ideas are new and original. Everything you do is an extension of yourself, instead of a mixture of you and another author. On the other hand, how can you expect other people to want your writing, if you don't enjoy reading? What are your thoughts?"

I had every intention of skipping this question, but let me just say I believe writers should read. Not just in the genre in which they write, but multiple genres. As well as non-fiction and poetry and any other damn book they come across that piques their interest. Not reading doesn't seem like a guarantee that your ideas will be new and original so much as it means you'll be unaware of it if they're not.




But that's my opinion. We welcome yours.

Anyway, I've spent a not-insignificant amount of time this year questioning whether I have any business being in this business.

Not writing, per say. Writing is just something I've done ever since I learned to hold a writing utensil and construct complete sentences. I can't seem to not write.

Take yesterday, for example. Yesterday, I decided to play hooky from work (translation: writing and thinking deep thoughts about whether I have any business being in this business) to go play in Harry Potter World, one of the few not-terrible things about this godforsaken swamp state in which I currently reside. But what did I do when I got there?

Went to the Hogs Head Tavern, ordered myself a Hogs Head Tea (translation: the HP World's version of a Long Island Iced Tea), sat at a table, and wrote eight freaking pages for a current WIP (Book Three of my fantasy series, if you're curious).



Because I am truly terrible at not writing. (And playing hooky, apparently.)

Yet, I constantly feel like I don't belong in the writing/publishing community. Which, granted, is not a new feeling. I've pretty much always felt like that, no matter where I am or what I'm doing.

But the writing/publishing part of it seems like it's getting worse. I don't know what it is about this year, but I just can't seem to shake it or, at the very least, contain it for short periods of time. It's only a problem because writing/publishing is supposed to be my career or whatever. I'm not entirely sure what to do about it. Maybe there's nothing I can do about it. Maybe I'll just always be like this because, as I have stated in previous posts, I am entirely comprised of complexes and Dr. Pepper.

The only thing I know to do is just keep writing. (Cue the Dory memes!) Construct one sentence, then work on the next. Finish one scene, then start on the next.

Maybe I'll figure out the rest along the way.

Until then, I'll...




Thanks for stopping by today. If my current pattern holds, I will very likely disappear off the face of the blogosphere until next month's IWSG post, so I hope y'all have a wonderful month and a very happy Halloween and Thanksgiving (if you're Canadian. Or just wish you were.)

38 comments:

  1. Hi,
    You're not alone. I am in that phase too, Only, I've finished the first manuscript and now that I have started sending it out to see who will accept it, I go up and down, with flurry feathers in my stomach, more nervous than a cat, and asking myself what am I doing. Yet, I keep writing. I've come to the conclusion that regardless, I'll always write.
    Wishing you all the best.

    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

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    Replies
    1. Congratulations on completing your first manuscript AND being brave enough to submit it. Wishing you all the best!!

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  2. I don't usually feel like I belong in this business either. But then again, seeing as I'm an awkward sort, I don't usually feel like I belong most places.

    I am sooooo getting a Hogs Head Tea the next time I'm over at HP World! How did I not know they had that?! Yum! :)

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    1. It's not listed on the menu. I found out about it by accident, but I'm glad I did. They're excellent.

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  3. Few of us feel like we're worthy, but we keep doing it anyway.
    Wish I had a place like that to go to. I'd skip work as well.

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    1. I'm probably fortunate I don't live any closer to HP World. Otherwise, I'd get even less done than I do now.

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  4. I can't name one writer who hasn't thought this at some point. Perfectly normal. Just keep writing. :)

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    1. I think that may be the first time 'perfectly normal' has been applied to me. :)

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  5. I think a sense of insecurity is something most (if not all) writers possess. I'd be hard-pressed to like a writer who brags about being confident all the time. "Get over yourself," I'd want to tell them. Luckily, I've never come across such a person and doubt I ever will. What you're feeling is perfectly normal. Have you received any feedback on your current writing project lately? Maybe you just need a bit of validation to help remind you that yes, you have business being in this business. If your blog writing reflects at all on your capabilities as a novel writer, I can assure you you're great. So just keep writing, you fabulous writer, you!

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    1. I sent a manuscript to beta readers last month, and so far, they have come back with rave reviews. But I've never been comfortable with validation in any way, shape, or form.

      Thank you for the vote of confidence!

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  6. I always feel other writers are writing more than me and also getting published faster than me. But then I console myself by saying everyone's journey is different.

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    1. Everyone's journey is definitely different. I'm always impressed by those super prolific writers because I am so incredibly slow.

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  7. If it makes you feel any better about it, I've seen famous people talk about how they don't have any idea what they are doing, expect it to end any second, and deal with imposter syndrome. You're not alone in those feelings.

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  8. I feel the same way, but I think you are right that all we can do is keep writing. Jealous that you are so close to HP World! :)

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  9. I have felt that way many times. What am I doing amongst all these uber-professional writers? I'm flailing and writing and writing some more.
    Just keep on writing!
    I love that you wrote 8 pages at Hogsmeade. Sounds like a wonderful way to play hooky from the regular routine, even if you included writing.

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    1. It wasn't the plan to write for that long at Hogsmeade. I thought I'd just be scribbling down a quick idea or two, but it kept on going. Then I couldn't figure out why it was so late and why I hadn't done anything in the parks. :)

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  10. I run a whole publishing company and sometimes I wonder. It will go away.

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    1. Some days are certainly more manageable than others. This year, though, has just been extra tough. I'm sure the balance will eventually shift back the other way. Unless I just jinxed it.

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  11. I think the "you'll be unaware that it's not" is hitting the nail right on the head.

    Hey, you're writing! Maybe you need to head over there more often.

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    Replies
    1. I have NaNoWriMo coming up...I'll have to head there every day until I hit my 50k. :)

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  12. I definitely feel that way. I don't write enough. I don't get enough ideas. I'll never be published. Sometimes I feel like a fraud. But like you said, you just have to take it one sentence at a time.

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  13. I know exactly the feeling you mean. It took me months of worrying at the problem to realize...it's more that I don't belong in the *marketing* sphere of authoring. I really don't. That insecurity was bleeding into everything else, including my writing. I had to take a big step back and discover that being a good writer is very different from being a marketing whiz able to entice readers over to buy. I can't say if it's the same for you, but it might be worth some considering? I'm glad you're still wading in and writing, regardless. Good for you!

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    1. Oh, I have long half-assed any marketing efforts. Which does occasionally make me feel bad (I know I should be doing more), but I'm just so uncomfortable doing. I have to do it on my terms, even if it means I essentially don't do anything.

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  14. Listen to Dory, MJ. Just Keep Writing! With so many options, resources available, we must concentrate first on what brought us here in the first place: Writing. Everything else will come along in due time.
    Eight freaking pages? Yay, you!

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  15. Good for you. I often get a creative bump when I go someplace else to write. Usually pick a coffee shop instead of a tavern though. LOL

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    1. I don't drink coffee, so I have to pick a place that offers something else. Or I just go to the beach.

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  16. You are a writer. Perhaps you need to redefine "this business". Because you are in it. You're published. You've sold books. You continue to write. And you can't not write.

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  17. Well, you know, maybe you'll be like Emily Dickinson?

    I think everyone should read but writers especially.

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  18. I constantly feel like I don't belong, too. Some changes to the webcomic community over the years have even made me more of an outsider than before, which is...depressing.

    But yeah, like you, I don't have it in me to just quit writing (and drawing). It's too ingrained in my identity. But it's still no fun to feel like you're on the outside looking in. Sorry this is something you struggle with, too! :(

    (Many congrats on those eight new pages, btw! That's awesome!)

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  19. I feel you and as you can read in all these comments, they all feel you, too.
    I'm not sure we will ever feel that we belong or that we're doing what we're supposed to, but it doesn't mean we should stop. :)
    Heather

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  20. I mean to blog more regularly too, but then find that IWSG wednesday comes around and I haven't blogged about anything else.
    And... just keep writing - how can we do anything else?

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  21. You went to Harry Potter world and ended up writing? That's hilarious and wonderful at the same time. All I want to do there is ride the "castle ride". One of these days I'll go through the wand store.

    I love the aside about Canada.

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    1. The castle ride is cool. I have pretty bad motion sickness, so I don't do it very often. But it's so cool walking through the castle to get to the ride itself. So much attention to detail went into it.

      And I love Ollivander's!

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  22. I think it wonderful you went to HPW and wrote! I bet it's incredibly inspiring, though. One day... one day. I wonder all the time why I'm in this business. It stresses me out to no end, but I can't stop. I'm heading up to Canada tomorrow to visit family and enjoy a turkey dinner. :)

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  23. I think everyone has a touch of imposter syndrome now and then. You are not alone...

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  24. I get that feeling a lot, which may make you laugh...considering I publish books FOR writers. But I do. And since you have read my latest WIP, you know that there's been times when I though about giving up on publishing.

    I look up to you. Again, that may make you laugh, but I do. You introduced me to SCBL, Authors for Authors, to the writers' group, and others. Because of all of that, I've stepped out of my comfort zone multiple times and have grown as an author (in public). You do so much (presentations, critiques, hosting meetings. etc), and you definitely have a lot to give when it comes to this community.

    You are who you are (and author the way you author), and that's 100% a-okay!

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  25. I think all writers are insecure in many ways, but still we forge ahead...just like you did. Write on!

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  26. Who am I to judge? You do you. And if you want to write and desire it, then keep on a writing. I shall encourage you from the bookshelves.

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