Finding the Next Step -IWSG

 

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Oh for the love! It is Wednesday. And that means it’s time! Time for insecurities!!  Well don’t I have a lot.

I may not finish my book that I am pitching this weekend.

I probably won’t sell the books I am bringing to the conference I am volunteering at.

I have no idea what I will do when Unemployment runs out.

What if no one needs a website?

Well hello fear of failure. I was really curious where you were.  Right on cue.

There are those days. Lots and lots of them for me lately.  I have no idea how to keep up with authors I love.  Making sure I promote them. Making sure I read posts.  I don’t like letting people down.  Right now though, I have a lot to focus on in my life.  Job searches are not fun. They suck so much time from your day.

The thing is though, seeing others succeed and find happiness fuels my desire to push aside the evil little bug in my ear telling me I will fail. I still need more hours in a day and a lot of understanding friends.

If I fear failure too much, I indeed will fail. But instead, if I use my fears to improve myself, well- I just might succeed.

  How do you handle the fear of failure?  How to rise above it?

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Visit other bloggers in the Insecure Writers Support Group !  (A blog hop that posts the first Wednesday of every month, founded by Head Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh.)  Thanks to his co-hosts this month too!

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time.

 

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Free Reads Inspire the Best and the Worst in People -IWSG

 

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It’s the first Wednesday of the month!  That means I get to post my insecurities-or whatever I need to post about, I suppose.  This month though, it has to do with an insecurity.  My publisher is celebrating their anniversary this month.  To help celebrate, several authors offered up free reads. The hope is to not only celebrate, but also spread the word about us.  Free reads can be a great idea.  But in my mind it can also open the stories up to people that not normally give you a chance, but it also opens you up to some of the overly critical.  Good news though.  Most people never leave reviews.

That is so frustrating.  Not only will I not know if my free read is inspiring people to follow me, but I’ll never know if there was something that I should have done differently.  In the end I write for me and whatever makes me smile.  It’s nice to know sometimes though, if people appreciate what you wrote.  After all, as humans, we are all a little vain.  Even if we try not to be.  So there you have it.  I have a free story out right now and would love to have your read it.  Better yet?  I’d love it if it inspired you to want to read my other short stories, and hopefully someday soon, my full length novels.

My goal after running a free story is to get my first standalone novel done and then become a best seller-hehe, okay sorry.  Just had to add my wish list at the end.  OHHHH and I have another short story coming out in October.  Details to be shared later.  This is no a fun lighthearted contemporary romance.  So it will be interesting to see what people think if it.

Thanks Jamie for the reminder that it was indeed time to post.  In the mean time I’m still making a go of freelance web design.

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Visit other bloggers in the Insecure Writers Support Group !  (A blog hop that posts the first Wednesday of every month, founded by Head Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh.)  Thanks to his co-hosts this month too!!

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time.

 

Finding the Next Step -IWSG

 

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Everyone comes to that point in their life where you face a crossroad.  I’m there.  Okay, honestly I think I’m at some kind of maze in the road.  My entire life seems to be meeting different changes and opportunities.

In writing, I’ve come to the point where I LOVE my publisher, but I’ve always dreamed of an agent.  My current novel is still in the editing stages, but what do I do once I’m ready?  Do I submit to agents and see how it goes?  It sort of feels like cheating on my current publisher.

I think the key to writing and small publishers is diversity.  It’s a good way to get your name out there by diversifying.  I’ve seen this with several authors I love.  It also helps your other publishers, new fans.   All the same though, I’ve always dreamed of an agent and being in a big publishing house.  Times are changing and I can’t say I know what the right road is.  What do you think?

In the mean time I’m still making a go of freelance web design.  Maybe there is a chance writing will start to pay a bit better, but I wonder if an agent might be the key.  Wouldn’t we all love to make money doing what we enjoy?

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Visit other bloggers in the Insecure Writers Support Group !  (A blog hop that posts the first Wednesday of every month, founded by Head Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh.)  Thanks to his co-hosts this month too! Sarah Foster, Joylene Nowell Butler, Lily Eva, and Rhonda Albom!

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time.

 

Please, oh Please be My Prisoner -IWSG

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I double booked myself today.  Sorry! So if you are looking for the giveaway, look at the post above this one.

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“Please, oh please be my prisoner. “  The words of Doug the dog from Up, by Disney.  I thought it was appropriate for this month’s post.

Who feels like they are a prisoner in their own life?  A prisoner to their doubts and fear?  Fear of failure is probably a jailer to most about here.  I am no exception.  I am trying to do freelance web design while I wait for my writing career to go crazy.  I have a lot of doubts if it will work.  I have doubts that my writing will actually ever take off. Maybe I am just chasing a rainbow that has no end. Doug

After a few minutes of banging my head into the wall, I realize I am my own worst enemy.  I have made myself a prisoner to my irrational doubts.  The crazy fears that haven’t happened yet, keep me from being successful.

So take that Doug the Dog.  No.  No I will not be your prisoner!  Okay, not that I was his prisoner really.  All the same though, I am stepping outside my comfort zone and I am giving it my all.  I am volunteering web design services to a writer’s conference.  I am going to find a local writers group who might see me as an asset.  I am going to find an agent.  I will finish my next novel.  Hmm, maybe I should rearrange my goals.

Either way.  Let’s break free from our prisons and start to live. I need to try in order to know that I can succeed.

How about you?  Are you breaking free from the chains of doubt and fear in your lives? What is your prison made of?

 

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Visit other bloggers in the Insecure Writers Support Group !  (A blog hop that posts the first Wednesday of every month, founded by Head Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh.)  Thanks to his co-hosts this month too!

Krista McLaughlin

Kim Van Sickler

Heather Gardner

Hart Johnson

The Evolution of a Story

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I’ve been watching a lot of Looney Tunes lately – my daughters new favorite thing. They started in 1930 and wrapped up in 1969.  So what’s my point here?

Well stories and writers all go through an evolution.  It doesn’t take us thirty years, I hope, but our stories evolve as we do rounds of edits.  As authors, we evolve and change with each submission process.  This is a good thing.  If you think you can’t ever learn anything or that your story is the best it could be straight out of the gate, well you will earn a reputation as a author that is hard to work with.

Going back to Looney Tunes.  I think most of us would agree that the animations for the early versions aren’t nearly as good as the later.  The tools got better, the technology improved, and then one day color!

Now look at your story.  Version one is a primitive bare bones version.  Round two is smoothing out the lines, making the story resemble what you’d always hoped it would be.  Round three is when you enter into the age of technicolor, hehe just kidding, you can have full blown 3d graphics if you want.  All the same you are finally adding the color, the details, correcting punctuation, filling in small issues.  Making it shine.  Okay, your evolution may have six rounds or two or twelve, but the point is you really have to do these edits.  I hated editing.  I still do.  The difference is now I have evolved a little as an author. I now realize that my story takes on a new form in that second stage of editing.  It turns into something I actually love, if not, I fix it.

So don’t skip the edits.  Don’t forget that everyone can get better – even Looney Tunes.

What do you think?  Hate editing, love it, or just survive it?Clampett-Porky

Oh last parting words.  You do have to let go at some point 🙂  If no one ever did and you just wanted for the timing to be right OR the technology to get better you won’t ever see your work out there.  It’s a balance.

Visit other bloggers in the Insecure Writers Support Group !  (A blog hop that posts the first Wednesday of every month, founded by Head Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh.)

Learning the Rules

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Rules, rules, and more rules.  Rules make the world a better place – or, well they can.  I have a friend, who is a writer, and she spends countless hours looking up rules or genres.  She hasn’t found her niche yet and is always changing her genre.  It works for her.  The issues? Well every genre has different rules.

Romance has a different word count that is globally expected vs say young adult.  What happens if you ignore the rules?  I suppose that depends.  If an agent or publisher saw something in your query, then maybe nothing.

So what’s my struggle?  When and what rules do you follow blindly, while others can be tossed out the window?  The “rule” is, follow all rules when you are new to publishing.  The kicker?  A lot of first time writers break the rules and still end up successful. So maybe the message I’m getting is, respect the rules, but be prepared to break them.  A good point?  How do you know what rules you are breaking if you didn’t know them to start?

I wish I could deliver a better note to my friend.  I want to tell her go with her gut.  That’s what I do first time around.  My first drafts can be ugly.  No crazy sneak peeks from me.  But in the end, ignoring rules for a first draft gets me through the first draft.  Then, once the creative side of life is complete I edit.  A lot of the “rules” I fix and apply to my next draft.  I only leave those items that my heart can’t allow to be changed.

How about you?  Are you a ‘follow the rules’ kind of writer, or a ‘rules were made to be broken’ kind?  Why?

Visit other bloggers in the Insecure Writers Support Group !  (A blog hop that posts the first Wednesday of every month, founded by Head Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh.)

The Editing Dibocle

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Raise your hand if you are stuck in an editing conundrum. What I mean is do you struggle with editing?

When am I gong to get this editing thing figured out.  I’m not an idiot, but I certainly feel like one every time I try and edit and miss some pretty obvious things.  I try and present a manuscript as best I can and reality is, well it usually still stinks.  I just didn’t know it.

I’ve bought the books, the grammar ones, that people suggest.  I read a lot,and I try and remember certain rules. The issue is, that when it comes to my writing I’m simply too close.  Even beta readers, well some, won’t catch it all.

So what are your secrets to getting ready for submissions?

Visit other bloggers in the Insecure Writers Support Group !  (A blog hop that posts the first Wednesday of every month, founded by Head Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh.)

Let’s Make Lemonade

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I failed. I failed again, really. I missed the first Wednesday of the month. My life lives in a calendar on my phone and if I forget to put something in there – well, you see what happens. So this is a bleated post. I guess that is my post. Failure.

I’m losing my job at the end of the month. I have two small children who take up nearly every second of my day. Money isn’t growing on trees and medical bills keep coming. Heck, I thought I would save some money by changing my electric to solar-I’ll let you know if it works. Life keeps on coming! I think life is trying to cause me to fail!

How is it that in the midst of life you somehow come out on top? How do we continue to grow as writers when the world doesn’t stop? The answer? Well, I don’t actually have one. You just have to take each day as it comes. I’m starting to do what inspires me at the moment. Writing is usually the last thing I do, not because I don’t want to write, but because it’s the one thing that calms me at the end of a crazy day. It’s like a great big deep breath to my soul.

Kelly Hashway actually wrote about writers needing rewards. My statement is, my reward is writing at this stage in my life.

So although life doesn’t stop, you fit in the things that ground you. Everyone makes time for the things they love, it’s getting through the things we have to do that is the hard part. You are not alone. If you think the world is keeping you down, it probably is. But it’s how we handle that negative energy and grow from it that defines us. You are not failing, you are growing.

I can’t remember who said this but : If life gives you lemons, make lemonade.  Or in my case.  If life stinks, go write about it.

Visit other bloggers in the Insecure Writers Support Group !  (A blog hop that posts the first Wednesday of every month, founded by Head Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh.)

One Hit Wonder

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It’s the first Wednesday of the month!  What does the camel say (for those that have seen the commercials) “What day is it? – Hump Day!”
It’s also the day of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, hosted by Head Ninja, Alex J. Cavanaugh. There are some co-hosts this month too: Jamie Ayers, Sheena-kay Graham, Julie Musil, and Mike L. Swift.  Thanks everyone.

**********What’s your fear?  No really.  What is your greatest fear?  It isn’t success.  It’s what comes after success.  Okay – maybe that isn’t your greatest fear.  I would imagine though it is a fear all the same.  I love accomplishment.  I love success.  I hate failure or letting others down.

So, if you got published the pressure is on.  You have to keep writing now.  You have to keep writing and keep your readers happy.  But what is you can’t or don’t?

I sure hope as a writer you wanted to write, not for the money (do i hear laughter?), but because you had something to share.  I know I did.  There is literally something in my soul that drives me to write.  You wouldn’t have ever guessed that the timid girl who couldn’t spell to save her life would grow up to write anything.  But I did.

Now I have to keep writing.  But I would have done that anyway.  Published or not.  The self doubt of ‘am i good enough,’ Hasn’t diminished because a publisher saw my value.  I feel worried that my next story won’t be as good as the first and will disappoint people.  Or what if the next story I write doesn’t get published at all?

Well, lets take the nay-Sayers of the world and put them to use.  Say nay to all those bad voices and move on.  We write, not because of the next book, not because you might be the next big author, but because your soul tells you to.

If you let the doubt win and you stop doing what you love, you could become a One Hit Wonder.  Say nay and have a wonderful Wednesday.

Visit other bloggers in the Insecure Writers Support Group !

Fighting to Write

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It’s an uphill battle in my house, finding the time to write. (And apparently finding time to get a post out.)  It’s seems like the world is against my dream. The house beckons me to clean it, the children demand attention, my husband doesn’t always understand ‘I’m busy’, and even the dogs want to play. (I didn’t feel like mentioning my job either.)

For most of us, writing is an outlet.  For me, is helps keep my calm when life smacks me in the face. So why then is it so hard to say no to distractions and write? I have constant guilt if I neglect anything, so like most, my hobby happens late at night.

I’ve learned to say no to the millions of other hobbies that I like, but don’t love.  I’ve learned that there is such a thing as being ‘clean enough.’ I’ve accepted that my clothes may never see my dresser again, at least until I run out of empty baskets. I’ve compromised and my house is where that compromise lies.

I suppose what I’ve learned is that I’ve had to set priorities in order to write.  I have the bare minimum of what I need to accomplish and then, as soon as my kids actually hit the hay, I sit down and finally let my words spill out onto the screen.

So when you see that your house isn’t spotless, or the laundry isn’t sorted don’t feel guilty – or maybe that’s what I tell myself.  There are things you can’t neglect and then there are things you can.  Learn to let somethings go in order to win the fight to write.  I am a much happier person, even if I only got 10 minutes in.

Does it make you feel any better to know you might not be the only one whose life is less then perfect in order to do something you need to do?

Visit other bloggers in the Insecure Writers Support Group !  Also, thanks to the Head Ninja Captain, Alex J. Cavanaugh for creating Insecure Writers group!