Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The Insecure Writer and Ignoring Insecurities

Today is March's contribution to Alex Cavanaugh's Insecure Writers Support Group.


Why am I an Insecure Writer this month?

Because I don’t know what the future holds for me as a writer.

Will I get faster at writing?
Will I finally decide whether my book should be in 1st or 3rd person?
Will I learn enough to write a good book?
What will the book market be like in five years?
Will there be so many quality books available that only known authors or authors with good social media/marketing skills be read?
Will I find an agent or will I self-publish?
Will I find I'll never cut it as a writer, no matter how much time I devote to the craft?
Will I ever hit #30 on Alex’s IWSG link list? (Watch out Donna!)

Whew! That’s a lot of insecurities.

Fortunately, I have a tool in my writer’s toolbox more powerful than any of these insecurities. What is it, you ask? I’m blessed with an almost child-like ability to ignore future problems. (Okay, my wife might not consider it a blessing) Every time I read a post explaining some facet of writing I didn’t even know existed, or run across an article about how only fast writers will be successful in the future, or stare blankly for hours at my mess of a manuscript, the insecurities seep into me like winter air under our front door. But then I go to bed and the next day I’ll wake just as naively optimistic as ever, sure everything will work out in the end. Crazy, right?  But it works for me.

So far.

Sometimes, though, I wish Madame Trelawney would just tell me how it’s all going to turn out.

So how do you cope with your writing insecurities?


31 comments:

  1. I like your method! I need to work on adding that to my own toolbox. I am the world's worst worrier LOL.

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    1. If it wasn't for that tool, I would have given up a long time ago. Thanks for co-hosting today's IWSG.

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  2. Sounds like a great way to deal with the insecurities. It might not always be a good thing to see into the future!

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    1. True. Sometimes it's better to dream about the future than actually living through it. Thanks for the comment.

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  3. I tend to live in the present, so I don't think too much about those future problems. I think we're better at that than women. (Probably our only advantage.)
    Keep posting every month and I bet you will hit number thirty on the list!

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    1. Of course, by then my goal will be number 20!

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  4. Will I get faster at writing?
    Yes. Trust me.

    Will I finally decide whether my book should be in 1st or 3rd person?
    Yes. Listen to your gut and your CPs.

    Will I learn enough to write a good book?
    Yes, but it's a process. Keep pushing yourself to learn the craft.

    What will the book market be like in five years?
    Don't worry about that. Just keep writing and cross that bridge when you get there. None of it will matter if you don't have a book ready.

    Will there be so many quality books available that only known authors or authors with good social media/marketing skills be read?
    Same answer as to the last one.

    Will I find an agent or will I self-publish?
    That's a choice every author has to make for themselves. Once your book is nearing readiness, study the market then and make a decision.

    Will I find I'll never cut it as a writer, no matter how much time I devote to the craft?
    If you have enough passion and drive to stick with it this long, you probably have what it takes to get there. You just have to learn and write and polish until you do.

    Will I ever hit #30 on Alex’s IWSG link list? (Watch out Donna!)
    Only if you don't miss two months and get nixed from the list like I did. xD

    IWSG #268 (until Alex culls the list again or I goof and get myself deleted. :P)

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    1. Wow! Answers to all my questions. That's lots better than Madame Trelawney. Thanks for the comment.

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  5. One day at a time. =) We get better and faster only if we demand these things of ourselves. Human beings are amazing. We can be shaped mentally into anything with the right conditioning, and it behooves us to condition ourselves, eh?

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    1. Unfortunately my self-delusional skills can only carry me so far. Thanks for the comment.

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  6. I love your header and background picture here on your blog. I have no answer to the fears, but I can think of new ones, lol. Writing my first novel. Just joined IWSG. Right now my goal is to get the rough draft finished. Thanks for commenting on my blog. We'll get there one step at a time. Just keep stepping, and don't look back or slow down.

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    1. Glad you liked the pictures. The first time I saw that castle, I just knew I had to use it on my blog. Thanks for stopping by.

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  7. I think optimism has to be part of the formula. Yes, you will learn to write faster. I didn't think I would, but I did.

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    1. I certainly hope my optimism isn't unfounded, or I'm in for a rude awakening in a few years.

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  8. Thankfully, ignorance is bliss for me. I have no clue what's around the next corner so I can't worry about it. I'm sure my next book won't be so worry-free.

    co-host IWSG
    Elsie
    AJ's wHooligan in the A-Z Challenge

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    1. At least you have the advantage of knowing you can write a book. Thanks for the comment.

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  9. I wouldn't worry about speed. The words come when they come. Sure, there are ways to encourage them to come faster, but they won't really do you much good unless they are the right words (cause, you know rewriting). Find what works for you, and go with that.

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    1. I wouldn't mind the slow pace of my writing if I were more convinced that the words will eventually be good. Thanks for stopping by.

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  10. Just act like a crazy loon and that helps a ton haha

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    1. I try acting like that as a normal part of my life. The kids aren't so sure about me anymore. :)

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  11. It would be nice to get a peek into the future to see how our writing careers turn out. At least then we'd know if it's all going to be truly worth it.
    I guess for now though we'll just have to have faith that it will.

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    1. It's that faith that's keeping me going--for now. Thanks for stopping by.

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  12. I keep hoping I will get faster as a writer and I suppose I am. But some things I just have to stew on.

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    1. Guess we're both in the same boat. Hopefully, we'll both make it through the tough times.

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  13. I love this post, Ken. All of us ask ourselves those questions. Sometimes our WIPs stagnate as fear and doubt stall our progress. I like your optimism. Keep going!! :)

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    1. So far, fear and doubt hasn't stopped me for more than a day. Hope that trend continues. Thanks for the comment.

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  14. I like to think of the batty little fish in Finding Nemo--instead of "just keep swimming, just keep swimming", I go for "just keep writing, just keep writing". Sometimes easier said than done!

    I love your positive attitude! Don't ever let go of that. I think it will get easier, but I don't think it will ever be "easy". :)

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    1. It amazes me how positive an attitude I have about writing sometimes. I really have no reason to be so positive. Guess it's just how I roll.

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  15. I think your method is absolutely sound. You are very lucky to be like that. I wish I were. I'm just trying not to believe these horrible little stories I tell myself that lead me to becoming insecure. I'm super gullible, I guess.

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    1. Gullibility might be another name for my naive optimism. We just have to keep telling ourselves that everything will be all right.

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  16. I think that kind of optimism is wonderful. I enjoy writing. It's my bliss, so whether or not I am ever uber successful doesn't really matter. And success could happen at anytime...maybe even postmortem. Maybe I will be that writer the world recognizes a hundred years after I am gone.

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