Wednesday, August 5, 2015

The Insecure Writer and Perseverance



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


Why am I an Insecure Writer this month? 

Because I don't know if I have the perseverance to survive as a writer.*


In a change from my usual IWSG post, today’s message will be one of support. Let’s be honest, unless you’re one of those authors who dashes out publishable stories every three months, you spend a loooong time staring at your unfinished manuscript, not knowing whether anyone will to care to read it when you’re finished. And when the finish line is so far away, it’s easy to get discouraged and quit.

In my opinion, successful writers are the ones who persevere over the long haul. They don’t take no for an answer. They just keep going, no matter what.

Kind of like… Melissa Maygrove.

Melissa’s been a member of IWSG for over three years, starting out as #180 on Alex’s list and slowly inching her way up that list by posting every first Wednesday of the month, even while others gave up and dropped out. Since I’m a scientist, let me show you her journey in graphical form.



As you can see, she experienced a slight setback near the end of 2013 (fatigue from Follow-Fest, no doubt), but did she give up? No, she jumped back in with a vengeance and now she’s worked her way back to #119. And she has her sights set on #118, so you better watch out, SittieCates.

So let Melissa be an example to you all. Perseverance works! It’s also a big reason why she just finished publishing her second book, Precious Atonement

So head on over to her blog and leave a comment. If you’re behind her on the list, let her know you’re coming after her. And if you’re above her, a little trash talking is always good for the soul.

ChemistKen


*To be honest, I’m not really insecure on this topic. I have an almost child-like ability to ignore facts. All I need is a good night’s sleep and all the doubts I experienced the day before disappear. I’m in this for the long haul, because when you’re a slow writer like me, you have to be.

**And lest you think I’m some kind of stalker, let be it known that Melissa signs her IWSG post comments with her current position on the list, so it was easy enough to collect the above data. :)


80 comments:

  1. Awesome post and truly inspiring. I'm off to Melissa's post now! Thanks!

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    1. Thanks. I don't want to always seem like I'm whining about being a writer.

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  2. LOL. Now I wish I had paid attention to where I started on the list...

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    1. Me too. I think it was somewhere in the upper 200's.

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    2. I had no idea this list ranking was "a thing." Is it just more desirable to be higher up? *off to check my listing*

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  3. I'm howling with laughter. I love it! :D

    I will tell you what happened when I fell off the list and had to start over. I was tired, but I also goofed and thought I could miss two and get nixed on the third. Nope. We can only miss one. We get nixed when we miss two. Oops. Thankfully, Alex is kind soul who lets us join again (and again... and again). :)

    IWSG #119 until Alex culls the list again.

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    1. Glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for giving me something to write about this month, Melissa.

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    2. P.S. I don't know if I'll EVER get to the point I can crank out a book in 3 months.

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  4. Too funny, never really thought about my placement, but I too fell off once, or is it that I was nixed for not posting. yeah, Alex has his rules! Now I'm going to go check my number. :)

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    1. I hope this post doesn't result in too much number envy!!!!!! Thanks for stopping by, Yolanda.

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    2. Ooo. Sittie hasn't posted since June.
      *rubs hands and eyes #118*

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  5. That is awesome!! And made me laugh out loud. Yes, she has been working her way up the charts and lets us know that every month.
    And for the record, I wasn't really displeased.

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    1. Oh, admit it, Alex. You took out your taser and grinned when you vaporized me off the list. LOL :P

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    2. Don't blame Alex. It was one of his clones that did it!

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    3. Right. A likely story...
      :P

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    4. You so know you got Vaporized !!

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  6. Fantastic! Perseverance is key. We must never give up! (I think this post has everyone checking their number! Hehehe!)

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    1. I check mine every once in a while to see where I stand. Makes me feel like I'm accomplishing something. :)

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  7. I won't look at my stats and have no idea where I stand. Probably a good thing :-)

    Anna from Elements of Writing

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    1. That's it. Show that you're above it all. :)

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  8. Haha! I love the graph. Go Melissa!!!!

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    1. I guess it's the scientist in me, but I just couldn't resist plotting it out.

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    2. The science geek in me is probably why I liked it so much. :)

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  9. LOL! I love Melissa. Here's to perseverance and giving it all you've got!

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    1. Three cheers for perseverance! Thanks for stopping by Crystal.

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    2. I need to hire Crystal as my personal cheerleader. :)

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  10. You couldn't have picked a better subject to study! :)

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    1. True. And I figured that if she got upset at the post, she was too nice a person to come after me.

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  11. Great post Ken!! (love the graph!). As one of those book every three month gals for a decade, when I had to go back to work and my time was cut way back, it was really hard to keep the momentum going. Now, that I'm dabbling in self-pub with NO deadline, it's even harder to keep the finish line in sight - unless I set a deadline for myself. Keep on keeping on!

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    1. Hey, I'm impressed. I can spend a couple of months on a single chapter alone. I'm trying to give myself deadlines now to keep the pace going.

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    2. I have yet to write and publish one in under a year. :(

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  12. LOL LOL. "Alex was most displeased" is classic. Melissa is awesome and the perfect subject for your post.

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    1. Yep, you don't want to displease Alex. He'll send his clones after you.

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    2. I loved that part, too. I nearly fell out of my chair. xD

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  13. I love how you analyzed all of this! Melissa is actually the reason why I joined the IWSG. I stalked her for a while, watched her post, and finally decided to take part. Not only is she an inspiration in perseverance, but she's an encouragement to join in.

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    1. And she's big on supporting others too. Her Follow-Fest was wonderful.

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    2. I'm glad you did, Loni.
      Thanks, Ken.

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  14. LOL! That is so funny. I don't even remember where I started. I should at least go see where I'm at on the list though.

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    1. I'm beginning to think a lot of people are going to be checking out their position on the list. Thanks for the comment.

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    2. Holy cow, Diane. You're #10!
      *bows reverently*

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    3. Oh oh, Diane. Now Melissa is eyeing YOUR spot. Watch your back!

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  15. I love a good chart. I'm #152 it looks like.

    Here is my August IWSG post. It's the second post on my blog today because my Pitch Wars mentor bio needs to stay at the top. Thanks!

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    1. Oh! And I love the castle header on this blog. Haunting!

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    2. I love castles even more than charts. As soon as I saw that picture, I knew I had to use it in my blog. Thanks for stopping by.

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  16. This post was funny! I have been noticing Melissa's advancement on the list every 1st Wednesday. I'm currently at #96. :)

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  17. I love the ending of the post best, lol, and the fact that Melissa posted her IWSG number in signature, Good for her, I'm going to take a page out of her book, I start posting March 2014. I am now number 131 yahoo for me lol, Love your post, love your castle image too,
    Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

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  18. Love this post! :) (Like everyone else, I'm off to check the list now. :P)

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  19. I love this! That's a great visual about persistence. :)

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  20. Love the graph. Yeah, tenacity is a must in this gig.

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  21. Maybe the signature will become a 'thing.'
    Alex will really hate me, then. LOL

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  22. I have to honestly say I never even considered mapping that wild data point. Fascinating journey, Ken.

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  23. Perseverance is certainly the key, Ken... We all get there if we persist. But remember all the fun is in the journey and if you have good friends by your side, it makes it that much more special...

    GO MELISSA!!!!!!

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  24. Giggling. Especially love the graph. I already visited Melissa and she already returned the visit by visiting me back.with her classic signature #119 I guess I still have an assigned place in Alex's list. Never thought to dig through it all until now. Hmmm, nope, guess I won't. Thanks for the fun.

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  25. Absolutely perseverance is key in this sometimes soul sucking business. I am too stubborn to quit. Good for Melissa!
    I love the graph and now I need to follow my own progress.

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  26. Ha, A good night's sleep cues many ails. ;)
    And I LOVE the chart.

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  27. You're so funny! I think a good helping of child-like naivete and optimism are a requirement for being a writer. Yay for Melissa's adventure up and down the roller-coaster that is the IWSG linky! lol

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  28. Y'all are sweet.

    If I was thinking of quitting IWSG, I can't quit now. LOL

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  29. Haha! This is great! I love your graph! Now I wish I knew where I started. :)

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  30. More graphs please! I'm so visual and I "got" Melissa's journey immediately. Thanks.

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  31. Brilliant post!! I was in the mid-200's when I joined in 2012 and now I'm #85. I was stoked when I broke into double digits a couple of months ago. I love, love, love this graph almost as much as I love Melissa!! :D

    I think I'm going to start adding a place count signature to my IWSG comments, too. Hmmm... Have a great day!! Eva

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  32. I'm afraid my blogging has fallen off in the past few months. I've dropped back to one post per week, and I try to visit all my friends as I can during the week.

    As for my manuscript writing ... there I do show persistence. I have moments, especially after disappointments and rejections, that I wonder if I have any good (marketable) stories left in me. But those moments don't last long. I bounce back and get to work.

    There is no giving up where writing is concerned.

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  33. Ken, sorry I'm late, but OMGosh, this was a brilliant post and you cracked me up!!!

    See, I've been "following" Melissa's current placement for years (well, it feels that way!!) and I'm *ALWAYS* thinking "Oh, she's heading back up" followed by a general "C'mon, Melissa, you can do it" :)

    If you don't know my old blog name, you won't find me, but I'm not missing two months in a row when I'm so close to the top 300 :)

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  34. Sorry so late, but I'm glad you decided to support Melissa this month. I had to go find out where I'm at because I got dropped by accident last year ((I think), and I'm now under 100 again. You're number 29! Can't ever take anything for granted though.

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  35. I often wondered what it meant "Alex culling the list" now I know. Way to go Melissa. Keep climbing.

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  36. This is awesome! I love your chart. I've definitely climbed the IWSG list over the years, and I have no intention of letting anyone get ahead of me if I can help it! :)

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  37. Ha, ha, so funny! Now I have to go check my number.

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  38. This is great. Perseverance is thing writers definitely need. This is super inspiring!!

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  39. what a fun little journey through the list - ha! i <3 graphs =)

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  40. I never checked my number. Now I'm curious.

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  41. Ha! This is hilarious!

    I didn't know you could go backwards on the list!

    I get a little nervous cause somehow I made it to #2 right after Alex himself!

    Great post!

    Keep moving forward. There is ALWAYS someone out there that wants to read what you are writing.

    Heather

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  42. Thanks for the inspiration and encouragement.
    I shall have to keep my eye on the last as I'm just starting out.

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  43. Love that graphic! :) I think perseverance is definitely a key ingredient and I think you have it. Although I'm not stalking, I have read your posts and I think you have what it takes to finish and get published!

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  44. I love it. Your research, though not highly informative, was most entertaining. You made me laugh, and that's a good thing. Thank you, Ken.

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  45. Thanks for that little journey... and for the laughs too.
    Now I'm thinking that I too am a slow writer... well, time to settle in and get comfy cause it's gonna be a long process...

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  46. Such an Awesome post, Ken! You touched my little scientist heart with your plotting of data! I'm one of those slow plodding writers, too, and am very insecure about it. Hope to speed up some day! Keep plodding and plotting!

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  47. I'm here from Alex's referral and I'm glad I stopped by, lol :) I didn't know that we moved so much on the IWSG list! I too am a slow writer- lots of ideas but never put together in words that make sense, but I'm sticking with it!

    Love the Hogwarts photo, btw :)
    Elizabeth

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  48. I tried to leave a comment for Melissa, but no place to leave one for today. Oh well. I'm happy to be in the double digits on "the" list, and didn't even know I was until I read Mark's post about Melissa being where she is now! Love the graph! I love this group...

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