Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The Insecure Writer and Life



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


Why am I an Insecure Writer this month? 

Because I have such little control over life.


As writers, we’re used to a lack of control. Maybe our obligations don’t allow us enough time to write. Maybe the words don’t come when we sit down in front of the computer. Maybe no agent will respond to our queries. Maybe no one will buy our book once it’s published. But for the past couple of weeks, I’ve been f thinking about how little control we have over our non-writing lives.

Three weeks ago I learned my project at work was ending, which meant everyone in my group would have to find new positions within the company (not an easy feat) or be cut loose. Needless to say, all my energies were focused on finding a new job. Fortunately, I found a position elsewhere within the company, but for a couple of weeks, the future was pretty dark and scary. It’s one thing if no one wants to buy your book, but it’s another if no one wants to hire you. (Unless you’re a full time writer, of course, where the two options are one and the same.)

If that wasn’t enough, my daughter has been going through some tough times at school. After being bullied at the end of last year, the idea of returning to school bothered her all summer. Making it through a whole day of school is an ordeal for her, and she’s already missed several days due to anxiety. She’s slowly fighting her way through it, and I’m proud of her for not giving up, but there’s only so much I can do to help and that’s hard for a parent to deal with.

As a result, I haven’t spent much time writing, or keeping up with this blog, or keeping up with everyone else’s blog. I expect that to change somewhat now that my job situation is headed back toward stability again, but it’s darned scary to know how quickly life can overwhelm you.

Maybe Alex should start an Insecure Person Support Group too. It's not like you have to be a writer to be insecure.

What non-writing insecurities are you dealing with?

ChemistKen



35 comments:

  1. Suggestion noted!
    Glad you have a secure position again. That's always a scary thing. Hope your daughter makes it through the school year and bullies leave her alone.
    In general, most things in life we have no control over. Sometimes, we just have to accept it and tackle what we can control.

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  2. I'm sorry to hear it's been such a rough time for you! So glad to hear you were able to make a move inside the company to another position. And I'll be thinking about your daughter. Kids are incredibly cruel sometimes...I know you're proud that she's being so brave about going to school.

    Non-writing insecurities? Public speaking has been a lifelong on and off insecurity. And I'm doing such a lot of it now.

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  3. Glad to hear things are getting better. Hopefully, you don't stress about your "commitments" to other writers (blogging, visiting blogs, critiquing, etc.) because we all understand that life is the priority. We all are okay waiting for each other to get back to the writing scene when life interferes ;)

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  4. It's amazing how quickly everything else can get swept aside, eh? I'm right there with you. The job question is one we ask more and more often and the issues that come with the kids education is a HUGE debate. Especially when you have special needs in the mix. But hey, we make it, right? One day at at time. Here's to never giving up and pressing through the crazy to find the sunshine on the other side!

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  5. This last month seems to have been rough for many bloggers. But that's great about finding a position! And kids + education. . .seriously, why can't school run smoothly? My son ended up switching schools several times before he finally felt settled in. Hope your daughter figures it out. It's hard when they go through things like that. Good luck!

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  6. I'm very sorry for your daughter. I'm starting to think anti-bullying classes should be forced on school kids the same way sexual harassment courses are given at big companies. But at least your work problems had a happy ending. Life often gets in the way of writing. Just hang in there, and I hope everything gets better!

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  7. I'm having some job insecurity as well so there's plenty of non-writing related insecurity to go around. Hope things start to get better for your daughter.

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  8. Glad you found another job! That had to be scary. I really hope things get better for your daughter. I know how bullying is and just :( Hope it gets better, but that's good she's pushing through and being strong!

    - Madilyn Quinn @ NovelBrews

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  9. so glad you were able to find another position in the company. What a stressful time that was I am sure.
    Life sure gets in the way of our normal routine/plans.
    Currently I'm dealing with a death in the family, a favorite uncle. Actually, my last uncle. :(

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  10. We never have control of our lives, really. But we like to think we do. The best we can hope for is to try for the best decisions and stay true to our goals and visions. Sorry about your daughter. That's not an easy problem to solve. It's easier when it's just you with those anxieties, isn't it? Hope things work out for her.

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  11. Ken, I feel for you, but I can't go there. In my situation things did not work out so well. Now I concentrate on the positive--no matter how small. Writing is the only thing that keeps me sane.

    I'm glad it worked out for you. :-)

    Anna from Elements of Writing

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  12. I understand the tumultuous times when it comes to switching jobs. My husband is still hunting for something himself. Hopefully things will settle down for you. And most of all, I hope your daughter overcomes her anxiety and the school bullies leave her alone.

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  13. Hi,
    One thing that I've learned is that everything changes. Nothing is guaranteed. So I understand exactly where you are coming from. I am happy to hear that your daughter hasn't given up. Mobbing is terrible.
    Hang in there. There will always be times when we are challenged. We are caught on our blind side.
    All the best.
    Shalom,
    Patricia

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  14. Your life sounds a lot like mine right now.

    FWIW, when daughter had that problem, I pulled her and homeschooled her for three years. I was lucky that I could work weekends at my job and do that. I know not everyone has that luxury.

    She went back to PS (by her choice) for 8th and is now a senior. Those three years at home did her good. She's a different kid.

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  15. Hubby just called to say out vacation next week might get cancelled. I decided hubby or not I'm going! Just haven't told him yet! :)

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  16. Life can be like that sometimes, sending you a curve ball and throwing you off course. I am glad you have managed to find a new job and I hope things settle down for you all soon. Best wishes.

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  17. I'm so sorry that your daughter is having a tough time at school. Bullies suck! I was bullied but not as bad as it sounds your daughter has been. I hope things get better for her. Tell her to keep her chin up. Those of us who get bullied end up doing great things.

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  18. I'm so sorry that your daughter is having a tough time at school. Bullies suck! I was bullied but not as bad as it sounds your daughter has been. I hope things get better for her. Tell her to keep her chin up. Those of us who get bullied end up doing great things.

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  19. I can relate to life overwhelming you. For me, it's the things outside of my control (and I'm not talking about as a writer) that are the hardest to deal with. I'm happy to hear you found another position (it's scary to be in limbo with work) and I hope things become easier for your daughter. She's already proved to be a strong person by facing those at school. It will get better.

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  20. I'm sorry to hear about your daughter's trouble at school. Bullies are the worst! I had a hard time with them in elementary/middle school, but was somewhat 'spared' during high school. Sending her positive thoughts and hope the situation improves for her.

    Glad you were able to find another position within your company. Be well and have a great day. Eva

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  21. Real life definitely likes to remind us we have no control over anything. I'm glad you were able to find a different position within the company. I'm sorry to hear about your daughter and how she's having such a rough time at school. My sister had a hard time--mental issues rather than bullying. I hope she finds a way to cope. It's not fun and is very tiring to deal with anxiety.

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  22. Thanks for keeping it REALLY real, Ken. Sometimes writing insecurities have to take a backseat to real life.

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  23. Real life is quite stressful and the chore. I hope things improve for your daughter. It's sad people are so mean. Glad you found a new position. I know how stressful that can be.

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  24. I'm glad you got a job! And, I'll be praying for your daughter (if prayers bother you, think positive thoughts coming your way). I know what it's like to be bullied and have to go back to the same building again and again.
    My youngest daughter was bullied in a place that I didn't suspect as one of "those kinds of places," and it took her about two years to work through most of her anxiety. During the middle time, she spent a lot of time reading books about courageous heroines and she discovered a new outdoor sport that she loves - both of which helped her gain confidence in herself as a person. And, I prayed and prayed and prayed.
    I'm with Charly - Thanks for keeping it real, Ken. Life is just super crazy sometimes.

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    1. BTW, we've home-schooled since the beginning, but with her renewed confidence, she decided to take some part-time classes at a nearby public school and she's just thriving this year. Although I know many parents will pull their kids from public school because of bullying, the home-school world is not without bullies in it - so it's not a perfect place. Bullies are unfortunately found everywhere.

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  25. I'm so sorry you've had such a stressful time. And so glad you were able to find another job! It seems there is so much insecurity in every workplace now, it is scary and disconcerting.
    I really feel for your daughter. My nephew was bullied and had terrible anxiety as a result. I hope the bullies are not bothering her now and she can feel better about going to school. Take care!

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  26. Being bullied at school is just awful. I hope your daughter finds a way through soon. And yay for you getting a new position at your company. Life really does have a way of taking over, but at least we can take everything life throws at us and turn it into a story...eventually. ;)

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  27. Aw, man... I'm particularly sorry for what your daughter is going through--so hard to have our kids suffering. But I hear you on the work transitions. Things up in the air is HORRIBLE and the first several months at a new job are only slightly less draining. Just learning new stuff, even if it is just where the pens are, leaves the creative brain a little sapped. TRY for yourself to fit in at least fifteen to thirty minutes to write some REALLY SILLY stuff to keep those creative juices flowing when you are tapped for your more serious stuff.

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  28. I'm so sorry about your daughter. It's awful for both her and you. I hope this year is much better.

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  29. So glad you found another job and I hope things get better for your daughter too. Life has a way of rolling the dice of chaos for us. I know what everything falling apart around you feels like and the unknown with job disappearing--did that last year, still doing it and looking, but hanging in. I am still writing although I struggle, and I hope you can get back to it.

    Juneta Writer's Gambit

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  30. So sorry you've been struggling, but glad to hear you have found more security at work. Winter is a difficult time for me. I have SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) and I struggle with depression in those months. Just knowing winter is around the corner makes me extremely anxious! Those feelings tend to override any join I might have in my writing. Oh, well, balance is a constant stuggle. Best of luck for your daughter!

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  31. I'm so sorry to hear about your daughter and the problems she's been having at school. I recently learned that last year my son was teased and caused an extremely crude name by a group of girls. When I found out, my heart broke for him. I understand those feelings of helplessness because as parents, there is only so much we can do. I don't understand why people have to be so mean. I sincerely hope your daughter has a better year.

    So glad to hear you were able to secure a new job in your same company. That is some scary stuff when you're faced with a possible job loss! And I agree with you, sometimes writing needs to take a back burner as we deal with life. Hope this next month is better for you!!!

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  32. It's always scary how quickly you can go from happily employed to pounding the pavement looking for work. At my job, they reserve the right to fire you without cause for the whole first year. I admit, I was more than a little bit happy to make it all the way to the end of that time frame without getting the axe. Even then, I worry that I'm getting too complacent in the whole have a job to make money thing. I definitely want to do more with my life, but it's hard to say no to a steady job with a steady paycheck. That being said, I fear that I am sacrificing my writing career for this steady paycheck.

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  33. Glad to hear everything worked out for you, Ken. So SORRY to hear about your daughter though. There are groups that may help her. So many kids are bullied at school and thankfully the word has gotten out where these kids can get help on how to cope or turn the situation around,

    Yes, I agree... life is on big anxiety... I was FREAKED not finding a contractor to do my rehab... the quotes I was getting were almost a third of the cost of the loft. I am not putting that kind of money into a space that will not retain that cost. I made that mistake once before and "over did" my condo. I ending up losing 50K when I sold it. Not making that mistake twice.

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  34. I'm happy to hear you got another job, but my sympathies about your daughter's situation. I have the same worries with my son. I want to solve all his problems, but as parents, we can't.

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