Tuesday, October 4, 2016

The Insecure Writer and Knowing When Your Story is Ready


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

What makes me an Insecure Writer this month?

To be honestnothing.

Okay, to be more precise, I have no new insecurities this month. All the old ones are still around to keep me warm at night, so I know I’m still a writer. But now that that's out of the way, let’s concentrate on October’s IWSG question.

“When do you know your story is ready?” 

Funnily enough, my September IWSG post focused on almost the exact same question.  And my honest answer was, "I don’t know." Since I haven’t finished a story yet, I have no experience in these matters. But if pressed, I’d guess I’d feel my story was ready when two things happened. 

1. My critique partners tell me it’s done and suggest it's about time I move on to something else. They also hint that they never want to see that story again. 

2. When all subsequent changes by me consist of nothing more than cosmetic wordsmithing. 

I know I’ll never really feel my story is ready, but sometimes you just have to shove your children out into the world and let them go.

ChemistKen 


31 comments:

  1. Haha! Letting go is the hardest thing! I never feel my story is truly ready, so deadlines help! Happy writing this month!

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  2. Hurrah for no new insecurities this month but I know what you mean about plenty of old ones keeping you company! Knowing when a story is ready is hard isn't it? It is very much like sending your children out into the world, you just want to protect them and keep them safe.

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  3. We can only torture our critique partners for so long...
    Cosmetic changes is what it usually comes down to. As someone said, nitpicking.

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  4. Deep breath and let it go Ken :) It is a thought provoking question this month and difficult to answer. hope you enjoy your new writing project :) Have a great month.

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  5. Yes, you do have to let them go. Then, one day, you'll see your stories published and be glad you did.

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  6. Hurray for no new insecurities! Push that baby out the door. Good luck!

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  7. Amen to that final statement. It's so true! Sometimes something you think is ridiculously flawed will be well received and loved. You just never know.

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  8. I second Crystal's AMEN to your last statement. So true! And yay for no new insecurities. Always good to be able to say that. :)

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  9. When others tell you you're done and it start nitpicking, you know you're finished. :)

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  10. Yep! I totally agree. Sometimes, you've just got to let it go. LET IT GO! Great, now I've got Frozen stuck in my head.

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  11. I've definitely had that experience where I realize I'm just making minor cosmetic changes. I don't know if I'd say the story is ready at that point, because I might still be overlooking some bigger issue. But I would say it's one good sign that I'm probably done.

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  12. If your critique group doesn't want to read it again, you have no choice but to declare it's done.

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  13. That's exactly when I know I'm done too. My CPs have never steered me wrong!

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  14. I'm pretty sure you'll know the moment. It will be proud and exciting. hehehe

    Anna from elements of emaginette

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  15. You and I think alike. CPs are wonderful. :)

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  16. Sounds familiar! I keep hoping to see some snippets of your writing soon, Ken! The anticipation is killing me. Well . . . okay, so that was an exagerration, but you know you're going to have a tribe of supporters for marketing when you get that book out there. :)

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  17. And that's the scary part! I'm going to need a giant push to do that shoving!! :)

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  18. Not having new insecurities is a good thing!

    I found the only way to understand what being done means is to get it done. So best of luck with getting there!

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  19. #2 on your list is the indicator for me. If I have changed although to nevertheless, switched it to even though, and then start wondering if although was the right choice after all ...

    Stick a fork in it! It's done!

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  20. Yup, you have to let go and move on, so you write something new and keep growing.

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  21. Shoving your children out into the world doesn't work with mine. They keep calling, visiting, threatening to return. Does it work for you?

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  22. Come to think of it, I shoved two children out into the world--well, twice actually for each--and that seemed easier than shoving these darned books out there. I guess because there's growth potential with the kids and books are what they are.

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  23. Lol! With time, we do only have old insecurities, the same ones over and over again. I'm in the process of shoving my oldest out into the world, and it's tons easier than getting a book out there. Odd.

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  24. Lol! With time, we do only have old insecurities, the same ones over and over again. I'm in the process of shoving my oldest out into the world, and it's tons easier than getting a book out there. Odd.

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  25. Not the first time today that I heard the word tinker used by someone. We do like to tinker over and over again.

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  26. Putting a story out there can be as hard as sending a shy kid to kindergarten, but go for it. Nothing has taught me more about writing than reader feedback. It's not always pretty, but it's a great learning experience.

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  27. Putting a story out there can be as hard as sending a shy kid to kindergarten, but go for it. Nothing has taught me more about writing than reader feedback. It's not always pretty, but it's a great learning experience.

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  28. So true, Ken, so true. Just shove them out when you've done all you can and let them stand on their own. I'm still trying to do that with two adult children. :) LOL Oh, and all the books I've ever written. Hopeless case!

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  29. Can't raise your kids forever--so true. Sometimes you're just done when you FEEL like it.

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  30. Haha! You're so funny -- and so right. Yes, CPs are awesome at letting us know when something's done, and when they'd prefer to read something new. ;)

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