Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Insecure Writer and Putting It All Together

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

Why am I an Insecure Writer this month?

Because of my fear that I’ll never be able to put it all together as a writer.

I’ve learned so much about writing in the past five years, it makes my head hurt. To be honest, had I known how much there was to learn, I might never have started writing in the first place. But that's another story.

These days my learning curve seems to be leveling out. I still discover new tricks here and there, but it's happening less and less often. And it's never been easier for me to spot problems in my writing. But being able to recognize a problem and and being able to fix it are two entirely different things.  I may understand the rules, but creating the words that do what I want them to doesn't come easy for me.  Perhaps it will always be that way. Am I doomed to be forever surrounded by flawed manuscripts that I don't know how to fix, no matter how many years I write?

Perhaps it's still to early in the game to worry about never "getting it," but that's what being an insecure writer is all about.


  1. Focusing too much on the rules will make your head explode.
    Critique partners are great for figuring out how to fix things. I used to get stuck there as well, but once I began learning how to fix problems, it just snowballed and I got better.

  2. Agree with Alex. Sometimes a fresh set (or two, or three) of eyes helps. Time and practice help, too. It's a process; you just gotta keep going and not give up. ;)

    IWSG #298
    (Yup. I got culled and had to start all over. *blush*)

  3. You have to learn the rules but then learn to let them go to let 'you' shine through. Does that make any sense? I was at a point where following all the rules made my writing sound like a robot. So, I had to relax them to let me back in.

  4. I agree with M Pax. Besides, Ken, I like your "flawed" writing because I love humor. When I read one of Riordan's books recently, I noticed he flouted some of the rules. Same goes for many of the Scholastic authors. The MFA rules are the worst for making robotic writing. "Avoid modifiers," for example. New MFA graduates, do you REALLY (ooh, bad bad modifier) think people invented adverbs and adjectives because there were enough strong nouns and verbs in the English language? No wonder so many writers are going indie.

  5. All manuscripts are flawed. Ask J.K. Rowling.

  6. You know, there's stuff you'll keep learning, but I find that after the early part where you get better really quickly, comes the slow part. It's really normal. This is just the part where you have to practice. Keep with it. This part is hard (oh wait, it's all hard!). Just sticking to it and keep going.

  7. Just keep plugging away at it, Ken. From your blog writing style, I don't see a problem...let the CPs have a go at it and take it from there. Good luck, and don't let your head spin too much.

    M.L. Swift, Writer