July 5, 2012

Time on the Couch: #IWSG and ROW80

It's the first Wednesday of the month and time for my first Insecure Writer's Support Group post. A huge thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh for putting together this group. I'll consider this post my official time on the #IWSG therapy couch.

I am so thankful for my writing community. Whenever I feel alone and afraid, I share it here. Without fail, one of my writer friends manages to find my post that day and give me the encouragement I need to move forward. A few suggested joining Alex's group. I finally did it!

My insecurity is always lurking; it rears its ugly head when I least expect or want it. But it's always there. In the past month, I wrote a post about it: My Monster Rises. In it, I talked about my joy, and tad bit of jealousy, when my writer friends get agents, publishing deals, etc.

One of the commenters made an excellent point... we tend to compare ourselves to the most successful authors. It's like deciding to run your first 10K race and comparing yourself to the winner, instead of looking at another same-age, first-time racer to see how you did. Even then, are they taller? More muscular? There are so many variables, and comparing yourself to others is a path full of potential pitfalls.

Lately, I am easily distracted. I seem to have ideas popping in and out of my head. Too many to capture. When I sit down to work on my WIP, I end up writing a bit of a short story or a blog post instead. I feel less insecure with short pieces. The longer a project takes, the more opportunity there is for my insecurity monster to creep in.

It brings me comfort to know I can post to this group monthly with my fears and trepidations. Thanks in advance for the support!

And now for a quick A Round of Words in 80 Days (ROW80), another one of my wonderful writing support groups.

ROW80 Update

Round 3 is off to a great start, although we are only two days in. I simplified my goals for this round (check them out here), and so far it's working.

Writing: I spent 30 minutes Monday and Tuesday working on my WIPs. One day was rewriting a scene and one was researching. It felt like progress.

Editing: I'm working on a piece that I hope to finish this week.

Blogging: I'm now on my new schedule, so I posted Monday (ROW80 goals) and today. I'll post a Fun Facts Friday to round out the week. Then it's Sunday ROW80 check in and repeat.

Social Media: Doing better. My goal is to hit 5-10 IWSG blogs tonight and 5-10 ROW80.

Reading: I finished Book Thief finally. Best. Book. This. Year. I highly recommend it. I hope to have a review on Mom in Love with Fiction by Friday.

I'm looking forward to visiting my ROW80 friends and making some new IWSG friends.


alberta ross said...

The nice thing about the insecure writers and ROW80 is that we can see we are not alone - it's like hearing a world famous actor confess to nerves - creativity is so subjective and brings out the critics so fast that it's easy for us to falter. Having company and suport in our insecurities is a great feeling - doesnt take them away but at least we know we are not the only ones - keep smiling girl and beat those devils back:)

Donna B. McNicol said...

Great IWSG post...and boy, do I ever understand distracted! In fact, I've decided to get a small older laptop to use just for writing. I will limit my access to anything but the basics, make notes for research later. I have to stop feeling like a beebee in a shoebox!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Smart advice not to compare ourselves to those who are already really successful.
And welcome to the IWSG. You'll never feel out of place here.

Georgina Morales said...

Welcome to the insecure group! I used to compare myself, a habit I'm finding hard to break, with not only the most successful authors, but with the classic ones. Imagine that! What do I have to do next to Poe, Dickens, or King?! I felt I sucked so bad, I could kill myself. Then my husband told me the exact same thing you mention on your post. It has helped me a lot. My insecurity will never go but I know how to keep it under control. Most of the time. Now, when I compare myself with the great minds of the past or a few of the present, I do it to set a goal, the place I want to be, how I want my writing to grow, not to drag myself to the never-ending pit of self-pity.

Good luck with your WIP and keep your positive attitude!

Unknown said...

Thank goodness someone finally admits to being a little jealous when seeing others get agents or get pubbed. I was afraid it was only me...

Jo Michaels said...

That ISWG looks interesting. Thanks for the rundown! WRITE ON!

Shah Wharton said...

I loved The Book Thief too, read it a while ago now. Such a great story. And you're right, its so easy to compare ourselves with the vets in anything, when we are essentially fledglings. If we keep on, and on, work hard and improve, some day someone may fear comparing themselves with us. Wouldn't that be marvellous? :)

Tia Bach said...

Alberta, It's so nice not to be alone! It's so much easier to beat back the devils if it's a group beat-down. ;-)

Donna, I love that idea about a smaller laptop. Hmmmm.

Alex, Thanks for the welcome and for the group!

Gina, Wow, the classic ones. That's certainly setting the bar high to impossible. ;-) I love the idea of writing growing. Thanks!

Lexa, Keep coming by each month. I'm sure I'll admit a lot more!

Jo, Join us! The group needs supporters like you (I know how grateful I am!).

Shah, The Book Thief set a very high bar. The best book I read this year. I want to read some more by him.

Kim Switzer said...

It's so great to have such good support groups! Glad to hear that your writing sessions felt like progress. Now I'm off to check out The Book Thief. Thanks for the recommendation!

Jessica Salyer said...

Welcome to the group. It's a wonderful supportive group. I don't think that it's ever smart to compare yourself to others. To gauge your success by the success of others. Instead maybe by your goals and whether you meet them or not?

Tia Bach said...

Kim, Do check it out. It's wonderful. I felt quite inspired after reading it.

Jessica, I completely agree. I just need to keep that red devil on the one shoulder out of my ear! ;-)