August 1, 2012

Stages of Writing: #IWSG & ROW80 Updates

It's the first Wednesday of August and time for another Insecure Writer's Support Group (#IWSG) therapy session. From the mastermind behind the group, Alex J. Cavanaugh, the group's purpose is "To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!"

As with most therapy sessions, or at least what I've gathered from television representations, I should begin... Hi, my name is Tia Bach, and I am an insecure writer. This is my second session and it has been approximately 24 hours (if that) since I had an insecure thought about my writing.

Twenty-four hours may not seem like much, but my feelings about my writing can jump all over the place as represented by this graphic: 

Used with permission from Debbie Ridpath Ohi at
I'd like to say that each stage is over several hours or days, but sometimes I run through all four emotions in one paragraph. I am a stickler for transition, so I'm usually hardest on my first sentence and my last. Then I fall in love with a sentence toward the middle, and feel earnest affection for the sentence before and after it. Its glow warming those that touch it.

What I've learned most about writing, and being a voracious reader has certainly contributed as well, is that no writing is perfect. There will be days where my inner critic surfaces and likes very little followed by days where I can objectively enjoy my own work. That being said, I think I could edit until the end of days.

At some point, you have to set your work free and know you did the best job possible. The only other choice is to walk away from a project for awhile until you can gain new perspective. I find the only cure for my insecurity is to write, write, write. Get the story down. Then, when I'm feeling confident and determined, I go back and mold and remold the words until I see the piece forming like I imagined.

My mom and I are co-authoring our second book together, the follow up to our award-winning Depression Cookies. I feel confident in the storyline and characters, but I'm harder on myself about the quality. Opening myself up to critique groups, as I reported about in my Writer Rejuvenated post, and sharing my work with fellow writers has really helped me squelch the insecurity monster that's always lurking. I can handle constructive criticism as longs as it's productive and makes my work better in the end.

What helps keep you insecurity monster at bay?


Wednesdays are also designated for A Round of Words in 80 Days (ROW80) updates. I am happy with my goal progress. But to be honest, I've scaled back my goals for summer. My three daughters (12, 10 & 7) go back to school August 27.

Writing: I've spent a minimum of 30 minutes a day on my Depression Cookies follow up since Sunday's check in.

Editing: I spent one hour on editing projects yesterday and have allocated an hour today. With kids home, it's about all I can manage. Actually, my children might call someone soon to counsel me since I lock myself in the office to edit and they can hear me talking to myself (reading pieces out loud).

Blogging: Finally getting back on track for Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday postings. I'm trying to write posts at least a day ahead instead of trying to wring out my brain on post day and force creativity.

Social Media: I'm proud to say I commented on a minimum of 10 ROW80 Sunday posts and at least 10 more blogs since Sunday. The best I've done in weeks.

Reading: A bit of insecurity has surfaced lately because I've read several amazing books (4-5 stars) in a row. Check out my review blog, Mom in Love with Fiction, to add some to your to-be-read list.


I hope you will take a few minutes to visit other Insecure Writers and ROW80 participants. Share the love. It always comes back to you when you do!


Unknown said...

It seems all writers are insecure! The IWSG is growing by the week. You've set yourself some excellent goals and well done on keeping to them....have to do something similar myself....

Melissa said...

Oh my gosh, Tia. I laughed so hard when I saw your post. You need to visit my IWSG post today - 'The Five Stages of Fiction Writing' LOL Great minds think alike! :D

I find that simply reading novels helps my insecurities. Sometimes I find myself saying - that paragraph wasn't anything spectacular...similar to what I write, but I'm reading it and I'm liking it. Why am I so hard on myself? Encouragement from critter I trust helps a lot, too.

Great post! Seriously. :)

IWSG #179 (At least until Alex culls the list again. :P)

Lena Corazon said...

Oh boy, I'm definitely in the "my writing sucks and it's sooo terrible" stage of writing at the moment. I am trying to slay the Doubt Monster, but he is proving oh-so-resilient. :/

Great job with the progress so far!

Nadja Notariani said...

Hmmm...I think that cartoonist must have been peeking into my windows or using some tin foil contraption to listen to my

Oh! Been there...:} But you're correct. Writing, opening up to critique, joining up with other dispels the insecurity. Keep up the great work, Tia!

Jo Michaels said...

I wrote a post on roads and travelers of roads today. Haven't clicked publish yet though. I know where you're coming from with the insecurity but, like a traveler on the road, we must all make decisions. Every decision will impact us in one way or another. Very nice post today, Tia. WRITE ON!

Katharina Brendel said...

I think a combination of what you suggest is best. After writing that first draft taking a break from that project is good. That way, when you come back you are able to edit well. After you are done with edits is when you have to let go and send it out to critique groups.

Sounds like you have found a great balance!

Tia Bach said...

Susan, Thanks. It's so nice to have found this group and realize how much we writers have in common.

Melissa, Loved your stages article and tweeted and G+'ed it today.

Lena, Slay away! Best wishes. It's tough, but empowering.

Tia Bach said...

Nadja, That's exactly how I felt when I found this cartoon. So perfect.

Jo, I hope you hit publish. I'm going to pop over and check out your blog to find out. ;-)

Katharina, Breaks are definitely good to gain perspective and refocus.

Thanks to all for stopping by!

Anonymous said...

I feed my insecurity monster ice cream and then get back to work. Great cartoon.

Tia Bach said...

Gene Pool Diva, Finally, the answer I've been looking for. Add a warm brownie and my insecurity monster might be gone forever!