Wednesday, 4 September 2013

This wonderful group - an IWSG post

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the linky list!
Welcome to the first Wednesday of the month, and therefore my IWSG offering.

I had this post all written last week, and then I received Alex's email reminding us that the IWSG has reached it's 2nd anniversary, and it's still going strong. I think I've managed to post every single month, too, which is an achievement for me. 

Two years ago, my blog was small and had very little traffic; I had a couple of novellas that I'd given up trying to publish; and it had been almost a year since my last short story was published via a competition. Was I feeling insecure? You bet I was. But then I started reading about everyone else's insecurities, and realised that everyone feels the same, no matter what stage of the process they're at. Everyone thinks their current draft is rubbish, everyone thinks their last novel will be their last because this one's just not going right. And everyone can step up and tell other's that they felt like that last month, and it will pass, and we're all in this together.

Writing is such a lonely business, if you're not careful. I started writing before the internet was born, and I can tell you I was very lonely - none of my friends wrote, only a few of them loved books as much as me, and none of them had to be persuaded to open the next present on Christmas Day because they were too engrossed in their last (book) present..

Today, it's hard to feel insecure - I've published two Kindle books, gained some fantastic friends from all around the world, taken risks and shared parts of my life with people who really know what I'm feeling. The encouragement I've been given, and seeing the success of others, really helped me to take my goals to the next level.

Of course, Alex (the guy who doesn't even need a link) deserves a huge standing ovation for having this brilliant idea in the first place, for continually promoting fellow authors, for always visiting our blogs, and for apparently never working, eating or sleeping to be able to manage all this blogging time. I'm so glad to be part of this group, and for meeting you all.


Have you been part of the group from the start? Have you just joined? Has it helped you as much as it's helped me?



91 comments:

  1. I have been a part of this group from the start. It's been a terrific experience and influence. I'm so glad it's done so well, and that so many writers have benefited from it.

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    1. It's been so interesting watching everyone developing!

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  2. Yay for Alex! Two years is a long time to keep a bloghop running!

    And yay for you! You have done rather a lot in the year I've known you, and I can't wait to see what's next!

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    1. It's true, I've had a pretty busy year (actually, more like 18 months now). Although coming from the woman who's published three books, I feel like I need to step up a gear :-)

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  3. Here, here, high five to all the insecure group members!

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    1. It's been great to find your blog, Suzanne. One day we'll have to meet up - we're only a maximum 2 hours from each other!

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  4. Congrats on the two Kindle books Annalisa! :)

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  5. Oh yes, I've been part of the group since its inception and it has helped tremendously. Alex created a phenomenal thing when he dreamed up IWSG. Congrats on your two books, Annalisa.

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  6. So great how you've gained confidence and progressed as a writer over the last few years. You should feel proud!

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    1. Thanks Kim, I am proud, and very grateful :-)

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  7. Gaining friends along the way is what life is all about. And getting your books out there for publication too. Best wishes on your continued success!

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    1. Exactly - success means nothing if you have no one to celebrate with!

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  8. Yes, I've been here since the beginning too:) I can't believe it's been two years already!

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  9. I started writing back before the Internet, too, and you are right about how lonely it was. Now? There's always a person or a blog post about books or a writing website only a click away. :)

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    1. Exactly. If you're tearing your hair out over a scene, you can send out a Facebook plea and get so much advice straight back. Love it!

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  10. You're so correct. Writing is lonely work, but the internet makes it feel like we have this huge network where support and camaraderie is just a click away!

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    1. It helps me so much because instead of stewing on a problem for days, I only have to do it for a couple of hours and then someone saves me with a great suggestion.

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  11. I can't imagine writing without the internet. I'm sure I would've visited A LOT of cafes and tried to make buddies at bookstores.

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    1. I think that's called 'stalking', Isis lol!! Although, at least pre-internet there was a reason to leave the house :-)

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  12. I was not with it from the start, but I'm so glad I found it!

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  13. Hi Nina, here from Alex's blog. Yes, I've been a member from the start. It's a great group. I certainly echo your sentiments about it as well. Said many of the same things in my post, just in a different way. Looking forward to getting to know you through your posts. Great blog, I'm now a follower.

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  14. I finally joined this wonderful group of writers for the first time. I've been reading posts for almost a year and finally feel the need to jump in. Writing is a lonely business and help is always appreciated!

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    1. It's a wonderful group to be part of. Well done for making the leap from lurking!

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  15. I started writing long before there were such connections on the internet and it is very lonely. This group is so supportive and helpful, and yes, I've posted every month since the beginning.

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    1. I'm so glad I decided to create a blog in the first place - I remember the should I/shouldn't I dilemma. Without it, I hate to think how my writing would have stagnated. Just seeing how other people work has pushed me to do more and consider self-publishing, which I'd never have done without seeing the success of my blogging friends.

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  16. I've missed a few months...but this group has helped me tremendously, too. I wrote about that today, though now I'm insecure because you were much more eloquent about it than me...sheesh, that's pathetic... ;-)
    It is a great group, and we're all in this together, which is wonderful.
    Tina @ Life is Good

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    1. Lol, your post was great. You're too hard on yourself!

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  17. What a great post. This is a wonderful group and I'm happy I found it. It's nice to know we aren't alone and I have met so many wonderful people too.

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    1. Thanks Cherie :-) I think writers have the best online community.

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  18. I had to post about my current meltdown because I KNEW without a doubt this awesome group would cheer me up and make me feel like I can do this writing thing. And that's exactly what happened. Thanks for your kind comment, Annalisa. Happy birthday IWSG!

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    1. So glad the comments helped you. That proves how great this group is.

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  19. I admit that I didn't start on the day. I said to myself "I'm too busy for this blog hop too!" But then things kept falling apart. I finally broke down and joined the following january. It was definitely a low point for me. On the other hand, I've been going strong ever since, and I LOVE IWSG!

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    1. I've pared down the number of hops I join in with, but IWSG is non-negotiable. All that talent, advice and experience should be tapped! It's great the group has helped you so much!

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  20. I joined the IWSG a few months back and I'm so glad I did! It's always nice to realise that you're not the only insecure writer out there. I think we're all incredibly grateful to Alex for setting it up :)

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    1. I'm sure it would be hard to find a completely secure writer - I have my moments, but it never really lasts :-)

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  21. Great to hear how this group has helped you with publishing! I'm impressed you haven't missed any months either.

    Here's to more books published and insecurites vanquished!

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    1. Thanks Jennifer! Vanquished would be good, but subdued is probably as far as it goes at the moment :-)

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  22. Brilliant post. We definitely all have days of inconsolable insecurities. They is, inconsolable until we connect with like minded folk who lift our spirits and show us love and support. Today's three best of those days, and I thank Alex too!

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    1. Thanks Nancy. We're lucky to have a brilliant support network close at hand.

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  23. You know what's really lame? I've been watching this group since it's conception and commenting all through the process, but I've never actually joined. I know! L-A-M-E. BUT, in my defense, it's not quite with my meme structure. Still, I've gotten to know so many amazing writer through it, and though I probably never will be an official member, I feel like I wear a "honorary" member badge every first Wednesday of the month.

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    1. There's nothing wrong with hanging around the edges. I bet you still dip in and give great advice. And it's the best way to find new blogs to follow!

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  24. You've had an amazing journey the past two years. I feel so fortunate to be part of this group, great post for the anniversary. :)

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  25. Annalisa, so glad it has helped you on your journey! I know it's helped and blessed me in ways I can't begin to count.

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  26. I DEFINITELY know what you mean about this being a lonely business. I cannot IMAGINE where I'd be with my writing if I'd never decided to create a blog three and a half years ago. This whole world of connected writers would still be hidden from me! And it really is an amazing world :-)

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    1. I'd probably have more time to write, if I didn't have my blog ;-)

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  27. with this multi-textured community of writers, you are never alone. What a bunch of great people.

    About Alex: AGREED

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  28. Fabulous post! I was writing before the internet too. I was the family black sheep and the outcast amongst my peers. With this community, I feel welcomed and appreciated. IWSG is amazing.

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    1. There's nothing quite like the look of confusion on your friends' faces when you tell them you're too busy to go out!

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  29. It can be a lonely profession because we work so much away from people crafting our adventures. Many in our immediate circle, who don't write, either look at us like we're aliens or like we are exotic creature, lol! Having writing friend around sure helps.

    I've been a quasi contributor to IWSG--mainly b/c i usually have guests on Wednesdays and sometimes forget to leave the first Wednesday free for a IWSG post. I think any group like this is helpful because it reminds you that everyone has their moments of insecurity and so many in the group offer some great ideas to help a person overcome some feelings of inadequacy.

    Enjoyed your post!

    Sia McKye Over Coffee

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    1. I'm definitely the alien rather than an exotic creature! I find it so helpful to have such great advice on tap, whatever the time of day.

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  30. I know - doesn't it seem like Alex never sleeps, eats, or drinks? He's Super-duper-man! I loved your post. That's exactly what I feel like -- and you and the other members of IWSG have helped me so much. Thanks! :-)

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    1. And I'm glad I've met you Lexa. Love live the IWSG!

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  31. Wow - when I scrolled down that list I thought I'd strayed to the A-Z Challenge! How do people find the time to do all this? I'm having difficulty keeping up my own blog while I tackle a rewrite, let alone joining another group!

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    1. I know, it's a huge list isn't it? I tend not to find the time, which is why I'm still making my return visits and replies two days later :-)

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  32. I didn't get an email about it being the anniversary - so it's not in my post - sorry, Alex! I probably fail repeatedly to link properly to the group but I'm glad to see I'm still on the list (no 43!). I think I've been in the group since fairly near the beginning. I love the company too!

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    1. It's possible I dreamt the email, Linda :-) I'm right next to you on the list, so that's probably the way I met you - and I'm so glad I did. You've been a brilliant friend!

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  33. This sounds like such a great experience!

    www.modernworld4.blogspot.com

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  34. I am not a part of this group, but I've enjoyed your posts as they've occurred. Glad I met you thru A to Z blogging and I've rooted for your progress. You can be proud and very NOT insecure at this point in your writing. Keep enjoying the group and growing as a writer.

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    1. Thank you so much Joanne. I'm glad I met you too :-)

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  35. I too lack friends who are deep into reading and writing like I am. Starting my blog got me to meet the many supporters I have today and IWSG was nothing but helpful. Congrats on your journey.

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    1. It's great to be part of a group that really understands you, isn't it?

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  36. I really enjoyed your thoughts on writing and connecting and how you have managed to do it!
    This is my first post with the IWSG and I am so grateful to come across such a resource!

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    1. You've joined one of the most supportive groups in the whole of bloggyland! These random names on your screen will soon become good friends :-)

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  37. Don't we just love this group! I'm so pleased to be a part of it. I don't think I've ever missed posting either. Love that you no longer feel insecure. I think writing can still be lonely -- but online buddies certainly help as they know where we're coming from.

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    1. Well, not insecure this month... but it's so changeable - just one bad review can send you into a spiral of self-doubt, can't it? But at least I'll have lots of people to hear my woes when that happens :-)

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  38. I started about a year or so ago, but dropped off for a couple of months, then came back. I really do enjoy getting to connect with other writers regularly. I, like you, don't have friends that are writers in my real life, so this is a great addition to my world. Great IWSG post!

    Kim Lajevardi
    (This Writer's Growing)

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    1. The mad ramblings of a writer only really make sense to other writers. Those 'normal' people just look at me as though I'm utterly mad! Glad you came back!

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  39. Huge congrats to Alex for creating such an awesome group:) Well done on your achievements, Annalisa.

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  40. Brilliant post, Annalisa; beautifully said. I'm glad the online writing community has helped you get over your insecurities, and strive further with your goals!

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  41. Annalisa, you are an inspiration for all of us too.Alex certainly has left his legacy in the writing blogging world!

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    1. Aw Julie, that's so lovely of you to say that :-) I'm blushing behind my keyboard now. Alex is truly amazing!

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  42. I'm only writing for about 3 years now, but believe me, if it wasn't for the wonderful online writing community and the IWSG, I would NEVER have come this far!
    You are a great writer Annalisa.
    All in all, I've missed three IWSG posts.
    Writer In Transit

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    1. Thanks Michelle :-) I have no idea where I'd be right now if I hadn't created a blog and met so many great people. Congratulations on your progress over the last 3 years!

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  43. The group has certainly introduced me to some fine folks like you, Annalisa. Coming up on my first year with them. You are also an inspiration!

    M.L. Swift, Writer

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    1. Aw, thank you! I'm glad I met you. Your blog always makes me giggle.

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  44. Hi Annalisa .. it is a great group to be in .. and 333+ of you too. Congratulations on all your achievements - there'll be more ahead ... and everyone is so supportive and encouraging .. you'll keep on writing .. it's in your blood ... cheers and enjoy a blustery weekend .. Hilary

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    1. Thanks Hilary, and you're right about writing being in my blood. I have no idea what I'd do without it.

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  45. I've been with IWSG for about a year and definitely find it an encouragement. It's great to be surrounded by such good friends when you're embarking on a solitary activity.

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Please comment - I love a good chat!