Wednesday, 7 January 2015

IWSG: New Year, Same Problems!

Happy New Year, Insecure Writers!

Are you a member? Have you considered joining and not go around to it yet? Why not make 2015 the year you join and discover the amazing talent, helpfulness and all round awesomeness of the members?

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I thought, by now, almost three years after publishing my first book - and subsequently publishing two other books - I wouldn't be insecure any more, that I'd have an abundance of advice for people, that I'd be happily gliding through story after story, novel after novel...

It's okay, loyal blog followers, I'm light years away from that!

And that's a good thing.

I'm repeating myself. I've said this before on this blog, and in comments on other blogs. Once a writer becomes secure there is a chance they'll start to become complacent. A writer should feel insecure. They should question themselves, their ideas, their application of those ideas.

I'm reminding myself of this more than I'm telling you. I finished a novel late last year, and now I am bereft of ideas for the next one. I've been scribbling in my notebook for a few days, but really I'm going around in circles. Ten minutes ago, I had an ah-ha moment, but it's really just the whisper of an idea at the moment. I'm certain more will appear soon, but I have to wait.

I have to wait for my own subconscious to do the hard work!!

There are probably many writers who abide by the 'write every day, don't wait for inspiration' process fainting right now. So, sorry about that.

But, also, if you're really feeling insecure right now, just think of me, sitting in front of a blank page, waiting for a dream to point me in the right direction.


64 comments:

  1. I have a feeling that insecurity is going to be one of my lifetime companions. But, if it helps me not to be a complacent writer, then I can handle it. :)

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  2. I've learned I have to let go of the 'real writers write every day' rule. It's just not always possible. And I like what you said about feeling insecure! I hope you're right, because then I'm right on track. ;-)

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    1. Exactly, Rachel. Like you said in your post, real life sometimes takes over.

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  3. I agree. Insecurity can be a good thing, but in moderation of course or else I will never muster the courage to share my work. I know you will find the inspiration you need to complete your story. That moment will come. All the best.

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    1. I think I might have had the right inspiration, which is why I haven't got around to replying to these comments so far :-)

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  4. It's really hard for me to write every day if I'm not feeling inspired. But when inspiration hits, you have to milk it for all it's worth! Glad you had an a-ha moment. Those are always great :)

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    1. Oh yes, I've spent many evenings writing through until the early hours, or waking up desperate to write down a sentence or two.

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  5. I totally agree that we should feel insecure. It will keep us pushing ourselves to be better. :) Good luck!

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  6. Me and insecurity seem to be pretty good friends! Sometimes she'll had off on her travels for a while but she always comes back, often when least expected! But when I think about it you are probably right, if we didn't have insecurities questioning our motives, our plots and everything in between, we might not produce our best work.

    Happy New Year to you and the family. Hope inspiration returns from her travels real soon,

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    1. Thanks Suzanne. Hope you keep your insecurity in check though!

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  7. I like that take on insecurity. I find myself agreeing with you. I can't imagine how writers like Mark Greaney (who took over the Tom Clancy franchise) can go into a novel knowing (as he does) it'll be a hit.

    Maybe he doesn't.

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    1. Once you get to a certain level, with ardent fans and a tried-and-tested franchise, you KNOW the book will sell.

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  8. When we are secure, when we think we've arrived, we're actually going backwards at a scary rate.

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    1. I agree, Diane, and you might not even notice until it's too late!

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  9. Annalisa -- Those "write every day" people put a lot of pressure on themselves and others, I think! Sometimes, the creative brain needs to rest and recharge. I had a period just like yours this fall, where I felt like I had totally run out of new ideas. It made me VERY insecure and depressed. Then one day, I was driving and a full-fledged idea popped into my head. Now I know what my next project will be.

    Chasing ideas makes them run away. Stand still and let them come to you!

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    1. I love that last line. I will definitely imagine my ideas running away if I chase too hard from now on :-)

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  10. I always hate that 'wandering around' period in between books. Here's hoping you don't have to wander too long!

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    1. The wandering is a little more focused now, Megan :-) It always happens, I really should learn to accept it by now.

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  11. LOL! I've got a few dreams I can loan you. What do you say?

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    1. It's a relief when they finally come to you, isn't it?

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  13. Ugh! I know that feeling! Inspiration will come at the least convenient time, too, if you're anything like me! Hope it doesn't keep you waiting too long :-)

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    1. Always on the cross trainer at the gym, Linda. So many scribbles on the back of my programme, that I have to decipher when I get home.

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  14. I think that if one becomes complacent in any venture/craft/work it's not a good thing - and I don't think that's ever going to be a problem in my case! LOL x

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  15. something cool will click, I'm sure. I look to you for inspiration - you truly put in the time and effort and it's been paying off with quality work. So, you might be insecure and think stuff is rubbish - check in with me and I'll reassure you. NOW, I have to get my writer's edge back in gear. I pretty much farted away 2014. Let's have fun and write!!!

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    1. Thanks Joanne, you truly are up there among my biggest cheerleaders - it means a lot to me.

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  16. I have a nasty habit of scaring myself out of writing but seem to have no lack of idea's. Maybe we should swap, you can have all the ideas and then I won't feel so bad about scaring myself out of writing if my mind is blank to begin with lol. In all serious though, I hope you get a new idea soon and are happily typing away the rest of 2015 :)

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    1. I'm slowly getting several ideas to collide into something interesting. But I wouldn't wish my blank mind on anyone!!

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  17. What about giving the writing a break and giving yourself some serious reading time. Immerse yourself in books you love and see what happens to your subconscious then. I find it works wonders.

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    1. I think that's a great idea. I never read as much as I should!

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  18. Yay for new ideas! Be patient and let that idea percolate for a while. And thanks for the reminder that we have to keep some insecurities in order to keep moving forward.

    Good luck!

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  19. Hi Annalisa - you've had some great comments here .. and we just need to keep going .. being inspired by 'our' Cornish roots ... but being positive .. and if not writing - check out something else ..

    Good luck with this year .. cheers Hilary

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    1. I should be inspired more by my surroundings - getting out and about would definitely help with my inspiration!

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  20. "A writer should feel insecure."

    I couldn't agree more! Best of luck and hope your subconscious kicks in, soon :)

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  21. Yeah, I think I'll always be insecure! I hope the right idea turns up soon. It's a matter of time.

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    1. Ideas normally arrive in the nick of time, but there's always that part of me which wonders if I've used up my creative luck!

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  22. They do say complacent is bad, but I've never heard it connected to writing. Just, you know, super villians and governments and other people in power like that ^_~ But it does makes sense, just like with any career we have to keep abreast of what's going on and worry if we're doing the right thing. But I'm pretty sure you are.

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  23. Haha, I know the feeling. The insecurity never goes away. Oh well, it does after I finish writing a book, but once I'm halfway through a new one, they're back full force :-)

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    1. See, I can get insecure before I even start the next one! You're a step ahead of me, Vanessa :-)

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  24. Insecure? Moi? After all the rejection letters I've accumulated over the years I've gone beyond insecure to resigned!

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    1. No, don't resign yourself yet! There's a huge market in flash fiction at the moment, you should definitely try to write some for literary magazines/web sites. I'm sure you'd go down well. Also, you won something recently, so that's all the more reason to be completely not resigned :-)

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  25. I always have insecurities. I try to see the positive side, since they can be challenging and bring me to high points.

    Those book ideas will come to you.

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    1. The challenge is half the point of writing, isn't it, Medeia? If it was too easy, everyone would be doing it! :-)

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  26. Insecurity is just part of the game, I guess. At least there's something we can count on in publishing! But seriously, I don't think it goes away. Successful writers talk about it all the time, so it's just part of the scenery of writing.

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    1. I like to hear successful authors talking about their own insecurities - it's important to remember it's not supposed to go away :-)

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  27. I'm waiting for a dream as well! I really need the help LOL.

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    1. All my dreams are contradicting themselves at the moment!

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  28. It's nice to know that writers should feel insecure, it means I'm doing something right!

    Good luck with the new story, I hope inspiration pays you a visit soon :-)

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    1. Yes, this whole group is doing it right!

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  29. Hi Annalisa,

    You got that right if you one felt too secure in their writing, complacency could well kick in.

    I was going to type a bit more. I've um, gone blank :)

    Gary

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  30. If feeling secure is a problem, I'm doing something right!

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  31. I agree with you. A bit of insecurity keeps my mind open to other people's suggestions and input too. I'm a firm believer in writing on through the blocks, but if I have absolutely nothing- staring at the blank screen is just torture. That's when I walk away and do something boring and mindless, like cleaning out a closet. Eventually my mind will start to wander and the imagination comes back.

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  32. Such a great post... once heard somewhere that the best actors were the ones who still had a bit of anxiety before each performance... and I agree, writing each book is the same for writers:)

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  33. I once read about a study linking anxiety and creativity. There may be some chemical or neural pathway where the two are forever twined, and once one is gone... well, it's a definite sad face for the writer. Great post!

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  34. You are so right Annalisa. My insecurity begs me for feedback from others because I always assume others know more than me, and if they don't, they see things differently and a fresh perspective is so alluring to creatives. :)

    shahwharton.com

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Please comment - I love a good chat!