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IWSG: Enjoying the View

September 3, 2014

Warning: This will not be the usual Insecure Writer’s Support Group post. Believe it or not, this month I’m actually a secure writer. Shocking, I know, but it’s true!

I’ll start at the beginning.Image courtesy of Lance Kidwell @ stockxchng

See these handcuffs? That’s what it feels like to be an insecure writer. At every turn, you question yourself: Am I doing this right? Am I nuts to think anything will come of this? Who do I think I am to put words on the screen, when the demigods on the NYT bestseller’s list, who turn out books with fabulous covers and reviews printed in USA Today and People magazine, would declare this endeavor all but hopeless. After all, I’m just a daydreamer who happens to find words for these pretty pictures floating through my brain.

InsecureWritersSupportGroupThat’s where the Insecure Writer’s Support Group comes in. Founded by the fabulous Alex J. Cavanaugh ,we gather on the worldwide web to share our insecurities and encourage one another to fight the good fight, never surrender, and all that good stuff. (Oh, and it’s free to join, just click on this linky to add your name to the list of some of the nicest writers on the web.)

I joined without a second thought, (two years ago!) back when A Scenic Route was just a place to post my words as I got used to seeing my thoughts up there for others to read. This terrified me beyond all measure, but the kind writers who stopped by and left nice comments gave me a huge boost of confidence. I saw that I’m not alone in feeling this way. Together our collective of nervous writers can slay this beast of insecurity.

But finally, I’ve got a huge milestone to report. Much as I hate talking about myself, I think it’s only right to share this with everyone who has stuck with me through all my whimpering. Remember in June when I fretted about whether a writing contest would destroy my fragile ego?
Check it out:

Shock And Awe

Shock And Awe

I would never have had the nerve to send the first three chapters of this story out if it weren’t for everyone who comments here. All your wonderful words of encouragement mean so much to me. Who are these amazing writers who have unshackled me from my insecurities?  Where do I start?
Alex J. Cavanaugh of course, but there are so many others! Nancy H. Doyle, Melissa Maygrove, Shell Flower at Tangent Shell, Mark Koopmans, Kristina Stanley, Ivan Borodin, Katherine Lato, Peter Cruikshank, Sammy D at BeMuzin,  ‘ArmchairAuthor’ at Ink, Anushka Dhanapala at Finding My Creature, Liana Mir, Amanda Martin, Jamie Ayres, Mike Schulenberg, Will Hahn, Melinda Hagenson, Katie Checkley, Juneta Key and of course, Holly Lisle.

Can you see me glowing? I know there will be more bumps on this exciting journey, but today might be a good time to take a moment and enjoy the view, because as we insecure writers know, the valley of self-doubt is never far away.

How about you? What were some of the most exciting milestones in your writing journey so far? Did something that scared you ever give unexpected results? Let’s celebrate the good stuff this month!

Handcuff image courtesy of Lance Kidwell @ freeimages (formerly stockxchng)

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37 Comments
  1. September 3, 2014 7:12 pm

    Claps hands, does a skippy dance, I knew you could do it and will keep doing it. So proud of you.

    Milestones?
    Taking Holly Lisle’s writing courses.
    Setting up my first blog and sticking to it by post somewhat regularly.

    Then there is you, you were the reason I joined in IWSG,so thank you. Because of you, I had the courage to attempt to write a short story and submit it for publication in an anthology. You inspired me to try. I will hear something appx 6 weeks after Sept 1. I put it out there.

    The most recent thing I did is joined another blog ho, Weekend Writing Warriors, and the response to my 8 sentence is what I blogged about today in my IWSG post. ROFL @ self.

    You Go!!!

    Juneta at Writer’s Gambit

    • September 3, 2014 7:48 pm

      Thank you so much, Juneta!
      Joining the IWSG was somewhat of a turning point for me, believe it or not, along with getting involved at Holly’s courses, and I am happy to pass along the word about such a great group.
      The way our confidence grows when we stick together like this is magical!

  2. September 3, 2014 7:16 pm

    Congratulations!!! You overcame your fears and snagged second place. That is awesome. Sometimes all we need is a little boost of confidence to get us through.

    • September 3, 2014 7:51 pm

      Thanks, Alex!
      You know, I almost didn’t post this today because I really hate talking about myself, but then I realized that all the people who have helped me do this deserve to know how much they’ve helped me. IWSG has been a huge part of that. 🙂

  3. September 3, 2014 7:32 pm

    Hah! Marvelous, so glad to see this. Congratulations.

    • September 3, 2014 7:53 pm

      Thank you, my wordy friend. 😉 Having people like you respond so positively to my wacky wordage has meant a lot to me.

  4. September 3, 2014 7:41 pm

    Oh my gosh, I have tears in my eyes and a shit-eating grin on my face. I feel like a Mom to all you “youngsters” who are SO BRAVE and know so much earlier than I did where your true passions lie. I’m so happy for you, Kirsten!!! Bravery takes many forms, not the least to put yourself in a position for criticism and rejection. It took bravery even to join a group with the word “insecure”, as silly as that sounds, but I know YOU know what I mean.

    Thanks to Alex for giving you a place to receive “soft landings”, but it was ALL YOU who accomplished this milestone. I cannot wait until we all hear the serenade 🙂

    • September 3, 2014 7:56 pm

      🙂 I’m grinning too now!
      If someone had told me a few years ago I’d ever work up the nerve to send something out to a ‘real’ contest, I’d have called them a liar. But one step at a time got me there!
      I almost fell off my chair when I read the email that told me I placed though. What a nice surprise. 🙂

      • September 3, 2014 8:03 pm

        And now you’re not “just” a brave contestant; YOU’RE A WINNER!!

  5. September 3, 2014 8:05 pm

    Congratulations!!! I never placed in any contests. Tough competition out there and you’re already one step ahead of ’em!

    • September 3, 2014 8:11 pm

      Thank you, Jamie! I never considered I would even final, much less place, because I know I have some work to do on this story. But I did! So there must be something in there that somebody likes.
      That amazes me, and makes me incredibly happy! 🙂 🙂

  6. September 3, 2014 8:51 pm

    Congratulations! How exciting! Putting myself out in the blogosphere scared me to death, but I’ve met so many lovely people, it has been a wonderful experience. I’m really glad I took the plunge.

    • September 4, 2014 8:20 pm

      Same here, Lori! I was terrified that people would be critical of what I have to say. Instead the blogosphere feels more like hanging out at a very cool 24 hour coffee shop. 🙂

  7. September 3, 2014 9:13 pm

    Congrats!!! I knew you had it in you. Your blog posts are so perfect, I knew your “real” writing had to be awesome, too. Good job putting yourself out there and yay for something to rock those evil bios that writers always have to prepare. The NYT bestseller list is not far away.

    • September 4, 2014 8:23 pm

      You’re right, I can put this in my bio, can’t I? I still want to be an adverb assassin though. 😉
      Thanks so much for the kind words, Shell! I never thought sharing my words could feel so rewarding.

  8. September 3, 2014 9:47 pm

    Congrats and it’s so cool you remember all the “little people” (as Hollywood would say) that helped. I’m waiting on a contest entry as well, on the heels of a small rejection from a different source. I’d skip and clap with an “honorable mention” award…so extra special YAY for you!

    • September 6, 2014 10:48 am

      Hi Dean,
      Welcome to A Scenic Route 🙂
      I was thrilled to reach finalist, and beyond shocked to see that I placed! The encouragement I receive here has been incredible.
      I’ve got my fingers crossed for your contest entry!

  9. September 3, 2014 9:47 pm

    Congratulations! It’s so hard to take that risk of sending your work out. I will probably never get over that moment of terror right before I hit SEND. But these are the moments that make it all worthwhile!

    • September 6, 2014 10:50 am

      Oh yes, I always have to psych myself up for that final moment when I could still turn back and keep it all safe and sound on my hard drive.
      I usually save a bit of chocolate to reward myself for taking the plunge! 😉

  10. September 3, 2014 9:50 pm

    That’s an awesome milestone…congratulations! And I’m glad if I’ve been helpful in any way 🙂

    • September 4, 2014 8:24 pm

      I’m always glad to see you keep swinging by, Mike! Encouragement is everything to me. 🙂

  11. September 4, 2014 2:37 am

    I’m so glad to see you’re doing better! And congrats btw, on getting out there! I’ve no doubt you’ll go far! Hope to see more of you!

    • September 4, 2014 8:25 pm

      Hi nchristopherson!
      Thanks so much. 🙂 It was very hard for me to take that chance, but I’m so glad I did. I want everyone to know that it’s worth it!
      Welcome to A Scenic Route!

      • September 5, 2014 1:24 am

        Well, I know I’ll certainly be watching out for your rising star! That way, I can see you shine when you finally reach that goal!

  12. September 4, 2014 2:50 am

    You definitely have to take these types of moments to enjoy and celebrate! 🙂

    • September 4, 2014 8:26 pm

      Yes, I did that! Sharing the joy is fun too though. 🙂

  13. September 4, 2014 6:31 am

    Yay! Congratulations

    • September 4, 2014 8:27 pm

      Thanks, Amanda! All the kind things you say about my writing mean a lot to me. 🙂

  14. melissamaygrove permalink
    September 4, 2014 7:48 am

    Woohoo! Never doubted it. 😉

    It’s okay to be secure. We need a few of those in the IWSG posts, lest the rest of us think there’s no hope. 😛

    • September 4, 2014 8:29 pm

      Exactly, Melissa. 🙂
      I don’t think I would have dared to share my writing at that contest without my insecure writing buddies cheering me on!

  15. Loni Townsend permalink
    September 4, 2014 4:40 pm

    Congrats! That is awesome news! Good job!

    • September 4, 2014 8:30 pm

      Thanks, Loni! I still can’t believe this happened to me. 🙂

  16. September 4, 2014 5:50 pm

    I absolutely cannot WAIT to read this book! So proud of you–you give the rest of us hope!

    • September 4, 2014 8:32 pm

      I’ll be excited and super nervous to share it when the times comes. (And notice I said ‘when’ not ‘if’– I have a whole lot more faith this story will find a home someday! 🙂 )
      If I can do this, you can too.

  17. September 4, 2014 8:51 pm

    This is great news, lady. I’m so proud of you. Celebrate thoroughly and then get back to work while you’re in the glow! Your writing is absolutely wonderful, and I’m positive this is the first of many successes. I have to add my voice to everyone else’s – can’t wait to read your novel.

    • September 6, 2014 10:36 am

      Thank you so much, Nancy! I have to admit that, as much as I love working on it, there is a part of me that will be glad when this story is finally and irrevocably done– so I can move on to the next one. 🙂

  18. September 8, 2014 8:23 am

    Fantastic. Hard work does pay off. Enjoy the moment!

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