Insecure Writer’s Support Group Day

Last month’s Know Thyself Challenge left me lingering with a few serious thoughts about being a writer. I started to think; am I a writer? My so-called manuscript sitting in a file on my computer, untouched for weeks. Is this what real writers do? Sure, I have a young family and all the hoopla that involves them but !shock! they do go to bed at some point. What is my excuse then? Ahhh yes, research.

Really?

No.

Well, to a point. But then….what?

Here I have waxed lyrical to ‘just keep on writing’. Yes, a blog post still constitutes as writing but I have a nifty little story in the making which, I believe, if given enough time and effort could actually be quite good. So why the hell have I not given it time and effort?

A part of me has been a little embarrassed admitting to all of this. Yes, we all have our moments of dry spells and we are more than entitled to them. Are we not human, after all? But I’m afraid I have left it dry for longer than is normal.

A part of me is tired from the daily grind. This part of me kicks back with a book and hot cup of coffee most nights and wiles away the remaining hours of my evening in someone elses world. In the meantime that little voice in the deep, dark recesses of my mind is yelling out ‘oi!!!!! you have a book to write!!!!! these ideas aint gonna write themselves you know!!!!!

But I ignore. Because it’s easy to do. Because I let myself become ensconced in the latest thriller novel I have picked up. Then I fall asleep. Only to visit this same place again the next night. And the night after that. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

Please someone put me into line. This is what I ask of you today. Help me out of this funk that has gone on for far too long. Words of wisdom will be appreciated. Β πŸ™‚

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About Virginia

Writer, reader, crossword puzzler and conspiracy theorist.

22 Responses to “Insecure Writer’s Support Group Day”

  1. I get up at 5am now to make sure I have a couple of hours before I have to switch my brain on to all the other things like work etc. Works for me!

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  2. Oooooo, errrrr, that is a problem, but, one I know quite a few writers have, including me! πŸ™‚

    Hmmmmm…..*thinks* ok, how about doing a to do list at the start of every week. Start off small (baby steps lol) and publicly state that you will spend one evening that week working on your novel. Then we can all come and shout at you if you didn’t do it *snigger* πŸ˜‰

    No, seriously, I’ve found publicly stating my to do list on here has really made me focus and I don’t want to blog every week that I didn’t mark anything off the list lol.

    Failing that, throw all your books out and get rid of the coffee πŸ˜‰

    Good luck honey xx

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    • Vikki, this is what I have decided to do – use public statements every week and put my goals out there, like you do. I do work better when I have a deadline and right now, there are no boundaries – which is why Im slacking off. And yes, please do shout at me – I deserve it!

      Throw my books and coffee out?? *gasp* I’m sorry, did I hear you correctly? lol…….never……. πŸ™‚

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  3. The only thing you can do, really, is to either listen to your inner voice or to stop thinking of yourself as a writer. Occupying this wishy-washy middle ground is not a healthy place to be. As you mentioned in your post, it’s filling you with insecurity and guilt on a daily basis.

    You need to take your time to honestly answer the following question: “Am I a writer or do I just like the IDEA of being a writer?”

    Neither answer is shameful if it is true to who you are.

    If you are a writer you know what you need to do. If you aren’t one, let the idea of writing go and enjoy your quiet time without regret.

    I do wish you the very best of luck with this. Take care.

    Mike
    http://www.mikeallegra.com

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    • You are absolutely right. This is what I’ve been doing since completing the Know Thyself Challenge – am I a writer or is it merely a ‘hobby’, a means to let off some steam (because it’s very therapeutic for me). At the end of the day I do enjoy writing and I have always dreamed of having a published novel.
      I think the key for me is to create deadlines, reach out to the community and be a lot harder on myself.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting, I really appreciate it πŸ™‚

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  4. I agree with Vikki, public statements have helped me out in the past. I work up a sense of actual obligation to the readers and am therefore more motivated. I just gave out this piece of advice not 20 minutes ago: Take a step sideways, write a bit of flash or a short story. If possible allow it to pertain to a character in your novel. I have done this several times and find a renewed drive to get crackin’ on the main story. Of course what works for me may not work for you. So, obviously, a grain of salt should be taken with this advice. I can relate though. By the time I reach a point where things are settling in for the evening, I am disinclined to work on anything. On the weekends I get up earlyish (later than a work day, but earlier than the rest of the household.) I go for a run and/or work on writing. Again, a change can be as good as a rest. …If you wish to make bold statements in public, I will be happy to spam you with a pointed reminder. Oi, no lollygagging! Brilliant stuff like that. Free of charge.

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    • Thanks Steve! I think I may just publicize my writing goals, like Vikki does. And yes, please please spam me – I obviously need it! πŸ™‚

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  5. I’ve found when I don’t feel like writing, it’s usually because I’m at a point that I need to work out. It can take from a few days to a few weeks. During this time I read other books and do other tasks, all the while subconsciously working out my problem. Once I’m ready to write, the words flow. This is more so when I’m doing rewrites. When writing a first draft, the words come faster than I can type because I let my imagination run wild and write whatever the hell comes to me. When I do rewrites and I have to actually think about plotlines and whether or not something makes sense, then it’s a heck of a lot harder and I don’t write nearly as fast.

    Also, I think there’s a different mentality when “just writing” and “writing for money” or “deadline.” When you know you can write leisurely, it’s easier to put it off when you’re not in the mood. However, when you know someone is actually waiting to receive it, that’s different and you put more effort into it.

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    • You are spot on. I do tend to work better when I have tight boundaries. I don’t belong to any writing groups but I think if I’m going to have to. I’ve seen a lot of other bloggers talking about writing buddies – someone that will spur you on regardless of whats going on in the outside world.
      Thanks Tonya, good advice as usual πŸ™‚

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  6. When I have a bit of writing that I can’t seem to face down, it really helps me is to set a timer for a predetermined amount of writing time. (I use Lotus, by Bravo Bug software, it’s free and not too annoying.) I don’t set it for too long because I don’t want to feel overwhelmed by the prospect, but long enough so that I can see measurable progress. Half an hour is a good place to start. Then I stop, sometimes even if I feel that I want to go on, to save something for the next day and give myself a reason to sit down with the story again.

    When I finish that small goal, I reward myself with something: A good novel, chocolate, a talk with a friend.

    Doing it this way turns writing into a habit, but one that I can fit in with the rest of my crazy life. I’m always surprised by how much all these little bits of progress do add up. πŸ™‚

    Good luck with the novel!

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  7. “I started to think; am I a writer? My so-called manuscript sitting in a file on my computer, untouched for weeks. Is this what real writers do?”

    I’ve spent a lot of timely lately trying to determine what a “real” writer is, and what it is that separates those writers from the “non-real” writers. Michael Jordan could still tool almost every living person on the court, but since he is retired, is he still a “real” basketball player? Is it the skillset, or what one does with that skillset, that makes them a writer? Perhaps it has more to do with the amount of time one spends per diem, a percentage of the time they have spent throughout their life, or a mixture of the two that determines the reality of their status.

    I’ve still not come to a conclusion. This world of words was admittedly much easier when I said “I write” as opposed to “I am a writer.” There was no pressure. Writing was an adjective, not a definition.

    Let me ask you this: Before you made a WordPress site with typewriters and graphics and colorful trinkets that were meant to act as an outward expression of your love of words, would you have called yourself an “insecure writer?” If yes, this issue is rooted too deeply for anyone here to help you overcome. If not, then what happened to make yourself question it?

    Do other people have better/more consistent/more authoritative blogs? Do other people have 15 books available? Do they seem to “know” the rules better? Do they spend 20 hours a day writing and still somehow manage a social media platform? Is there an obligation now lead the bitter, aescetic life of a writer? Are these things you thought about when you were the most confident in your abilities as a writer?

    Every page you read, every odd job you tackle is a chance to build a story of your own. Don’t think of that time as wasted, but rather as an opportunity.

    …and I think I now have the idea for my next blog post. πŸ™‚

    -A.M.
    http://amschultz.com

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    • Let me ask you this: Before you made a WordPress site with typewriters and graphics and colorful trinkets that were meant to act as an outward expression of your love of words, would you have called yourself an β€œinsecure writer?” If yes, this issue is rooted too deeply for anyone here to help you overcome. If not, then what happened to make yourself question it? <<<<< This is so spot on I want to shout it from the rooftops. My answer to you is no, I did not call myself an insecure writer. Before WordPress, before computers, before it all I used to take my pen and my notebook and write. I would write and write and write. And these insecurity hang ups didn't exist.

      Maybe we suffer these insecurities because there is so much of the same around us, it makes it easy to compare ourselves to others in the same situation. It's a bit of a lame excuse, I know, but thats the only reason I can think of.

      It's incredible food for thought and I can't wait to read your next post! πŸ™‚

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  8. Listen to your inner voice.

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  9. Honey, I’ve tagged you with The Lucky 7 Meme πŸ™‚

    Please don’t feel obligated to take part, but if you do want to, the info’s here…

    http://the-view-outside.com/2012/07/05/the-lucky-7-meme/

    Xx

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