Wednesday, January 2, 2013

IWSG -- January

It's  the first Wednesday of the month!  Which means it's time for Alex J. Cavanaugh's project, the:

Purpose: 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!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time. 

Where to start?!  Maybe at that part where I still, STILL have yet to finish my NaNoWriMo novel and that it is now JANUARY OF 2013 and also, since NaNo ended, I have started TWO more stories? And have another one working itself out in my head? 

It seems I have no problem starting anything-- I just can't seem to finish.  (Sounds like a bit of a personal problem, no?  Eh?)

I've been doing some soul searching on this topic because I want to know WHY I cannot finish my current manuscripts-- ((it's very hard to not feel like a failure.))  Here is what I've speculated to be the core reasons behind my inability to procure something that would be considered finished:

1.)  I am unable to complete a WIP because when it's done I'll actually have to let people read it-- and then potentially find out that it's shit. 

2.)  I am unable to complete a WIP because I am not a good enough writer.  (Fuck, I hope this isn't the reason!)

3.)  I am unable to complete a WIP because the universe has decided that it's not the proper time for me to do so.

Okay, three is a little bit hippie-bullshit/incredibly unlikely... But, you never know!  There is a part of me that does somewhat buy into the whole "everything happens for a reason when it's supposed to blah blah blah" stuff.  I'm just really scared to find out that I'm not a writer.  Or, in any case, to find out I'm a shitty writer.  And, if that happens... I'll be devastated.  I feel like a writer.  Ever since I can remember, I've been writing...  I want to be a writer.  I haven't been able to picture my life any other way in many years.  But, what if I never write anything worth reading?  What if I NEVER finish a fucking manuscript?



  1. I might just have to give this releasing of insecurity a try. Since 13 is all about improvement and all that jazz.

    Thanks for the inspiration, A.

  2. Here's the trick: Be completely and totally hellbent on making your story work once you've finished drafting it. It's liberating because you'll be able to write without so much fear of it sucking. Just finish it. Once it's done, find people to read it and give you feedback. That's where the hellbent part comes in, because unless you're a mutant-ninja-writer, they're going to tell you it needs work. Probably lots. Put your head down and do it--even if it means re-writing the whole damn thing, getting rid of every character, and changing the POV.

    Screw whatever timetable you've set for yourself, just say, "It's going to be great even if I have to spend the rest of my life working on it." (Don't worry, you won't have to.) It's just going to take that level of commitment to ONE story to get over the hump. But lady, once you're over it, you'll soar. :-)

    All the while, do some honest soul searching. Are you writing what you're really meant to be writing, or are you writing what you THINK you should be writing? That can really stand in the way of our development.

    Keep at it!

  3. Oh goodness... you ARE a writer. I can feel it---it's so obvious. I can feel your passion. The best thing to do is duck your head and get to work. Honest. But it's hard... I get that. It's so hard to work when we have so much fear--when we don't know if all of our efforts will be worth it. But I can attest that amazing things do happen when we block out all of the thoughts that want to poison our brain, and we work. Simple as that. Thanks for such a great, honest post, Azia. You'll do it.

  4. You are a writer. Keep writing. Keep working at it. When I got to that point when I thought I wouldn't finish anything, I made myself write a short story. It was painful, but I finished it. Then I wrote another. Then I wrote poetry. Then I wrote more short stories, and I got this feedback - "this sounds like the first chapter of a book." And then I wrote the book. I'll finish it and release it indie style next month.
    Just keep writing. Keep beleiving in yourself. Defy insecurity and finish something.
    You can do it!

  5. CHICKEN...

    FINISH SOMETHING ALREADY... Let US be the judge of it. First of all HI, New follower here. AND HAPPY NEW YEAR.. Now back to you.

    I understand your fright, but seriously someone really needs to read your writing. ANYONE. BECAUSE even if it isn't wonderful, it can ALWAYS get better. HOW else will you learn.... Do you want to hear something funny? My first novel was 125,000 words. Now for an adult novel that is fine. MINE was MG... Don't fall off your chair laughing. My first crit partner WOULDN'T READ it... because the grammar and punctuation was SOOOO bad. Did I give up ... NOOOOO! I jumped right in and learned through major HELL. It was far WORSE the second time around. IN TWO YEARS I pounded on that manuscript and fine tuned it, cut it in HALF and I am still working on it in my fourth year of writing.

    AND I AM a WRITER. My second novel had a publisher request and three agents for a full. SO you see. YOU MUST finish. And I know my first novel will be ready WHEN it's ready. (in about a month).

    I only told you this because YOU seriously won't be fulfilled until your work is finished and read. WE are a KIND community and will help you along the way.

    ALL THE BEST AZIA for the new year!

  6. It's tough finishing something sometimes. One of my slush pile novels sat unfinished for about three weeks 'cause I had written myself into a corner with it.

    But since I really needed to get it out of the way 'cause I wanted to start on something else (very long story), I planted butt in chair and spent two hours finishing the novel with a very weak ending.

    I agree with the other commenters, fulfillment will not be reached unless you finish SOMETHING (story or novel) and let other people read it. It's very difficult, but unless you take that first step, you'll be forever asking yourself, "Why aren't I published?"

    Heck of a question to ask yourself and not have an answer for. Did it for years until I decided that come hell or high water, I was going to get published, and since 2011, I've had at least one story published.

  7. It took me 7? years until I finally finished something. That is the biggest hurdle. I found that it helps if I have others reading what I'm writing while I'm writing it. My CPs are the best! And they always beg for more, so that encourages me to write more. Also, I found that outlining thoroughly and mapping the whole story helps. I always venture from the outline, but it's good to have a plan. We're here to help!! So keep writing!


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