IWSG – Insecurity Overload

Happy first Wednesday (of March), a very special time in the life of any writer, especially one riddled with insecurities. The first Wednesday of every month marks the Insecure Writers Support Group (IWSG), a blog hop designed to share our doubts and fears,  to encourage and inspire, and of course, to remember that none of us are alone in this.  And we couldn’t do it without our fearless leader, Captain Alex Cavanaugh!  Feel like taking a load off from that insecurity-ridden burden? Click here to find somebody to lean on.

Gah, do I have a lot of insecurities this month. They kind of piled up on me and so I wasn’t really sure which one to talk about. Like how I still think I write like that eleven-year-old girl with a pencil and lined paper. Or how I think everyone secretly knows my books suck but don’t want to tell me because I’m a high-risk bridge-jumper (not really, but you get the point). Or how I’m tackling the marketing aspect ALL WRONG and only making a (bigger) idiot of myself.


Yes to all of these.

My fourth book is currently out to my editor. I’m really proud of what I wrote, but I hate the fact that she’s reading it. I hate the fact that other people will be reading it when I publish in June. It’s because of my inner demon—that confidence-crushing dick that lives inside us all—continually whispering in my ear how I’m wasting everyone’s time with my nonsense.

You’re not very good.

They feel sorry for you.

No one’s buying your books which means you suck. Stop now. Stop embarrassing yourself.

Like I said—a confidence-crushing dick.

These thoughts are fleeting and I know every writer has some form of this dialogue at some point. I’ve read enough blogs and articles to know this is all part of the process, which does make me feel better. Like I’ve earned my stripes as a writer. And normally, I bat down the bitter-ass voice with my whole “fine, I wasn’t sure I was going to share this with anyone anyway” argument. Except I’ve committed now. A fan (yes! I have one of those!) reached out to ask when I was putting out the fourth book and without even thinking I said “June.” That was a week before last month’s post, hence the blog tour question.

So now I’m committed. Now I know (at least) someone will be reading all the flashbacks and fight scenes and sex scenes that I WROTE. And yeah, that kind of terrifies the shit out of me. But I’m charging forward. I’ve decided I want it more than I fear it. And I (think) I’ve decided to use these next three months as an additional marketing tool—March, April and May dedicated to the first, second and third books, respectively. What can you expect? Character info, different POV excerpts and other fun behind-the-scenes things. I don’t know. I was supposed to have it all planned out but was busy spot-checking the MS before sending it the ol’ editor.

So yeah, lots of insecurities. But some good things, too. I’m all sorts of crazy right now. What about you? Do you ever think these things? Feel these things?

15 thoughts on “IWSG – Insecurity Overload

  1. C.D. Gallant-King says:

    I’ve been trying very hard to beat the self-doubt out of myself. It’s easier if you tell yourself up front that no one is going to buy it or like it anyway, so any positive feedback you receive will be a pleasant surprise.

    Seriously though, enjoy the ride. You’re doing something many people dream about but can’t. Write for yourself, because you have to, not to make money or please anyone else. If someone does enjoy it that’s great, but it’s not the be all and end all.

  2. Loni Townsend says:

    I know that fear. In fact, I get mine a lot from my friends, when they scrunch up their face and say, “I don’t really read epic fantasy…” I’m pretty sure many have tried to read Thanmir War and just found it too boring. At least that’s the non-verbal message I’m getting. I’m more willing to talk about the Cera Chronicles because they are short, thus less time wasted if the people don’t enjoy it.

    I think you have less to worry about. You’re an excellent writer and always have top-notch tension. Woot for June!

  3. aandj8804 says:

    Good for you in conquering your insecurities and putting your writing out there to be read! It’s probably pretty great that a fan asked for a date, you gave one, and you’re sticking to it. And don’t worry about it being good enough – I imagine, since you are a writer, it would never have been as good as you would have liked it. But maybe, after the publication you will be able to look back and say “It was time for my story to be published. I’m so glad I didn’t let insecurities get the best of me!” 🙂 Or at least that’s what I hope for you anyway…

  4. mplanglinais says:

    Ah, yes, I’m going through a lot of this right now as well. I was really pleased with my latest draft of a current WIP only to be rejected by several agents. So now I’m doubting all that hard work, wondering why I bother . . . And every time I put out a new story or book, I find myself thinking no one will like it, they’re going to rip me apart. But it’s worse, I think, when you work hard on something and it doesn’t get published or read at all.

  5. Lori L MacLaughlin says:

    Yes, I still have those feelings. I doubt they’ll ever completely go away. It comes with putting yourself out there. It’s a frightening thing. But it’s also a wonderful, freeing, and exhilarating thing, and it’s so worth it. Congrats on subbing your fourth book!

  6. Stephanie says:

    All the time. That confidence crushing dick (love that name for it) has permanent residence in every writer’s head, I think. It sounds like you have a sensible outlook on it though, and know not to listen to that internal nonsense.

    And, wow, congrats on having a fan reach out and ask when your next book was coming out. That’s exciting. As to marketing, I’ve always heard that the very best marketing you can do for your current book, is publish another one. Your well on your way toward that, so keep going. Good luck!

  7. Joleene Naylor says:

    YES!!! one of the most terrifying phrases in the english language is “I’m reading your book!” when someone says/writes it to me my stomach drops, my heart stops, and my palms sweat. I thin immediately “They’re going to hate it. They’ll think this character is too weak, and this one is too unrealistic, and they won;t like this scene, or that scene, and they’ll think the plot is flimsy and…” Yeah. And don’t get me started on releases.
    The way I deal with it is by concentrating so hard on each step that I don;t think about that last one – the part where people read it – until after it’s uploaded and ready to go and then I have a last minute panic attack. Which goes away after people say they like it, only to return when I hear that dreaded phrase: “I’m reading your book.”
    Makes me wish only complete strangers would read it and only tell me afterwards if they liked it 😉

  8. Lidy says:

    That damn inner demon…sometimes, no not just sometimes, I want to drown the thing. But it’s wonderful how a fan reached out to you to ask when the next book was coming out. More than the book sales, best seller listing, etc it’s the fans that makes writing worthwhile.

  9. Jean Davis says:

    Oh yes, I think we all have those no matter how many books we publish. Good to see it’s not holding you back though and having a fan reach out to you is pretty darn awesome. Good luck with your fourth book!

  10. Elizabeth says:

    I have that inner negative voice too. I usually think my friends are just trying not to hurt my feelings when they say they like what I write. We have to learn to ignore that voice and find more confidence in our writing. Good job on ignoring that voice and charging forward!

  11. Mason T. Matchak says:

    I feel these things all the time – that was pretty much my entire blog for five or six weeks so far this year. >_< I don't know that there's any way to get past it except to work through it. I hope it goes well for you and that your editor has all kinds of good and helpful things to say.

  12. Toi Thomas says:

    So I’m a bit late, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t great.
    I totally get your insecurities because they are also mine.
    I think we all think these things at times. Thanks for stopping by my blog and thanks for sharing this message. It means a lot.

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