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.

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?

IWSG – Don’t Make me Eat at the Kids Table

The problem with reading a great book (when you’re a writer) is looking at your own work and thinking fuck… I don’t sound like that. I don’t sound anything like that. Have I been writing garbage this whole time?

*crickets*

It’s not that I’m comparing. I’m not. I’m appreciating, and at the same time, noticing the vast degree of how well some people can tell a story and how I’m basically drawing stick figures on the page. It’s true. I’m not fishing for compliments or sympathy or whatever, but maybe a *little* empathy. Honest question: You ever think you’re hot shit when you nail a scene or literary device (or whatever blows the wind up your skirt) and then you read something spectacular and think my god what the hell have I been doing this whole time? I had that happen a few times recently thanks to Chloe Neill (this is your fault, Jamie) and her vampire series (yes, I know. Another vampire series. Let’s not go there now). Neill throws around words I studied for (and failed miserably at) for the GRE, but she does it in a great story-telling way. I kept thinking shit… she’s the real deal. So what does that make me?

Again, not being emo. Just honest. Sometimes it’s fantastic when you read a great book because your love for reading amplifies. You remember why flipping through pages (or scrolling – whatever your preference) beats out channel-surfing or playing on your phone. But sometimes it’s sucks. Sometimes reading a great book (when you’re a writer) is like sitting at the kids table on Thanksgiving. It’s humbling, reminds you of your place and makes you wonder if you’ll ever make the great leap over.

That’s my insecurity – sitting at the kids table forever. We all write differently—and that’s a good thing—but damn it, feeling like an amateur sucks.

Do you ever feel like this? Or do you have different insecurities? Come on and share as this is the day to do it. IWSG (Insecure Writers Support Group) posts the first Wednesday of every month (It’s December already, guys. DECEMBER) to admit to one another our fears and doubts and to battle these negatives with encouragement and support and all around groovy vibes. This awesome blog hop was started by Alex Cavanaugh and if you’re interested (you know you are) you can check out—or stock—all the spiffy writers participating here.

Happy December. You rock. And keep writing, kiddos.

We’ll get there.