Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Insecure Writer's Support Group...


Hi there, I'm an insecure writer and my name is Mel.

I know, I've already done a similar post like this, with that beginning.

So what am I insecure about in my writing? The better question would be what am I NOT insecure about in my writing. I worry and stress over the smallest things. I worry about how I am ending my sentences. Am I using a preposition? Am I changing tense again in the middle of a sentence? Because I am prone to do that very thing.

Most of all, I worry that my plot is too weak, that people will just look at it and say, "Oh for the love of God how did this manage to get published???" and throw it away.

I worry about even getting published. I'm constantly worrying and changing things to make the story stronger. I have about a half dozen or so characters I have to juggle and discovered my focus is on two of them more than the others in the first book.

So how do I fix all of this? I revise and rework those sentence structures I am so worried about. My plot may seem weak, but in all actuality, it is the basest of urges. War has been started for lesser reasons.

I know I will eventually be published. I just have to work at it and listen to the suggestions (if I get any) when rejected.

As for my characters, this first part of the story is supposed to focus on the two right now. The focus shifts later on and everyone gets their chance in the spotlight. So it works out.

The thing is, the more I worry and stress, the more I push myself to write better, cleaner stories. I have a tendency to change POV right in the middle of something and have now cleared up that little habit by sticking to the POV I am in.

Write your story, get it all out before you go back to polish it up. If you don't get it all out, sometimes you won't know where it is going to lead. Don't be afraid to make a mistake.

I've made one of the biggest mistakes I could have ever made in my writing career. Early on I didn't do my research on the publisher and I got scammed. But it has made me a better writer. I have done everything in my power to fix that mistake. I've changed the whole story, which I would never have done had I kept going the way I was going. Talk about major plot holes.... But because I changed the story, I have an even stronger one. One that I find more captivating and hope others feel the same.

The thing that making that mistake has helped me with the most? My confidence. I never would have thought I could be a blogger, get on Twitter or FaceBook and do what I do. I would never have created a website. And I certainly never thought I would have the amount of followers I have. I am so very grateful for each and every one of you, even if you don't always read my posts or leave a comment. I try very hard to read all of your posts and comment, but there are only so many hours in a day.

Be sure to check back next week. I have lots of insecurities. :D

18 comments:

Hart Johnson said...

I think you're right--we learn and that makes us insecure, but we can USE IT to improve. You'll get there (we all will)--the only way to get there is to keep going.

Larissa said...

I think all of us as writers have weak spots or insecurities. I've known for a long time grammar is my weak spot, so what do I do? I constantly strive to become a better writer and focus in on grammar. Being a writer is hard work, publisher or not. Even when the magical contract from traditional publishing comes in, it's still a lot of work to go from an unknown writer to known. And that road can be a life-zapper. Either way, we as writers are constantly striving for our best but sometimes our best may not be good enough for someone to put an investment into.

Sometimes publishers don't want to spend money on untapped talent unless you write about vampires and witches. And sometimes, that is SO hard to swallow. So even though all of us have insecurities, or weak spots, we just have to keep the hope alive that one day we will reach or readers.

Dafeenah said...

I wish I had your positivity. I tend to just be negative and put my writing aside because of that. Thanks for the encouragement.

Tonja said...

I like to get the story or at least a chapter out first before I worry about the edits. I agree with you that a little bit of anxiety does help - it makes me want to keep improving.

(Thanks for the talk like a pirate day reminder in your header.)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Hey, if stress makes you work harder at writing, then maybe it's not a bad thing? Just know when to stop!

Shari said...

I do the same thing. I let the editor in my head take over. It's not always easy on that first draft to shut her up, but I try. Sounds like you do too.

Nicki Elson said...

Arg, thanks for the reminder about Talk Like a Pirate Day! I agree wholeheartedly with your statement about getting a whole story out without worry of mistakes. They'll get polished at a later stage.

Can you handle another follower??

The Golden Eagle said...

I kept going back and polishing before finishing the first draft of my first project; it slowed me way down, and it did make it much harder to see where things were going in the story.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Sounds like you're doing lots of things right. We've all made mistakes. I don't post about my mistakes because it would be like 25K long.

Ruth Kelly said...

My goal is to write a good blog like you do. I appreciate what you do.

Jamie (Mithril Wisdom) said...

It's good that you're turning your insecurities into a productive force. If it pushes you to become better, I'd consider that to be your 'inner harsh editor' rather than an official insecurity. It sounds nicer, hehe.

Caledonia Lass said...

Woot! Thanks to all of you and your comments. Of course I can handle another follower! I think I am following you and if not, I will be soon. I'm trying to read all the posts and comment or follow.

And yes, I have to remind people about Talk Like A Pirate Day! It is my sacred holiday. Arrgh!

Time will only tell if what I am doing is the best way. Right now, for me, it is. And yes, Alex, I know when to stop! ;)

Thanks everyone for stopping by. I'll be leaving you comments soon.

Isis Rushdan said...

I used to drive myself nuts constantly changing things, especially after I received feedback from contests. I had to get to a point when I was "finished" and could send it out to the world. That point slid on a scale for a while, but my drive to get it right definitely made it better.

You will be published someday.

Nice to meet you.

L'Aussie said...

I love the honesty of this post. Thanks so much. We all struggle with different things. I'm fine on the grammar (English teacher) and research as this is the best part for me, but I feel very insecure about other things as you've already read in my post. Getting published? I've never tried but will have to bite the bullet eventually. The best to you when you do.

Denise

Stina Lindenblatt said...

This is an awesome idea. You're the third member of the group whose post I've read. It's nice to see we are all insecure about the same things. I could have written this post! ;)

Tara Tyler said...

i hate the second guessing of editing!
and you'll have to share your publishing scam story sometime!
sounds like you're learning and recovering from your own lessons!

Caledonia Lass said...

Oh yeah, I will have to post it again. I have told a few people off the blog here about it and have mentioned it a few times in blogs. But not in a lot of detail because I'm still under contract with them... not for long though. It ends soon.

Michelle Gregory said...

i'm always glad to meet another fantasy writer, esp. one who has excellent taste in blogger templates. ;) i'd say, don't worry about ending your sentences with prepositions. authors do it all the time. unless you're trying to sound high class with your story or characters make them sound real. make your voice sound real. if you want to use a prep. at the end of a sentence, go for it!