Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Insecure Writer's Support Group...


Wow, is it the first Wednesday of the month already? I almost forgot!! Glad I didn't.

If you don't know what the IWSG is by now, you can still find the information over at our Ninja Captain's blog. Click here.

I'm torn between two topics this time around. So I think I will go with the one I have seen the most about these days.

As authors and writers, published or unpublished, we all have an inner secret desire. We look great on paper. We answer the repetitive questions over and over with rehearsed answers. We don't want to look like we're desperate, greedy or vain. We don't want to seem as if we might be jealous or envious of our successful colleagues. We don't want to lose a possible fan or a good review.

So what is this inner desire I speak of? We all want to be SOMEONE. We want to stick out of the crowd. We want our stories to be told, yes. Of course we love to write for the sake of writing! We are absolutely addicted to the written word. We put ourselves through so much to become published and we're totally devastated when we aren't.

But what happens after we get published?

Some books seem to just pop right out at you and have TONS of rave reviews. You go to the author's blog and they have a couple thousand followers, they're talking about all the fan mail they get and their website. Woo! To die for. We friend them on FaceBook and stalk them on Twitter. They're on the bestseller list.

But doesn't a small part of you wish that your book was that successful? Don't you want that kind of fame?

Who doesn't?

I have to admit, I have visions of fame dance in my head now and then. It is a basic human desire to want to become immortalized. Why do you think women strive to look younger as they get older? The fascination with vampires and wanting to BE a vampire. (There are people out there who state they are vampires in real life...) All the cosmetic surgery and scientific breakthroughs to live forever, what's it all about? It is about individualization, immortality.

We all want our books to be popular, overnight sensations and yes, even best sellers. We dream of them being turned into movies and making millions.

And you know what? There is absolutely nothing wrong with that! Everyone dreams.

But when you find yourself unhappy with second best... stop. Breathe. Take a look back down that road you just traveled. What really is more important?

Becoming famous?

Or...

Getting your story out there and having it be loved by a total stranger as much as you love it and loved writing it?

Depending on what you have written, don't you want your story to help someone? To change a small part of their life? Because, quite frankly, it is the people you have affected in your life that immortalizes you. They pass your story on to their friends and family and so on and THAT is how you live forever.

33 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

So right! If we're not happy with where we are now, we won't be happy with more.
It's a little bit of immortality that we all desire...

Siobhan said...

Thank you for this. Writing does get discouraging at times when you think about why nobody seems to want your book, but if there is even one person who reads it then the character speaks.

Laila Knight said...

Someone very wise once said that it is good to have an end to the journey, but it is the journey that matters in the end. Enjoy your writing, the people you meet, and the small successes along the way. :)

KarenG said...

What a fabulous post, loved it loved it. You're so right, we all fall into this rut occasionally, comparing ourselves to others, wanting more of whatever rather than being grateful for our successes.

Green Monkey said...

WOW.... (sorry, I can't come up with anything more clever)... you're my new best friend! I'm fantasizing about if I can handle my fame (not that I've reached that goal, or even finished writing my book, or had anything published)... your last paragraph... you wrote that for me, didn't you. Come on... I know you did! You're brilliant and i'm going to be stalking your site like a hawk!

Best, MOnkeyME

S. L. Hennessy said...

This was a great post. Sometimes I worry that my book (not me, but my book) won't become famous one day. But that's not what's important. Getting my story out is. Thanks for writing this!

Caledonia Lass said...

Thanks everyone for your comments! Welcome, Monkey! Now the pressure is on, I'll have to be brilliant every day, lol!

M.P. McDonald said...

I guess it's the grass is always greener thing going on. I wonder if JK Rowling ever sees a greener pasture? Kind of hard to imagine, right? Kind of makes me wonder how she stays motivated.

M.J. Fifield said...

I do occasionally indulge myself in a daydream where I'm a best selling author but mostly I just daydream about the day when I'll have an actual physical book sitting on my bookshelf and not just a print out in a three ring binder.

Caledonia Lass said...

Hey Mary! Yeah, it is hard to imagine JK Rowling looking for a greener pasture.

M.J., I daydream about having that book on my shelf as well. I know it will happen for you someday!

April Plummer said...

Such a great question and one I've seen discussed many times. For me, I don't care about the fame and fortune and money. I just want my book in a reader's hands. I just want that reader to love it. Is that so much to ask? :)

Jamie (Mithril Wisdom) said...

Well said! I think the greatest thing you can do is leave something of yourself behind that will have a positive effect on others, and like you said, if one person has loved your story, then it's all worth it.

Caledonia Lass said...

I agree, April. I just want my book in someone's hand. That is not much to ask at all.

Jamie, the positive impression every author in this community has left with me will make you all immortal in my eyes! It is all worth it and I am thankful all the time for all of you wonderful people. :D

Kelley said...

Nice posts and illustrations. And nice to meet you <3 a new follower

Ciara said...

The best moment of my new and limited writing career was when a teen thanked me for writing a heroine that she could relate to. It turned out she was poor growing up and had to deal with the embarrassment of bringing a guy to her old home. It was great to know my little story touched someone.

Michael Offutt, Expert Critic said...

I'd love to team up for a release type promo thing with you Caledonia. Just to warn you a little about my book in case you want to retract your invitation, I consider it rated-R and it has gay characters, some swearing, and adult situations. If you don't want to be associated with a guy that writes stuff like that then I perfectly understand :)

Oh and I hope you get famous. I really do. Then I can say "I know her". For me, I'd just like to make a cool $200 a month for the rest of my life from my book. That's it...just an extra 200 bucks. That's probably a pipe dream.

Angela Brown said...

Oh the horror, wonder and fascination of being a writer.
We write with our hearts trying to detach ourselves enough so the critics won't kill us with the occassional negative review. We endure the trials of writing all because we have a story...or ten... to share.

And you're so right, we each want to stand out and be noticed. We want lots of someones to read and enjoy our stories. I suppose it can get a bit irritating when someone has more success but you're advice is right: stop, breathe and be proud of getting your story out there. Keep promoting with class and enjoy your growing success.

LynnRush said...

Write on!! Great post. Thanks for the encouragement!

Arlee Bird said...

A few million would be nice, but I'll settle for enough to pay the bills I have right now. A little bit of fame might be nice too, but not if interferes with my peace. To be appreciated is always nice.


Lee
Tossing It Out

J. A. Bennett said...

What a beautiful thought! Thank you! I needed this today!

L'Aussie said...

Hey Caledonia Lass, I haven't visited you for so long and glad the spirit moved me today. Loved your post. So honest and true. Getting our stories out there is the thing. Becoming famous comes with lots of baggage we quieter souls would rather avoid. But having a best seller has its allure.

Write on. I forgot til too late to post, sorry Alex the Great.

Denise

Rusty Webb said...

Well said. I wouldn't mind being super famous, but I don't mind where I'm at either. Wait, I would prefer to be the bestseller with tons of fans, but you know, I'm cool with where I'm at.

Rosanna C. Rogacion said...

Life presents us with so much story material so wherever we are is what matters and what matters is always worth writing about!

Caledonia Lass said...

@ Kelley ~ Welcome! Always nice to meet new people. :D

@ Ciara ~ That has to be an awesome feeling. I hope I can say that someday.

@ Michael ~ R rated doesn't bother me, neither does gay characters, swearing or adult situations. I might get up on a soap box once in awhile about over use of such things, but there are times when a story calls for it. I don't want to retract my invitation. :D

Thanks everyone for your support and comments!! You all rock. :D

Melissa Bradley said...

Wise words. There's nothing wrong with dreaming big, but you're right. We do get our own version of immortality when our books and stories are passed on. Incidentally, I dream of one day giving Steph and J.K. a run for their billions. ;)

Gyran Gymble said...

This is a great post. If I am ever able to knock Stephen King from his lofty perch I will pay people to walk past his house talking loudly about my book.

But if it doesn't make a million squillion dollars and only a few people like it then that's all right as well

Lynda R Young said...

All it takes is for one person (a stranger) who says they loved your work, that it made a difference to their lives, or it simply gave them a sunny afternoon of satisfying reading.

Stephen Tremp said...

Life is what you make it. I'll be happy regardless of the success level of my books. I just want to be sure I at least give it my all so I don't go to my death bed wondering, "What if ....."

Patricia Stoltey said...

Getting published is definitely a way to live a little longer, even if only on a library bookshelf.

Caledonia Lass said...

Ha! I find it amusing that lots of people have King in their target sights. :D

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Wow, you hit it right on the head. I love it when I get an email from a reader saying they're looking forward to my next book. Someone besides my family would miss me if I were gone.

Michael Offutt, Expert Critic said...

Sweet. Thanks Caledonia. I would be honored to partner up with you in May :) Off to read some of your other posts.

Carol Marrs Phipps said...

So true...more than anything I love it when someone says how much they enjoyed reading something i wrote...guess that is the most important thing, isn't it?

Carol