November 07, 2012

Introducing The Insecure Writers' Support Group

Dear Readers, many of you who have been following The Beauty of Eclecticism for any length of time know that I am an aspiring writer--isn't virtually every book blogger you've ever heard of? However, I haven't mentioned any writing attempts or projects here for quite some time, partly because my life kind of went into the crapper for several months due to health issues, and I haven't felt like writing.  But that's not really how writing works; writers don't control the situation.  Writing does.  This mythical, ethereal power that takes hold of my brain any time I hear something that makes me think, "Ooo! THAT would make an interesting plot!", doesn't care if I'm sick, healthy, sleepy, perky--nothing changes the compelling drive to write.

And so, I will confess that I am, indeed, currently working on a novel.  It is a project that takes me well outside my comfort zone, a way to work through some mental gymnastics that my brain has been performing for some months now, to sort out my views on a controversial topic.  (I prefer not to go into greater detail at present.)  The good news is that I've made it past the dreaded second chapter; I'm sure I'm not the only writer who has stacks of brilliant first chapters lying about my house, that never got their second chapter or any other chapters at all.  The bad news is that I'm now staring down the barrel of chapter 3, and this is where the self-doubts really begin to settle in.  "Why am I bothering? Do I honestly think someone other than me will ever want to read this? I don't even have a literary agent yet; how am I ever going to work up the courage to start approaching them? How I dread the long, hard slog of finding one that is a good fit, IF I ever do!"  A whole spate of really unhelpful thought processes like that come along, and then here I sit, procrastinating about writing chapter 3 because it feels like it will be an exhausting and perhaps pointless exercise.  I even know what I want it to say!  But the act of transferring it from my brain, through my finger tips, to the computer screen as text just feels so daunting.


Am I speaking anybody else's language?  I can't possibly be the only wannabe writer who gets trapped in this death-spiral of unproductivity.  The only answer I've found is:

  1. Wait until the SuperToddler is in bed for the night.
  2. Put on music that I know is conducive, rather than distracting.
  3. Start typing, and don't stop until I've said what I need to say.
  4. Give a deep sigh, and make myself NOT start on the next chapter while I'm "on a roll," or I'll only burn myself out.
All of this is why I have decided to start participating in Alex Cavanaugh's "Insecure Writers' Support Group," and this is my first official post as a member.  The very existence of such a weekly group demonstrates very clearly that I'm NOT alone in these problems, and that in itself can sometimes be enough to get me to my Checklist of Challenges.  Wish me luck!  I certainly wish all of you a continuous flow of brilliant words.

9 comments:

  1. Welcome to IWSG on behalf of Alex, yes I think we all have those moments when life just gets in the way and becomes too busy! I hope the bad you mentioned is behind you. All the best!

    CarolynBrown-Books

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  2. No, you are certainly NOT alone. There's a whole army of us out there. And the IWSG is just a small part. Welcome to the group. I'm a new follower via the IWSG (#40). I hope to see you around each month!

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  3. Thank you all for the encouragement, and the lovely comments that always raise a blogger's spirits, don't they? :) I look forward to getting to know everyone at IWSG better as the months go by.

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  4. Hi! I'm a new follower from IWSG. If you're worried about each new chapter, you might consider outlining your ideas so you know what each chapter will be about. That really helps me. Good luck! :-)

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  5. We all go through a range of emotions anytime we sit down to write. All you can do is take it one step at a time, one page at a time. Don't think too far ahead (I have to remind myself of that constantly!) Just write what you know you have to write and after it's out of your head, THEN you can start thinking about everything else!

    Wandered over from the IWSG. Great to meet you!
    Jen

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  6. Hi JNCL. I'm popping in from the IWSG. *waves hello*
    You are in great company since this wonderful and supportive group consists of writers with a variety of "writerly" insecurities.
    New follower via Networked Blogs.

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    1. Michelle,
      Thanks so much for hopping by! I stopped by your blog, and now you have a new follower, too. I don't do "follow for follow," but your blog is great! I was happy to sign up through Networked Blogs. Hope your current WIP is going smoothly.!

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  7. I can relate to everything you have shared here, oh so well! (even down to the list!) Keep forging ahead- it's worth it :)

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    1. Thanks so much, Lex; every word of encouragment helps, and every single vote of confidence is vital to my continued faith in myself. If I ever get a novel published, I'm obviously going to need to dedicate one of them to all the people in the Blogosphere who convinced me to keep trying, like you. <3

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