It's time for another Insecure Writer's Support Group post. What's up with the IWSG? In short, once a month a bunch of us post support, encouragement, or confess what's been eating at us. For more information, and to join in, click the button below. (And always present in the rolling sidebar gadget to the right.)
Before we get to that, I wanted to mention again that my Winter Thrills & Chills Tour is going strong. You can check the full list of stops HERE. (Today, I did guest posts on why I write like a reader and an author's tricks for pulling readers into the story--with an excerpt from Dragon's Game.)
There's also a fun giveaway you can enter (featuring books from several of our writing blog friends). Plus, the Moonsongs Anthology 1 (collecting the first 3 stories in the series) will be free on Amazon tomorrow and Friday (1/9 & 1/10).
So if you haven't picked one up, or maybe haven't gotten around to books 2 or 3, you can do so on me. :)
IWSG New Year, Same Old Fears
Confession: This started out as an "anti-resolution" post where I was going to list all of the things that could hold me back from accomplishing my writing goals this year, both real and imagined.
(FYI: That would've been a lengthy post.)
But as I was jotting things down, it occurred to me that it's the same damned list I had last year. And the year before. And probably the 5 years before that. (By my recent reckoning, I've been chasing my fiction writing tail for roughly 7 years.)
Here's the thing, I'm not even remotely in same place as a writer as I was 7 years ago. I should have new fears, new demons to scare away, and new hurdles to trip over.
Do I? Nope. I'm the Bill Murray in Groundhog's Day of writing.
Still worried that someone I admire is going to declare me a hack and I'll have to pack it in.
Still scared to share my writing with strangers.
Still hate telling people outside of the Internet I'm a writer.
Still conflicted by the balance of creativity and mass appeal you seemingly have to find to be a successful in the book business.
Still not sure I have a real place in this group. (Did I just make my own place? Is that cool?)
Still worried I'm not doing enough to reach my goals.
Still terrified I won't EVER be doing enough to reach my goals.
Still come up woefully short when I compare myself to my contemporaries.
Still don't really know what I'm doing on social media.
Still afraid my ideas are boring, my writing unoriginal, and my characters unmoving.
On, and on, and on, and on, and on it goes...
BUT I'M TELLING YOU IT'S THE SAME. Swap the words around, adjust my perspectives a hair, toss in a pinch of refuting validation, sure. But it's still the same soupy mess I try to wade through every year.
That's why the lesson here is so important. And it's one of those Dr. Seuss, so-simple-it-blows-your-mind kinds of lessons. Ready for it? Here goes!
It doesn't matter. None of it. Not an ounce.
This stuff didn't stop me 7 years ago, nor has it stopped me any year since. Which isn't to say the fears aren't real, and that I don't have to struggle with them. It just means I can go into the scrap with a little confidence.
It's like being the cartoon super heroes I loved to watch as a kid. I'll face stiff odds every time, but somehow, I'll come out on top. The story doesn't work any other way. No exceptions, the hero wins.
So I'd encourage you to really pause when you feel like you're facing something that's threatening to derail your writing train. Understand that many times you're going to have variations of the same obstacles for as long as you're moving forward with this gig.
You'll deal with the trouble and keep moving. After all, you've probably beat this thing before, and you'll most certainly do it again.