Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Insecure Writer's Support Group

It's the first Wednesday of November, which means it's time for Alex J. Cavanaugh's Insecure Writer's Support Group, wherein we writerly folk talk about our insecurities.  This post will be in lieu of [Mostly] Wordless Wednesday for this week, but you can still find some links below, at the end of the post.

Boy, what am I insecure about?  Everything, really.  I'm afraid to let people I know read what I wrote, because I'm afraid they'll hate it, that I'll be judged harshly.  Sending it off to an editor is actually easier than having a friend or family member read it.  I've always been like that on everything, though.  Have to give a speech?  As long as my family and close friends won't be there, I can do it.  I guess it's a fear of failure more than anything.  I can fail in front of a stranger, and it won't mean an awful lot.  But to fail in front of those close to me is to have them know that I couldn't cut it, and there's no escaping that.  Ever.  They will hold that failure inside of them forever, and when I see them I will know that they know that I wasn't good enough.

One insecurity is probably good per month, right?  

This week's links:


The Pikes Peak Branch Pen Women Flash Fiction Contest theme is now officially up on the website.  The new theme is "Hidden Amongst These Worlds."  $10 entry, cash prizes.

Bookus Publishing's Very Short Fiction Contest deadline has been extended to November 10.  No entry fee.  Cash prize and publication.  The theme is pregnancy and/or childhood.  Readers vote on the winners.

Bookus Publishing's Water Danger Humour Novella Competition is open through November 31.  $5 Canadian entry fee.  Cash prizes and publication.  Readers vote on the winners.

Open for Submissions:

Fowl Feathered Press is looking for poetry for their chapbooks. 

The Pedestal Magazine is taking poetry submissions through December 13.  Paying market.

Other/Of Interest:

The Alliance of Independent Authors put out an article on media kits for indie authors.  It has great information for what you need, indie author or otherwise, to get your name out there via the media.

Have you ever tried to see if there are writers groups or critique groups meeting near you?  It's a great resource!

Random House and Penguin have agreed to merge, as detailed in this article at Publisher's Weekly.

What are you insecure about?  Any links to share?  How do you feel about Penguin and Random House merging?  Is this good or bad for authors?

May you find your Muse.


  1. I know what you mean but I've come to realize it's not failure. We all like different things, we all communicate differently. What one person loves, another will hate. It's not failure on your part if someone doesn't like your writing. The only failure is not trying or giving up. :)

    Laura Eno

  2. That's why critique groups are great. As you said, it's sometimes easier to show your work to strangers than people you know.

    Welcome to the IWSG!

  3. I'd just as soon have someone other than family read my work anyway since I'm likely to get a more honest opinion. They can read it after I'm published.

  4. Ah, but what if they love it.

    Thanks for some of these great submission tips.

  5. I can definitely relate to this. I'm still scared to death to have anyone read what I've written. That's one reason blogging has been such a great thing for me, even sharing posts has helped me overcome some of that fear.

    You always share so many great links, thanks!!

  6. One insecurity per month made me smile. I feel like my insecurities will overwhelm. And boy do I know about family reading my stories since I write erotica. LOL

    Thanks for the awesome links. :)

  7. I am the same about sharing my work with anyone - not until I am happy with it! And even then I am reluctant to talk about it. Yet I will send it off to an editor quite happily and accept whatever fate deals me...

  8. How much time do you have? LOL

    I'm like you. I have a whole list. :)

    Hint: Shoot for somewhere in between editor and family. Get a few good critique partners who can mark it up and encourage you at the same time. ;)

  9. Thanks for the links, Shannon. Yes, I dread having friends and family read my books. I once walked out on my deck, glanced over at my neighbours, and saw she was reading my latest book. I actually dropped to my knees and crept back into the house, my heart pounding!

    Yep, I understand!

  10. It's unfortunate that that is usually how it is with people. And not always without reason. Too often the people that should be there to give us support are also the ones that will never let us forget.

  11. After I read your posts, so generous in their listing of resources, I want to send you a personal thank you note!
    Thank you so very much.

  12. I'm a bit gun-shy about critiquers too, after a less than happy experience with a would-be beta last year. This person even criticized the fact that I type in Palatino. Nope, not gonna type in Times New Roman for all the money in the world. Not all agents and editors even ask for that font, so long as it's a normal, readable font. I really dislike critiquers from the school of thought that says you have to criticize everything, instead of equally mentioning what you actually liked or felt worked.

  13. I think both freaked me out at first. Not so worried about the people who know me now. (You saw my post - would that scare you?)

  14. Glad to know that I'm not the only one completely and utterly freaked out when people I know read my work!

  15. I can't even get my husband to read my published book! But I do get this. I was very nervous the first time I let friends read my manuscript. And now so many of my friends and family are reading the published version. My mom actually asked where I came up with that stuff. I cringed. Literally. But hey, that's why we do this, so others can read our words. And it does get easier after a while.

  16. Writing and allowing others to read it is scary, but oh, so useful. I had a really harsh critique once, and even though I've never let her read again, her advice made me a stronger writer.

    Hopping over from IWSG. :)

  17. Wow,I never thought that you would have any insecurities, I have always found you to be confident and motivating.
    Thanks for posting IWSG.


  18. I used to really feel weird about people reading my writing. Partly because I was scared of having ideas nicked, but also because some of my friends and family would sound disinterested when I told them about it. But I've recently had people saying really nice things about things I've written and it has boosted my confidence a lot. I guess it just depends on how personal the writing is (for you as a writer) and whether or not that subject appeals to the reader...

  19. Ouch - that hits me right where it hurts . . .that's my biggest fear too. I don't want to disappoint those closest to me.
    Best wishes with your writing, and with sharing your writing!

  20. Laura, I like that "the only failure is not trying or giving up," and that is so true.

    Ken, I've joined an online critique group to try to work around that issue. And thanks for the welcome!

    Marcy, that is also quite a valid point.

    Farawayeyes, so true! I'm afraid to find out, though.

    Julie, blogging has helped me with that, too, especially things that required me to post creative writing of some sort.

    Melissa, indeed! I don't write erotica, but I wrote my first real sex scene last week, and I had to shut down those thoughts of "what if my mom reads this some day?"

    Pat, yes, exactly! I can take a rejection from an editor, but not from someone who really means something to me.

    Melissa, that is a good hint. In fact, the best critique I've gotten is from a good friend, who made a point to jot down when she really loved something, but to also honestly point out issues.

    Joylene, that is horrifying and funny all at the same time. I think I would do the exact same thing.

    Becca, then you should join! Or did you? I have not gotten around to everyone yet.

  21. Andrew, that is sadly true.

    Rosaria, thank you! I just hope that they can benefit someone.

    Carrie-Anne, I've heard some crazy bad stories about critique groups, but also crazy good. One of the bad is getting groups that are only critical or overly critical. Sorry you had to deal with that.

    Alex, that post was funny. I like the butt typing. BTDT.

    Azia, probaby not the only one by a long shot!

    Nancy, that is good to hear, about it getting better. My husband will probably never read any of my books, but he's not someone who enjoys reading.

    Candilynn, ugh, not good about the harsh critique, but good that it helped.

    Carolyn, wow, thank you!

    Laura, that's a good point. Part of my problem is that family and friends don't necessarily read the type of stuff I write, so who knows how they would take it.

    Tyrean, best of luck to you, as well! It's hard to put ourselves out there, isn't it?

  22. Wow, this is an insecurity I share with you! Thanks for sharing that and all the cool links!

  23. I have a crit partner who hates every word I write. Always has. Always will. It's all right. Reviews can hate, too. So, I figure she helps me toughen my skin.

  24. Phoenix, there's always something a bit reassuring about knowing others share your fears.

    Mary, that sounds horrible! How do you weed through all the criticism to find what is helpful?