Ninja Captain Alex J Cavanaugh created IWSG — because Alex understands we need a place to congregate, insecurity is part of our creative nature, and together we’re stronger.
On the first Wednesday of each month, you can write on any subject related to your writing journey or adopt the option of answering the month’s question. Either way, you’re in safe territory.
If this sounds good to you, sign up here.
IWSG’s Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and the hashtag is #IWSG.
Every month, a specific question is offered, which may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or a story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you struggle with something to say.
Remember, the question is optional!
December 6 question: Book reviews are for the readers. When you leave a book review do you review for the Reader or the Author? Is it about what you liked and enjoyed about your reading experience, or do you critique the author?
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Insecure Writer’s Support Group Website!!!
I’ve been away from writing for so long that I’m struggling to even write this post. Please bear with me while I sort out my muddled thoughts…
I review novels I enjoy for two reasons: As an author, I understand the value of a review. As a reader, I appreciate hearing about good books. Writing a novel takes tremendous effort and time, so if the story is compelling and the writing is exceptional, I want to share the news.
I can’t write a review for a novel I can’t finish. I don’t believe it’s up to me to dissuade anyone from reading a book just because I didn’t enjoy it. I don’t have a monopoly on what is good. ..
Flowing from there…
I spent the entire month of March 2023 querying literary agents–to no avail. I expect that’s what took the wind out of my sails.
My first novel (Dead Witness) was published in 2008. I’d been dreaming about getting published for twenty-six years, and when it finally happened, it was a surreal experience.
Many times over those years, I wanted to quit writing; I had a family, a job, a marriage, and no extra time. But, I persisted. I wrote late at night and early in the morning. I spent years refining my craft. And that was before the WWW. I studied, researched and read. You have to be obsessed to be a writer, and I was.
These days, I’m often referred to as “an old-timer.” And I feel like one.
Last April, I decided to take a six-month sabbatical because I had lost my muse and my confidence. When I flew back to Canada in April, I stepped away from my dying Macbook and spent my summer working on our property. Fast-forward to November, and I still hadn’t returned to writing. To make matters worse, I made pathetic excuses:
“I’m tired, I’m old, and the humidity is sucking the life out of me.”
“I’m in no mood to write.”
“I’d rather take a nap than sit at a computer.”
When I dug deeper, I felt the sting of a lingering fear: the failure-slash-rejection syndrome.
I’m sharing this because it’s important to note that most creative folks feel this way at some point in their careers. Fluctuating between feeling confident and insecure is normal. It can also be humbling.
But because I’m no quitter, (and we did accomplish a lot on our property) I’m returning to the hunt. One day, I’ll post (soon?) about finding that perfect agent. I may be tired, but I’m also stubborn.
On a different note: My current manuscript was titled “Shattered,” but three authors I admire published novels with that title, so I changed it to “The Silent Man.”
My editor’s response was, “He’s not silent.”
This brings me to ask you a favour.
Could you tell in the comments what you think of the following choices:
- “An Ambiguous Man”
- “The Quiet Man”
- “A Vengeful Man”
I left out a blurb on purpose.