IWSG: I’m Like An Old Worn-out Shoe

It’s that the first Wednesday of the month, which means it’s Insecure Writer’s Support Group Wednesday. Thanks to our noble Ninja Captain Alex J Cavanaugh, it’s time to share our fears and insecurities, or support and assistance. Doesn’t matter which.

If you’d like to join us, click here. Be sure to link to this page and display the badge in your post.

Our hashtag is #IWSG

Alex’s awesome co-hosts for the January 6 posting of the IWSG are L.G. Keltner, Denise Covey, Sheri Larsen, J.Q. Rose, Chemist Ken, and Michelle Wallace! 

Please stop by and thank them for their time and effort.


And don’t forget we’re announcing the winners of the Anthology Contest today! 

Thanks, Alex for creating Insecure Writer’s Support Group. Thanks IWSG bloggers for making it a safe place to share. Over the years, many of your posts have moved me deeply. I’ve grieved with you. Laughed with you. Cheered for you. You have inspired me during my best and worst moments.

For a long time, sharing the worst moments felt redundant to me, as if giving those moments relevance was useful.

I believed that — at the same time that you were putting it out there for everyone to see.

The Writing Life is difficult, you wrote. Also wondrous, exciting. Sometimes horrible.

That you continue to share personal feelings like that is appreciated. (I’m searching for a better word) Valued.

Sometimes I stand outside myself and look at the life I’ve lived. To the world I am a pleasant woman, a proud grandmother. Cheerful, optimistic, kind. On occasion: wise. People often say they look at me and sense joy.

Most days I look in the mirror and see the opposite, not only insecurities but despair. I often wake joyless. Even now, the child in me is horrified to see these words jump out at me: This is who you really are, Joylene — fearful, anxious, sad. These negative emotions fill my cup, even while I live the best times of my life.

All this might sound alarming, but you must remember I am a storyteller. A contradiction. I channel my fear and write compelling novels about strong protagonists who overcome being broken. Life isn’t easy, and while I can and should choose to be happy despite everything, most days it helps to incorporate the pain into a story. Which doesn’t mean I can’t be happy or that I don’t love life.

I’m sharing this today because I know there are many who feel this way, and I want you to understand that you’re not alone. Being brave and announcing to the world that you feel consumed by feelings of rejection or irrelevance won’t bring the world to an end. It won’t give birth to more havoc. Revealing those fears won’t break you. It’s simply a declaration that you’re writing from your gut to announce that this is part of who you are.

Life is a struggle. Being a writer is a struggle. In the morning, before your eyes open, tell the universe what it is you want. Then let it go. If doubts surface, which of course they will, whisper your new mantra:

“Everything will be okay–everything will be okay–

Everything will be okay–” 

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