Wednesday, September 1, 2021

ISWG: Not Losing Your Enthusiasm

That is one of my favorite quotes. It’s got me through the long, sometimes discouraging days, of writing. Initially, I expected, like a lot of newbies, to sell my first novel—and in record time. Perhaps it was because my first writing teacher often told stories of students who’d followed her advice and sold their books quickly.

I would be one of them.

But my writing journey has been slow and meandering instead. It was often interrupted by life, like children, family health issues, and jobs. Those things might have sidetracked me for awhile, but they always ended up enriching my writing.

Yet, I’ve had some success. I’ve had my work published in well respected children’s magazines and anthologies. When I finally had a piece of fiction published that felt like a major milestone.

I still don’t have a book published, but that is okay. I am still working that.

Perhaps this is just a way to soothe my ego, but I no longer gauge my success by whether or not I’m published. I look at whether I’m improving at my craft.

And that isn’t measured by whether I’ve gotten a bunch of books in the mail. Although I look forward to that day…

I feel successful because:

1.      People (critique partners and others) enjoy reading what I write.  

2.      I have been published—even if it’s only a few times.

3 .    I enjoy writing, and I’m taking steps towards my ultimate goal: seeing a novel-length project in print. Many people say they want to write, but never even start.

4.     I usually get “good” (a.k.a. encouraging) rejections when I send my work out there. I used to keep a file of all the good feedback I got from editors/agents. It keeps my spirits up.

5.     I use what I’ve learned from writing in my teaching (a.k.a. my day job). I’ve shared my rough drafts with students and encouraged creative students to pursue writing. It’s my way of paying it forward to the teacher who encouraged me in fourth grade.

How about you? What makes you feel like you’ve arrived as a writer?

What is Insecure Writer's Support Group?

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time - and return comments. This group is all about connecting!

 To see more IWSG posts, go here.