Wednesday, December 1, 2021

ISWG: Writing's Peaks and Valleys


Photo by Rohit D'Silva on Unsplash

Writing isn't any easy path. I keep writing because I can’t stop. Like a challenging hike that ends with a phenomenal view, sometimes you have to wade through the brambles to get to the beautiful bits.

The valleys:

1.    Comparing myself to others. I’m not on social media much anymore, but people posting their daily word counts (always higher than mine) used to stress me out.

2.    The marketing part of writing. While I’ve learned to write a decent query letter, I've never gotten used to the ups and downs of querying. Can someone else sell my writing, please?

3.    Worrying about what other people think. When I let that “what will x think of this?” get inside my head in the middle of drafting, I don't do my best writing. Writing must always be truthful, which will probably offend someone.

The peaks with their mountain views:

1.   The surprise aspect of writing. I've never written a scene or a piece of dialogue that came out exactly as I expected. I love it when the characters and plot surprise me.

2.    When the seemingly random threads of the plot come together. In my current WIP, I thought a secondary character's medical condition wasn't that important. But then—boom—I wrote a scene where it became everything and the driving motive for my main character. Those types of connections make writing fun.

3.    When I get a life-changing critique. It’s always hard to hear criticism of your work, and sometimes I need to wait a few days till I can see my way to solving any problems. But a good critique always helps you see your work in new ways, a true gift.

4.  Writing has taught me that criticism helps you grow as a person. Writing has given me a thick skin. It's not easy separating yourself from what you write and be willing to hear the hard stuff. But being open to feedback is an invaluable skill in life. And there have been many non-writing times when I've been glad I've learned not to take criticism personally.

5.    Getting words on paper. It’s often hard to stare at that blank page, but after you’ve written a bulk of your novel, it’s amazing to realize you created something out of nothing. It is a great privilege to use the gifts I’ve been given in this way.

What delights you and what stresses you out about writing?

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.