Wednesday, December 4, 2013

IWSG: Silver Linings (not the playbook)

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!

Started by no-hyperlink-needed Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh, IWSG has grown from monthly blog hop to website and facebook page! I'm expecting a IWSG app for my phone any day now. Just kidding :)

IWSG has buoyed me up like a life raft in stormy writing waters, and I am thankful for Alex, for all the people who help with the website and facebook page, and all the writers who are willing to give encouragement and bare their insecurities.

Silver Linings

I had a moment's hesitation when I finally sat down to write this post. I had the post idea and the title in my head for a few weeks, and then realized, "oh no, that's the name of a movie I haven't even seen and it's really popular, and people will expect references to the movie, and . . ." I basically had an insecurity meltdown over the post title, and then decided that since I came up with the idea without thinking about the movie, and I still liked the idea, I was going to stick with it.

And that's what this post is about: sticking with it, even when the clouds are a bit dark and insecurities are biting at our heels like giant beady-eyed rats. (sorry to those of you who keep rats as pets, but I'm not fond of them)

My writing life has been haphazard lately. I've been writing in hops and leaps, with some small sprints in the middle, followed by some worry walks and pencil chewing. Why? Because I am terrified that my second novel is "suckier" than the first, and I want it to be "better."

That's my murky cloud.

My silver linings are:

IWSG on facebook. I admit it. I'm a facebook addict on random days. One day, on facebook's IWSG page, I found another author bemoaning the same murky cloud that I'm sitting under: that fear that the second book just isn't measuring up to the first. And I commiserated with her. And then I felt better. The silver lining came from a shared determination to conquer the fear and get back to writing!

Super sweet readers. I have some really sweet readers. This last month, I received two letters from readers who love my books. Some of the students I teach at my homeschool co-op are also some of my readers, and in the last month, I've been asked several times about my sequel. (this is, in part, terrifying, because it isn't finished yet, but mostly it's super sweet and encouraging)

So, if you are under a dark, murky cloud, and have insecurities biting at your heels, I highly encourage you to look for the silver linings. Hang onto them, stick with it, and keep writing!

What are your silver linings?

22 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Meltdown about the title - funny!
Glad the Facebook page is where you really connect.
Will start working on that app now...

Michelle Wallace said...

When I read IWSG App, I burst out laughing.
I'm not too fond of rats either.
Have to let you know that I'm hoping to get to your books this holiday. Champion In The Dark and Dragonfold are both on my Kindle in the never-ending queue... just waiting patiently for their turn to be read...
Writer In Transit

Marilyn Parel said...

Just dropping in as part of ISWG day. OMG, I know all about dark clouds and murky stuff. Think I'm writing under them quite a bit now. Yes, there are silver linings, for sure. If I'm still at it, anybody can do it. At least you have 1 novel down.
All the best.

Rachel Schieffelbein said...

I haven't seen the movie, either, and when I saw your post it reminded me that I want to see it! Lol. (Although without the not the playbook thing, I probably wouldn't have thought about it.)
I know how you feel, but all you can do is try really hard not to worry about it right now. You'll get it where you want it to be. :)

stu said...

My guess is that if you're seeing your second novel as worse than your first, it's because you've moved on as a writer to the point where you see the problems more clearly. It may be a sign of getting better, not worse.

Rachna Chhabria said...

The fact that you can make out that your second novel is suckier than the first is because you have grown as a writer and can to a certain extent impartially judge your writing.

Julie Luek said...

Sometimes we really do just need the "keep with it" encouragement. THank you.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

If it helps, I haven't seen the movie yet either. :)

Sometimes it's not easy to see the silver lining, the good, through all the murk but it's there. It's definitely there. :)

Emma Adams said...

The online writing community and the support of my readers are definitely the two things that keep me going! :) Sometimes we need a bit of encouragement!

J M Filipowicz said...

You can't copyright titles so you can call your post Silver Linings all you want (unless of course they trademarked it).

My silver linings: I'm alive and healthy and so are my kids.

Quanie Miller said...

Writers always need something to worry about; titles, novels, first lines, middles. If we weren't worrying I think we probably wouldn't care about what we were writing. At least that's true for me! So as long as you're worrying about making the novel good, I can bet that it probably will be good. Because you care:)

E.J. Wesley said...

I'm glad I'm not the only person who struggles with these blog posts! LOL (I can't tell you how many "drafts" I have sitting in my Blogger because I talked myself out of publishing them.)

Glad you shared this one! The second story is always hard. And surprisingly, the better received your first is, the harder the second becomes. (And I'm not even talking on a huge level. A few encouraging reviews adds to the anxiety. :)

It just feels like there's so much you can screw up! But you won't. Not even a little. The thing is, you just have to finish it.

Once you start jumping through the hoops of making it awesome you'll see that you can still write. And no matter how much you've strayed from the first successful project, you can fix this one. Because I firmly believe that's what writers really do. We fix crappy writing. :D

Just get the story told however you can initially, the rest will come.

S.K. Anthony said...

Goodness I'm definitely nervous about my second novel as well. I'll have to leave me sticky notes reminding me to look for those silver linings. Great post, by the way. I'm glad you went ahead and shared this one :D

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Those letters from fans are what often gets me through.

Julie Flanders said...

I cracked up about the title meltdown. Been there!
I need to make more use of the IWSG FB group. I know it's a great one and I've been meaning to spend more time there.
Glad you found some silver linings!

Laura said...

There are always silver linings; we just need to open our eyes and see them. Good luck with your second book :)

Tyrean Martinson said...

Alex - just kidding about the app. I think you have enough to do. :) Write that new novel instead, or strum that guitar!

Michelle - glad you got the humor. :) and Thanks!!!

Marilyn - you'll have one novel down soon too!

Rachel - thanks for your encouragement!

Stu - that's a great way of looking at it, and you're probably right. I want the pacing, and the language to be more vibrant!

Rachna - probably true. I hadn't thought of that until both Stu and you mentioned that. Thanks!

Julie - You're welcome!

Madeline - yes, those silver linings are there, we just have to stand up and find them - or sit down and write them into existence. :)

Emma - yes, encouragement is definitely key! Thanks!

JM - like your silver linings - they are the most important. :)

Quanie - love how you think! You're right. We care.

EJ - you have a tough time with posts too? Your posts are always so hugely encouraging! And your comments are too. Thank you!

SK - Thank you!!! Yes, the first novel is tough work, and then the next one seems like it should be easier . . . but then I'm worrying more (maybe). :)

L. Diane - yes, they do. I actually have a few pinned to a spot near my writing area. :)

Julie - I've just started really using the facebook group, but I really like it! And I'm so glad I'm not the only one with title meltdown. :)

Laura - thank you!

Tyrean Martinson said...

Alex - just kidding about the app. I think you have enough to do. :) Write that new novel instead, or strum that guitar!

Michelle - glad you got the humor. :) and Thanks!!!

Marilyn - you'll have one novel down soon too!

Rachel - thanks for your encouragement!

Stu - that's a great way of looking at it, and you're probably right. I want the pacing, and the language to be more vibrant!

Rachna - probably true. I hadn't thought of that until both Stu and you mentioned that. Thanks!

Julie - You're welcome!

Madeline - yes, those silver linings are there, we just have to stand up and find them - or sit down and write them into existence. :)

Emma - yes, encouragement is definitely key! Thanks!

JM - like your silver linings - they are the most important. :)

Quanie - love how you think! You're right. We care.

EJ - you have a tough time with posts too? Your posts are always so hugely encouraging! And your comments are too. Thank you!

SK - Thank you!!! Yes, the first novel is tough work, and then the next one seems like it should be easier . . . but then I'm worrying more (maybe). :)

L. Diane - yes, they do. I actually have a few pinned to a spot near my writing area. :)

Julie - I've just started really using the facebook group, but I really like it! And I'm so glad I'm not the only one with title meltdown. :)

Laura - thank you!

Diane Burton said...

So happy you've found the silver linings. It's too easy to look at the dark clouds. I am so glad I found this group. You all are great.

Heather Holden said...

I had no idea there was a movie called Silver Linings, haha.

Anyway, I can relate to a lot of your fears. I never feel like my work is good enough, and I'm always afraid all the new stuff I share will just be worse than everything before. Glad you at least have some silver linings to keep your doubts from crushing you!

Natalie Aguirre said...

I'll confess I'm terrified of writing a second book, especially if it were under a contract deadline. But I have faith that I could apply all I learned from writing and produce a good story. I know you can too.

M. J. Joachim said...

Conquering fear is always a great thing to do, as is leaning on a friend. Nice post!