Insecure Writers Support Group: September

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! (click the button on the left for the linky list of participants)

This month I met a couple of people willing to look over my WIP. I was very excited that they liked what I had so far, and I promised to send them the full MS some time after September 15th.

So, this is where the insecure part comes in. I just finished typing up the last of my handwritten pages and started breaking down the chapters, and I realized that there are a lot of holes here. There is also a lot of stuff that seemed like a good idea at the time, but now doesn't make any sense at all.  I have two weeks to make this make sense, and I worry that I won't be able to do it, and my CPs will hate it and fill it with notes like "Your story is stupid." "You suck" and/or "This is what happens when hacks try to write."

On one level I know this won't happen, but on another level (the one that screams the loudest), I'm absolutely sure this will happen.

I know that this is still early stage work, and I'm happy to find that I still have ideas to make things better (that means the idea isn't dead), but it's still nerve-wracking to think that someone else will be reading this thing.

So that's my insecure thought for the month. I will work hard to overcome it. I'll let you know how it turns out next month.


  1. Being one of those people who read your first two chapters, I can categorically say that you know how to write well. I'm interested in your story and your characters are great! I will not say "Your story is stupid," "You suck," or "This is what happens when hacks try to write," or any variation of those terribly unhelpful criticisms.

    My take on a good CP is one who will HELP YOU get the story you want out on paper. I'm pretty sure no one gets it "right" the first time - matching what's in our heads to 80,000 words is daunting, if not impossible, to do alone!

    A first draft is supposed to be terrible, right? That's what I keep hearing, and it seems like good advice. Handing it over to CPs at this point may help you focus in on the important issues, which is better than just throwing your hands up and saying "this sucks!" We're always our own worst critics.

    You can totally do it. You probably won't get it right the first time, but would you expect anyone else to? I really want to know Myra and Jack's story, so you'd better not back out on me!!

  2. I think you are off to a great start since you are the one who noticed the holes. If you aren't finished in two weeks, can you just wait until you are to send it out to readers? or explain the situation to them?
    I think you are a talented writer and you will figure it out. Good luck!

    1. There are holes, so many holes. :(

      Anyway, I want to get this first round done, and have someone else read it to help me get my head straight. After this I plan to slow down and take my time making it perfect(ish).

  3. It's all about moving forward and improving! I think it's great to set deadlines for ourselves, but we also can't expect perfection! I totally worry about opinions too (it's what my IWSG post is on!) but you also have to set realistic deadlines... and as long as we're always pushing, and learning, I think we're doing pretty awesome. :)

    1. I have to set deadlines, otherwise things won't get done. I know I sound a little crazy, giving myself such a short time frame, but there's a reason for it. At least I tell myself there is.

  4. I really hope it all turns well for you! It is such a progress and journey. All the obstacles and the insecurities are just learning experiences.

    And it is good that you found those hold and you are not stopping. It is a great motivation to get it complete! Though I hope the tight deadline works best for you, because, wow that is a short amount of time! All the luck to you!

    Just take some deep breaths and keep moving forward, positive thoughts in place, and working hard for this dream of yours. Though hard, even IF someone would say such childish and unprofessional things, it should just be used as some stepping stone to get better, prove them wrong, and learn that a dream is more important than words. A big learning experience for anyone, I think.

    But you will do great! Just keep moving forward!

  5. I think I would feel the same way after I handed over my MS. But it's definitely a step in the right direction for your novel. If every novel was perfect at the rough draft stage, then everyone in the world would be published. At least you are being realistic with how you see your own work. You will always have our support no matter what. Cheers.

  6. This whole process has been a learning experience.

    I've heard some horror stories about bad critiquers, but I'm sure that most people are helpful and professional. It's just the awful ones that really stick with you.

  7. I feel like this every time I show someone my work; it's so nerve racking! It's nice when they have good things to say though!
    I've tagged you in the 'The Next Big Thing' meme on my blog :)

  8. Jennifer, You have to know every writer feels this way. Handing over our ms, is like handing over our newborn infant and trusting others will hold her gently, supporting her head, and swaddling her in a warm blanket. Believe it or not, twenty years ago, my husband only a year older than me, taught me how to change our daughter's diaper and wrap her blanket! Even though I thought I did them the best! He took her gently from my arms and unwrapped her blankie, refastened her diaper straps, pulled the elastic away from her fragile skin, and rewrapped her into a tiny bundle. He called her a baby burrito when he was finished. It was perfect. A moment of clarity and learning.

    Sometimes we have to turn it over to trusting people, and allow them to show us a more efficient way. Yes, it is scary, but staying open for others assistance is the key to success. Sorry for the baby metaphor, but it fits somehow.

    1. I get the metaphor. I was really anxious about people holding my son when he was a newborn, but these days I can't wait to hand him off to someone else. Maybe I'll get to the same place with my writing some day.


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