IWSG: Free Book and Insecurity

Time for the Insecure Writers Support Group. This not so little meet-up allows us to express our insecurities and offer support to other writers. Click here to see a full list of participants.

Before I start on my insecurity, I guess I should make a quick introduction (I'm editing this post sixteen hours after original posting, because I didn't know we were doing this): My name is Jennifer Ellis, I have self published a novel under the name JA Ellis, and I'm trying to get myself settled down enough to write another. I was born on Guam, grew up on several different Navy bases until the age of ten, then spent the next 13 years in Michigan. I now live in Kentucky (although I hope to one day run away from here as fast as my giant feet will take me), where I work, raise my son, serve my cats, and go to school. And sometimes I write.

I would like to take a moment to say that my novel Weaver is free on Amazon Kindle from January 7th through the 11th. Please stop on by and pick up copy. :)

Ok. Insecurity:

Last month, I submitted two short stories to The Drabblecast. The submissions editor actually contacted me after reading Snowbound to tell me he enjoyed the story, and suggesting that if I had anything to offer them, to send it his way for consideration. 
He sent me this email in July. And I waited until December to respond. Stupid on my part, because he did respond to me (very nicely) to let me know that unfortunately, they are full for the next several months. However, what I sent in was the type of stuff they were looking for and he would be interested in seeing more in the future.

So, why did I wait so long?

Because, I didn’t think I had anything that was fit for publication by anyone other than myself. I felt like what I thought was worthy of a reader wouldn’t be accepted by anyone else. Why did I think that? Why do I still think that?  I’m still working on the answer to that.

Here’s the thing about self-publishing: it’s easy. It’s too easy. While it certainly allows for great stories that would never find an audience through traditional publishing, it also allows for a lot of mediocre - or straight up bad - writing to be tossed out into the world. I don’t want to put out bad writing, or trope-tastic plot devices, or one dimensional characters, or derivative stories. I try to avoid as much of that as possible. It’s not what I like to read, and I’ve always wanted to write the type of things I’d want to read, but I always have the feeling that I'm not succeeding.

Obviously, I need to get over that. It's really my biggest hurdle towards any measure of success.


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  2. It's hard to trust in our own abilities. I think we just have to try and have a bit more faith in ourselves and hope all works out well but it isn't always easy. I'll be sure to pick up a copy of your book and leave a review once I am done reading. :) happy 2015

  3. I think it's a common affliction of writers that we underestimate ourselves. But we don't want to be cocky and complacent either. There must be a place in between. I'll snag a copy of Weaver!

  4. I agree, we writers can be an insecure bunch, and many of us have the habit of not trusting in our own abilities enough!


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