Category Archives: IWSG

Insecure Writers Support Group

Have You Been Called to Rise?

We Never Know How High We Are

by Emily Dickinson

We never know how high we are

Till we are called to rise;

And then, if we are true to plan,

Our statures touch the skies.

The Heroism we recite

Would be a daily thing,

Did not ourselves the Cubits warp

For fear to be a King.

Why did I choose this poem for my IWSG post? It speaks to the limiting nature of insecurity. Here is my interpretation:

We never know how high we are

Till we are called to rise;

We don’t know what we’re capable of until we’re tested.

And then, if we are true to plan,

Our statures touch the skies.

If we rise to the occasion, our confidence increases. We realize our limits have been self-imposed.

The Heroism we recite

Would be a daily thing,

We could do great things…

Did not ourselves the Cubits warp

For fear to be a King.

if we just believed in ourselves, but often our self-doubt prevents us from reaching our true potential. Fear holds us back. We’re afraid of the responsibility that comes with power.

“With great power comes great responsibility.” ~ Voltaire

For those who may not know, a cubit is an ancient unit of measure based on the distance between the elbow and the tip of the middle finger. “Did not ourselves the cubits warp” means that we misinterpret our self-worth, we distort our measure.

Don’t let fear hold you back. Rise to the occasion. Be a king.

What is the Insecure Writers Support Group?

IWSG badgePurpose: 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.

The IWSG is the brainchild of Alex J. Cavanaugh. This month’s co-hosts are:  Laura at My Baffling Brain, Mark Koopmans, Shah Wharton, and Sheena-Kay Graham! Please visit their blogs and thank them for supporting this amazing group.

Are you an insecure writer? Would you like to join the group? Click here for the sign up page.

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Read This to Assuage the Sting of Rejection

So you’ve received a rejection letter or two, maybe even dozens. Don’t let it get you down because you’re in good company. I researched the top 20 best-selling authors of all time and discovered that quite a few were rejected, in some cases hundreds of times. That’s right: hundreds of rejections. Here are a few examples from the top 20 with the rank beside their name:

Agatha Christie (#2): She started out writing short stories and most of her early works were rejected. All the publishers she submitted her first novel to rejected it. However, she went on to write 85 books, which have sold 4 billion copies, making her one of the world’s best-selling writers, second only to Shakespeare.

J.K. Rowling (#11): Twelve publishers received the first novel in the Harry Potter series and all of them rejected it. Yet, she continued to submit the novel and the series became the best-selling book series in history, selling 450 million copies. The movie version of the books is also the top-selling movie series in history.

Stephen King (#19): Initially, he pinned rejection letters to the wall with a small tack. As the rejections accumulated, the tack became a nail and then a railroad spike. To date he has written about 70 books, selling 350 million copies.

What did these authors have in common? They never gave up.

We may not be able to find motivation among a mounting pile of rejection letters like Stephen King, so I wanted to share an inspirational letter I found among my daughter’s schoolwork. It’s just a few words of encouragement from one of her sweet friends. I thought it was adorable.

Never Give Up

 

Also, while researching this topic, I stumbled upon the following articles you might find encouraging.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/stmartinspress/20-brilliant-authors-whose-work-was-initially-reje-7rut

http://www.literaryrejections.com/best-sellers-initially-rejected/

Source: Wikipedia.com

 

What is the Insecure Writers Support Group?

IWSG badgePurpose: 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.

The IWSG is the brainchild of Alex J. Cavanaugh. This month’s co-hosts are:  Krista McLaughlin, Kim Van Sickler, Heather Gardner,  Hart Johnson! Please visit their blogs and thank them for supporting this amazing group.

Are you an insecure writer? Would you like to join the group? Click here for the sign up page.

When Writing a Novel Seems Overwhelming

When I was working in the financial services industry, I occasionally faced a task that seemed insurmountable in the time allotted. My reaction was usually an internal state of panic: the chest tightens, and the pulse increases. Then I’d take a deep breath and tell myself, “Just break it down into manageable parts. Start small and build upon it.”

That’s how writing a novel is. If you look at it on the whole, the task can feel overwhelming. So my advice is: Take a deep breath and break it down into manageable parts.

Break it down into parts.
Good story structure consists of four parts. I discussed those parts in the post Building Your Story on a Solid Foundation.

“Virtually every successful novel you read and movie you see is built on this trusted and proven structural foundation.” ~ Larry Brooks

Break it down into beats.
A good story consists of beats to keep the reader engaged. I discussed those beats in the post Just Beat It: Using a Beat Sheet to Plan Your Story.

“’Let’s beat it out!’ It means it’s time to put all those great scenes and ideas and characters ‘up on the board’ and see what goes where, which character does what, and whether you need every scene you’ve imagined…or have to invent all new ones.” ~ Blake Snyder

Break it down into chapters.

“Titles are important; I have them before I have books that belong to them. I have last chapters in my mind before I see first chapters, too. I usually begin with endings, with a sense of aftermath, of dust settling, of epilogue.” ~ John Irving

Break it down into scenes.

“You can’t write a novel all at once, any more than you can swallow a whale in one gulp. You do have to break it up into smaller chunks. But those smaller chunks aren’t good old familiar short stories. Novels aren’t built out of short stories. They are built out of scenes.” ~ Orson Scott Card

Break it down into sentences.

“The first sentence can’t be written until the final sentence is written.” ~ Joyce Carol Oates

Break it down into words.

“This is how you do it: you sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after another until it’s done. It’s that easy, and that hard.” ~ Neil Gaiman

 

 

What is the Insecure Writers Support Group?

IWSG badgePurpose: 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.

Are you an insecure writer? Would you like to join the group? Click here for the sign up page.

Who Says You’re Too Old to Pursue Your Dreams?

When it comes to pursuing our dreams, many of us are plagued with doubts. What if I’m not good enough? What if they don’t like me? Do I really have what it takes to succeed? As someone who has discovered her passion later in life (I’m in my 40’s), I have another question pop in my head occasionally.

Am I too old to even try?

I know from the time I’ve spent reading other blogs and conversing with fellow bloggers that I’m not the only one who has this fear. Has opportunity passed us by? Well, I got tired of hearing that worn out excuse replay in my head and did some research to finally put it to rest. It turns out many of history’s greatest achievements were made by those who were middle-aged or older. Here are a few examples: Continue reading Who Says You’re Too Old to Pursue Your Dreams?