Today is Wednesday, May 4, 2022. I've been blogging some twelve years now? That seems strange. I never thought I'd be at this more than ten years, but it turns out I like blogging. Anyway, those of you who visit me know that the first Wednesday of every month is Insecure Writer's Support Group day. I'm really not insecure anymore, but I still like to participate. This thing was started by Alex Cavanaugh who is still a very avid blogger over at his site. So, I think he's probably going on 13 years? I know that we both started at similar times. Boy, time sure does go by fast. Anyway, I'm going to borrow some words from the IWSG sign-up page
to explain what this thing is (in case some of you are new).What is the purpose of the IWSG?:
That's easy! It's 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!When do y'all post?:
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! Be sure to link to this page and display the badge in your post. And please be sure your avatar links back to your blog! Otherwise, when you leave a comment, people can't find you to comment back.
Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!
If you are still on Twitter post-Elon Musk buyout, their Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG.
The awesome co-hosts for the May 4th posting of the IWSG are Kim Elliott, Melissa Maygrove, Chemist Ken, Lee Lowery,
and Nancy Gideon!
Every month, the IWSG Board of Directors announces a question that members can answer in their IWSG post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say. And please remember that the question is optional.
So without further ado, here is the May 4th question:
It's the best of times; it's the worst of times. What are your writer highs (the good times)? And what are your writer lows (the crappy times)?
For me, I think the writer highs that I experienced happened when I realized there was a community of people who liked writing that had organized online. There were blogfests I could join, and people I could meet. I scored free books to read and reviewed quite a few (I still review books from time to time, but everything has slowed down with age I suppose). And there was all this knowledge that was readily available. People talked about agents and how they got them! Like...what?! And I corresponded with some really interesting people. For example, I've corresponded with John Scalzi and Tahereh Mafi via blogging, and it wasn't some agent or some designated spokesperson. It was the real person dispensing advice directly to me. Another really positive thing that happened was that I felt a lot more connected to the industry. I kind of new what people in power were looking for. Doing some self-publishing helped me to feel empowered, and to realize what kind of hard work went into actually putting a book together. I think it's important for anyone who is passionate about a thing to know exactly how the sausage is made. Publishing and writing so often are just thought of as this art form that people do in the quiet of their homes. That is only partially true. The incredible writers living today must be more than that. They must be savvy at social networks, they need to put themselves out there, and they need to do uncomfortable things. Look at Brandon Sanderson. In his latest Kickstarter he was clearly uncomfortable in front of the camera so he hammed his way through it to some $41 million in riches. But if he couldn't bring himself to crawl out of his hole and maybe face some inner doubts about himself, he wouldn't have made a dime.
I think the crappy times are few, but one I focus on particular has to do with reviews, either by me for someone else or from a person reviewing my work. I had to get used to that criticism, and sometimes it was pretty bad. But I had a thick skin, and I got way more positive reviews than negative ones. It's just how people are, and you need to find the audience you are writing for. A lot of people who are reviewers, only like a certain genre or kind of book even though they may not be completely honest with themselves about that truth. So, my best advice on this (to avoid a writer low) is to find your audience that likes the kind of thing that you like to write. Trust me, they are out there. Additionally, there's the minefield of authors that may not like what you have written about their work. Sometimes they have big platforms (at least compared to me), and I feel like my words (although accurate and I stand by them) may have tweaked a nerve and caused some people to come back at me with a "how dare you write this about my book?" kind of thing. It's sometimes difficult to remember that the internet is one big bathtub, and at the end of the day, y'all are just marinating in it, and a person on one end of the tub can easily slide over and get in your personal space because you said something they don't like. That's just the way the internet is. And this can happen to anyone. I once tweeted about Demi Lovato, and she actually responded. The same goes for other stars like Gregory Smith (Everwood and Rookie Blue). I've had people respond to things I've said, and it wasn't their agents. None of this was a bad interaction by any means, but it's a reminder that things can blow up when you least expect them to, so be careful about what you put out there, and remember, even if a person is famous they are human too and they have feelings.
Thanks for stopping by, and until next time, adieu.