Insecure Writers Support Group

Do Not Adjust Your Calendar.  Today is not Wednesday, February 1st.


                                       I am just a day behind. So much for my 2012 goals- I will not procrastinate
                         I will learn to manage my time more efficiently
I suppose my biggest insecurity at the moment is that Alex-The Group Therapist, will throw my sorry, lazy ass out of the support group. But, no you can't. I need my therapy.


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What am I insecure about as a writer? A whole lot of things.
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I think I must be insecure about, for lack of a better word or phrase:  the fear of completion.  Am I so afraid of failure and rejection that I am sabotaging my own chance of success?  Let me try to explain.  I thought I had a finished, complete novel. I was all geared up to send it to someone who graciously offered to critique it and I began to worry. On a positive note, I read Martha Alderson's new book,  THE PLOT WHISPERER  and I was impressed. I signed up for a series of plot consultations with her and I learned so much about story structure and sequence.

After our second consultation, Martha had a good idea about the plot, characters, theme and other importand story points of my novel. With the use of her plot-line and input I was able to rearrange the order of some of the scenes that I was on the fence about.  The minor changes vastly improved my story. I am scheduled to start back this month with our ongoing plot consultations. This makes me happy. This is not my problem.

My problem seems to be that I am never completely satisfied. I am always reading new craft or technique books and starting over. I don't necessarily go all the way back to the beginning and start all the way over, but if I read a blog post or a book or I take a class, I inevitable end up picking an area of my novel and rewriting it.

Revisions and rewrites are part of the process, so what is my big problem, you ask? About 90% of the time I go back to my original version of the part   I just had to take apart and dissect.  


Why am I so afraid to just say, " This is it. This is my complete, revised, polished novel." ?

I have decided to send what I believe is my final draft to a professional editor. I just need to push myself. I get my MS ready to go, I research the professional editors & then Boom~~Fear~~ takes over and I start the same crap all over again. I tell myself that it is not ready for an editor.

Bottom line: I am afraid it just won't be good enough. That is the only explanation I can find. In my mind, until I am rejected I don't really know that it is not good enough.

Okay, that was hard to say. I am ashamed and embarrassed.


How do you convince yourself that your final draft ----is just that------your Final Draft?
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I love comments & I appreciate each and every one. I am going to switch back & quit using DISQUS as soon as my Get Fired Up blogfest is over. 


Until then, I am asking for you to please fill out the area that ask for your name, email and website when you leave a comment. If you don't then I cannot click on your name and be linked to your blog & I have to find you in my followers list, or hope to come across your name in the comment section of another blog or I have to google your name & blog. I just worry that I am not replying or reading your blogs and that really bothers me. I guess you could say I am very "insecure" about it.


I apologize for the inconvenience.  I assure you it is temporary.  I will return to blogger comments on 2/29/12-after the contest ends (I don't want to risk losing any comments from participants).


Thank you.



33 comments:

  1. Not to burst your bubble, but I don't think there will ever come a time when I don't want to change SOMETHING - even if it's just word placement here or there.

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  2. Jolene! You bursted my bubble too! We all share this insecurity. Hopefully, it lessens with time.

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  3. Even though there will never be a time you are completely satisfied with your work, I think the insecurity does lessen with time. 

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  4. I worry about getting caught up in the same issue.  I think (and this is from someone who is still working on their first novel, so not an expert) that if you are not actually changing anything new, you are done.  If you always revert back to the original, it may be time to have faith in yourself and take the next step. 

     Shannon at The Warrior Muse, co-host of the 2012 A-to-Z Challenge!

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  5. Fear of success?
    We're never satisfied and could revise the same piece forever. But we grow as writers by continuing to write new stuff, so at some point, you just have to say this is the best I can do right now and move on.
    Or if you're like me, when you start putting things back to the way they were in the first draft you know you've edited too far...

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  6. I think one of the best parts about being a writer is knowing we can always improve.  Maybe not always in the particular WIP but we, as writer's, keep improving. 

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  7. I'm not a professional writer so can't really comment on what you're feeling, but I just wanted to say you should never feel embarrassed or ashamed.  You are who you are and that's always a great thing :)

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  8. It can never be perfect.  You have to let go and take whatever criticism you receive as simply learning more about the craft.  If you never take that risk, you can't share your work with the rest of us.   

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  9. Hey Melissa,
    I struggle with that too. When do you say, enough, I'm done. I think as writers we will still want to edit, even when it's published. I sometimes see typos in well-known authors books and think - man that would drive me nuts as the author and not be able to change :) lol

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  10. Hello Melissa! My
    first visit, will visit you again. Seriously, I thoroughly enjoyed your posts.
    Congrats for your work.  If you wish to
    follow back that would be great I'm at  http://nelsonsouzza.blogspot.com


    Thanks for sharing!        

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  11. Thanks, Jolene. I guess I just need to learn when to say enough is enough

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  12. Glad to know I am not the only one. Thanks for visiting.

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  13. Thanks, Lynda. I hope it is true. It makes sense, just like in every profession we gain confidence the longer we do it.

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  14. Thanks Shannon. You have a valid point

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  15. I agree. I just wish I didn't feel the need to do it. Thanks, Alex.

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  16. I agree. Thanks for visiting and sharing your opinion.

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  17. Thank you, Anna for your kind & uplifting comments

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  18. Agreed. I am just going to have to suck it up & take the risk.

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  19. Thank you for stopping by. I will check your blog out this evening. Thank you for including the http link, it makes it SO MUCH EASIER. Until I can switch from DISQUS comments back to blogger, I have such a hard time linking to the blogs of readers & those who leave comments.

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  20. I think this is all part of the long learning curve. I've experienced it, and I know a lot of other writers have, too. You're normal :)

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  21. That is why I need a manager. Or an agent. Or someone to just say, "STOP!" Because I don't have an answer to your question :)

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  22. I often struggle with feeling that a project is finished, too. It seems like there is always something that can be tweaked or revised or...something. For shorter projects, I usually make myself call it done, since I have deadlines and whatnot. For longer projects, I rely heavily on others feedback. I'm still a work in progress in this area - if I discover any amazing secrets. I will let you know! :)

    Thanks for stopping by my blog and then checking out the interview. I appreciate your thoughts and time! :)

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  23. You can look at your need to dissect in a positive way too: the fact that you are never entirely satisfied with your work is one way you continue to grow as a writer. Dissecting your own prose, I'm guessing, is a way for you to process and expand your technique. It can be a very good thing that you're not necessarily content with what you've done. I actually blogged on this topic today myself. Good luck!

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  24. Have you ever done Myers-Briggs personality testing? It tells you what your innate personal preferences and tendencies. I think sometimes we beat ourselves up, thinking that we have a bunch of "wrong" behaviors, when in fact we just have some hard-wired tendencies.In this case, I am thinking of what i call that "not wanting to land the plane" aspect. That's actually a natural tendency of highly creative people- the tendency to think that there is always "something else" - something else more interesting, a better plot twist, a new idea yet to be born. It's just something to think about - sure, maybe there is fear too, but maybe you just have this tendency - naturally! Whatever our tendencies, it''s a matter of learning that it's okay to be us, taking the part that is strength, and learning to tame the part that gets in our way. xo

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  25. This is perfectly normal, and certainly nothing to feel ashamed or embarrassed about. I wish I had some good advice for you, but I've never got this far. I do know that lots of people feel the same way you do. Grab your courage in both hands and just send it :-)

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  26. Your fears are normal and experienced by many, mant others. I let that fear grip me, too. I'm still not sure when I'll have my final, final draft.

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  27. Aloha Melissa,

    Thanks for the kind comments and the follow - and I've done the same :)

    Your post struck a real chord with me because I am in the same boat as you (waving from down the port side :)

    But at some stage (and I've given myself a deadline) enough *WILL* be enough and I will send WIP off to be polished via an editor... and once that's done... I'm done.... my reasoning is that there are soooo many (well at least one :) idea I want to focus on, so I need to put WIP #1 to bed and start WIP #2@be64195186e560025747b8ea1297f676 
    GOOD LUCK :).

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  28.  The first thing to say is, don't worry. Every writer goes through this stage. I'm going through it with my current work-in-progress. The important thing to learn is it will never be perfect - that is why we have critique partners, beta-readers, editors, agents and so on. I think you're already moving in the right direction with the plot consulations and a professional critique is a superb idea. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised. They are there to offer constructive criticism, not to rip your ms to shreds.

    Best of luck!

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  29. I usually know it's my  final draft when I absolutely cannot STAND to read another word of it and all my niggles and qualms have been sorted!

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  30. You're on the right track asking the question at all. I'm not sure I know this yet, as I am still trying to get to a point with any of my drafts where I could even begin to feel like it's polished. I'm too insecure to think I might know.

    I awarded you the Versatile Blogger and Kreativ blogger awards today, BTW.  Your blog is awesome.

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  31. I know it's my final draft when I start making changes, and then I go and change things back to the original. Over and over and over again...

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  32. I have the same insecurity! I'm sure at some point we'll know it's as ready as we can make it. Eventually we have to be brave and let it go. We can do this! 

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