Holy Bookends! 3 Years. Now I Really Feel Insecure:
As you all know, Alex Cavanaugh, created this group . What you may not know is that the IWSG is celebrating its 3rd Anniversary. And next month will mark the one year anniversary for the IWSG Website and the creation of the Insecure Writers Support Group Facebook Page.
Thank you Alex. You have always welcomed new writers and you continue to support writers of all genres and in various stages of our writing careers.
This month Alex's cohost are Laura Clipson over at My Baffling Brain, Mark Koopmans, over in Hawaii (where I want to be),Shah Wharton and Sheena - kay Graham. I've known Mark for some time, but since I'e been away from blogging for too long, I haven't had the pleasure of getting to know Alex's other cohost and I will introduce myself to them today and extend a personal thank you.
What am I insecure about now?
And ... Why am I so ashamed to share my insecurities with others? Why do I continue to wear the false brave mask?
That's an easy one. While this three year anniversary is a remarkable milestone and I am honored to have participated (intermittently -- I admit), I can't help but focus on the number. Three long years that I've been writing, rewriting, scratching, starting over, pulling my thrown away novel out of the trash bin and revising again ... and again ... and again. Still, I don't seem to be any further along than I was three years ago,
Now I know that isn't true. I'm feeling sorry for myself and acting melodramatic. If I truly consider how far I've come, then I know that my writing craft has drastically improved. See Alex, this post forced me to focus on what I've learned and I'm already feeling better.
I've made friends and contacts, attended a writers conference and I've written a complete novel. Is my novel ready for the
world to see , agents to read? I don't know. I do know that when I first started writing my novel I didn't know a thing about point of view or that I was head hopping within my scenes. I didn't even really know what a scene was, if I'm brutally honest. Not in the sense of a scene and a sequel. I was clueless about the art and science of story structure. Yup, I've learned quite a bit.
So, what is my problem then?
I don't know and therein lies my deep rooted insecurity. I suppose I don't feel like my writing is good enough to make it. There. I've said it.
I struggle daily. I read mostly thrillers, suspense and mysteries and I write crime fiction. I completed my first draft almost a year ago . I've learned so much from so many bloggers, authors, agents and others through their blog post and on Twitter and I try and adapt every new piece of knowledge to my own work and I end up having to restructure or rewrite entire chunks of my novel.
My biggest problem is the opening. We've all heard it a million times -- you only get one page or a half page or one line to hook your reader, agent or publisher, so it better be a winner. So I write my killer opening for my killer thriller and let someone read it and they don' think I've started as strongly as I could have. Someone, usually a person I truly admire, respect and trust will tell me that my opening chapter isn't catchy enough. It's not suspenseful enough for a thriller. The advice I get is along the lines of, "this is a thriller. Start with a bada ... bada ... bada badass bang!"
So, I rewrite my opening chapter. I write the first murder scene. First I try it from the villain's chilling POV, then I write it again from the victim's point of view. Yes. I like this one. It's raw and fresh and readers can feel the the victim's emotions. This is it. I've found my opening. So I show it to another trusted, experienced writer and I hear that I've jumped into the dramatic story much too soon. "You didn't give me a chance to even get to know any of the characters. How can I care about someone I know nothing about?"
Both of the above suggestions are correct. How do I find a balance?
So, back to the writing board I go for another trip on the nauseating merry - go - round. The ride of insecurity. I must learn to trust my own writing and my choices and not get so caught up in the well- meaning comments and suggestions of those kind enough to offer critiques.
Advice to self and others ... Let's see what happens if we don't give up.