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Insecure Writers Support Group (IWSG) - 3 Year Anniversary

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.

What are you feeling insecure about? 

Remembering Tina Downey

Join Us in Remembering Tina Downey
September 8, 2014

In Memory of Tina Downey {Life Is Good} the awesome A to Z Challenge Team is hosting a sunflower tribute on September 8, 2014 - Remembering Tina Downey.

Tina loved sunflowers. I can't think of a more beautiful flower or one that represent the beauty of everlasting life and love. How appropriate that Tina was so drawn to their beauty.

The A to Z team is asking each of us to purchase or plant a sunflower, prior to September 8th, and to share a photo in a post on September 8th, in Tina's memory. The goal is to splash the blogging world with sunflowers that day and honor such an awesome woman who meant a great deal to so many of us. Let's honor Tina and share with the world how much she brightened our lives and spread the warmth of sunshine and friendship to all whom came in contact with her.

If you knew Tina, then you know that that she is looking down on the rest of us and hoping we remember her motto, #lifeisgood. Life is good and this is a time for all us to reflect on how good our lives are and honor a remarkable woman who continued to share her goodwill & spirit no matter how she felt. She saw the beauty in life and we can pay tribute to her by carrying on in her memory. 

Losing a friend or acquaintance is always difficult. I never knew how hard it would be to lose a friend I'd only met on-line. 

Please take a photo of your sunflower and share it on your blog on September 8, 2014, along with any special memory or story about Tina. My heart goes out to her family. God bless you!

To join this bloghop, please sign up on the A to Z Page

Tina struggled with Pulmonary Hypertension and passed away on August 23, 2014. She will be missed.

A special thanks to the folks over on the A to Z challenge, for hosting this wonderful memorial for Tina.

Thank you Alex Cavanaugh for your "Goodbye Dear Friend," tribute to Tina.

I'm certain that many more of you have equally wonderful and touching stories and tributes on your blogs and I hope I have the opportunity to read all of them.

God bless you Tina Downey and may you forever have the beauty of sunflowers within your reach.

Have any of you experienced the death of a blogger friend?

Have you given much thought to what will become of your blog if you were to pass away, unexpectedly? I know it sounds morbid, but this is probably a topic that bloggers should discuss with their next of kin or significant other.

I hope you all had a Happy Labor Day and  I look forward to seeing your sunflower photos and reading your parting words to a blogger who was a huge part of so many of your lives.

Take care, all.

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