Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Insecure Writer's Group

Today I'm joining the infamous Alex J. Cavanaugh and his Insecure Writer's Support Group. What a brilliant idea - who doesn't need one of these? For this bloghop, once a month, "Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear or appearing foolish or weak." 

So, let the foolish, weak, and somewhat blubbery post begin...

*Wrings hands, bites lip*

My name is Kimberly. I'm from Chicago, and I'm an insecure writer.

I've never been to a support group, but I've seen plenty of them on TV. Right now I envision my fellow group members applauding as I take a deep breath at getting through my admission and beginning my story. That's how it works, right?

I started my querying journey in January thinking, like Stephenie Meyer, I would send out 10 or so queries before someone amazing like Jodi Reamer snatched me up and offered me a six-figure three book deal. When I received my first full request by an amazing super-agent, I actually had a moment or two where I doubted whether or not she would be amazing enough for me. She was relatively new, after all, and I had not yet queried Jodi Reamer. 

*swallows humility, bangs head, stupid, stupid, stupid* 

The lesson I learned was that was ridiculously new, completely naive, and my MS was way too rough around the edges. Ms. Amazing Super-Agent sent me a form rejection letter. Form rejection on full request = bad. So, I entered a few contests, met a few CPs, and got some really smart feedback before realizing I needed an overhaul of my MS.

Three months later, my overhaul is complete, and I'm ready to start querying again...maybe. I could honestly rewrite my first page all day every day, but that's not what's holding me back. It's that horrible nagging insecurity-doubt thing. It's that possibility that this MS will fail or that I will fail or that I will wake up and realize that I suck as a writer. Whether or not my MS is ready, I don't know if I'm ready for that.

So lovely writers, bloggers, and insecure writing group peeps, (yes, I'm over 30 and yes, I did just use the word peeps), I'm hoping to read through your struggles and triumphs over the next couple of days. So many of you have inspired me a million times over since I started this journey in January. I need your stories of courage, strength and perseverance to once again kick me in the butt and force me to put on my big girl pants. No pun intended *says the 8.5 month pregnant woman with horribly swollen feet*

Happy 4th of July.


  1. Hi Kimberly and welcome! This is only my second month as part of the group, but I can tell you it's a groovy bunch of peeps! And, yes, I'm over 50 and still use terms such as "groovy" and so on. :)

  2. Sometimes it's about taking that first step and just getting it out there, again. I recently sent out a few queries and I had to hoover over the send button for about ten minutes before I had the courage. Then I had this huge weight lifted off my shoulders becasue there was nothing more I could do, what was done was done and the thing was sent. The fact is, even if we get rejected we can learn from it. Look what happened to you the first time around. the only place you can go from here is up!

  3. I agree. Querying is SCAR-EEEEEE! I sent my first one as I shut my eyes. LOL. I couldn't look! Like you, I got so many form rejections that I ended up stopping my query-go-round and revised the manuscript. I'm sosoclose to being done; I can feel it. Hopefully it's soon!

  4. Don't worry. I'm an aspiring writer too and I don't even know what a "CP" is and had to guess that MS stood for Manuscript. How's that for embarrassing? Good luck with your book?

  5. Welcome to the IWSG! Crit Partners and writers' groups are the absolute BEST for making your MS into the novel you want it to be. And a few mistakes along the road are normal. You learn more that way.

    Welcome to fumbling, futzing, and headdesking with the rest of us! It makes insecurity that much easier to bear when you can admit to it.

  6. Thanks for joining the IWSG! No end to the support here.
    Think positive. If you had a full request when the story still needed work, think about what will happen now that it rocks. And go for it.

  7. That's kind of awesome that you had the courage to send it out right away. I agree that CP's and writing groups are very helpful when there's something wrong that you can't see yet.

  8. You have so much courage! Like Avantika, I had to look up what ms and queries were and you should be proud of yourself for getting out there and being brave.

    I am really fresh in these parts but lately I am finding the process of letting go of my ideas as being very liberating. I am thinking more clearly about writing which has been very helpful for me in many ways.

    You really do sound like you are committed to the gig which I think is half the battle. I wish you all the best. Cheers

  9. I'm no author (yet) but I say just keep going! I say it to myself all the time, and I'm saying it to you.

    Visiting from the IWSG, and it's good to meet you.


  10. I once wrote an entire blog entry simply titled, "Rejections Stacking Up" about this whole esteem-bashing experience of submitting queries, synopsises, outlines and the infamous "first 50" (My first bite from an agent returned with "query captured my attention but the story moved too slowly".) Ouch.

    I illustrated this posting with a video clip of Miss Piggy (yes of Muppet fame) getting punched over and over (from the movie, Muppets from Outer Space) as she keeps repeating, "Is that all you got?"

    That's exactly how I felt.

    Author Kathryn Stockett (The Help) says her MS was rejected 60 times over three years of revisions. But boy-oh-boy, look at what happened on that 61st try!

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts-- new to your blog and will be back!

  11. I did the exact same thing with you. But it took me about 6 months after I figured out how bad things were, for me to fix it up. The next one I query will be ready WHEN I query because I am so much smarter now! :)

  12. Kimberly,

    It took me two years to get my first novel right. And then I began pitching and querying and now I've decided to go Indie. I've got my reasons.

  13. "Puts on your big girl pants." LOL You crack me up. Ok, Kimberly, you keep going. Keep writing. Keep querying. Don't give up. Believe in yourself. Now I need to eat my words. :D

  14. I know how you are feeling, and I feel for you! Even the swollen feet and "big butt" rings well with me. Hang in there! The day will come when you will see...

  15. Hi :)

    Just popping by from the IWSG :)

    Wow!!!!! Good for you, sending your MS out to those agents! :)

    From what I can gather, all writers, even the majorly successful ones, have the same doubts, the same fears. We have to have pretty thick skins (something I'm trying to develop lol) to expose ourselves to rejection time and time again.......

    But, if you believe in your novel, if you've had Beta readers who have given it good reviews, then there comes a time when you have to shout "enough!" and let it go :)

    Good luck honey, I wish you well, now go girl....send it out! :)


  16. Thanks for sharing Kimberly, you have the perseverance needed to succeed as an author. Absolutely send it out - what's the worst that could happen? Maybe you'll be asked to develop it more, which is fine, because it's all steps towards perfection - BUT maybe it won't need any more development and you'll land a deal! Excited for you, just go for it!

  17. Hello Kimberly, visiting from IWSG. I am also a writer in my 30s who occasionally uses the word 'peeps', and I'm also pregnant. But a little behind you, I still have 9 weeks to go. So we're in the same boat. Nearly.

    You see, my boat, while it may be a little rocky on the water, like yours is, is some way behind. I don't have a finished MS. Not nearly. So I'm following you, as many other writers are, and there are many writers ahead of you in their little rocky boats too.

    Where am I going with this boat metaphor? Maybe I'm just rambling. Anyway, for me, IWSG is one way in which we connect our boats together. So, grab your oars and reach them out to everyone around you, whether they're ahead or behind, and link our little boats together. It makes them a lot more stable.

    Good luck with the querying - the only true failure is giving up, and you never know if you don't try.

  18. The best of luck with querying! You can do it!

    My first IWSG, good to be part of this group !

    Good luck with baby too ;)

  19. Good luck with your querying! Here's to that six-figure book deal.

  20. I love this post, and not only because you used the word "peeps" -- which happens to be a staple in my own little book of "things I'm probably to old to say but say anyway so HA."

    This is my first IWSG post as well, so it's nice to have a fellow member that I can relate so well with -- man, that whole fear of failure thing is not a happy place to be!

    Query away -- you (and your book) deserve the opportunity to shine!

  21. Hello from IWSG :) First off, congrats mommy!
    I think we've probably all had (or still have?) that completely irrational thought that we'll be an instant success... hope springs eternal in writers. It has to. Otherwise we'd quit, and we're too darned stubborn (masochistic?)for that! As Alex said, if you got that far with your first attempt and a MS that wasn't polished, you're on you're way! good luck!

  22. First: Congrats future mommy!

    I know how terrified you must feel, and I know because I feel the same way whenever I think about querying. I also know that I'll have to do it, hopefully, sooner than later. So far I've published my works with small publishing houses. Those experiences have taught me a lot about the process of writing, re-writing, editing, and re-writing once more before being ready to publish a piece. I feel that, though my experience is very limited, at least I'm not as naive as I was a couple of years ago. And I know what it is To Query, (I used to not know what that meant =)). I'm happy of where I am and feeling more prepared to go big with my next novel. We'll see how that goes. You might find the small publishing houses as a good measure of how to start, too.

    However you decide to start, I wish you the best of luck. Believe in yourself and if you think your MS is READY, don't let anyone tell you it is not.

    From Diary of a Writer in Progress