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Jersey Shore, United States
In case any of my friends or family members actually read this Blog, please consider all Names, Characters, Places and Incidents to be the product of the author's imagination and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or locales are entirely COINCIDENTAL...Muaaah!! Now, really, about me: I bring the crazy wherever I go, so I've been told...I make fun of myself more than anyone else ever could. I hate: the awkward silence in elevators, watches with no numbers, picky eaters, Cancer and legalism. I love: coffee, stalking Hugh Jackman, my Spanx, COMMENTS, sarcasm and writing: Middle Grade, NA, YA Paranormal and Urban Fantasy.

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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Insecure Writer's Support Group, Episode I



Erm, this is my first installment for the IWSG. Ironically, I was too insecure to add my name to the ole Linky List when I initially started blogging and came across this group. I decided it would be fitting to explain my reluctance to jump in and add my voice to the IWSG as the subject of this post. So here it is: I suffer from some serious insecurities when it comes to sharing my work and didn't think I had anything of value to offer to anyone else.

I get so super nervous when I have to share something, I come seriously close to throwing up every time I enter any blog hops or contests. I'm so full of anxiety my mouth starts watering and my body breaks out in a cold sweat when I just think about entering! I am always second guessing myself. I write, then re-write. I edit and edit, completely convinced everything I've written my entire life is pure crap. And sometimes, sometimes I can get all squirrely just trying to form and drop a coherent comment on someone's blog! Ridiculous, right?

But here's the thing that really blows my mind- if you and I were to meet in a social setting, NEVER in a million years would you guess I suffer from such debilitating insecurity!!  Putting aside the fact that you always hear me, long before you see me, I'm always smiling, laughing and jacking around. I'm extremely friendly and absolutely adore meeting new people. I can (and will) introduce myself and strike up conversations with total strangers, with zero fear or any anxiety, at all.  My friends and family would laugh their butts off if  they knew I'm claiming to be really shy and insecure. But when it comes to writing, it's absolutely the truth! So what gives? What the heck is wrong with me? Why am I so insecure when it comes to my writing?

Writing is my medium. It is the art form in which I chose to express myself.  It is a huge part of who I am. When I write, it's my deepest, darkest, inner most thoughts swirling around inside my soul, thrown outside myself, for all to see. And that's a much tougher thing for me to share than a smile and a laugh.  I'm not entirely certain if  it will ever be easy for me to share my work. I'm really hoping some day, it will be. For now, I'm taking baby steps. One thing at a time. At  least I finally got up enough courage to join the IWSG!

Have any of you ever suffered from the same insecurity about sharing your work? What was the first thing you ever shared? How was your work received? Did how your work get received, change your feelings about what you wrote? (Did that sentence even make any sense? And there you go, I'm doing it again...)

42 comments:

  1. I'm the opposite - more comfortable in the written word than in person.
    Responses from my first book did change things. It made me realize I could do it again.
    You are in the right place with this group.
    And don't ever sweat a comment on my blog!

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    1. Alex- you are always so kind and supportive. You are the reason I joined! I can't think of anyone who encourages and uplifts other writers out there more than you. So thank you!

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  2. Well done for getting up the courage to join - that's obviously a huge success for you. and you will find IWSG full of people to help you out and raise your confidence, but, more importantly, you'll also find it full of people who feel the exact same way you do. It really helps to know you're not alone.

    In my experience the only way to get past the fear is to confront it over and over. The more blog hops and submissions you do, the easier it will get over time. I promise. And the more feedback you get, the better.

    No one out there is just going to turn to you and say "you suck, you better give up writing now". And if they do, don't even bother giving them the time of day.

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    1. Hi Angeline! Thank you so much for your kind comments. I hope to one day be able to handle things with a bit more resilience. I do force myself to enter in contests and blog hops, but it is never an easy thing for me. I want to hear the truth, but oh my word if someone said, "you suck, stop writing now" I would probably curl up in a ball and cry! I may never recover from that.

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  3. I used to find it terrifying to share my work. What if everyone hates it and tells me I'm useless at writing?! But, it gets easier. It's never completely stress-free, but it's definitely easier the more you do it, I think.

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    1. Really? I'm surprised you feel this way too Kyra! You are always so bold and inspirational to me. I would never think that you suffered from any nerves at all! It makes me feel a little better knowing I'm not alone. Thanks!

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  4. In some ways, I'm the opposite. I don't feel insecure in the blogging world. But I have a much more difficult time communicating in person. That's why I like to write. Ironically, I initiate conversations with strangers in elevators and at stores, wherever, all the time. It's when I'm trying to communicate with people that I know I'll have to talk to again where it gets tricky.

    I am insecure about sharing my fiction writing, but less and less the more I do it. I'm more insecure about having to talk about it than about the writing itself.

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    1. OMG I hate the awkward silence in elevators. Like really, really hate it! I can never NOT tell a joke, or strike up a conversation. Especially in NY when an elevator ride can take up to ten minutes to get to the top of a building! LOL

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  5. I think we all feel that way, especially in the beginning. When it comes to writing, putting yourself out there for the world to see and judge is the toughest step to take (and one that many writers never get around to taking). We put pieces of ourselves in our writing, little bits of our soul, then send it out to a perfect stranger's desk or monitor and brace for the impact. It's tough! On my blog, I once said it was like slowly and deliberately undressing in your living room, then yanking the shades open.

    But you know what? The more you do it, the thicker your skin becomes, and the easier it gets. And when you start to get a measure of success or good feedback, your confidence will grow. Soon, it'll be just another part of the process. Good luck!

    J.W. Alden, stopping by for the IWSG

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    1. OH, I love that analogy! You do feel quite exposed when someone is reading your work. I keep praying that thick skin will find me! One day at a time. Thank you so much for the comments and encouragement. I really appreciate it.

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  6. I still feel that way when I share my work, even with my closest CPs. Deep down, I know whatever they comment upon I can fix in my story and make it stronger, but I think my insecurity thrives on the fact of "Why didn't I do it right the first time?"

    I hope you keep sharing, though. It's how we learn what works and what doesn't.

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    1. Thanks Cherie! I can't believe how many writers feel the same way. My sister was a brilliant artist, and I know she suffered/felt lots of nerves before unveiling any of her work as well. Of course, I could tell her all of her fears were unsubstantiated, but it's much harder to tell yourself that!

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  7. I feel this way about my singing - I wrote for a career for so long, I don't remember if I had fear or not - at some point I got to the point where it doesn't matter what anyone else says about my writing. I still have to write. Now I need to get to the same place with my singing.
    karen

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    1. Hi Karen! I know what you mean. No matter what,(even if I do kinda suck) I would still HAVE to write. I don't think I could fall asleep, without writing in my journal. Best of luck with your singing! That's a wonderful talent to possess. Thank you for commenting.

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  8. I am also more comfortable with writing than talking. I think everyone is insecure with sharing their work, especially at the beginning. I found it got easier for me as I did it more :)

    Allison (Geek Banter)

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    1. Thanks Allison! I appreciate all of the support. It is hard, but I will keep forcing myself to keep going.

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  9. I am soooo glad you decided to join in the 'fun' as IWSG (it's the one post I try to keep up every month and visit as many others as possible). I love your stuff.

    I too suffer from 'serious mouth disease'. Once I open it in the morning, I find it hard to shut up, as long as I have an audience. The written word is much more challenging for me. I think and rethink things into obscurity, before I put them on paper. I have completed three fully length books, numerous short stories and am currently working on a screenplay, but I have the hardest time giving them over to criticism, even the helpful kind.

    Working my way through those insecurities one word at a time.

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    1. Thanks Faraway! I am so happy to hear that I'm not the only one! Sometimes, I wish I could just allow myself to "blend in", but it NEVER happens. I'm always the loudest, most talkative, craziest girl in the room. Especially with an audience. I guess that's why I loved my job in Public Relations so much, I got paid to meet new people and carry on. LOL

      Wish it could be as easy for me to feel so comfortable with my writing. I'll get there one day, I pray.

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  10. Hi! I can really identify with all that! I'm outgoing and confident too - but I find it so hard to let people read what I've written! I shouldn't feel like that because I've had 7 stories published in a women's magazine, but I still harbour the secret suspicion that they were flukes and I'm actually crap! I think it's because what we write is such a personal part of us - it's like offering up our souls for inspection, whereas the exterior is less easy to harm. I've learned to take criticism and value it, but it still stings! Best of luck with everything you're doing :-)

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    1. Hi Linda! Nice to meet you. Thank you so much for stopping in and commenting. I always thought if I had something published, it would take away my insecurities, but that didn't really help you, did it? LOL I really appreciate all of the support here. It does help to know I'm not the only one who suffers from these issues.

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  11. Yes, when I share my work at first the anxiety is almost crippling.

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    1. Oh my gosh Johanna- I would never guess you felt that way! You always seem so confident. Thank you for sharing that with me.

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  12. Welcome to the IWSG honey :)

    Wow, be very proud of yourself, for making this post!

    I am completely the opposite when it comes to chatting to people via Blogs and the web, whereas, in person im quiet and shy.

    I struggled, sharing my writing, initially, but once i'd done it a few times it got easier :) So you definitely are not alone honey.

    Dont beat yourself up, it will come, honestly :)

    xx

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    1. Aw- thanks Vikki! You are too kind. I really appreciate all of the support I've been getting here. Honestly, I thought I was in the minority here, but it turns out, I'm not alone! Thank you so much for commenting and lending your support. I really appreciate it.

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  13. Sharing it in front of live people makes me nervous. I didn't enjoy my experience with a writer's group for that very reason. Even reading an excerpt at a book festival does me in. (And I'm a public speaker!)

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    1. Hey Diane! I used to do a lot of public speaking for work, (I was in Public Relations) and addressing large audiences didn't bother me. I kind of loved it. He he he. But sharing my writing, holy crow, MUCH different story! Thank you so much for sharing. I appreciate all of the support so much.

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  14. Congratulations on taking the step to join up with the group and share your insecurities. The first time I posted my writing, I was really nervous. Over time, my confidence has grown and my writing has improved. So you'll get there. One step at a time.
    Nice to meet you. *waving*

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    1. Hi Michelle! Nice to meet you too. Thank you for popping in and commenting. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that in time, sharing will become easier and easier for me to deal with! Thank you so much for all the support. Looking forward to next month already!

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  15. Yeah, I'm not that confident in person to be honest. As far as sharing your writing online goes, I think it gets easier and easier. I was really scared when I joined my first blog hop and now I don't hardly freak out at all. ;)

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    1. I'm surprised to hear you are not confident- I know you have acted in plays and that usually takes an outgoing personality. But I'm glad to hear it's gotten easier for you to participate. That means there's hope for me too, right?

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  16. Jaybird, the entire day before and for the entire morning of the day I'm due to stand up and read in front of a crowd, I'm close to throwing up. But not just that. I'm nervously sure I'm going to fall flat on my face. My stomach chews me up and spits me out on an hourly basis. I feel that way until I step away from the podium and take my seat. And worse, it isn't getting easier. LOL. And yes, people are amazed when I confess my fears. They're shocked. "But you look so natural, so comfortable." Ha, not likely. There are a few astute audience members who recognize my fears, but not most people. What do we do about it? Heck if I know. LOL. Just revel in the knowledge that you're not alone. All of us insecuritees should get together and conquer the world, eh! Happy IWSG. I'm #192

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    1. Aw- thanks Joylene. I really appreciate all of the wonderful comments and support. Oh, and I always tell everyone who asks about my nerves, my life motto is like Nike's, except mine is "Just Do It, Afraid!" Ha.

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  17. It took a couple of years before I could even share my story with my wife. I understand your insecurity perfectly.

    Welcome to the IWSG.

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    1. Thanks Ken! My husband hasn't read ANYTHING I've written yet! LOL Maybe one day...

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  18. Oh my gosh, I'm so insecure about my writing! I, too, get nervous when I link up to things. I think it's because writing is so important to me. If someone criticizes other things about me, I can let it roll off, because it doesn't matter. But writing is a piece of me that is precious, so if people don't like it, it's painful.

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    1. Yep- that's exactly how I feel about it Kianwi. I am secure about myself and who I am, so if people don't like me, that's cool, but my writing? Ugh. That stings, bad.

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  19. Lol. Great IWSG post. And welcome. :) My first picture book email submission was hilarious. I wrote, rewrote, rewrote again (something like 30 times), got nervous, nearly tossed my cookies, sweated, panted, had an anxiety attack, cried, laughed, and as I was about to hit send, I got up, paced the room, and finally had to get my daughter to actually send it! Talk about nervous.

    I think we all get nervy when it comes to sharing what is most precious to us. You're not alone. :)

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    1. Thanks Candilynn. Thank God bloggers have been nothing but supportive because if I got too many haters, I would have probably quit already!

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  20. It's funny that you'd have such an extreme reaction to something happening online and would be okay with a face to face encounter. No one can see you online and usually don't even really know you. But I can relate to being insecure about putting your work out there. That's what I like about blogging: Every time I post something I'm putting my writing in the public arena. Bloggers are usually pretty nice.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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    1. I know it's weird0- but somehow, I think I make a better impression on people in person. And is it possible we can be related? I'm a Bird too.

      Thanks for commenting Arlee.

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  21. I'm a completely confident person in my 'day' job but I'm not secure when it comes to my writing at all. Glad to meet you.

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    1. Hi Susan. Welcome to the Bird's Nest. It is tremendously helpful knowing I'm not alone. Glad to meet you too. Thanks for the follow!

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