Wednesday, April 2, 2014

IWSG: It's never enough

If you've never heard of the Insecure Writer's Support Group, you should check out this great community of writers here! Join and share your insecurities and encouragement with others on the same journey. The amazing Alex Cavanaugh started it all.

I get bogged down, find myself stuck inside my own head trying to convince myself I'm not a writer, or that I'm no good at it so I just shouldn't do it... If I was a writer I'd HAVE to write every day and I don't... or at least I convince myself not to... so I must not be a writer, right?

It's so easy to think of all the reasons that I might not be doing enough, or capable enough to follow my dreams, to succeed as a writer or as a freelance editor.

Well, this week, the fabulous Anne Rice wrote ... almost directly to my insecurities via her Facebook page. Thanks Ms. Rice.

I've often said there are no rules for writers. Let me share the WORST AND MOST HARMFUL ADVICE I was ever given by others. 1) Write what you know. 2)You'll have to polish every sentence you write three or four times. 3)Genius is one tenth talent and nine tenths hard work and 4) You're not a real writer if you don't write every day. --- ALL OF THAT WAS HARMFUL TO ME. ALL OF IT. IT HURT AND IT SET ME BACK. ----- So I say again, there are no rules. It's amazing how willing people are to tell you that you aren't a real writer unless you conform to their cliches and their rules. My advice? Reject rules and critics out of hand. Define yourself. Do it your way. Make yourself the writer of your dreams. Protect your voice, your vision, your characters, your story, your imagination, your dreams.


  1. One can't literally write every day. Just doesn't work because there's so much more involved. Inspiration. Dreaming. Living experience. Letting the mind wander. Dealing w/ life. None of these things (which are needed for a story) happen when we sit and stare at the screen/paper. So don't worry about it. If you're a writer, you'll write. If not, then not. But never every day. :)

  2. I think the writing every day rule is complete BS, and let me just say that I am one of those crazy "Couldn't stop writing writers" (I know cause I've "quit" three times and can't stay quit). I have to write. No, that doesn't cover it. I NEED to write. I wrote when I was a kid, when I was working 80 hour weeks, I write when I'm sick and broken. I write. And even I don't write every single day. It's complete crap. I don't write all the time, I don't even try. When I have time and I fell like I'm supposed to be writing, that's the only time I try to force myself to write (and if I'm not feeling it, I write the promotional stuff, author bio, pitch, synopsis, because forced to write words never work out).

    If you write one day a week, you're a writer. If you write one day a month, you're a writer. It's hard to justify calling yourself a writer at one day a year, but logging words on each of the 365 days in a year is a worthless definition. I wrote 5 days in December. I only wrote 15 days in November (you know, NaNo???). You are a writer if you write.

  3. Oh... all the rules of writing. I say, if you write, you're a writer. Only you are in control of your destiny. Remember the 3 P's: Perseverance, patience (especially with yourself) and plugging away at the project will see you through. Keep your chin up. :) Happy IWSG post day!!

  4. Write what you feel. Write for yourself. Word count and daily goals does not a writer make!
    Good luck! Listen to the universe it's trying to tell you not to give up!

  5. Yeah, I've really struggled over that insecurity of not being a "real writer" because I don't write everyday. Bottom line is, I'm a writer because I love writing. I love Anne's statement! Protect your vision!

  6. That is great advice. I struggle with those nagging questions about being a "real writer" a lot. Thanks for sharing.

  7. It really is about finding your own way. My writing process has evolved over the years, and it's still not set in stone. Hang in there! :)

    Madeline @ The Shellshank Redemption


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