Wednesday, 1 May 2013

IWSG: 1 May

It is time for Insecure Writers Support Group, as brought to you by your fine host Alex J Cavanaugh. Check out the post here to learn all about it and to see the list of all blogs joining in.

Next week, I suspect, I'll have a post about the A-Z Challenge, and how I found that - including any insecurities re my ability to blog it showed up or didn't!!

In the meantime, it is the time of year here when Talent Shows are on TV Again. You know the type. They feature people singing or dancing or doing impressions. Some of those people are brilliant. Some are awful. Some are average.

And I think, when I am submitting and getting notes on my work, how do you know if you are one of the people who are clearly deluded and cannot sing, and how do you know if you are one of the people who can sing? Is it all a matter of faith? Of learning your craft?

Are we all simultaneously better than we think, and most likely worse than we think, at different moments?

I am not sure I have an answer. Interested to hear your thoughts.



  1. Congratulations on completing the A to Z Challenge. I don't know about you, but I felt completely drained from it when I sat down to write my IWSG post. I struggled with the exact same insecurity you described. Do I have the X Factor or an overly kind family? I decided to get my work professionally critiqued. They don't lie or cover the truth. Okay you have to pay for the feedback, but at least you know. Here's my post about it

  2. I always worry that people are just being kind when they tell me they like my writing - even with a publishing deal, the doubts never completely go away! The best thing you can do is get professional feedback from someone in the industry, or find someone you can trust to be brutally honest with you. Best of luck! :)

  3. You raise a really good question. Like Emma above, I worry that people are just being nice when they "like" my writing. What if I'm one of those tone-deaf people who like to belt it out for all it's worth while the audience cringes? Yikes. I sure hope not. I think it's normal to feel this way, though. I think Emma's right when she speaks of professional feedback or brutal honesty from someone you trust. Sometimes that's hard to come by, but when you get it, it's golden. :-)

  4. Most of the time I think that I'm worse than I actually am - I have the typical writer's insecurity. But then I'll read something I've written and think it's really good, and then I wonder if I'm deluded. It's a lose-lose situation, really! :)

  5. I don't think I'm better than most. I'm somewhere in the middle.
    And don't worry - if you are really awful, at some point someone will tell you!

  6. I suffer from the very same insecurities Vik. How do you know when you're good enough? I suppose it depends how your measuring it.
    Check out my blog tomorrow for a little sunshine coming your way.

  7. For me, I'm a doubter, so I always assume I WORSE than the others. Here lately, I've been proving my hypothesis right. Maybe I should run away and hide....Nah. I'll keep trying:)

  8. I think every writer have this feeling she's brilliant of she sucks (he/she) like a million times during their writing career. I think it's pretty normal. So much that one should not pay attention to it anymore, but only to the wish of writing and get those stories out there. There are audience for everything, that's for sure.

  9. You know, I absolutely struggle with this all the time. What you have to do is hand your work to someone you totally trust and say "I need you to tell me the truth."

    Usually they will tell you. If you can't manage to hear what they're saying, or think that they won't tell you the truth based on not wanting to sleep on the couch, you can always try the chum bucket by Janet Reid.... but don't tell her I sent you, we aren't supposed to scream that one from the rooftops, if you know what I mean.

    She doesn't do nice, but she does do honest...

  10. Maybe Simon Cowell could start something for writers. Heck, wait no terrible idea, sorry! I don't know how we gauge where we are but it would be useful if we could without having to stand up in front of the nation though!

  11. Oh man, I hope I'm not as deluded as some of those people who wail their heads off for the judges. Fortunately, I think if you're realistic enough to know that any craft requires constant learning and practice, you'll probably come out ahead of those people. At least that's what I'm going to tell myself. Interesting comparison. :)

  12. I think we are simultaneously our worst and best critic. And we'll never know if we have any talent if we don't put our stuff out there. It takes a brave person to be a writer.

    Lynda R Young
    IWSG co-host

  13. I think you have to look at the trend--if you're submitting your work for critique to people you trust, and they tell you your writing is good, believe them. That's not to say you can't improve or learn more, but self-sabotage is no way to go through life.

  14. I agree with Lynda and Lara. It's hard to know if our writing is good or not, until we hand it to someone trustworthy who will give us constructive feedback. Then, we have to send it out into he world. I like submitting short things like stories and poems, because that way I get a chance to find out if the "industry" likes my writing, without it being a huge deal if they say, "no." So far, I think some of my writing is definitely in the delusional area, and some is ok, and a little bit is good.

  15. I think we think we are better than we really are, while others think less of what we really are. So we're somewhere in a happy medium.

    I agree with Lynda. It takes a brave person to be a writer.

  16. Rachael - that's really interesting, that's exactly the concern I have. It is a good idea to get professional feedback. I will check out your post!

    Emma - thank you, that's really helpful. I guess these worries are always there! Professional feedback is a good idea!

    Jaime - Exactly the worry, I don't want to be one of the tone-deaf people who doesn't realise! Brutal honesty is key!

    Laura - ha that's so true! I worry I am fooling myself too! It's so hard why do we do this to ourselves?!

    Alex - ha, thank you, I guess that's true! You'd hope so.

    Heather - I guess so. How are you measuring good enough anyway? Good enough to achieve what? It's all so subjective too. Thank you I'll check out your blog!

    Ink - you aren't worse though! You are great. Keep trying is the key isn't it!

    Al Diaz - you are right, getting the words down and out is all you can do!

    Rena - absolutely.It's getting that honest opinion isn't it!

    Suzanne - well that's true, I guess at least I don't have to go on national TV :)

    Erin - yes you are right, if you are prepared to work at it and know it takes work, that's part of it isn't it.

    Lynda - you are right, all we can do is put it out there. It does take bravery!

    Lara - that's true. Where does it get you? Self belief is a slippery thing sometimes.

    Tyrean - short stories is a v. good plan to get good feedback!

    Stephen - it absolutely does. Thanks for your comment.

  17. I think it helps that no matter how good a writer is, there is not one piece of writing that everybody likes. Thus, there will always be some people who will not relate to our work. But if we're honest in our writing and write from our hearts, there will be others who love and totally relate.

  18. That's very true. You can't please all of the people all of the time, isn't that what they say?


Please comment, I'd love to know what you think! :)