Happy New Year. It’s time for the monthly post of The Insecure Writer’s Support Group. IWSG is the wonderful brainchild of Alex J. Cavanaugh. Its purpose is to share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of feeling foolish or weak.
I joined this group because I always feel pretty foolish or weak. Especially when I get around a bunch of writers who have more experience than I do. I mentioned in my previous post that I’m totally out of my element now that I’ve sold a novella, and expected to promote myself and blog with a few other authors. Mandatory blogging! arghhhh! Yes, I understand the concept of promoting our series and each other, but I find it frightening. Today was my first day. Blogging from the POV of a cursed doll–a character in our Oklahoma Romance Writers series called Tales of the Scrimshaw Doll sounds easy; seems fun, but I can’t help comparing myself and my writing, my thoughts, to the other more experienced authors. How do we keep from doing that without holing up in a vacuum of sorts and keeping our nose to the computer keys. I’m horrible at looking at other writers, their accomplishments, their advice, and feeling dumb. In fact, I had to back away from some of my online groups because several of the very active members spoke and posted with such authority, their advice and comments so black and white, that I was certain I knew next to nothing. Their confidence, along with their ‘my way or the highway’ attitude intimidated me.
Several years ago, I decided to work on my insecurities: I became president of my writing group and got more involved than I could have imagined. I joined a Toastmasters club too. I spoke a few times to other writer’s groups and this year was given the ultimate compliment when asked to replace a conference speaker who canceled. I’ve forced myself to do things that scared me, trying to prove to myself that I CAN stand next to the more successful writers without feeling like a nothing/nobody.
Unfortunately, since moving to Oklahoma, knowing only one person here, it has been easy to fall back on self-doubt and wrap it tightly around me. I catch myself questioning every move I make, second guessing myself–even when I’m alone writing, or about to comment on some one’s blog. Or post on my own.
I know how to cure self-doubt and insecurity: By forcing myself to do things that scare me. By getting involved with other writers. By jumping in head first with my own thoughts and opinions. By totally ignoring those who criticize in a non-productive way. By realizing and accepting that I have experiences and opinions too, and they matter! By encouraging others. By giving to others. By writing and living my dream.
Are you continously wrestling with self-doubt and insecurity? How do you deal with it? Any tips for those of us who feel foolish and weak 95% of the time? Thanks for visiting and offering words of encouragement. I believe that’s something every writer needs ALL the time.