Just Get It Written

Dream, Create, and Make It Happen …

Small Steps (IWSG)

22 Comments

InsecureWritersSupportGroup2

It’s the first Wednesday of the month, which means it’s time for our group posting for IWSG. Insecure Writer’s Support Group is the brainchild of Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh, and his co-hosts for June are are M. Pax, Tracy Jo, Patricia Lynne, Rachna Chhabria, Feather Stone, and Randi Lee!

Writers write, and stories need readers for them to come alive. And yet, how do you know when a story is ready to be set out into the world? Writers tend to be neurotic, insecure creatures, and at a story’s infancy, when it is most vulnerable, most of us can be crippled by a harsh critic or even something as simple as lack of a support system.

For years, writing was my dirty little secret. Stories were hidden, tucked away in locked drawers and password-protected files, never to see the light of day. The only writing I’d actually shown anyone were those that I had to. But fear can rear its ugly head even during the best of circumstances, and sometimes, you just have to take that small, tentative step, and see what happens.

And so I opened the door, took that first step and actually sent off a few chapters from my current WIP to a friend of mine to beta read. Sure, friends are nowhere near CP’s in critique value, since friends would naturally be nicer with their feedback, and perhaps even shy away from telling you what’s wrong with it. But I feel just a little braver now for sending it off, and that small step towards progress is something I have to be content with for the moment. As that line from one of my favorite movies, Contact, go: Small moves, Ellie, small moves.

 

How easy/hard was it for you when you started showing your work to other people? Did admitting you’re a writer to friends and family come easily to you, and how did you deal with those moments of “I’d love to see what you’ve written!” and all you have is a mess of a novel?

 


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22 thoughts on “Small Steps (IWSG)

  1. I started writing when I was young enough not to know I should be afraid of sharing my work! But.. as I’ve gotten older its gotten harder to put it out there. But I do, bit by bit…. and it scares the hell out of me!

    • Oh, wow! I never imagined the reverse happens, too. I just assumed once you get started, you should be on a roll. I think you’re doing great, though. You’ve certainly put more stuff out there than I do! =D

      • Heh, when you’ve got anxiety and are over-critical of yourself, it’s definitely possible to start with certainty and lose it over time.
        Thank you! I’m trying…

  2. My friends and family knew I liked to write, and they were always supportive. It helped that one of my friends was also a writer. She belonged to a writer’s group and invited me to join. That first meeting, reading my chapter to others wasn’t easy. That was years ago, and it’s still not easy. The more you do it, though, the more comfortable you’ll get with it. It has taken me a long time, but over the years I’ve developed a thicker skin, so if someone doesn’t like my writing, it doesn’t bother me so much. You can’t please everyone. Congrats on taking that first step! The best thing you can do is continue to take those small steps. Surround yourself with supportive people. Go at your own pace. You’ll get there.

    • Thanks, Lori! I can’t imagine reading my work aloud. I’d probably be so nervous I’d trip over the words lol. I think it’s great you found your support system early, and you’re definitely right, we need to remember we can’t please everyone and just keep pushing on. Thank you!

  3. It’s still hard. I get panic attacks when I think about my books being available to the public. About people reading them. So I don’t think about it. I just buy a lot more wine when I’ve made it to the beta reading processing. Because that just means you’ve written something you truly believe in. And that right there is its own accomplishment. Keep working and never give up!

    • I guess it never really gets easier even for those of you who are already published. Is it OK to say that knowing this makes me feel better and not quite so alone? Thanks for the encouragement!

  4. At first it was easier than I thought, because I was too dumb to know how bad it really was. LOL The tough part for me was when I finally learned enough to know how much I still needed to learn.

    I’m coming out on the other side of that now, and it feels good. I’m glad I stuck with it. 🙂

    IWSG #126 until Alex culls the list again.

  5. I found it easier to show my work to total strangers than my friends and family. My family were far harsher critics.

  6. Initially it was super hard to share my work. Now, however, I have no problem. It gets easier over time.

  7. When I went to my first writers group and watched how one member tore into people’s WIPs, I panicked and almost chickened out. I’m so glad I didn’t and that one member now gives me smiley faces on my pages along with suggestions 🙂 Telling my family and friends was easy and a moot point because I’ve been writing things practically all my life.

  8. Good for you for taking that first important step! Our writing community if full of wonderful helpful people, so I bet you could find lots of kind and caring betas. I wasn’t scared in the beginning because I was under the naive impression I knew how to write. I was quickly disillusioned. But I picked myself up, learned as much as I could, and got myself some great writers as CPs. I’d be nowhere without them.

    • LOL, thanks for sharing Lexa! We do have a wonderful writing community and it’s great to be a part of it. Hearing everyone’s encouragement and stories is a great thing, as I don’t feel quite so alone. Thanks!

  9. I’ve always written, and always wanted to be a writer, so it never occurred to me to be coy about it. I did however find it much easier to submit stories to strangers (editors) than show friends and family in the beginning. It was only when I started writing longer pieces – and found a wonderfully encouraging friend – that I was more confident about showing people, and betas.

    • I think it’s great to be able to find that off the bat. I think I kept it hidden for so long that it just became harder and harder for me to show my writing to anyone. My friend certainly has been very encouraging about it, so that’s a start, at least. =D

  10. That’s a great quote.

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