Insecure? Come out WRiTING!




I’ve missed the last couple meetings of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, brain-child of Alex J. Cavanaugh, and it feels good to finally get back into the rotation. Let’s get to it…shall we?

Here’s what I’ve come to realize over the course of my 5+ years of seeking publication – my insecurity…your insecurity…our insecurity, isn’t going anywhere. Face it, there is no cure. It is our constant companion, one with its own agenda, its own timetable, and little regard for feelings. You can try reasoning with it, bargaining with it, or even ignoring it, but in the end it will always return…like a blackmailer coming back for another piece of your pride, time and time again.

So what do we do if we can’t beat it? We can do two things, 1) treat the symptoms and force it into remission, 2) understand that it is never really gone and the power it has over you -- is provided by you. Insecurity comes from within and that is where the battle takes place, with you. Treating the symptoms only provides you with the ammunition you need to successfully fight that battle. It just so happens that I have a way to treat the most prevalent of these symptoms, the “Catch-22” syndrome.

Most of us toil away with our writing with little or no knowledge of how good we really are, but the fear of negative feedback prevents us from sending our work anywhere to find that out. We need feedback…but the fear of it holds us back. Classic Catch-22. My solution – WRiTE CLUB. It is an annual contest going on its third year that pits anonymous 500 word writing samples against each other in weekly bouts. The other club members vote for the one that resonates with them the most and also offer brief critiques. Feedback without the fear of other people knowing it’s your work! Just the ammunition you need to combat that pesky insecurity.

Whether you decide to participate in WRiTE CLUB, or dither in some other activity to help untie that knot in your stomach, remember...insecurity is here to stay.  The sooner you learn to cope with it, the better off you'll be.

37 comments

  1. Thanks for the pep talk on insecurity. So true that it doesn't go away and we do need to just figure out how to deal with it.

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  2. Being able to submit your writing anonymously is always a big perk.

    Yeah, I don't think insecurity ever goes away. But if we turn it around and make it a positive, it is beneficial. If you're insecure about your writing and rejections, then challenge yourself to strength your writing. Read writing related blog posts and books, and enter challenges like WRiTe Club. :D

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  3. Yes, Write Club is an excellent solution. :)

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  4. Hi Don .. good luck with the Write Club - it does sound as though many writers will be helped with this approach .. have fun .. cheers Hilary

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  5. We are our worst enemy, aren't we sometimes :)

    Point is to *never* give up. *Never,* never, never.

    (As Churchill once said in WWII :)

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  6. Great post! Our insecurities need constant battling, but we can/will come out of the battle stronger.

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  7. I think your Write Club is such a fabulous idea. I just can't add another thing I have to write besides the novel I'm working on. And you are so right about being our own worst enemies.

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  8. I try to ignore my insecurities and just pretend that I'm a good writer. I guess I'll always feel this way and I'll never know, but for now, I'll pretend.

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  9. My grandma always said, "You are what you pretend to be."

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    1. You're grandma is very wise, Elizabeth. I think we all pretend to be good at things sometimes, especially when we're convincing ourselves to try something new! D

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  10. We are our own worst enemy - or our own best friend. Our choice!

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  11. You're right that the battle comes from within. Write Club is a great way to fight those insecurities. I'm not sure if I'll be submitting anything, but I'm looking forward to it. I like the way you tweaked it this year to have a submission deadline and a span of two months to vote. It'll be fun!

    Happy reading and writing! from Laura Marcella @ Wavy Lines

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  12. I love Write Club for this reason - you get tonnes of excellent feedback, without anybody knowing that you wrote it. So you can write something absolutely terrible, but nobody will know it was you and you'll still be able to improve on it from the comments.

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  13. Some good advice about insecurity. Write Club is definitely a way to get your stuff out there and hear honest feedback.

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  14. LOL. When I get insecure lately, I look at my mock-up covers and ponder, "How could anyone not want to read this? I'm totally going to kick trash!" Positive mental dialogs do wonders, eh?

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  15. Feel the fear and do it anyway! (I can't claim that though - it's the title of a book.)

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  16. I'm not insecure; I'm in secure.

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  17. Gotta embrace all that angst and turn it into a story. I took a month off to "adjust" my attitude toward this business. Now I've got to see if that break worked. Great to be back. Look forward to your year #3 of the Write Club.

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  18. Amen to that!! As always, great post. I'll have to check out Write Club once I've finished my draft. Only four more chapters to go. Then onto the editing, sigh. Keep trying to publish, you're clearly talented.

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  19. Excellent points! We are our own worst enemy most of the time...
    Tina @ Life is Good

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  20. As soon as I learned of Write Club I decided I wanted to try. Of course now I have to actually, you know, write something! But I promise my inner critic will NOT win- I will not let it prevent from submitting. Because if experience has taught me aything, it's that my inner critic is way more harsh than any other writer reading my work could ever be! Thanks D.L!

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  21. I really needed to hear this today. Thanks, boss.

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  22. Yeah go WRITE CLUB! Must get a piece sorted for this. Looking forward to it.

    Suzanne
    IWSG co-host

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  23. Absolutely right that we are the ones who fuel our own insecurity. WRiTE Club serves and excellent purpose in letting people face a HUGE writer insecurity anonymously.

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  24. I really enjoyed this post, and would like to participate, but I don't feel I could do this! Ha Ha Insecure! Of course, it is what the subject is! I just don't feel I would be ready for such a competition, but it sure does look promising for some lucky and experienced person. I will think about this, and maybe next year...if your holding it then. Thanks! Sandy of sandysanderellasmusings.blogspot.com

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  25. Yay Write Club! I like the new rules.

    Allison (Geek Banter)

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  26. Agreed - I really can't see my (many) insecurities going anywhere soon. Might as well learn to live with them and take away some of their power!

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  27. True, true....

    It's here to stay, but we must pull ourselves together and keep on trying. That's what I had posted about today. SO glad to see another bout of WRITE CLUB...

    You are truly an inspiration to us all to keep on paying if forward DL. Like you, I am still unpublished but we keep on trying and helping others attain there dreams. Our turn will come. In the mean time, events like yours will prepare us better to send out our babies into the world.

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  28. Love this: like a blackmailer coming back for a piece of your pride, time and time again. Very well put! The writing process can be an emotional roller coaster, and when I'm in one of the low points, I try to remind myself that things will most certainly climb back up again soon. It helps that I now recognize the pattern!

    Wish I could take part in Write Club, but I have too much on my plate right now. Good luck to everyone taking part in the contest!

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  29. Write Club is an excellent solution, I may just dip my toe in for the first time. One in the eye to my insecurities.

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  30. Everyone feels insecurity. It is not letting it stop you that is the true challenge. Write Club is definitely a step in the right direction.

    Blog: Queendsheena
    IWSG Co-host

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  32. I was the total opposite of insecure in my younger years. I didn't even think I needed to edit, and assumed I'd automatically be a published, famous writer by my teen years. Time has a way of changing everything.

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  33. Insecurity is always there, you're right. So glad you are continuing WRiTE CLUB. I look forward to reading the entries.

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  34. So true.
    Write Club is a wonderful platform... allowing the writer to share work from behind a cloak of anonymity. Ideal situation.
    Writer In Transit

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