Wednesday, 7 June 2017

IWSG June 2017

It's June already, and time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer's Support Group, hosted as ever by Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh. The aim of the group is for writers to support and encourage each other over whatever woes they are experiencing, in a safe and supportive environment. Today's co-hosts are J H MoncrieffMadeline Mora-SummonteJen ChandlerMegan Morgan and Heather Gardner.


So, as with every month, we have an optional question to answer and this month it is "Did you ever say 'I quit'? If so, what happened to make you come back to writing?"

OK, this might be a corny answer, but without this online community being here I probably wouldn't still be writing. I spent two and a half years writing my first book - something that I poured my heart and soul into but without really having any idea what I was doing. I hadn't yet realised the importance of showing my work to other people and gaining those insights and advice that would lift it into something much greater. A family member arranged for an editor in London to have a look at it and it took a year for the feedback to come back - when it did, it was less than favourable. At this stage, I'd never heard the terms "critique partner" or "beta reader", let alone understand their significance to the overall process. Although I did get a few short stories published in the year before starting my blog, I wasn't sure if I would ever try writing another book - after the monumental amount of time and effort that went into it, it seemed it wasn't up to standard in the eyes of the industry. Of course, with hindsight and the knowledge I've absorbed during my time spent blogging I know there were many problems with that book and I was also incredibly naive to believe I could break through with my first effort after getting no outside eyes to point out the issues with the structure, voice, characterisation, pacing...

So yeah. If this community and its wonderful and knowledgeable inhabitants weren't here, it's doubtful I would still have the same large-scale ambitions or be pursuing them at all. Here's to all of you!

As to insecurities this month - I'm not doing so bad. Due to a range of issues I haven't had as much time as I would have liked over the past few weeks, but things are coming under control and I should get much more done in the remainder of this month. I'll do a recap of my May goals and post those for June in a couple of days. Don't forget to check out the other IWSG participants here!

38 comments:

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Nick - what a great post for anyone who is starting out writing - I'd no idea either about most of the things that went on in writers' lives ... but as I'm around I learn more and more. You're doing the most sensible thing which is to take advantage of this wonderful group and the people who have wise words for us ... all the best and now good luck with moving on - cheers Hilary

Sarah Foster said...

I didn't know about beta readers and things like that either before starting to blog. I think it really helps not only to get other people to look at your work but just to have people to talk to and network with.

JeffO said...

It's amazaing how much we don't know, isn't it? And how much we don't know we don't know, you know?

Cheers to sticking it out!

Kyra Lennon said...

I gotta say, I wouldn't have gotten nearly as far as I did without the blogging community. This is an inspiring place, which is why I came back! :D

You should NEVER give up. I know I'm the slowest CP in the whole world, but I love your books!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

This community can make a huge difference, both with encouragement to write and support and sharing of our accomplishments.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Glad the writing community has helped you keep writing. I think many of us were pretty clueless in the beginning of our journey.

Laura Clipson said...

I probably wouldn't have even started writing if it weren't for the blogging community; I didn't write when I first started my blog, it was actually a flash fiction blog hop that got me started!

Karen Walker said...

Hey Nick - I didn't know anything either when I first started and then found this community. It was a Godsend and still is. Good luck with everything you're dealing with.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

To paraphrase Maya Angelou - when we know better, we do better. That goes for life and for writing. :)

Yeh for IWSG!

Nicola said...

Great post, Nick and I can relate. The writing community's support is a Godsend. Enjoy the learning process and congratulations on all your accomplishments so far!

The Cynical Sailor said...

I don't think that's a corny answer at all. I don't think I'd be trying to seriously write if it wasn't for the support I get from the online community. It's amazing what a huge difference it makes.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That's what rocks about this writing community - it keeps us going.

Michelle Wallace said...

Here's my corny response. If it wasn't for the online community, I probably wouldn't have ever started writing. Makes sense? Probably not.

Crystal Collier said...

Yay for the blogging community! I too have learned a ton and found the support needed to keep going through this network of awesomeness. Here's to us!

Patricia Lynne said...

the writing community is definitely one of the things that kept me from giving in. They push me to keep being stubborn and to get going. =)

Jennifer Hawes said...

I cringe when I hear people say I don't need beta-readers/CPs or another set of eyes on my work. *Head desk* This bunch (IWSG) is the best!

cleemckenzie said...

That's not corny at all. I think a lot of us feel that way. Writing's so lonely and sometimes angst-producing, so having a community to share that with is very helpful.

betty said...

I don't think it is corny at all. Its good to have the online support that writers have; a good community!!

betty

mirymom said...

Your post really shows the importance of community for creatives, someone to compare notes with, learn from, and kvetch with.

@mirymom1 from
Balancing Act

Liz A. said...

I'm so glad you found the writer blogging community, then. Sad to think that you'd've given up. Just because something didn't work the first time doesn't mean to never do it again. We only get better with practice.

Stephsco said...

I agree. This community is great and very welcoming. I would not be where I am if it wasn't for the early writer blogs I read, communities like this, and the Romance Writers of America :)

Here's my IWSG post for June: How to Survive the 'Little Quits.'

Meka James said...

The online community is a great resource. I've learned so much in the last year that I wish I'd known before publishing my first book. I toy around with the idea of pulling it to revise, but I'm trying to look ahead not back.

Shannon Lawrence said...

I've learned a lot from the online community, and having the eyes of critique partners and beta readers on my work has been a boon. I'm always grateful I discovered both in-person and online writing communities, because I'd probably have given up or still be struggling right now if I hadn't.

Mark Noce said...

So glad that the writing community spurs you on! I know I'm eager to read your new work. And I always enjoy sharing mine with you:)

Lynda R Young said...

There's something very special about this community. So glad you are still chasing your big dreams.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I did the same thing with my first book. Like you, I learned much both online and from local writing groups. My first critique partner was terrific.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Great post, Nick! Even with some classes and books under my belt, I had no idea how much went into writing a book either. I think it's great that we have such a good online community to share our work, our woes, and our encouragement.
Happy June Writing!

Deniz Bevan said...

Good luck with all your goals!
I hear you, if it wasn't for the blogging community and the Compuserve Books and Writers forum, I would be a lot more lost and my writing would be infinitely worse!

Liza said...

So glad you didn't quit! It's amazing how many people think writing a book is easy, which it certainly is not...and writing a good book is so much harder. Good for you for keeping on!

Ann Bennett said...

Starting is never easy. As an avocation, I think writing is the best.

Juneta Key said...

This is a great community, isn't it? So glad I found it too. Wishing you the best, Happy IWSG
Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

Loni Townsend said...

I got lucky when I was beginning. My sis-in-law's friends offered to read my story since they read the genre I write in. They were kind enough to tell me all the things they didn't like about it. So after I set about fixing that stuff, I wondered if there was some place online that I could get that same kind of feedback to find out if what I was doing was any better or not. That's when I first discovered the concept of critique partners.

Glad you stuck with it and it worked out. I hope you get more time on your hands.

Sharon Marie Himsl said...

You've come a long way since that first novel :) It's hard when criticism pours in. I've had my share in critique groups too. We need groups like this one to lift us up...SO important I know a writer who never recovered from a bad critique. She dropped out of social media and quit writing. I loved some of her short pieces. What a loss. Still sad she dropped out.

Yolanda Renée said...

It's definitely a learning process, and the IWSG makes the lessons so much easier. A plethora of information, sharing, and great friends! Good luck!

Olga Godim said...

Yeah, that first book. My first book was horrible too. It was invaluable as a learning experience for me, but as fiction for other readers? No way.

Darla M Sands said...

Bless you in your endeavors and bravery. A crappy mentor almost destroyed me, so now I'm just writing for myself despite the sale of a short story. I'm not even interested in finding a beta reader right now. So, go, my friend, and succeed!

Jean Davis said...

I totally missed my IWSG post this month due to lack of time so I'm with you there.

My first novel sounds like yours. I was sure it was awesome. Until ventured out into the online world and discovered CPs, who bluntly explained that no, the book was definitely not awesome. It did get better. Thankfully. :)

Anne Doucette said...

Nick, thanks for sharing this awesome and hopeful story. Happy June!

Anne from annehiga.com