On this blog

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Lost In a Sea of Excellence IWSG, October 7 2015

Today is the first Wednesday of the month, which means it is IWSG day. The once-a-month blog hop started by Alec Cavanaugh . IWSG = Insecure Writers' Support Group (click the words to visit)

The name of this group is the ‘INSECURE’ Writers Support Group.  I think joining the words ‘insecure’ and ‘writers’ is sort of an oxymoron.  I don’t know any writers who aren’t, in some way, insecure. 

They worry about (pick one or two or three): 

  1. Whether they really have any talent
  2. Whether people are going to buy their books
  3. Whether people are going to read  their books, even if they buy them
  4. Whether the beta-readers, editors, friends, fans, facebook friends, whoever, are saying good things about them just because they feel sorry for them
  5. Whether what little talent they have is fleeting and being corrupted by time, senility, work concerns, and general burnout 
  6. They see other writers and, if the others are halfway good, fear that they (the insecure, angst-ridden writer, I mean) will look like complete, talentless doofuses (‘doofi’?) and be required to repair to their private places of solace and fade out of public knowledge.

Well…  I’m overstating things, I admit.  But sometimes you have to, to make a point. 

I write Historical Fiction, sometimes with an alternative slant, sometimes with a touch of fantasy, often with a tinge of romance.  I actually read my own books (after a year or so has passed) for enjoyment.  I published fairly late after being shelved for fifteen years due to the actions of an agent who features rather prominently in Preditors and Editors.   

I look around and see fabulous people, traditionally or independently published.  I see a torrent of talent, wondrous works of imagination, humorously, delicately, rowdily written.  Literally works of art.  They are wonderful.  And I look at my own and see…  What?  Am I too close to be able to see? 

I was recently approached by a wonderful writer and a fabulous lady who writes splendid historical fiction, has done a lot of good and has energy that I truly envy.  She had been directed to a post on my blog by a dear friend who also blogs, liked it (it was about 9-11) and, after speaking with my friend, invited me to participate in an unusual blog hop highlighting historical fiction with women as the main characters.   

There were medieval queens, women who sailed, women who faced hardships, who lived through wars (modern and ancient), who lived in alternate historical timelines and had gritty, beautifully written adventures.  I had heard of a good many of these people.  And, it seemed, I had a book, set in the American Civil War with a Southern Lady as the protagonist, that fit the features they were highlighting.  Would I like to participate? 

Who, Ma'am?  Me, Ma'am?
Me?  Would I?   

Of course I would, after my initial astonished delight.  It is a joy to ‘meet’ these people and share common ground and – dare I admit it? – celebrate my own Lady (you’ll meet her next week).   

We are all writers.  One writer whom I interviewed, Hart Johnson, put it so beautifully, I can do no better than to cut and paste her comment:

If we just keep working at it long enough, we will eventually be good enough to share... And not only that, it is one of the few undertakings that somebody ELSE creating something fabulous doesn't threaten us. In fact it helps us. Because the more great stories there are out there, the more readers there will be looking for still more stories. So we can love and support each other in earnest. 

...About that Blog Hop... 

Here is the first post in the blog hop, with links to the other featured writers this week:

It is an honor to be part of it!  And maybe - maybe - I do belong.

What has you feeling insecure?


  1. It's such an honor to be invited to participate in a project with other writers. This one sounds like a lot of fun. And you're right, we all have insecurities. And I imagine all will continue to, even if we're NYT bestsellers. Maybe that's why there are so few authors who are full of themselves.

  2. Hi Diana - I'd say you definitely do belong - and I'm so pleased things are happening - if you're on the journey .. it's difficult to get off - and yes all writers are supportive .. we all have insecurities throughout our lives ... but we're happy, getting on and doing what we do ... write, blog, etc etc .. I love Hart's comment too .. cheers Hilary

  3. Diana, Don't be "insecure." Tell your friends here your Southern Lady will be featured on the 13th - that's next Tuesday! I am looking forward to reading all about Lavinia of "The Safeguard" on your blog then.

  4. I don't feel you're overstating anything. As a matter of fact, I have every insecurity on your list. And despite what Hart wrote, I don't feel I'm getting better or the writing is getting easier. But I think it's wonderful you were invited to take part in the blog hop! It's such a validation to be recognized by others in your genre. Have a great time with it! :)

  5. Congrats! Sounds like a great opportunity for you! :)

  6. It's true, we writers are all insecure at core aren't we? Maybe it's because we have to wear our hearts on our sleeves, every time we publish a book...

  7. If it's a group of talented writers, you absolutely belong.