#IWSG: Running Solo

InsecureWritersSupportGroupHappy July! It’s time for the monthly Insecure Writers Support Group post…it’s the blog-hop for the writer to talk about their anxieties and/or offer encouragement to other writers going through the struggle as well. The awesome co-hosts for the the July 1 posting of the IWSG will be Charity Bradford, S.A. Larsen, AJ, Tamara Narayan, Allison Gammons, and Tanya Miranda!


 

Happy first of the month, peeps!

1stofthamonth

Yeah, thanks to the group Bone Thugs N Harmony…years later, I still play this song in my head every first of the month. Source: http://www.israelekanem.com

I recently signed up for a 5K. Now, it wasn’t one of those serious races that you need to go and train for, it was the fun-run kind where you socialize, stop for selfies/usies and get stuff thrown on you like bubbles or powder. Since this was a social thing, I was supposed to do this run with a friend.

Source: Thephotobrigade.com

Source: Thephotobrigade.com

Key phrase: Supposed to.

Turns out my friend couldn’t do the run. However, I was already en route when I found out. So I had to decide if to either turn around and head home myself or keep going and run solo. There were a lot of good reasons to go:

  • I had paid a registration fee
  • I took time (and gas) the day before to drive across town to pick up my race packet
  • I had gotten creative and cut up and decorated the race shirt,
  • and most importantly, I was almost at the venue

And my reasons to not go?

  • I was by myself. This wasn’t intended to be a solo thing. I wanted to socialize and stop for usies with us covered in colored cornstarch that despite how well I washed my hair, I would still find it somewhere the next day.
...in my hair??? I just washed it! Source:diylol.com

…in my hair??? I just washed it! Source:diylol.com

After debating for a few moments, I decided that I had invested too much and had literally gotten too far to turn around. So, I did the run alone. So, just how does it relate to writing? (Hello, this is a writing blog, duh.) I deal with some insecurity in my writing (hey, #IWSG!), so there is also insecurity in other non-writing related areas. Like going to social events alone. I’m naturally introverted, so this was a challenge.

But, just like when writing, sometimes you have to push through those feelings and finish the race…or the book. Hell, just getting the chapter done. Despite when it gets uncomfortable. Or you’re unsure of the outcome. Or that review turned out to be not what you expected. Or whatever emotion you’re dealing with that has gotten you stuck and/or questioning yourself and your ability as a writer.

Completing that 5K was not the experience I intended to have. However, it turned out to be awesome. I’m a baby runner, so I did walk for parts of the event but that sense of accomplishment to cross the finish line couldn’t be topped. It’s akin to writing “The End” when that WIP is finally completed. In a sense, finishing the 5K can set the tone for how I approach my writing moving forward. Not allowing those emotions (anxiety, fear, exasperation over that one character that always goes left on you, whatever) to stop you from moving forward, being okay with the varying pace of writing (some chapters can take longer to write than others), and just simply staying the course.

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#IWSG: Writer, Thou Art Loosed!

InsecureWritersSupportGroup

The Insecure Writers Support Group is comprised of writers at all stages of the process who come together monthly to share their insecurities and offer support to one another. The cohosts for June are…M. Pax, Tracy Jo, Patricia Lynne, Rachna Chhabria, Feather Stone, and Randi Lee!

For more information on IWSG, check out the other writers participating, or to sign up, click here.


 

…so I needed to have a Come to Jesus meeting (CTJM) with myself recently. The primary reason why I love IWSG so much is because the group reminds me that I’m not alone in my writing struggles. However, this group is open about theirs and nobody’s fronting.

Source: etsy.com

Source: etsy.com

My CTJM was about what tends to hold me up when I’m writing. It ain’t the first time I’ve been to this meeting, either. Once again, my issue is writing without abandon AND wanting it to be perfect.

So of course, I got caught out there. I let the voices tell me what I ought to be writing. I wrote another post about what voice we feed the most, either the one that says “you can’t/you shouldn’t/you ought to” or the one that says “You got this/keep going/it’ll be fine” Because I let the former voice be louder than the latter, I wound up doing exactly what I wanted to avoid: trying to put my writing in a neat little box that conformed to the expectations of others but was not true to me and definitely not true to these characters. Therefore, I walked away from this meeting with these tidbits:

  1. Drafts are called drafts for a reason…that first round doesn’t have to be perfect.
  2. Be true to the character(s). Let them be who they are and let them tell the story.
  3. Be true to YOUR process. Don’t get caught out there trying to be like another writer. (This can apply to their style of writing, the speed in which they write, the genre, whatever)
  4. Give your imagination permission to come out with no restrictions. Like leave the gate wide open.
  5. Practice the art of as one of my favorite bloggers Luvvie of Awesomely Luvvie puts it, “Being a giver of no dambs”.

Hopefully, if I follow these tips, I’ll no longer have a standing invite to this particular CTJM.