Insecure Writers Support Group

#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: So, what are you feeding?

InsecureWritersSupportGroupIt’s the first Wednesday of the Month! Time for the monthly edition of Insecure Writers Support Group. The purpose this group is support and encourage those of us in that writing struggle. The co-hosts for this month are:  Chemist Ken, Suzanne Sapseed, and Shannon Lawrence! To get more deets about IWSG (and to sign up), click here.

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Insecurities. We all struggle with them. If you haven’t struggled with at least one thing that makes you feel insecure, you’re getting MAJOR side-eye right now.

A little Prince Rogers Nelson side-eye for you...Source: eonline.com

A little Prince Rogers Nelson side-eye for you…Source: eonline.com

I have a friend who is struggling in school. Just having recently been in her shoes, I feel her pain. Being a writer who has often struggled with the process of writing, I doubly feel it. A few of us from the same class have done our best to keep her encouraged, but her woes are redundant…I’m at the point where I want to say:

Girl! Get it together already! Source: tumblr.com

Girl! Get it together already! Source: tumblr.com

Pep talks have been given aplenty, but when you’re feeling REALLY insecure about something, anything, be it a story you’re working on that just isn’t gelling, a WIP that you really just want to be done with already, licking your wounds because that book hasn’t been flying off the virtual shelves, or something not writing-related, like struggling with a class, there comes a time where you’ve got to have that Come To Jesus meeting with yourself. And ask yourself, “What am I feeding the most?”

  • Am I giving in to that fear of failure? Or the one that’s whispering “Keep pushing, you can do it”?
  • Am I drowning in self-pity because this plot/character/life-event isn’t going the way I want? Or can I just shake it off and keep it moving.
  • Am I doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result? (Yeah, that’s called insanity)
  • Am I trying everything that works for everybody else instead of discovering what works for me and going with that?

I truly believe that if we listen to the voice that says “You can’t do this” more than the one that says, “You’ve got this.” then the one we give more attention to is the one that wins. Believe you’ll never finish that story? Then yeah, that’s what’s going to happen.

Insecurities are real. That’s why there are groups like IWSG. However, we can’t let the insecurities have power over us. Feed the voice that says to keep pushing. It may be a whisper now, but keep feeding it. Eventually, it’ll get stronger (and louder) and will drown out the one that keeps you in doubt.

Shake it off, baby Source: giphy.com

So…shake it off, baby
Source: giphy.com