Wednesday, March 4, 2015

IWSG: What do you need to give up to write?

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Insecure Writers Support Group

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!
Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time.

Be sure to visit our fearless leader--Alex J. Cavanaugh and his co-hosts for the March 4 posting of the IWSG will be Chemist Ken, Suzanne Sapseed, and Shannon Lawrence!
First thing I have to give up to write, is the Fear of Failure.  

Fear of Failure-You don't succeed without experiencing failure. Just make sure you fail forward.
~~ Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd, Old Bridge, N. J.

I found this list by chance through a radio station I listen to--The JOY FM --and the very first on thing to give up for Lent on the list, really hit me where my writer's heart lives. That's the inspiration for my first Insecure Writers Support Group post. I hope you find some help here.

40 Things to Give Up for Lent

Writers are very prone to the Fear of Failure. That's what keeps up from writing at all. It also causes us to quail at the thought of revisions and editing. Are we scared of writing a query or synopsis? Yep, that's the Fear of Failure, too.

So, how do you Fall Forward? Here's some ideas that came to me while I contemplated this idea.
  • The only bad words are those that never get written. Having to revise is a good thing. Really.
  • Risking a hard critique is also Failing Forward because we can learn some things that don't work as well as we thought and we can learn to do them better.
  • Rejections hurt! But we can use them to spur Failing Forward when we double down and rework our submission.
  • Contests are important, not because we win (though that would be nice), but because we can Fail Forward with the feedback that adds to our writing from people who have no prior knowledge of the MS. Which is what happens when we query.
As a writer and a person, I'm giving up the Fear of Failure. From now on, I want to embrace failure as a learning, growing, improving occasion. 

Remember! Take every failure as a chance to Fail Forward. ;-)

Next Week: I'm going to dip my toe into the Query Game. At least, I'm going to share a few links to info about that necessary step. ;-)


  1. Great post! I love the idea of failing forward. :)

    I don't know if I can ever give up my fear of failure entirely (yes, it sticks with you along the whole publishing journey--there's always something to fail at), but I can certainly give up allowing my fears to control my actions.

  2. I loved this post and I am fully believe in the philosophy of failing forward. It keeps me moving forward in my career. Lessoned learned. Good luck with query. I'll be paying attention.

  3. That's the spirit, Linda!

    Thanks, Sydney! It's all in the attitude, isn't it?

  4. That's really a great way of thinking things. Like rising from the ashes, sometimes we learn just as much or from our failures than our successes.

  5. That's an awesome thing to give up. The trick is to keep giving it up even after Easter has come and gone.

  6. Thanks for joining me on my maiden voyage on the IWSG waters, Lidy and Ken! I'm trying to give up my failures on the sinister synopsis lately. I think I'm on the 8 or 9 versions of a one-page. :-P But every flub is a learning experience. ;-)

  7. My greatest achievements were when I was tested to my limits, and beyond. Yes, I failed to hit the mark sometimes, but in my way of thinking, as long as I never gave, I didn't fail. Something is always gained. Knowledge, understanding, patience, humility, courage, etc. becomes a part of my arsenal, my DNA. Never give up. Take a break, or regroup, or find a new strategy. Just never throw in the towel. There is one exception. There are times when one has to re-evaluate if the project or adventure is no longer a healthy endeavor, physically, emotionally, spiritually. Blessings.

  8. Thanks, Feather, for saying the true--giving up is the only failure!

  9. Inspiring post, words to live by. You've encouraged me on this gloom winter evening with the next pending snowstorm on it's way! Thrilled to have connected with you through IWSG!

  10. Like they say...not failing means you're not trying. Pretty simple really. :)

  11. Welcome to the IWSG!
    Revising is a good thing. Revising after a critique even better. It all makes us stronger.

  12. Welcome to the Shade, Donna!

    I hear you, DL!

    Thanks for creating such a great place to hang out, Alex! I'm trying to reach out and if I fail, I'm quoting you. ;-)

  13. Fail forward, I like that. I've found submitting gets a little easier for me as I go on (not easy, by any means, but easiER), maybe because I've seen it's not the end of the world to get a rejection.

  14. Fail forward is a good motto. If you're not moving forward, you're moving backwards at a frightening rate.

  15. Shannon and Diane, Welcome to the Shade! I hear you on the need to keep going forward. Backwards is not a direction for a writer. There's always another story to tell. ;-)

  16. I think it must be fear of failure that keeps me from editing, often. I keep thinking all my words are going to suck if I go back and look at them, so much so that they won't even be worth editing!


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