Thursday, September 03, 2015

IWSG Weds: Facing down inner doubts

A few years back, I attended a writing conference and was enthralled by the creativity of a speaker who somehow inspired an audience of about 70 folks to write poetry. Right there in the auditorium.

I don't remember her name, but I do remember after the presentation. She was surrounded by attendees. I courageously joined the group and told her how wonderful I thought she was. She stopped, held up her hand, and said, "Don't do that."

Her message was simply this: Don't put other writers on a pedestal. No matter how polished the writer or the presentation, never forget the hours of commitment and hard work that goes into that final result you so admire.

Sometimes when we look at other writers from the outside, we do not see their struggles and doubts that we may know too well for our own work. 

Writing from the gut requires that we have courage, stamina, and something indefinable -- perhaps a willingness to look past those doubts or outright fears, and ask what our inner editor is trying to tell us.

On the first Wednesday of the month, the Insecure Writer's Support Group asks us to post an update on where we are as writers.  

First view of the Rockies
 (Camp 2015)
Here's my update: We're just back from a three-week research trip to Canada, gathering some wonderful research on the lives of 19th Century fur traders for my current wip, Rivers of Stone

We visited museums for hours in Edmonton and Calgary, and I wrecked my feet tramping around in provincial parks (Jasper, Banff).

My greatest challenge? How to integrate this new research into my draft now at 90K. And to fill the holes in plot line and character arcs in ways that satisfy my overall goal -- to fairly reflect that era and somehow to windup with 'happily ever after' even if my characters don't seem headed that way just now. 

I'm recognizing my revisions may not be complete by the end of the year. Maybe that's OK. One writing day at a time. Weekly goals for reading and writing through A Round of Words in 80 Days will keep me on track. And I will seek to learn from my doubts. All will be well.

And now an opportunity. The Insecure Writer's Support Group just opened up its first contest, deadline November 2 to celebrate its anniversary. They want fiction entries (5,000-6,000) for an anthology. Why not consider entering?

Check out what other writers are talking about this month at the Insecure Writers Support Group. Members of IWSG post the first Wednesday of the month (did you notice I was one day late?). Here you'll find confessions, encouragement, and strategies for success! Thank you, Alex J. Cavanaugh, for inspiring us all.