Wednesday, August 3, 2016

IWSG: MY WRITING STINKS!



The Insecure Writers Support Group posts the first Wednesday of the month. It is a place where writers are able to write about their insecurities without feeling threatened. I am so glad I found this group. This is my first, first Wednesday so I'm a newbie on the site. If you're reading this as a writer and have any insecurities about your writing, come join us.


This month's question:What was your very first piece of writing as an aspiring writer? Where is it now? Collecting dust or has it been published?


The first dollar I ever earned!
My first paid writing gig was in high school. I wrote a short story about a teenage girl contemplating suicide. It won second place in a contest and was published in the local paper. I received a certificate, a copy of the newspaper, and a 1921 Morgan Silver Dollar--worth approximately $25-$30 today. I have no ideal what happened to the newspaper, the story, or the certificate, but I do still have the coin. It has rattled around in my jewelry box for more years than I care to admit. I guess you could say I still have the first dollar I ever earned as a writer!

Although I have been published numerous times since high school and have been paid for my work, I don't think I've had more than a half dozen bylines in my life. I've been hiding for years behind others in the form of ghost writing. I was ghost writing even before I knew what ghost writing was. Lately, I've ventured out and actually put some of my recent work on Amazon under my own name. I now wonder if I should delete everything out there before anyone sees it and be content with simply reading other authors's work.

My biggest stumbling block to writing for publication remains: I question everything I write. I wonder if I will leave this post out here long enough for my fellow group members to read it. I finished this hours ago, but my finger still hovers between the post and delete buttons...

Do you ever have doubts about the quality of your writing and your worth as an author?


25 comments:

  1. Welcome to the IWSG!

    I hear you about having doubts. I'd probably be more worried if I didn't have them. They're what make me look harder and closer at my work, and hopefully improve it. :)

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    1. You are definitely correct Madeline. I've seen the results of some writer's overconfidence. It is a little sad. Sometimes I'm guilty of "improving" the life right out of my work. I edit it to death. I need to find a way to stop that and let go.

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  2. I have doubts ALL THE TIME. But I can't imagine not ever writing again, so I soldier on. Besides, I know not everyone will like my work, but some will love it. I just have to find those readers! :)

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  3. I guess that is the key Stacy. Find those readers who do like what I write and stop worrying about the rest. You can't please everyone. PS: I loved "Ghostly Liaison"! I left an Amazon review yesterday. I notice it is the first in a series. When will book 2 be available?

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    1. I'm working (and working and working) on Ghostly Interlude (Dean's story). I have no idea WHEN it will be available, but it will be published eventually. You have my permission to kick my butt! :P

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    2. Oh, and I'm so GLAD you enjoyed Ghostly Liaison and left a review. Whoo hoo! :)

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  4. hahaha. I don't know about butt-kicking, but I've heard I'm pretty good at nagging. ;-) I'll have to try to remember to come back and gently prod you from time to time. Like now: What chapter are you working on this week?

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    1. I'm currently on page 240 of a 354 page manuscript. Of course, I keep adding words and the total page count keeps climbing. This thing will be well over 100,000 words when I'm done with my revisions (and to think my first draft ended at 72K).

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    2. Wow! You're clipping right along. I don't think you need any prodding.

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  5. Hi, Valerie, this is my first time at your blog. It is beautiful! I’ve joined your blog. Ohmygosh! Do I have doubts...daily. Would anyone, anywhere, be interested in my memoir about attending college as a mother of five children? It is very tough to get myself to sit down and hammer away at this memoir. All the luck to you, Valerie!

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  6. Thank you Victoria. And thanks for stopping by. I would be very interested in learning your secret for finding time to attend college AND write a book with five children! You go girl! I'll drop by your blog this afternoon.

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  7. Oh wow, I have doubts like that as well. I think every writer I've ever met has them. Congratulations on putting your stories out there - that took courage and I think you should keep them up!! I'm sure they are great. Love the story of your first publication. I would keep that dollar too, how cool.

    I'm glad you decided to join the IWSG - it's great to meet you!

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  8. Thanks Julie. Great to meet you too.! It's been a busy day. Thanks for stopping by. I'll drop by your blog later today.

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  9. I think confidence in your writing comes with time...but yeah, every writer questions ourselves. They call it "imposter syndrome." But we decided that everyone has imposter syndrome when they try something new, then they finally start to feel comfortable with it and tackle something bigger and have imposter syndrome over that!

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  10. I didn't know there was a name for it. I guess you could call me the "Great Imposter"!

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  11. Welcome to the IWSG!
    It just feels odd to write as you since you've written as someone else for so long. Just have faith you aren't an imposter and believe in what you write.

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  12. I'm glad you hit "publish".

    Yes, I doubt everything I write. Even stuff I send to my writers group--I focus on the things they say are wrong rather that focusing on what they liked. I'm making it better by making changes, right?

    Keep on. I don't know if any writer is ever all that sure of themselves. Did you see that video of Stephen King and George RR Martin? Didn't it sound like Martin was still unsure of his writing? And he's a bestseller.

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    1. Thanks Liz. It's comforting to hear I'm not alone in my angst from other writers. I too only see what is wrong. I have not seen the video you mentioned. I'll see if I can track it down.

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  13. Part of being a true Creative is questioning what you do. It's the only way we can improve. As long as those questions don't lead you to quit. Balance is always best.

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    1. Thanks Lynda. It's the balance I struggle to keep. You are correct. I've learned that overconfident writers generally produce substandard work.

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  14. interesting post. I doubt myself and my writing all the time. I double check comments - seems as if so many folks are so clever. But best to doubt and re-edit and then feel confident with your product.

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  15. That is so true Joann! So many people do such a great job. I read other authors' work and think "OMG, that is great! Why did I think I could write anything anyone would want to read!" Then I read something promoted by a reputable publisher that is (in my opinion) really bad and think, "OMG, I can do better than that!" So I keep on writing, hoping someone somewhere might find something worthwhile in my words. Thanks for stopping by!

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  16. Hi Valerie!
    I always doubt my abilities and as a result I tend to edit something 'to death and back' LOL
    I suppose we have to just keep on writing, rewriting, editing...working on our craft...and at some stage we have to release the story/flash fiction/poem...let it go out into the big, wide, scary world. Step at a time. *breathe*
    Nice to meet you!

    Writer In Transit

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  17. You are so right, Michelle. We need to keep on keeping on. To quote Ray Bradbury, "You fail only if you stop writing." Thanks for stopping by!

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