Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Insecure Writer's Support Group


Yep! It's that time again! First Wednesday of the month and insecure writers everywhere are offering encouragement and airing their fears into the blogsphere. The IWSG is the brain-child of the fantastic Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh. If you don't know who that is, well, you need to run in some new circles :)

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"Am I good enough?"

"Is my idea unique enough?"

"What if it's all been said before?"

"What if no one 'gets' what I'm trying to say?"

These ideas and more run constant circles around my brain. They have prevented me from writing, they push me to write, and they give me a headache with all the shoving and fighting. After writing those  phrases, another one popped into my head and it just may be the most profound writing advice I've ever heard:

"Who cares?"

Seriously. It doesn't matter, does it? You have this idea, a glimmer of something wonderful. You start jotting it on a spare napkin on the steering wheel while trying to navigate afternoon traffic (because we all know great ideas NEVER come at opportune times). You chisel out characters and get a plot. It's wonderful! It's fantastic!

"It sucks."

The inner critic. Ah, that nasty little weasel. Just when you thought you'd make it through to Chapter 16 without a NaNoWriMo deadline The Critic appears. "It's been done before," he says. "No one is going to understand that. Heck, YOU don't even understand that!"

"Who cares?"

Your story is just that, YOURS. It came to you, chose you, and you, being the good writer that you are, must write it. Yes. MUST. Does it matter if it's good enough? No. Does it matter if it's so profound that trumpets will blast from Glory Beyond to all who read it? Nope. What matters is much, much more simple:

Do you love it?

This idea, is it all consuming? Does it wrap it's greasy little hands around your waste and force you to drag it everywhere? To the grocery store? The laundry room? The water cooler at work? Are you sitting at Starbucks imagining the barista as your villain? IS that really Classic Syrup she's putting in that latte?

Editing will come. Trusted friends and colleagues will read it and offer advice. You will have to kill the proverbial darlings (perhaps even the Barista of Doom.) But right now the idea is what matters. Flesh it out. Get it on paper, on screen, on a thousand and fifteen little blue Post-it Notes stuck to the bathroom mirror. However you write, get it written. You can get it right later.

Oh, and if the barista really IS an evil villain lacing a latte with arsenic disguised as Classic Syrup, take it gladly and give it to your critic. Revel in his slow, agonizing death. Throw a fiesta then get back to writing.


11 comments:

  1. That's right - who cares? Just keep repeating Bill Murray's line from Meatballs - 'It just doesn't matter. It just doesn't matter!'

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  2. I agree with you whole heartedly. Who cares?
    And at the end of the day no one is ever going to write the same book as you. Never ever. It's all yours so may as well get writing and enjoy it :)

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  3. Of course, you know that writing matters. Think how moved you were by A Wrinkle in Time. Think how me make connections and better understand life when we read and watch stories unfold. Plus, I love your writing, so get busy. It matters to me!
    Play off the Page

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  4. Sometimes I forget that in all the madness- I have to love it.

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  5. That is the perfect attitude. Who care? I'm going to write that on my white board at home.

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  6. I think you heed to buy your muse some rope & a gag. Then let that muse take down the inner critic. :-)

    Anna from Shout with Emaginette

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  7. Alex: Haha! yes! Now I'll envision Bill Murray as my muse, leaning over my computer whispering that as I write...creepy, yes, but motivating!

    Deborah: Indeed! And if we aren't enjoying what we're writing, no one is going to enjoy reading it!

    Mary: I needed to hear that. Thank you! Writing matters more than we know, even those of us who profess to do it!

    Melanie: Yes! I do too. We MUST love it otherwise, we won't write the best story that's in us :)

    Sydney: You know, I think I need to write it on my wall over my writing desk! In big, bold letters!

    Anna: That sounds fantastic! I know I have some rope around here somewhere...now to wrangle up my muse and convince him to do some mischief...not that THAT will be hard :D

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  8. Writing is a solitary pursuit best made in the constant companionship
    of other writers. Being part of that community of writers from all walks of life who produce works in multiple genres keeps me going. Every member has something to give, something to make my writing journey less lonely and less bumpy. Sure there are tools and tricks of the trade we share with each other, but when I sit down to write, I never feel that I am alone. Other writers are sitting down, too. Together, in our individual ways, the energy (and joy) we produce inspires me to share my stories.

    So yeah, someone cares. Sometimes many...so keep writing.

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  9. Dean: Thank you! That is so true. I am constantly amazed by the wonderful people in this blog world I've stumbled into! I'm humbled and so very grateful for those I've met in the IWSG and for those I continue to meet. It's awe inspiring, really! We have no excuses.

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  10. Jen, I would really love to read your book one day. You have a distinct writing voice.

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  11. Initially, Jen, no one cares but the person doing the writing and creating the world and adventure. And that's as it should be. While you're writing, the focus should be on you and your story.

    BTW, there isn't anything new out there. It's all been tried and written, in one form or another. All anyone can offer is a fresh perspective to the tried. If you, as the writer, have fun and are excited about what you're writing then it shows and it grabs the attention of the reader.

    Sia McKye Over Coffee

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Thank you for taking the time out of your busy, fantastic life to pay a visit! I appreciate every, single comment and I'll continue the conversation here :) It makes this big blog-verse of ours feel a little more like home.

Cheers! ~J