The Insecure Writer’s Support Group – 09/03/14

  • Posted on September 4, 2014 at 1:00 am

IWSG badgeI only recently found out about the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, so forgive this post being a few minutes late.  Basically, from what I can understand of the website, it’s a group meant to bolster and support those going into writing as a career, by helping them see that others have similar insecurities, and by talking them through them.

To be completely honest, I have more insecurities than triumphs, right now, and that’s not something to shake a stick at. I’ve triumphed a lot in my life, to get where I am now, and so when I say the insecurities way me down, I mean it, truthfully.

The thing about it is, however, that you can’t let that sort of thing hold you back. Several of my fears are completely valid. Being the type of person I am, I compartmentalize, and then end up completely disorganized through out the entire process, which just leads to chaos. So, in an effort to help you through some of the things that I’m suffering through, I’m going to organize a little.

Worry one: I’m not going to make it. 

My mother is an author. My best friend is an author. My Mentor is an author. All of these people, I hold dear. But each in their own way, they struggle beyond what is possible for me to feel comfortable with. My mother has one book published, and is working on her second, and honestly, I’d give anything to be nothing like her. That’s a whole seperate story. My best friend has written five books, and none of them are published because he is waiting for one specific publishing house to recognise his works. And my mentor, possibly the most successful of all of us, has two books published, and still is not earning enough to support himself yet.

None of these are my idea of ‘making it’. Of Succeeding. My idea of succeeding is the type of fandom and fame that people like Neil Gaiman, Andrew Hussie, and J.K. Rowling have. And my fear is that I will never reach that level of success.

But that’s wrong. To worry about that so early in the game. The only way I will ever make it, is if I put my all into it now, if I give everything I have to succeeding. I can’t allow this worry to cripple me, the way I’ve allowed worries like this to do so in the past. I have done so much in my short life, and this will not be something that I don’t cross off my bucket list. So please, don’t let the high pole of your own idea of ‘making it’ hold you down.

Worry number two: The things I’m writing will perpetuate horrible things.

If there is one thing I want more than to be the next J.K., it’s to make sure that my writing MEANS something. That it gives someone who didn’t have representation before, that representation. That it allows people to feel more comfortable being themselves.

So I worry and fuss and drive myself nuts over my books and blogposts and writing, to make sure that they don’t hurt those I’m trying to help. It’s a lot harder than one might think to avoid internalised misogyny, or misandry. To fight off homophobia that I didn’t realise slipped into the way I write. To tear away anything that might make someone feel worse about themselves than they already do. And I’m scared that I might never be able to do what needs to be done to make the world a better place.

To combat this worry, I’m trying to learn as much about the world as possible, so that I might end up helping, instead of hurting. I’m attempting to make sure that nothing is left out. That I leave no stone unturned. Honestly, there are some who would tell me not to worry about this, but it seems to me that not enough people worry. So I try my hardest.

Worry number three: I’m afraid I’ll decide this is a waste of time someday, and quit.

I have picked up a habit over my years on earth, and it’s a bad one. I start something, put a lot of work into it. Hard, fun work, that leaves me breathless and wanting more. And then suddenly, as if nothing ever happened, I just… can’t do it anymore. I can’t pick up the pen. I can’t make myself write that next reply. I can’t tell myself that I need to continue it.

Knitting, Final Fantasy Eight, Gardening, Drawing, Painting, Manga-writing, BDSM, Domme-ing, Relationships, and numerous, numerous story ideas. All thrown to the wind, on a whim. I have come to accept that I am a fickle creature. And what worries me, is that after all this effort I’ve put into working so hard on this, I’ll just… give up.

I don’t know how to combat this worry. I don’t know how to get rid of it, or change it, or make it work for me. The best I can do, the best anyone can do, is take it one day at a time, and try their hardest. That’s why I write as many blogposts as I can, that’s why I read so many blogs on my Feedly. That’s why I twitter more now than I ever have before. That’s why I search for blogs and talk to other writers, and try desperately to tie what I’m doing here into my other areas of interest.

Worry number four: I’m worried that this will take over my life, and kill my other dreams.

I want to open a Manga Cafe. The first Manga Cafe in Colorado. I want to have children. I want to travel the world. I want to be financially stable and own my own home. All of these things… None of them are mutually exclusive. But I’m afraid that all the work, all the effort, all the energy I have to put into this whole author-business, will take away from the energy I’ll have for these other dreams.

How can I run a cafe, a business, when I have to spend so much time writing, just to be a mediocre author? What will my children think when I have to tell them I can’t take them to the park because Mommy has to write? Travelling the world costs money, and since it looks like I’m going to be an indie-author, I can’t afford that kind of expense. My money, my life, my energy has to go towards my career as an author.

This is a simple fix, though. This is all just a matter of perspective. If I can wire my writing into the rest of my life, as well, then maybe, just maybe, I can have it all. Why not write while travelling? It’ll make my books more realistic! My cafe can give rise to whole new book ideas, as well as a place to sell my books, and others! My children will see me working hard towards my dreams, and gain a work ethic themselves. I can do it. I can do this, and I WILL make my dreams come true!

Worry number five: I’m worried that I’ll succeed. 

Now, bear with me here, because I know one of my worries up there was that I WOULDN’T make it. But, making it, succeeding in becoming the type of author I want to be… Well, that’s just as terrifying. The kind of fanbases that J.K. and Hussie and Gaiman have are amazing, but also, dangerous. People have Andrew Hussies’ BABY pictures online. I would have no privacy. Not only that, but these people would be hanging on my every word. I would be responsible for a part of their world view. That’s a horrid responsibility.

And there would be my close friends. What of my best friend, who is still waiting for that publisher to call him back? The jealousy there might ruin our friendship. I would rather die than lose him as a friend. And what of my mother? I love her, but what if she thinks this is some kind of contest? We barely have a tenuous relationship as it is. I’d rather not turn into Rose Lalonde, thank you.

The only balm I can soothe this worry with is that I won’t let success change me. Not really. I will still be friends with those I love. I will still be me. And I know I’ve never intentionally hurt a person. And I’ve never withheld an apology when I knew it was really needed. So I can only hope that responsibility will sit with me easily.

Does anyone else have these worries? How do you soothe yours? Please tell me, because I’d love to hear.

10 Comments on The Insecure Writer’s Support Group – 09/03/14

  1. All very valid fears. But I read somewhere recently, fear and doubt are poison. Especially for a writer. Be brave. 🙂 Your blog wants me to comment through FB. I’m #38 on the IWSG list.

    • Otaku Lady says:

      O.O Weird, I never set it up to have you reply via facebook… How odd. I’ll try and fix that! Thank you so much for letting me know! Does your place on the IWSG list change?

  2. It is always hard to go from dreaming about something and actually start in the path of accomplishing it. I personally don’t expect to become the next JK Rowling or Stephen King. I’m doing this because I like to write. In my mind there are different way to find success and publishing through small houses to the point where I’m recognized by my peers is enough for me. I admire those people who have the drive and commitment to achieve that extra level and become famous in their own right. My advise to you is: Don’t worry about failure or success. Trust in yourself. If you really want to reach that high, know that there’ll be tons of negative people to say you can’t, people to put you down, a million rejections. But all you need is yourself and faith that you will make it. Not even talent is a must, have you read 50 Shadows of Gray? So go ahead, just take the first step and dive in.

    Best of luck!

    • Otaku Lady says:

      I…Am quite literally speechless. Thank you! This is absolutely inspiring! And you have a very valid point with the 50shades comment… I’m glad to have read this, thank you again!

    • Otaku Lady says:

      Oh man, I forgot this scene until you reminded me! Thank you, so much! This scene is absolutely beautiful, and the wisdom in it, astounding. I’ll have to remember to take that into account!

  3. Diane Burton says:

    Follow your heart. Do what you love and the money will come. Sure, we’ve all had to work those jobs that pay the bills until the money comes from doing what we love. For all the J.K, Rollings and Veronica Roths, there are thousands of us who will never write THAT book that takes off and earns tons of money. We write because it’s what we love to do. Comparing yourself to your mom, best friend, colleague will only cause you grief. Be yourself. Write on. 🙂

    • Otaku Lady says:

      Thank you so much for your insight. I really do appreciate all of the positivity I’ve gotten from those of you who chose to comment! It’s very nice. Thank you, as well, for reminding me that comparing myself to others is never good!

  4. msugar13 says:

    All of your fears and insecurities are valid. We are all insecure about something that pertains to our writing. Even well known published authors have doubts and fears. We just keep doing what we love and what comes natural to us and believe in ourselves and our writing. I think it’s great that so many of the people you are closest to are authors. You have a huge sounding board, an immediate fan base and there will always be someone close to you that you can turn to when you are struggling.

    Welcome to The IWSG. I have been away for a while, but I am back and this is the best group in the writing/blogging world. You will be glad you joined.

    • Otaku Lady says:

      I can see that I will! Thank you so much for your reply! You’re absolutely right, and I didn’t even realize. Having this many authors close to me is a blessing, so thank you for reminding me of that! Please tell, do you have a blog I can look at? I’d love to keep in contact with you all!

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