Welcome to the November installment of the Insecure Writers Support Group! This is an opportunity for us to share our doubts and insecurities, and perhaps inspire other fellow writers.
As always, thanks go to Alex J. Cavenaugh for creating this group, and this month’s co-hosts: Tyrean Martinson, Karen Walker, Denise Covey, and Stephen Tremp. Please visit their blogs if you get a chance and show ’em some love!
I’ve spent many years developing my craft through classes, conferences, books, and more. Someone is always opining on the best way to structure a novel, and we learn a lot of dos and don’ts in the process. If you’re like me, you agonize about the process. After three years, my latest WIP, What She Knew, is nearly ready to publish, but no doubt I will polish and fret up until the moment I send my new baby out into the world.
It’s time for some liberation. I’m going to say something I’ve never said before: stop worrying so much.
I’m not saying we shouldn’t care or that we shouldn’t try to write the best book possible. I’m not saying we shouldn’t continue to work on our skills.
A few days ago I finished slogging through a Really Bad Novel. There was a clunky overuse of backstory, references so repetitive I felt as though I were being hit over the head with a hammer, characters who changed too quickly, etc.
Because I had just pulled it up on my Kindle app, I hadn’t paid attention to the author or publisher. Impatient and frustrated, I took a closer look, assuming — wrongly — that this was a self-published book.
Turns out Random House is the publisher, and the author a frequent bestseller with a large following. I then turned to the Amazon reviews, which were glowing!
Sorry, I don’t get it. This novel would never make it through a Novel Writing 101 class.
Here’s the thing, though: sometimes we let perfectionism keep us from getting our work out there. I’m really, really guilty about that (and yes, I know I’m using adverbs — so what?). Maybe you are, too.
For whatever reason, the Really Bad Novel struck a chord for many readers…so who am I to judge?
Let’s trust ourselves a little more and worry a little less. Yes, learn your craft. Yes, get an editor if you’re indie. I’m not saying put your first drafts out there. But take a breath and try not to take it all so seriously. Find a way to get your work into people’s hands. There are people who want to read your stories.
Now, back to NaNoWriMo. I will try to heed my own advice!
SALE: The Foreign Language of Friends is on sale for $.99 until November 7!
ANNOUNCEMENT: Next week, author Toi Thomas will sit in my blogger’s chair and discuss “Why I Decided to Write Romance.” She is on a blog tour and I understand a giveaway is involved. Here are the other stops of her tour if you’re interested:
Nov. 2nd – Tricia Drammeh – Review
Nov. 3rd – There For You Editing – Interview (Glorie Townson)
Nov. 3rd – Samantha’s Books – Interview (Toi Thomas)
Nov. 4th – Liza O’Connor – Review
Nov. 4th – The Sunflower’s Scribbles– Interview (Glorie Townson)
Nov. 5th – Mama Reads Hazel Sleeps – Review
Nov. 6th – Annie Higa – Review
Nov. 7th – The ToiBox of Words
Nov. 4th – Is History the Agreed Upon Lie… Guest Post (A History of Romance Novels)
Nov. 7th – The Girl with Book Lungs – Guest Post (Ageism vs. Romance)