Insecure Writer’s Support Group – I’ve caught the new writer malaise

It’s time for another edition of The Insecure Writer’s Support Group, hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh. On the first Wednesday of each month, writers participate in this blog hop sharing their doubts and concerns and receive support from other participating writers. This is my first official post, since last month I wrote my first insecure-ish post and it happened to fall on the 1st Wednesday of January and so I hopped onto the back of the caboose.

I’m not plagued with a specific doubt or insecurity this month, but with an overall doubt or worry: how best to proceed from here as a new writer.

Maybe I’ll number them:

  1. I still hear the siren call of self-pubbing and I wonder if I’m dooming myself by going the traditional route. It’s scary to commit to a potentially three-year long arc to publication when the industry is changing so rapidly.
  2. I’m also intrigued by going indie – I already have one offer for a contract with an independent e-pub and I sometimes wonder if I should try that route.
  3. My dream is to go traditional, but I worry my novel isn’t good enough.
  4. Which pushes me to keep learning and learning my craft and revising and revising and revising. I really do need to be firm though and set a limit on the number of drafts because I worry I might be using this as an excuse to delay putting myself out there. For those that already think this (I’ve had some tell me this), I really do need to do one more draft to incorporate the last of my Beta readers’ input.
  5. I’m still insecure about letting the rest of my real-life friends know (some already do) that I’m writing a Romance. It’s such a misunderstood genre. I think once I have a contract, I’ll put on my Big Girl Panties and deal.
  6. I’m sure like all writers, I worry my characterizations aren’t deep enough and that my plot isn’t strong enough, which also leads to #4.
  7. And, of course, I worry I don’t have a strong enough logline, query, summary and pitch. I have one month to get those nailed down and my draft completed since I plan to go to the FF&P Conference the first weekend in March.

Whew! I think that’s enough, no?

What about you? What worries or doubts plague you right now? Any advice for me or other new writers?

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12 Responses to Insecure Writer’s Support Group – I’ve caught the new writer malaise

  1. J. A. Bennett February 1, 2012 at 9:49 am #

    I have all of the same worries. I figure I’m going to give traditional pub a try and if it doesn’t work out I’m going to hire an editor and self pub. This is still at least a year away, but it’s important to me to get my book right no matter how it’s published. I think wanting your book to be awesome no matter what is a good thing :)

  2. tashaseegmiller February 1, 2012 at 10:03 am #

    I worry about the same things. I have read so many GREAT books that were self-published or indie and I wonder if I’m dooming myself to misery by trying traditional. But I agree that there is importance in honing the craft regardless. Great post – new follower :)

  3. chitrader February 1, 2012 at 10:18 am #

    I think you just wrote the basic job-description (in emotional terms, at least) of a writer in 2012. I think all we can do is channel that worry into energy and write the best work we can write, then see what happens with the decisions we’ve made.

    Chris

  4. Maggie Blackbird February 1, 2012 at 11:44 am #

    What everyone else said. I wish I had some advice, but I’m in the same place as you. Thank you for sharing. I really enjoyed reading what you had to say.

  5. Christina McKnight (@Chevyvibe) February 1, 2012 at 2:00 pm #

    I hear you, Angela! But I have more time to work with. Good luck on your revisions, stick with it, and your story is great!

  6. Rachelle Ayala (@AyalaRachelle) February 1, 2012 at 2:04 pm #

    Hi Angela, I’m right there with you on #4. I got my MS back from my freelance editor and am going to pull up my bootstraps and do another revision. I do believe MS’s take time to soak, like good marinade, and you can’t rush it out there. Better to revise now, than cringe later!

  7. carly fall February 1, 2012 at 5:05 pm #

    Angela, I think all writers have delicate egos. I mean, we slave and sweat to get the words just right and then actually put them out there for others to read? If you think about it, it’s a pretty ballsy thing!

    People are going to like you, people aren’t going to like you. As for self-pubbing – I’m so glad I didn’t go the traditional route. Having said that, if you do self-pub, you need to hire an editor :)

  8. Sarah Wynde February 1, 2012 at 9:03 pm #

    I’m going to refer you to a blog post if your blog takes links: http://feliciaday.com/blog/five-things-about-2010

    You should read it, and especially the last paragraph. You said in your first worry, “I wonder if I’m dooming myself” — how could you possibly be dooming yourself? So you take a few years and explore traditional publishing — what is the worst possible outcome of that choice? I mean I suppose there are some — you tie yourself to some ridiculous contract that dooms you to live in penury forever? You spend ten years chasing the dream and meanwhile traditional publishing disappears entirely? But realistically, no, neither of those things are going to happen. The worst possible outcome is not doom. It’s just some wasted time.

    Meanwhile, what is all that worry getting you? How is it serving you? What are you getting out of letting it take market share in your brain? Because the best cure for fear of rejection is to be writing the next book. Then when book 1 is not loved enough, you’re okay because you’re busy working on book 2. Or book 3. Or book 4. And learning all along the way, and hopefully also having fun all along the way. (And I say not loved enough, because rejection comes in many forms.)

    Let go of the fear, and have more fun. That’s my advice!

    • angela quarles February 1, 2012 at 9:17 pm #

      Thanks Sarah– it’s not really taking up a large part of my mental real estate, today’s just “sharing day” for insecure writers and so I thought I’d just post some things that have been noodling around in my head. I do plan on moving right to Book 3 (book 1 is still under the bed) after I send out my first wave of queries.

  9. Kate Warren February 1, 2012 at 10:01 pm #

    If you want any information about going indie, let me know. I’m happy to share information.

  10. Candy February 2, 2012 at 12:20 pm #

    Wow, can I just say ditto to 1-7??? Followed you over from IWSG. Great post, and best of luck with your shopping adventure!!!

  11. Hope Roberson February 3, 2012 at 7:56 pm #

    Oh the worries, I worry they will never stop :( But we just keep trying…
    Thanks for signing up to do the Valentine’s day bloghop! I look forward to reading your scene :)

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