Feeling Insecure?

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Today is the first Wednesday of the month:  Insecure Writer's Support Group blog! Hurray! Congratulations to Alex J. Cavanaugh and his wonderful team on the incredible work they continue to do. The IWSG is a safe place for writers to express their fears and insecurities in a supportive environment. 
 
I have experienced a few insecurities this month, although I do try my best to keep everything in context.

1. I submitted a story to a literary magazine: it wasn’t accepted (that sounds so much better than saying the ‘R’ word). I am really proud of this story which is entitled, Up Close and Personal. The story was inspired by reading the devastating news of the wild fires that raged through western Canada in July 2015, destroying homes and landscape with such relentless ferocity. My protagonist female photographer embarks upon the assignment of a life time and drops into the danger zone to capture images of the heroic fire fighters who battle against the fiery beast. Her aim: to found and fund a charity in honour of her father, who lost his life to wild fires, which will assist families to rebuild their lives after the effects of the destructive phenomenon.

Insecurity: Is the story as well written as I think it is? Why didn’t it even make the short list?

2. I finally finished the big self-edit of my novel. Phew!
  
Insecurity: I have spent so long on this first novel and I continue to doubt whether it is good enough to let go of yet. After it’s had a well-deserved rest from me, I’ll re-read it and then decide how to proceed.  

3. Back to a creative February, after wearing my editing head for too long. I’ve started a new project which is the first in a series of mystery novellas. It is actually quite liberating to be back in the creative zone. I have more or less planned the whole of this story in order to take more control of my word count.
  
Insecurity:   Will I actually stick to the plan or will my mind take me on another route?

Apart from these slight niggles of insecurity, I am pleased with how 2016 is panning out at present. Alongside my writing and editing, I have been doing lots of research into marketing and learning about the self-publishing world. All very exciting stuff (although sometimes a bit overwhelming).

I hope you have all had a productive and positive January. 



Comments

  1. That's a lot of projects. Nic, even if you decide to self-publish, it might be a helpful if you can afford it, to hire a freelance editor to look at your work. I truly believe every writer (even the great ones) need a good editor. Your eyes can miss so much because you've been over it so many times. Just a thought...

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    1. Thank you, Karen. Lovely to 'see' you. That is the plan. I'm saving every cent I can. I have an editor in mind, who actually critiqued my novel early last year. Have a lovely week.

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  2. Keep sending that story out. You'll find the right place for it.

    When you're done looking at your book, get one or two people to look it over. That always helps. Good luck!

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    1. Thanks Chrys!! I'm really looking forward to your first newsletter :)

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  3. Yay on finishing your edit. Have you thought of self-publishing your short story? If you're proud of it, others should have a chance to read it.

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    1. Thank you, Donna. I love the way you say, 'others should have the chance to read it.' That puts a whole new spin on things :)

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  4. Is that all?
    Who knows why some stories don't connect with judges? If you're still proud of it, submit it somewhere else.
    And what Chrys said - get some help from other writers.

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  5. Lots of good advice above. Getting a couple of outside readers (who promise to give you an honest opinion) should help.

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  6. Nothing to be insecure about so long as you're writing and you enjoy it:) I remember getting a rejection letter where the person underlined how 'unacceptable' she thought my work. Well, at least other agents thought differently:)

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    1. How rude! And look how well your writing is flying now! Thanks for popping by to comment Mark.

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  7. Keep on trying with your story. It'll find a home. It's all subjective. I've had stories I submitted dozens of times before I found a home for them. I love the excitement of starting a new project. Good luck and have fun with it!

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    1. Thank you Christine. Have a great week!

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  8. I'm with you on using "not accepted" instead of the "R" word. :) Unless you received personal feedback on the story, wondering why it wasn't accepted won't help. Sub it somewhere else, see what happens then go from there re feedback, re-writing etc. Good luck!

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    1. Thanks Madeline. Hope all is well with you. Have a great week.

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  9. Sounds like you've got that Insecurity under control or on the run with all that you've accomplished or are planning to.

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    1. When I first started writing, the insecurities prevented me from writing my best. So, I changed my approach towards rejection, put a few techniques in place and protect myself. Most of the time I can put a positive spin on everything. Thanks for popping by to comment Lee.

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  10. It sounds like things are going well so far. Try shopping your story around some more. That magazine might just have been the wrong home.

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    1. Will do, thank you, Loni. Have a great week.

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  11. It sounds like you accomplished a lot despite your insecurities. One rejection for a story doesn't mean it wasn't good, only that it wasn't right for them. I'd find some more places to send it. Good luck on that new project.

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    1. Thank you Susan. I'm really enjoying getting up each morning at the moment :) Writing head most definitely on! :)

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  12. Not having work accepted or placed doesn't mean it isn't any good. Most publications get far more good submissions than they can use and many competitions reciee more decent entries than they have prizes to give.

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    1. I'll try to keep that in mind, Patsy. Have a lovely day.

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  13. Keep at it with your projects. :) Not accepted sounds better than the R word.

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    1. I'm feeling very motivated at the moment, Medeia. I'm so glad things are get well for you too! Have a great week.

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  14. If your work is well written, and I have no doubt it is, then it wasn't the right fit for that agent. Get it out there, submit to your top ten. Don't give up.

    Anna from elements of emaginette

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  15. Hi Nicola,
    Insecurity no 1: I had a story that wasn't accepted too, which I felt quite peeved about as I thought it was way better than others that mag has published. I've got past it by submitting it elsewhere although I have yet to find out if it'll get anywhere. If not I think I'll pass it by my writing group to get their opinion.
    No 2. Yay! well done on finishing the edit, it's probably healthy to have doubts ;)
    No 3. Sometimes when we don't stick to the plan it can take you somewhere amazing (and it's great to be creative isn't it?)
    Have a fab Feb!

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    1. Thanks for popping by to comment Angela and thank you for your words of encouragement :) Have a lovely February.

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  16. I understand your insecurities; however, it will all work out in the end. It hurts when a story isn't accepted. If it wasn't right for that magazine doesn't mean it isn't right for another. Just keep plugging.

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    1. Thank you Elizabeth and thanks for popping by to my blog. Lovely to 'meet' you. Have a great day.

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  17. Congratulations on finishing the edit, Nicola! That's a huge step completed. I think the insecurities are a necessary part of being a writer, or any kind of creative person and show how deeply you care about your craft. Having said that, I know how hard it can be to swallow the disappointment and keep going. Hang on in there! xxx

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    1. Thank you, Joanna. I'm hanging :) Have a lovely day.

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  18. I'd stay in the creative zone all day if I had the chance. Editing is where I have to take the story that's living happily in my head and turn it into something that everyone else can enjoy too. That's a lot of work, for me at least.

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    1. It's all hard work but it's worth it. Have a great weekend. Thanks for popping by Ken.

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  19. I'm sorry they passed on your story, but do try again, and again, and again! That's what a lot of writers do, and someday you'll get what you're after. If you believe in it, don't get discouraged.

    Congrats on the edit! That's a big accomplishment!

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    1. Thanks, Megan! Lovely to 'see' you.

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  20. Hi Nicola - sounds like there's some excellent advice in the comments above - and that's great that you are moving on ... and those stories are there for resubmission etc at some other stage ... I like the sound of the Wild Fire one and how it develops .. cheers Hilary

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    1. There is some great advice. Thank you for popping by to comment Hilary. Have a lovely weekend.

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  21. It's funny how even the positive things lead to insecurities. But you've pinpointed them and now you can squash them. Congratulations on finishing the edit and on writing the - really excellent sounding - short story you're proud of!

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    1. Thank you Nicki! I do try to put a positive spin on everything in life. Life is too short to hover too long in a negative place. Lovely to 'see' you. Have a great weekend.

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  22. I'm sure your story would probably be as good as others, Nicola, but they can only choose a few and there might have been many entries. I've adjudicated lots of short story comps over the years and had over 60 entries at our big annual Sottish Association of Writers conference. There were honestly so many good stories that I had to keep to a strict choice of winners. I'm sure many of the other writers' stories went on to be published eventually. Well done on all you've achieved recently and good luck with the new series!

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    1. Thank you for your words of encouragement, Rosemary. Wishing you a lovely weekend. I hope the weather isn't too mean :)

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  23. I love how you've formatted your insecurities along with the positive things you are accomplishing. Perhaps, I'll try this next month. The insecurity is still there, but somehow it doesn't seem as daunting seeing what you've accomplished in spite of it.

    I'd still love to go back and revise my first novel. I don't think that will ever change. At some point you have to let it go with the goal of making sure the next novel shows growth as a writer. Good luck!

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    1. Thank you for popping over to comment, Charity. And thanks for your words of encouragement. Greaty received and appreciated. Have a lovely weekend.

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  24. I'm sorry your story didn't get accepted, but don't give up. Keep submitting it. You have a good premise. Congratulations on finishing the edit! You should feel proud. You have such a great attitude that I know you will conquer any challenge in front of you. Go Nicola!

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    1. Awww, bless! Thank you Murees. I'm really touched by your words! Now I'm off to conquer another WIP which I'm excited about. Have a lovely weekend and thanks again for your 'loveliness' :)

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  25. My January was a bit nuts, but February seems to be a bit calm.

    I'm sorry your story wasn't accepted. Sometimes, it's just a subjective thing where the editor might just not have been in the mood for what you submitted.

    All the best with writing and edits!

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    1. Thank you Misha. Here's to a calm and productive February :)

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  26. My best friend lives in Kelowna and has had to evac her home a few times. It is scary. The last two summers we could see flames from our home on Cluculz Lake. Mother Nature is very volatile. Glad you're beating your insecurities.

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    1. It must be so scary. The helplessness against such a destructive element. Thank you for sharing Joylene. Thank you for stopping by to comment.

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  27. Sounds productive to me.

    I'd be happy to look at your story if you want another pair of eyes.

    Stay positive!

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  28. So sorry for the "non acceptance," but it's a sign you're putting yourself out there! Collect those rejections and consider it an accomplishment when you get to a certain number...that means you're that much closer to a win!

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    1. Thank you for stopping by, Stephanie. Lovely to see you!

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  29. Wouldn't it be nice if all "non acceptances" came with a reason, even if it was "writing fine, but not what we're looking for"? Who knows. Somehow we have to keep writing and submitting.

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    1. Yes, it is a pity that 'readers' and editors are far too busy to give feedback. But I suppose that's something we have to accept of the writing world. Wishing you lots of acceptances and more importantly, enjoyment of your writing.

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  30. Morning Nicola,
    First, thank you for dropping by my blog Everything Must Change. I see you and I have certain things in common. I started submitting my short stories, both Fiction and Creative Non-Fiction again in January.
    I took a break in 2015 from submitting because I was receiving so many rejections that I thought it would be better to take another look at my stories to see why. Like you, I thought my stories would at least make the short list but none of them did. What helped me was a major decision to work with a writing coach whom I consider to be one of the best in the business. I had submitted to her my manuscript for my first novel, and she tore my manuscript up. I was devastated, but she also gave me hope. She let me know that my story was excellent but it needed lots of work. I decided to ask her if she had room in her calendar to take me on and she said yes. Working with her on my manuscript helped me to see the problems with my short stories, and I know now that there is a senior editor or publisher who will one day send me an acceptance letter.
    So, what I'm saying is that I thought I was a great editor of my own stories, but when I looked at them now and the improvements I have made since I have my writing coach, then I would say I was too close to judge the quality that is entered into a contest such as by Glimmer Train, a magazine that I love.
    I wish you success in your submissions and keep at it.
    Shalom,
    Patricia

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    1. Thank you so much Patricia for all your useful advice and for taking the time to share your experience. It is so reassuring to know that I am not alone with my frustration.

      Wishing you lots of success!

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  31. I have those same insecurities. I think we all do- unless you're kind of arrogant. And when we jump one hurdle, we worry about the next. I suppose it keeps us humble.

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    1. Thank you for stopping by to comment Elizabeth. I like being humble :)

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  32. Hi Nicola. Still getting round to some IWSG posts. Yes, what happens when we've submitted what we think is a great story and it is met with the R!! Depends on the editors' subjective tastes for a start. And what they're looking for, even subconsciously. It is a tricky business. But it sounds like you have plenty to be going on with. You'll show 'em. :-)

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    1. Aaaww thank you, Denise. Wish you a lovely week. Thanks so much for popping by to comment. Lovely to 'see' you.

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