IWSG: November

“Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy.”

 – Norman Vincent Peale

“Hello, my name is ML and I’m an insecure writer.”
“Hello, ML.”
“Oh…no need to be so formal…you can call me m.”

It’s good to be attending my first meeting of the IWSG, and I hope to forge many fast friendships along the way. Like me, many of you are participating in the NaNoWriMo this month and my sincerest condolences best wishes to you. I’m plugging along, hitting and missing some days, but secure in the knowledge that I will complete the manuscript and it will be something worthwhile. How do I know this? The lead-in quote from Norman Vincent Peale  I swear by it. For decades it has been my mantra, not only for writing, but for all things in life.

  • Belief in Self: As with any work of art, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and writing falls prey to those subjective judgment calls. This is something that needs to be realized right off the bat — you have to grow a thick skin. Not everybody’s going to like your style. Not everybody’s going to like my style. But I like my style…the voice that booms behind my story…so every tale of mine already begins with a strong sense of self. Find yourself and love yourself. It will certainly show in the tone of your work.

  • Know Your Abilities: I don’t write because I was grounded one afternoon from playing football as the star quarterback. I write because of my love for spinning a yarn, pursuing the education necessary to become adept in grammar and the art of storytelling. I didn’t spend time playing games under the erroneous impression that I could pound out a piece of short fiction after the pizza party was over. It’s taken a lifetime of preparation. Even so, you’ll never see me approach a story without a good grasp of how it is to be written, and I certainly don’t automatically know how to do everything. One of my WIP’s is an epic narrative in mythic style. It’s been…let’s see…forever since I dipped my heel in the river Styx, so I had to sharpen my skills with research of the style I wanted to emulate. Yes, it is still my voice, however, it is now my voice in a different time…from a character with different beliefs…spoken in phrases unfamiliar to my tongue. I had to know my abilities and adjust accordingly, learning what I needed to proceed. The education never stops.

  • Humble and Reasonable Confidence: Perhaps by the sound of this article it seems like I have a great deal of confidence. Not so…merely a healthy dose of it. It is a reasonable confidence, due to all the years of preparation, but it is also a humble one, from the many failures and bumps on the path. My skin has toughened from participation in many of the fine arts — writing, acting, drawing, painting, music, singing — all the things to which people could say, “That sucked.” Sometimes it really did. Those are the times to explore what didn’t work and consider what would. And I have friends who keep me real — not simply yes men who pander to my ego. The truth shall set you free. To be a successful writer, build an intimate relationship with truth…especially the openness and willingness to hear it from others. That will keep you humble.

It’s wonderful to be a part of the group, and I’ll be seeing you next month, probably sniveling that my stuff is no good and nobody likes me.



39 thoughts on “IWSG: November

  1. Great mantra, one I have copied down for future reference 🙂 Welcome to the world of insecure writers…Your stuff is great and everyone loves you 🙂

  2. Yesterday, I was reading Making a Literary Life, by Carolyn See and she wrote about positive affirmations. Hers is: "I see it! I feel it! I know it! I got it!" I woke up this morning saying that to myself. Now I think I will tag Norman Vincent Peal's words to hers. We can do it if we think we can! Great post. Thank you!

  3. Thanks for telling me about the word verification. No, I didn't know it was on…and I immediately turned that sucker off! I just revamped everything, which included changing sites, so I hadn't gotten to that yet. Thanks, and for stopping by!

  4. Yeah…that Peale quote can apply to so many things in life we pursue. Part of my "Desire, Ask, Believe, Receive" philosophy. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  5. Your confidence is well-placed, M.L. I've read enough of your work to know your writing is quality and gifted. I can't wait to see what this month births for you.

  6. Welcome to the IWSG! Norman Vincent Peale is my all-time favorite. I read The Power of Positive Thinking once a year, or sometimes I just pick it up and flip through to see where I land. I'm still saying postive affirmations I got from it 15 years ago. It helps:)

  7. Starting NaNoWriMo and ISWG all in the same month. What a glutton for punishment!I am also a writer in training and I've found the ISWG to be a very supportive group. It's good that you joined. Keep working on that manuscript. You will finish it one day.

  8. All writers live a tortured life, don't they Ken? Thanks for coming by…I checked out Hogwarts a couple of weeks ago…scooting around some of the blogs on the hop early.Gwen, I'm a big fan of NVP. So many motivational words to live by. I appreciate you passing through!Laura, I love the paradox of the egotist and the wallflower. Yes, I'm very much a loner who wants to address the masses (but on my own terms)! Two different sides to me, both trying to have the upper hand.

  9. ML, it's nice to meet you. I'm new follower, #192 on Alex's list. I hear you. I feel for you. Actually I've yet to meet a writer who won't understand. All I can promise is, if I can find a publisher, better yet: readers willing to buy my books, then anybody can! It's all about the story. Which of course covers a zillion things.

  10. Welcome to the IWSG, ML. (I'm #40) I'm a new follower via the group. Insecurity doesn't necessarily mean a lack of confidence. I've always been confidence, mostly because I never up. That's my motto, via Churchill: "Never quit!" But even though I'm traditionally published now, I still have a boatload of insecurities. It's part of the writer's DNA, I think. God help us!

  11. Thanks, Nancy and Candilynn, for coming by! I love Churchill and just used a quote of his in a recent post! Yeah…I never said I wasn't insecure (thus joining the group). I've got that same DNA! I think my confidence comes from knowing I've done the best that I could do, and it's not that bad a job (at least to me). The insecurity comes from wondering if others will think the same. I'm only as good as my last piece! Each one comes with its share of doubts.

  12. Hey M,GREAT post. Very inspirational. And really good advice. I don't think there is any writer in the world who isn't insecure some of the time, but it sounds like you have a really good handle on your beliefs and your writing. Welcome to IWSG!!

  13. That's the beauty of the IWSG: we all have insecurities and we now have a community of writers who understand us and can help cheer us forward! Great to "meet" you and welcome to the IWSG :)Best of luck in NaNo! I'm tiptoeing along, eeking out a few words here and there in between school work! Cheers,Jen

  14. Thanks Tamara, and for coming by! It's been a busy day, so I need to play catch-up and visit some more blogs. I try to keep a firm belief that this is all going to be something someday…that I'm on the right path, so I keep trudging. Thanks for the warm welcome!

  15. You just caught me on a well-adjusted day…like I said, next month I'll be a sniveling mess. Thanks for coming by, Lexa. Love your name! Is that a pen name? It sounds so NEAT. Very glamorous.

  16. Developing confidence in one's work and story is essential. It took some time for me to get to that point. The more I learned about the craft of writing and reworked my manuscript, the more confident I became.Thanks for sharing. I love this series of posts.

  17. It truly is, Roxanne, and thanks for coming by. You have an air of confidence about you…something I pick up in our posts and emails. It's catching and instills a sense of self-confidence in those around you. At least me. Like the world is our oyster…

  18. Welcome to the group 🙂 Inspiring post! I especially like your comment, "To be a successful writer, build an intimate relationship with truth…especially the openness and willingness to hear it from others. That will keep you humble."

  19. Great post. I have little confidence, but a really thick skin. I've submitting and being rejected for 24 years (I started young, rather than being very old), so I've kinda got used to it now 🙂 Thanks for the follow, nice to meet you.

  20. Welcome to IWSG, M.! This group is amazing – you'll meet many new friends who have similar insecurities. We always give support\encourage each other! I have good confidence but don't have the thick skin yet. I still take critiques seriously and don't move on. I just strive to be a good writer and be happy with that. And the learning never stops…we keep learning new things from each other CONSTANTLY.Love the quote at the beginning!Nice to meet you! *shake hands*

  21. I am a late hopper from IWSG, but welcome… and what a fantastic first week's entry. I loved your advice here and found your thoughts on "reasonable confidence" and staying humble truly inspirational. That's just the thing that often gives other insecure writers a boost, so thank you for that… truly. Good luck with NaNoWriMo… you are braver than I. Maybe next year I can talk myself into committing to it, too. 🙂

  22. Thanks for coming by, T. Yes, I'm still checking out various sites on the IWSG hop, too.NaNo is keeping me hopping. But it's well worth it, to have a crappy first draft come out of it to polish up over the course of the following year.

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