Wednesday, July 1, 2015

IWSG July 2015--Write Away Insecurities

It's the first Wednesday in July, so you know what that means? Alex Cavanaugh's Insecure Writers Support Group is on! Here's the crazy thing. I signed up to co-host this month. I'm looking forward to visiting lots of blogs today!

The other co-hosts are:
S.A. Larsen, AJ, Tamara Narayan, Allison Gammons, and Tanya Miranda!
Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time. Be sure to link to this page and display the badge in your post.

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!
Our Twitter hashtag is #IWSG

I'll keep my post short today. My insecurities still come and go. That'll probably never change. And that's okay. I've learned to deal with it by just pushing on. When I'm feeling particularly down, thinking everything I write is crap, the only thing I can do to feel better is keep writing.

So that's what I do.

I accept that first drafts stink. They are full of typos, passive construction, plot holes and long winded, unnecessary backstory.

The point is, that doesn't make me a horrible writer. It doesn't make you a terrible writer. It makes us a WRITERS!

We need to replace our insecurities about rough drafts with pride. Even a cringe-worthy draft is worth something. Remember, the only difference between writers and authors is perseverance. Oh, and revision, revision, revision.

Look at this lovely little item ready for you to purchase!


Buy
Created by Jeremy Hawkins

66 comments:

  1. Hi Charity, Thanks for co-hosting! I love first drafts and when I realised they're supposed to be crappy, that made me feel even better! The first draft is when you're getting your magic down on the page, that's what gives you something to pull and push and mould into something better! I also recently discovered that first drafts are easier to have critiqued - because you're less precious about them, you know they need work and are more open to discussion. Of course, it's still scarey letting anyone see them ;)
    Have a great day!

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    1. I never thought about them being easier to critique. Probably because I'd never torture people with my drafts, LOL. It's funny, but the revision stage is my favorite, and I'm addicted to critiques. I love it!

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  2. My first drafts are so hard to read. I just keep cringing, but hey, it's how it works. Hopefully by the end, it's much better.

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    1. Yep, that's how it's supposed to be. Hopefully, the more you do it the easier it will be to read that first draft. You'll start to see that each draft is just a little better than the last one.

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  3. A crappy first draft is still more than most people will ever accomplish.

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    Replies
    1. Boy, isn't that the truth! I need to remember that.

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  4. I often cry when I read my first drafts later!

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    1. Well, that could be good if you meant for it to be sad, right? *hugs* I think we all cringe or hand our heads about some of our drafts. Definitely sections in each of them.

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  5. Thanks for co-hosting this month, Charity. Reading our old 1st drafts makes us realize how far we've come.

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    1. Perhaps that's why I love the drafting process. Things always get better!

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  6. LOL! Definitely revision, revision, revision. First drafts aren't meant to be seen by the world for a reason, though I have to think we don't give ourselves enough credit. Sure, that first draft stinks to us because we know we can do better, but 80% of the people out there would probably applaud that we were able to finish an actually novel. That in and of itself is an accomplishment.

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    1. That is so true! And I'm finding the more I writer the better my drafts get. That's a plus!

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  7. What you say is true, revision is the key. I've often wondered though about the distinction between writer and author. I consider myself both in different circumstances. When I comeplete a story, of whatever length, I'm a writer, but for me publication- making it avaible to the masses- makes me an author. I'm also a blogger, so I guess these titles don't really matter. I do what I do because I do. Thanks for co-hosting today.

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    1. Great point Toinette! We are writers because we put words on the page. I always thought author was getting published. Thanks for pointing out that all of us who blog have done just that--put our words out there for anyone and everyone to find and read.

      Authors unite!

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  8. Ah, yes. Those lovely revisions. Do they ever end? Thanks for co-hosting today.

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    1. ;) I have to make myself say, "It's good enough. Move on to something new." So, I don't think anything will ever be perfect. There always be something to revise.

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  9. The best news? The more you write and the more you read good fiction, the more polished your first drafts become. It does get better.

    Thanks for co-hosting. :)
    IWSG #123 until Alex culls the list again.

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    1. SOOO true! My drafts are actually readable now if not publishable. :)

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  10. Thank heavens for edits and rewrites. I don't even let the 1st draft count in my mind. It's just the first attempt to somehow pull tons of words together. Nothing more. Thanks for hosting!

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    1. I consider my first draft my version of "plotting" LOL.

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  11. Love the Tshirt. Makes me think of #WWMD

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  12. It's hard to feel pride about a first draft, but you know what? We should! We finished something and that's more than what some people can say so huzzah!

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  13. I learned to write faster when I accepted that first draft would stink. Good advice.
    Susan Says

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    1. Me too! It also helps that I finally keep pressing forward instead of constantly rewriting the first three chapters. Funny how that makes it hard to complete a novel.

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  14. When I'm out of my writerly circles, people seem quite impressed I've written a book. Multiple books. I think we forget that sometimes--just writing and finishing a book is an accomplishment. Think how many people say they want to write a book and never do.

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    1. That's right. I've heard lots of people say they'd like to write a book, but they never sit down and try. We've done more than try. We sat down over and over and kept putting words on the page until we had a complete story. That's definitely something to be proud of.

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  15. Ah yes, the wonderful world of revision, where I'm firmly planted today. It's actually my favorite part of the process :-)

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  16. Hi,
    You are so right. I have discovered that also about the first draft. So, I have learned and am still discovering that the first draft is the step that takes you into revision where you make your story shine.

    And I love the tee shirt. Have already ordered mine and cannot wait to receive it.

    Shalom,
    Patricia

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  17. Thank you for co-hosting this month! I am working my way through my 3rd draft of my 3rd book and reminding myself how much I love my job, I really do!
    I'm thinking I'll get a few of those t'shirts to use as prizes at my release party in the fall.

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  18. We would all be considered horrible stories if our first drafts were judged before editing, beta readers, critiques, etc.

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  19. Congrats on being a cohost. Fun isn't it?
    I think not writing isn't an option for me. It's so fun. Even when I think everything I write is crap, I still can't see myself stopping.

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  20. Exactly!
    Cause the writers gotta write, write, write!

    Keep. Moving. Forward!

    Thanks for co-hosting!
    Heather

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  21. That's why I like editing more than writing from scratch. Most of the time, it gets better with every draft.

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  22. Heh. I think not-writing is causing my insecurity! Thanks for co-hosting!

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  23. @Pat, someone once compared it to building sand castles. The first draft you just gather all the sand in a giant pile. Each revision shapes it until you've got a beautiful castle.

    @Doreen, what a great idea! Maybe I'll grab a few as prizes for my high school writing contest.

    @Chrys, that's true. Sadly I've seen people self-publish those first drafts. It's hard to see the potential in something and know they gave up too soon.

    @Patricia, it's been great co-hosting. I've met lots of new writers. If we stopped writing we really would go crazy.

    @Heather, moving forward is so liberating!

    @Tamara, Yep, even if the story changes, it's usually for the better. Except for when it isn't, lol. Then we get to do it all again.

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  24. Hi Charity! Thanks for co-hosting. And you are right about rough drafts. I sometimes fall into the trap that my writing sucks. But then I remember that it’s a draft. And you go through a couple of drafts before you write something golden. That’s why I love this quote by C.J. Cherryh “It is perfectly okay to write garbage--as long as you edit brilliantly.”

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  25. @Loni, then get writing! :)

    @Lidy, what a great quote! Thanks so much for sharing it. I don't know that I edit brilliantly yet, but at least I do it consistently and with the help of other more brilliant peeps.

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  26. Thanks for co-hosting this month. It's true, we need to get the words out and not worry about mistakes, grammar, or anything. It's not meant to be perfect the first time out of the shoot.

    Play off the Page

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  27. Thanks awesome co-host! And yeah, those scary first drafts. Enough to make me want to hide in a hole. As for the revisions... groan! I wonder why I do it to myself. Lol!

    shahwharton.com

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  28. The perseverance I can handle. It's the revision, revision, revision, that tends to wear me down. :(

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  29. Thanks for the upbeat message! I don't let those first drafts get me down because I know how much better they'll get when they're revised. Thanks for co-hosting!

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  30. I know all about the first drafts, Charity! I've got a couple in various stages of editing/revision screaming for attention. I'm doing it, though. :) I love our new t-shirts. Can't wait to get my own. Thanks for co-hosting us today. It means so much! Eva

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  31. Great post! Also love the great new tshirt and logo we now have! Thanks for hosting!

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  32. @Mary, you're welcome! It's been a great opportunity to get out and meet some new writers.

    @Shah, if someone else did your revisions it wouldn't be your story any more. Keep at it!

    @Scribbles, make sure you take breaks between revisions. Allow yourself to keep writing something new if that's where you get your energy.

    @ Lorimaclaughlin thanks for stopping by! I'm glad drafts don't get you down, and you're right. They always get better.

    @lilicasplace thank you! Good for you for having multiple drafts ready. I've run out of drafts, but luckily not ideas. This summer I hope to get most of two new drafts finished. Then I'll have something to revise! Good luck with all your projects.

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  33. Co-host, huh? Wow.

    Without a crappy first draft, there's nothing to edit. Right?

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  34. Yes, perseverance and revision! Happy writing and revising, Charity!

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  35. Thank you for co hosting this month.

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  36. Some of my first drafts are so dismal that I wonder how I could have ever put down those words thinking I might have a book at the end. So glad to be writing in this digital world. I'd use up gallons of ink otherwise.

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  37. So true about first drafts! I keep telling my writing students: "If it ain't wrote, I can't fix it." Good advice, for me to take myself.

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  38. That T-shirt is *very* tempting.
    Thx for hosting!

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  39. Wore my T-shirt to work today and met a new writer! Yup, writing is what we do, helps shape who we are and brings us out of the depths of all that plagues us!

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  40. I go by what Anne Lamott wrote in Bird by Bird: the Shitty First Draft. Or I try to, anyway, when I can keep the neurotic editor at bay. Thanks for co-hosting!

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  41. Love the shirt; wish it came in a v-neck though. I feel the same way about first, and 2nd drafts; at least something is written to Revise, which for me is where the real work comes in.

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  42. My current first draft is a festering pile of horse manure, and the second draft is a festering pile of horse manure. But I still wrote it, which is better than a lot of people, and better than I've done in a long time, so I should be happy with that.

    And that is a pretty neat shirt!

    Stories I Found in the Closet: IWSG Wednesday

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  43. @Liz, yeah, what was I thinking! Actually it was a lot of fun. Made me sit and visit other blogs.

    @Tyrean and @Shelia, thanks!

    @cleemckenzi, that's actually funny. Buckets of ink!

    @Melodie, great phrase. Go get something wrote! :)

    @Huntress, we should get shirts and wear them to the writer's conference in September. You thinking of coming?

    @Dean, that's awesome! Now I really need to get me a shirt too.

    @Michelle, LOL. Pesky internal editor!

    @Dolorah, maybe it will come in a v-neck one day.

    @CD, people pay good money for manure to fertilize their gardens. At least you've already got it ready to grow something amazing, right?

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  44. Perseverance and revisions, so much yes! Thanks for the inspiration. Good luck from an IWSG blog hopping friend.

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  45. This comment made me smile: "Even a cringe-worthy draft is worth something." I think this is the perfect description of my first-draft-that's-taking-forever-to-come-to-an-end. LOL
    Perseverance? I can do that!
    So I'll keep trudging along...

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    1. I forgot to thank you for co-hosting the IWSG this month!

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  46. So true about first drafts! We should hold our heads high when a draft is completed, not hide in shame for all the weakness is contains. I think it's a case of comparing the goal with the progress, but that's hard not to do.

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  47. Yep, my first draft was bad, and the next few not much better. Revision after revision, I persevered in critique groups until a newbie asked me to edit her first draft. Wow, with all the knowledge I'd learned from more experienced writers, it was so much easier to fix somebody else's book, I could hardly believe it.

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  48. I love IWSG, and I think it's awesome that there's a shirt! And now I also feel inspired to tweet!

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  49. Thanks for co-hosting! Writing on does seem to be the best remedy. Sometimes it's hard to remember that.

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  50. A rubbish first draft is far more use than one perfect sentence.

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  51. Ah, yes. Lord of Revisions, when will I be released from the endless polishing? Every time I think I'm done, I make the mistake of allowing my muse to speak. You know what happens. The little beast comes up with a better line, more intense plot, etc. You know, I think it's possible that this revision thing could go on forever.

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