Wednesday, February 6, 2019

IWSG February Breakdown

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

The awesome co-hosts for the February 6th posting of the IWSG are: Raimey Gallant, Natalie Aguirre, CV Grehan, and Michelle Wallace.

*sigh* I should apologize in advance for the extremely negative post to follow. There comes a point when you just can't pretend it's all sunshine and rainbows. Originally I hoped to post a lovely little "here's what I wish for you this month" kind of post. However, I've been an emotional child for the last two months. Angry, throwing temper tantrums. I want to scream, "I'm done!"

But I can't.

Too much of my heart and soul is wrapped up in writing. In these silly stories I want to share. The rub is I can't even give them away for free. Not the sci-fi anyway. I've tried for two months. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Booksprout. I only gave away two copies of the newest YA space opera. Out of curiosity, I posted my romance on Booksprout as well. I didn't share what I'd done anywhere. I gave away ten copies the first day with no effort on my part.

It shouldn't frustrate me. I should be happy something is reaching its audience, but why can't I figure out how to reach the other group? It's been ten years of thinking about it. And that audience is basically me! Where would I go to find my book?

The library, because I'm cheap.

Been there, tried that. They sold my books in the "Friends of the Library Sale" for $0.50 each after I had to buy them from my publisher for $10 a piece.

I'm tired of banging my head against the wall doing this on my own. Even when I had a publisher I had to do it on my own. But I can't pay someone else to do it.

The smart side of me says write romance for a year. Publish two or three of them and get some money coming in with little to no effort. But the childish side of me wants to scream that's not fair.

The worst part is all the anger makes it impossible to write romance. Just not feeling it, you know? I've also been hiding at home because I'm not a very good friend to be around right now. I hate that. I miss my friends. (Since drafting this I'm wondering if I'm having a midlife crisis or starting menopause. Could be either or both. Heaven help my family!)

I'll get over it eventually. The good thing is despite all my frustrations, I'm still listening to my favorite podcasts and taking free webinars on how to do this marketing thing. I want to quit, but I don't know how to really give up. That means there's still hope, right?

February 6 question - Besides writing what other creative outlets do you have?

I'd like to say photography, but I only have my phone. No fancy camera. Here's some pictures I'm proud of though. I've decided I live in one of the most beautiful places on earth. It's good for my heart and soul.

Taken through a peep-hole cause I'm author creepy like that. LOL

And cooking and baking. Most recently I've been trying out all kinds of gluten-free cookie recipes since I've slowly been cutting gluten out of my diet. It's given me a lot more energy and less stomach issues, but man I miss cookies! This weekend I found the following online recipe and my family loved it. The best chewy gluten-free chocolate chip cookies from My Gluten-free Kitchen's website.

Here are some cakes I made for a party in December. The white one was a Blue Velvet cake, there's a chocolate mint, gingerbread with caramel cream cheese frosting, and a gluten-free brownie with raspberry mousse. All were delicious!

If you stuck this post out to the end, you deserve a cookie. I promise to get my act together and be more positive next month.

Do you ever get tired of trying to put on the "good face" because that's what we're supposed to do? Or simply frustrated with things not going like you want them to?


  1. Good photos and great looking cakes!
    Since science fiction is what I write, I know what you're going through. We don't write it to sell millions or get rich. We write it because we love it.

    1. Thanks Alex! Most of the time the love of the story is enough. I just need to get back to that. Funny how quickly we can lose sight of that during a release month. LOL

  2. What Alex said. I understand the mind crisis. Have you considered writing shorts and submitting to magazines? Still challenging, but might help with the lack of validation we all struggle with from time to time.

    1. I used to write shorts in the beginning of the process--years ago. I may have to revisit that. Thanks for the suggestion.

  3. I like your pictures.

    I get tired of putting on a happy face all the time. It's such a struggle to sell books and it feels like it's only getting harder and harder. Especially when you don't have lots of money to throw at it. Big hugs to you.

    1. Thanks Patricia. If only we could throw money at it. *sigh* Then again, seems like that would just be more stressful in the end because you'd want to see some kind of return. What if in the end it still wasn't worth it? Alex is right. I need to get my head back in line with my heart. *hugs right back*

  4. Charity - Near as I can tell writers are a complicated bunch. They are caught up in a creative process, needing to have their say. But why? For what reason?

    If the only authentic validation is a mainline publisher and big sales, most of us are doomed to failure. The more Insecure Writers I read the more I give thanks that once I gave up my visions of grandeur writing the story I want to tell has been enough for me.

    1. Hear, hear! Yeah, gotta get back to that mindspace myself. Usually, it's where I stay, but release day/week/month always send me in tailspins. It's still not about the money really. I just want to share the story and have conversations about it with people.
      Thanks for the reminder.

  5. Great pictures.

    Isn't the purpose of the IWSG to talk about things like this? So, perfect.

    I know I have a similar issue with selling my knitted stuff. And people on Etsy are feeling like they've reached the end of their tether, too. It's going around. I think romance is a more robust market. But that doesn't mean you can't write sff romance. Because those are popular too.

    There's a blogger who writes sci fi and has done quite well. Her posts at one point were about the things she did to get noticed. Let me see if I can find it... There might be something in her archives that is helpful.

  6. Thanks for the link Liz. I looked her up and followed. My friend Tamara is going to a writing conference in Scotland this summer and the main guy is sci-fi. She's going to take notes on how to find my audience for me. :) Tamara keeps trying to convince me I need to go, but if I spent that much money to go to Scotland I'd never sit down and write. I'd be crawling all over the countryside!

  7. Bummer, Charity. I write sci-fi romance, mysteries, and romantic suspense. None of my books are doing well. So frustrating. Interestingly, my sfr books do well on Kobo. Rather they did until recently. Like authors everywhere, I'm in a slump.Yet I keep writing. Last February, I was in a bad slump. Didn't feel like doing anything. Probably was depression or SAD because I live in the Great Lakes area. This (IWSG) is the place where we can let our anxieties and insecurities hang out. I hope it helps you and helps others to know they aren't alone. Hugs.

  8. I'm sorry, Charity. It hurts to put your heart and soul into a piece of writing and then have it rejected this way. I am glad that you're getting a response with the romance though, and I hope you can get back to writing it soon.

  9. Love your photos -- especially the ones with the mushroom stump :-) I think that can be a creative outlet on say Instagram, to get more followers and do some marketing without having to do something new -- just taking photos of things you love. Good luck!

    Ronel visiting for Feb's IWSG Day Being an Insecure Writer -- And Happy About It

  10. I like to decorate my house. Although I can't do that over and over again--too expensive! Your pictures are great, and taking them is a great creative outlet. My daughter is in to photography as a hobby.