Wednesday, October 2, 2019

IWSG: Owning "I Am a Writer"

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 writers.

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG.

One of my first posts in 2010 was about the moment I first told someone that I was a writer. I talked about how liberating, how exciting, and even freeing it was to finally say it out loud.

This weekend I attended the Storymakers and Indie Author Hub (SMIAH) Writer's Conference in Kansas City. I used to go all the time but missed out on the last few years. Although I went to teach two classes, I believe Heavenly Father gave me that opportunity to be reminded of how I felt back in 2010. Being with other writers and published authors is the best way to get over our insecurities. Suddenly, I wasn't the only person with voices in their head. Or the only one struggling to keep writing when everything around me tries to keep me from doing just that.

Traci Hunter Abramson was the keynote speaker. A little secret, she stood up and gave her speech barefoot. I loved her before that, but she is definitely a woman after my own heart. Forget burning bras, I say burn the shoes!

Okay, sorry I got a little sidetracked. I jotted down a few notes. It wasn't anything I didn't know or even blogged about myself, but I needed the reminder that day and she was there to do it. Here they are, no explanation. Read them and let them touch your heart where and how you need it today.

  • Own these four words: I am a writer.
  • When did you first decide this?
  • Your journey takes off when you have a purpose other than the original dream of—I'm going to be a writer. (wanting to add something of value to the world)
  • Best quote ever! “We may kill people for a living. But we're nice.”
  • Why do we write? Because we have to. Enough said.
  • To gain our full potential, we need to: find our identity, our confidence, our voice.
  • Fight the guilt when it comes to “how many other things could I be doing if I wasn't writing?” Give ourselves the gift of time to write (also part of balance)
  • Prioritize: seek the balance. Determine what sacrifices you are willing to make. Treat writing like a real job.
  • Our lives aren't traditional. Everyone thinks they can write a book if they only had the time. There will never be time. You have to make the time.
  • Don't compare ourselves to others. Where we are on the road/path is different.
  • Be a light, change a life.
And finally, here are the words from 2010. It's time I owned them once more. Even better, it's time I owned the phrase, "I am an author." My 10th story will be published on October 16th. I'm doing what I set out to do despite the challenges. Take that insecurity!
Originally posted Jan 2, 2010"You're a writer?"
"Yes." I spoke softly and then paused. A new feeling welled up inside and I wanted to hear it again, so I spoke a little louder. "Yes, I am."
After a small chuckle, he asked, "Did that feel good?"
"Yes it did. I've always answered that question by saying 'no, but I want to be'. I think this is the first time I've ever answered yes."
"Then you better say it again."
"I am a writer!" Spoken loud enough for the rest of our group to hear me and turn to stare.
It felt how I imagined the barbaric yawp from Dead Poets Society must have felt. Such a simple declaration once more made me feel like crying for joy. In the writing world I am a nobody, unknown, but inside my heart I finally feel like a writer. If I'm never picked up by an agent or publisher, I'm still proud of what I've accomplished. I still have a long way to go in this process (all the hard part actually), but I've learned that getting published is not what makes you a writer.
A writer is someone who writes to stay sane. They have a desire to share the visions, emotions, knowledge, whatever is floating around in their head by writing it down with pen and ink or keyboard. In order to quiet the voices in their head, they must put the characters on the page and give them room to grow. When they're happy, shocked, angry or sad, they write to help themselves come to new understandings about those emotions and what they mean on our journey through life. Writers enjoy the way words flow and conjure images. When they see the shadows of the clouds drifting over the mountains as they drive down the highway they want to write about it--so they do. When they see anything beautiful, they pick up a pen and jot a few lines. They carry notebooks with them everywhere they go. A writer is all these things and much much more...and I have finally become a writer.
Insecurity Challenge:
Tell someone who doesn't know that YOU are a writer. Smile and be proud of the gift of imagination and the desire to share. Embrace your imperfections but celebrate your successes too.

Teacher's Crush is available for pre-order at a discount price of $1.99 until release day--October 16th.
Jennifer Carlson returns to Eureka Springs in spite of her promise to never move back. Newly graduated from college, her only goal is to help her dad and get out of town. However, the good-looking biker has her second guessing what she really wants.

High school principal, Robert Allen has never been so conflicted. He was attracted to Jen before she walked into his office for an interview. Her sass, attitude, and the pain she tries to hide behind those big blue eyes make her unforgettable.

Jen needs a job, but she also longs for someone to see the real her and want her anyway. Rob might be that guy if he can convince her she doesn't have to run away from her future.

Anyone who pre-orders and emails me a screenshot will be entered to win a free audiobook of one of the first two books in this series. These are stand-alone but have crossover characters.