Highs and Lows (IWSG May)

What are the best and worst things about writing and being a writer? What are your writer highs and lows? That’s this month’s question with the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, brought to you by blogging Ninja Captain Alex J Cavanaugh and the wonderful community of the IWSG.

Lighthouse in sepia and The Insecure Writer’s Support Group written in foreground

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.

– IWSG


I’ll start with the highs. I’ve a new story published this week!

Magazine cover of Savage Planets, April 2022, with a moon and desolate planet background and a number of names on the front of features stories, including Emma Louise Gill
Savage Planets magazine, April 2022

Times like this, when my work is out for the world to read, really make everything worth it.

I love the feeling of finishing a new piece, of polishing it to its best, then editing it again with a publisher’s feedback (there are always edits, aren’t there). But I especially love being able to hold a piece in my hand – virtually or literally.

I can’t wait to one day hold a novel in my hands, too.

Interested in reading my latest story? Check out Savage Planet’s April 2022 e-edition, also available to order as a print magazine from their website. “Clean Slate” is a science fiction tale about identity, hope, and memory. I’d love to know your thoughts if you give it a read! 🙂

Double page spread of a story, with quote on block black background on left, and three columns of text in orange on right. Image in background is of a woman with pale hair and a shining blue band around her forehead. Title is ‘Clean Slate’
Story spread, Savage Planets magazine, April 2022

I suppose I should talk about the lows, too. But I have to be honest: I’ve been feeling a lot of those recently, and they don’t feel great.

Imposter syndrome is real.

Not only that, but I put a lot of pressure on myself to achieve certain goals. And sometimes those goals are unrealistic, which I should really adjust, or they rely solely on other people’s deadlines, opinions, or limitations – which is something I have no control over.

As someone with ADHD and anxiety, among other things, not having control is huge for me.

Drawing of a human skeleton, head resting on hand, other hand on a laptop with simulation of internet open
Image by Mike Licht on Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Jokes aside, I’ve learnt over the past few years to become more resilient to rejection, to non-response-that-means-rejection, even to the interminable waiting between submission and result (on stories, mentorship applications, agent queries, and more). I’ve savoured those moments of personal feedback, celebrated all the wins and acceptances, and continued to persevere with my writing. But still, anxiety and ‘Am I Good Enough?’ gets to me.

That’s why I’ve also been continually learning.

In fact, I recently finished a course with Emma Törzs for Clarion West, on writing speculative and literary fiction. I’m studying Ursula K. Le Guin’s Steering the Craft book with an online writing group. And I’m signed up to participate in SmokeLong Quarterly’s flash fiction workshops all (Northern hemisphere) summer long. Plus, I’ve at least five pieces yet to be published… and several I’m waiting to hear back from, which means there’s plenty more to celebrate as the year goes on. (And I’ve still got the end of my trilogy to write while waiting for book one to be picked up.)

Do the highs outweigh the lows? Is the learning and the practicing and the waiting worth it?

Looking back on the past few years, and what I’ve achieved… I’d have to say, YES.

And now I have this post to remind me of that conclusion whenever I’m feeling down again. Thanks, IWSG!

So until next time… keep on keeping on, folks. But give yourself a break if you need it. Because if the highs don’t outweigh the lows, something will eventually give.

Me, I’m off to relax for the evening, with my cats and a cuppa… and the rest of my new magazine. 🙂


What are your writerly highs and lows? Want to know what others are saying? Check out the IWSG blog hop at this link.

Thanks also to these lovely co-hosts for this month: Kim Elliott, Melissa Maygrove, Chemist Ken, Lee Lowery, and Nancy Gideon.

May the Fourth be with you.

10 thoughts on “Highs and Lows (IWSG May)

  1. Hi,
    I go through stages like that too. I noticed that I am pushing myself too hard and I have to slow down and get in touch with who I am. My faith helps me to judge the situations realistically.
    I hope you enjoy your cuppa and your cats., and go easy on yourself.
    All the best.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Congratulations on the story! I know it will never take away all the doubts and how points in your writing career, but it’s something damn well worth celebrating. Congrats again!

    Liked by 1 person

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