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