Wednesday, November 6, 2013

My First IWSG Post -- Sorry If It's Not Good Enough

IWSG Badge 

I've been blogging for a while. In my blogging life, there have been many fits and starts, stops and gaps, endings and beginnings, and even a reboot of my whole dang blog.  So I've been around the blogosphere long enough to have seen many, many Insecure Writer's Support Group (IWSG) posts. On the first Wednesday of every month, hundreds of writing blogs bloom with the above badge as writers post about their insecurities, commune with other IWSG bloggers, share commiseration and support, and generally saturate the writing corners of cyberspace with a mix of artistic angst and altruistic allegiance.

The brainchild of blogging phenomenon Alex J. Cavanaugh -- talented writer of the excellent "Cassa" series of science-fiction novels (CassaFire, CassaStar, and CassaStorm); ninja captain to an ever-growing band of blogging brethren; omnipresent commenter on an endless sea of blogs; and all-around great guy -- IWSG has evolved from a small support group of a select few writers to a blogroll of 350 members.  It has even outgrown Alex's blog and now has its own web site.

I've always admired the thought behind the IWSG and greatly respect Alex for starting it. Over the time I've been blogging, I've grown to really appreciate it, and like reading the many monthly posts. I think it is wonderful to learn that writers everywhere share the same basic fears and insecurities; to know that many have actually overcome those fears to achieve success; and to see the kindness and support they share with the new wanna-be's who are dipping their first toes into the turbulent waters of writing. 

But I've never taken part.

Until now.

I'm not sure why it's taken me so long. Maybe it's because I wanted to avoid the pressure of HAVING to blog a certain thing at a certain time.  Maye it's my general distaste for me-too-ism -- I usually try to avoid the herd, and I certainly never want to be one of the last ones signing up for the next-big-thing.

Well, maybe...

But it could also be that perhaps I've thought that I might not have much to say compared to all the great IWSG posts I've read over the many months of its existence. Or that I could never say it as well as so many others already have.  Or that no-one would even be interested in whatever inadequate, fumbling thoughts I might try to post on my small, unheralded backwater of the blogosphere.

Uhhh... Wait a minute...

Has the dreaded "it's not good enough!" monster made me too insecure to even sign up for the insecure writers support group!?!?

Oh, the irony!

Well, no more.  

When it comes to my writing -- or any creative thing I try to make -- I may never be able to completely eliminate that nagging inner voice of self-doubt, that annoying tummy-flutter of insecurity, that heart-stopping vision of being either ignored or berated as being not-good-enough!!!  

But I can damn well not let it stop me from writing and creating anyway. 

And I can absolutely not let it stop me from letting me from taking part in a support group meant to combat it, fer cryin' out loud.

So here I am.  Joining the IWSG, adding my voice to the community of writerly support, and making my own very first IWSG post.

...sorry if it's not good enough.


  1. I loved this post! You are no longer too insecure to take part in the Insecure Writer's Support Group. Welcome!

  2. It's definitely good enough, and you fit right in. I was nervous when I started, too. I felt like I was going to be judged by the IWSG police and thrown out for not writing anything deep or original enough. Yet, here I am, a year later, never having posted anything that could remotely pass for deep or original -- and the IWSG police still haven't found me or kicked me out of the group yet. Suckerz! :-)

  3. chris...i am so glad i found you! you were such a sweet person during Write Club 2013 and i wanted to say thank you for being so thorough with all your comments.
    IWSG, if you ever read any of my past IWSG post were surprisingly not all that insecure because sometime i, like you think, did not have a big pressing subject. so instead i'd do something a little wacky--dare i say? regardless, WELCOME!!!

  4. Chris -- Your hysterical title says it all. Love it.
    I don't think I'll ever get over the feeling of "it might not be good enough" no matter how many books I write or publish. Even when signing a book to a buyer, I worry, "Gosh I hope they like it ..."

  5. Great to have you here! I finally just joined up as well. I know that inner voice of self-doubt well, but I'm getting better at ignoring it.

    Definitely good enough ;-)

  6. @L.G.: Thanks -- Glad to be aboard!

    @Lexa: LOL -- that's too funny! And I absolutely understand. I hope Alex and his IWSG minions will overlook my not-good-enoughness and let me stay. :)

    @Tammy: I'm glad you found me, too! And thank you for the kind words about WRiTE Club. It's something I've liked since DL started it -- Don was one of the first writers I connected with online, back before either of us had a blog and I've always wanted to support him. I also thought WRiTE club was a great idea. Thanks for the welcome!

    @Dianne: Thank you! Yeah -- I do understand. It's kind of universal. Most writes are their own worse critics, and I think that's true for almost all artists. Well, unless they're just egocentric sociopathic jerks, lol.

    @Simon: Hi! And thanks!

  7. "Insecure writer" is like saying "spotted cheetah." I think perpetual insecurity is the writer's lot, especially if we write fiction. I mean, seriously ... we're not only making stuff up, but we're putting it out for other people to read, and that is risky behavior. I have yet to meet a "secure" writer. And egocentric, sociopathic jerks who fancy themselves writers seem to go mostly for the genre known as "manifesto" and I don't think I've actually met one.

    So glad you're keeping on keeping on, Chris! Great post.

  8. This post is more than good enough and it's good to have you on board.
    You got this, Chris. (:

  9. Oh yes, that is a delicious irony! 'Grats on overcoming that insecurity and hopping on board. I've seen the insightful things you have to say over at WRiTE Club, so you are a most excellent addition to this group. Welcome aboard. :)

  10. I think it was good enough. I imagine there are many others who've never participated for the same reason. Maybe your post will prod them to finally join the group.

  11. Yer all kinds of awesome, Fries. I really enjoy reading your stuff. In fact, as soon as I saw your title, I thought, 'that is so Chris' and smiled.

  12. Oh the irony!
    But you have joined now and proved you are just as insecure as the rest of us. Wait, that came out wrong. You are just as awesome a writer as the rest of us!
    And every writer should read this post.
    And thanks for the kind words, Chris. Here and on my blog.

  13. @R.T.: Thanks! And you're right. Insecurity is part and parcel of the artistic spirit, I think. the secret is having the gumption to go writing regardless. What's the worse that could happen? Nobody reads your writing. Exactly the same thing that happens if you let your insecurities overcome you and prevent you from writing. But enough of that -- I've got a manifesto to finish! I'm up to chapter 684:: All the Things that are Wrong On the Internet." It's a long chapter...

    @Elise: Thank you very much, and it's good to be on board. :)

    @Nicki: Thank you! And you're very kind about my WRiTE Club comments -- I hope DL does come back for a WRiTE CLub 2014, but I fully support him regardless, and really wish him well in his non-blogging focus on writing!

    @L. Diane: Thanks, and that would be great -- If I can overcome my insecurities, anyone can! ;^)

    @Suze: You are too kind, and I really appreciate your support. I get the "that is so Chris" a lot, but it's usually accompanied by a groan and a rolling of the eyes...

    @Alex: Yes I have finally joined. I am indeed as insecure as the rest of the IWSG-ers! And you're more than welcome about the kind words, but I jest calls 'em as I sees 'em. :)

  14. Welcome to IWSG! The great thing is no matter what you have to say, it's good enough. We're here to support each other, not tear one another down.

  15. Welcome to the group! Hey, if it's about writing, no holds barred!

  16. Aloha and welcome home, Chris :)

    OK, so that's a bit melodramatic, but it's always nice when I read someone's first IWG post, because it reminds me *why* we're supposed to post for IWSG in the first place :)

    See you next month (but sooner, hopefully!!!)

  17. This whole post made me smile from the title on. :) I think we unpublished writers have this feeling that we own the feeling of insecurity, but I'm sure published writers think they have it that much harder!

  18. Not good enough to be in an insecure writer's group... bwhahahaha. I think you've captured the spirit of the thing. Congrats on your first post!!!!

  19. @Isis: Thanks! And that's the whole reason I signed up. :)

    @M. J.: Thank you!

    @Mark: Aloha, and thanks -- it's good to be home. :)

    @Faith: Thanks -- I like it when I can elicit a smile. And I'm sure that nsecurity knows no boundaries.

    @Robin: Thank you! And a belly-laugh is exactly what I was going for. ;)

  20. I'm sorry, Chris. But this just isn't good enough.
    I kid.
    Welcome to IWSG Land.
    I think insecurity and self-doubt are healthy for a creative mind. Otherwise, what motivation is there to do better?

  21. @David: LOL. And thanks for the welcome. And very interesting point -- you might be right!

  22. Geez, you got me with the title, but did you let up? Noooo, you had to keep at it. Terrific post, Chris. Judging from your creative work that I've already read and heard, you don't have anything to be insecure about. But alas, 'tis in the nature of the beast, dammit. (Why couldn't creative types be cursed with something ELSE... like an inability to get fat...?)

    Great job!

  23. How can an insecurity not be good enough, especially an insecurity about whether you're insecure enough. :) I enjoy this support and encouragement so many of us take part in every month. It's a staff meeting or something, only way better.

  24. @Susan: Awww, you're too kind. Thanks! I really appreciate your very kind thoughts, Susan!

    @M: Well, my insecurity about not being good enough isn't good enough to be a real insecurity, so naturally I worry that I'm not good enough in my insecurity, and it leads to an overall insecurity about being good enough. Does that make sense? If not, then I'm sorry that my explanation wasn't good enough...

    And thanks for the welcome to the IWSG!

  25. This is exactly why I've never joined! Ha ha ha ha! You nailed it. Someday, maybe, I'll be able to handle it... Glad it's helping you.

  26. HI Joanne! I missed your comment the other day. Thank you for it. Sorry that my response was so slow. And probably not good enough, either... Dang it!


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