Insecure Writer’s Support Group: The Real Struggle

Insecure Writer's Support GroupToday is June’s instalment of Insecure Writer’s Support Group, which sees hundreds of writers and bloggers worldwide post about their insecurities, support others with theirs, and offer up advice for overcoming them. If you want to visit the other IWSG member blogs, or sign up yourself, you can do so here.

All writers have a certain part of the book-writing/publishing business that they really struggle with (or, more likely, several parts, but we all have our absolute nemesis). Mine is blurb writing. Even more so than titles.

My biggest problem with it is that, for some reason, when I sit down to write one, every cliché my brain knows spews itself onto the paper. I just can’t help it!

I’m learning, I think I’m getting better, but no part of my book suffers more revisions than the poor blurb.

I’m working on one now. Wish me luck! What’s your writing nemesis?

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Insecure Writer’s Support Group: Changing My Spots

Insecure Writer's Support GroupToday is May’s instalment of Insecure Writer’s Support Group, which sees hundreds of writers and bloggers worldwide post about their insecurities, support others with theirs, and offer up advice for overcoming them. If you want to visit the other IWSG member blogs, or sign up yourself, you can do so here.

There are those who say people don’t change, that old habits die hard, that leopards…well, you get the picture. But that doesn’t have to be the case.

I’m sure, as writers, we all know that there’s always something new to learn, or a new viewpoint to consider, that we don’t, never have, and will never know it all. It’s important to be open to change, otherwise we simply keep making the same mistakes over and over. I’m sure we’ve all got the unfinished manuscripts to prove it.

I used to insist that I was a discovery writer, that plotting simply did not work for me. And, you know what? It was true. Plotting didn’t work. But it wasn’t because the concept of it was wrong, just that my method was.

It’s taken a long time, and a lot of unfinished stories (and, actually, a lot of soul-searching too) to discover how I plot, and what systems and strategies are right for me. But that’s what it’s all about, right? Trial and error.

So this is me now, elbow deep in plotting. Lots of pens, lots of index cards, lots of colour. And, not only is it working for me, but I’m loving it too. I’m a convert!

Plotting

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Insecure Writer’s Support Group: Raising the (Nearly) Dead

Insecure Writer's Support GroupToday is March’s instalment of Insecure Writer’s Support Group, which sees hundreds of writers and bloggers worldwide post about their insecurities, support others with theirs, and offer up advice for overcoming them. If you want to visit the other IWSG member blogs, or sign up yourself, you can do so here.

I completely forgot about posting in February as I was absolutely swamped with writing, editing, and publishing, so I have a good excuse!

This month we’re being asked Have you ever pulled out a really old story and reworked it? Did it work out?

As it happens, my very first release as an indie author was exactly that.

Cutting the BloodlineCutting the Bloodline started life as a stage play way back in 2010, and was stashed in a draw for years before I reworked it and released it as a novella five years later.

I knew the story wasn’t entirely dead; the characters and the idea kept bugging me, kept whispering in my ear, and kept pushing me to release the story. How could I say no?

So Cutting the Bloodline became my debut release. It was the book that taught me how to format an ebook, how to use KDP, how to market a book, how to handle a book launch, pretty much everything about the indie publishing world. Of course, I’ve learnt so much more since, and there’s always new things to learn, but this book will always be special because it was my first. The characters too, of course, and I couldn’t say for definite that I’m finished with them either.

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Insecure Writer’s Support Group: I am Not a Serious Writer

Insecure Writer's Support GroupToday is 2017’s first instalment of Insecure Writer’s Support Group, which sees hundreds of writers and bloggers worldwide post about their insecurities, support others with theirs, and offer up advice for overcoming them. If you want to visit the other IWSG member blogs, or sign up yourself, you can do so here.

For this month’s post, IWSG members are talking about the writing advice they wish they’d never heard. There’s so much advice out there about how to write, what to write, where to write, when to write, even what to wear, eat, or listen to while you write. It’s confusing, to say the least.

There is good advice. There is bad advice. And then there is good advice that’s not necessarily good for you. It can be hard to tell the difference, and the only way to do so is by experience.

I’ve always been an advocate of trying something once, but, in the early days, as a new writer, I took the advice of experienced writers as gospel. Worse still, advice from writers I admired became my mantra.

It was such a piece of advice that I wish I’d never heard. It stated that anyone who didn’t write every single day, writing in hours similar to 9-5, treating it like a day job, would never, ever be a serious writer. I fretted for several years over this advice, berating myself for not committing regular and laborious hours to my craft.

I can laugh at such naivety now, but, much like maturing into adulthood, it took me years to realise the most important thing. Everyone works differently. It doesn’t matter if I skip a day or two, or a week, or a month. It doesn’t matter if I write during the day, or at night, or in the short snippets of peace and quiet my young children allow me. It doesn’t matter if I write while hanging upside down from a trapeze. It doesn’t matter, because everyone has to find their own way.

There is good advice. There is bad advice. And then there is good advice that’s not necessarily good for you. Find your own path, and don’t feel guilty because your methods are different to someone else’s. Don’t try to fit in their shoes. Do what works for you.

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Insecure Writer’s Support Group: The Road is Long

Insecure Writer's Support GroupToday is December’s instalment of Insecure Writer’s Support Group, which sees hundreds of writers and bloggers worldwide post about their insecurities, support others with theirs, and offer up advice for overcoming them. If you want to visit the other IWSG member blogs, or sign up yourself, you can do so here.

In the last IWSG post of the year (can you believe it?!), we’re looking at our long term plans, which is a subject that fits nicely into what I’ve been thinking about recently.

Very soon I’ll be releasing the third book in my ongoing Paper Duchess series, The Visionary. But my brain is already thinking about new, unrelated stories, other characters, unexplored worlds. It’s not that I’ve grown bored of The Paper Duchess characters, far from it. It’s just that I need a little variety.

But I do worry about losing steam with this. I’ve always been a giver-uper; the huge number of my unfinished novels are testament to that. And that predisposition to abandoning things is something I’ve been working hard to change about myself. It’s a flaw I’d like to leave behind, and I’m making impressive progress with it.

Though I think there’ll always be that nagging voice telling me to give up now because I’ll never see it through. While I may never silence it, I’m learning to ignore it.

So what are your top tips for writing a series, or what do you wish you’d known before you started?

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Insecure Writer’s Support Group: Marketing Books on Instagram

Insecure Writer's Support GroupToday is November’s instalment of Insecure Writer’s Support Group, which sees hundreds of writers and bloggers worldwide post about their insecurities, support others with theirs, and offer up advice for overcoming them. If you want to visit the other IWSG member blogs, or sign up yourself, you can do so here.

I’ve always avoided sites such as Instagram and Pinterest for book marketing. After all, those sites are all about pictures, and my books are all about words.

When I was a teenager, the only things I knew about the celebrities I liked was the answers to interviews in magazines. I couldn’t ask questions of my own, and the information was constrained by the limited imagination of teen journalism. Social media has changed all that. These days, we have an access, an insight we couldn’t have dreamed about before the Internet.

I’m still dubious as to how much potential readers actually care about my life, but since my 10 year old niece inspired me to reincarnate my abandoned Instagram account, I’ve got quite hooked, and had some good engagement too.

So what does a person who is all words post on a site which is all pictures? Of course, a lot will depend on your target audience.

Amongst the general pictures of my life (my work station, my children, places I go, and, yes, cats and food too. It’s just not Instagram without cats and food), I’ve been posting the usual book advertisements:

Because when there's preschoolers around none of the usual advice applies

But following some really good book blogs has inspired me to get a bit more creative, so I’ll be posting more images like this:

The Paper Duchess in autumn

I may be selling words, but people buy pictures.

If you’re interested in following me on Instagram, you can find me here. Do you use Instagram? What do you post? Include your Instagram username in your comment so we can find each other and share ideas.

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