Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Insecure Writer's Support Group: October 2014

Is it the first Wednesday of the month already?  That means it's time for the next meeting of the Insecure Writer's Support Group!  Thanks to our wonderful leader Alex J. Cavanaugh for making these monthly gatherings possible.

His co-hosts for this month are Kristin Smith, Elsie, Suzanne Furness, and Fundy Blue.

This is a special month because the IWSG website has now been in existence for one year! Woohoo!  To celebrate, the writers of IWSG are getting together to create an ebook-The IWSG Guide to Publishing and Beyond-as a resource for writers.  This is a worthy project, and I knew I wanted to contribute something.

Then my insecurities started nagging at me, hence why I'm posting so late today.  No matter what I wrote, I questioned whether I had anything worthwhile to contribute. At the end of the day, this is what I came up with.  I think I wrote this particular entry today because it's what I needed to remind myself of to get my confidence back.  I hope it works.

*     *     *

Title: You Are a Writer
Topic: Marketing
Name: L.G. Keltner

So you love writing, but you haven’t yet achieved publication.  All writers start out this way, and there are bound to be moments of serious doubt.  Lingering doubts can make it difficult to put words to paper or hold us back from sharing those words with the world. 
Here’s something important that all writers should bear in mind.  Being a writer isn’t just something you do.  It’s an identity you inhabit.  Even when you’re unpublished, or struggling with the confidence to produce good work, you can still very much be a writer.
Do you see every strange situation you encounter as a potential story?  Do you find yourself looking at people who catch your eye and wonder about the story of their life?  Do you feel like something is missing from your life if you aren’t writing?  If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then you may in fact be a writer, regardless of your publishing history.
Writers spend a lot of time learning how to market themselves and their work to the world.  Social media and blogging are excellent tools for this.  However, many people seem to forget one crucial element.  You need to market yourself as a writer . . . to yourself.
If you know you are a writer, then declare that to the world.  When you say that you’re aspiring to be a writer, you’re telling yourself that you’re not yet worthy of that distinction.  You may aspire to share your writing with the world, but the seal of approval publishing provides does not make you a writer.  You do.
In those times of uncertainty, tell yourself “I am a writer, and I can do this.”  Convince yourself, and you'll soon convince everyone else around you.

(I give permission for this to be used in the IWSG anthology)


  1. I am a writer, darn it!
    There, I said it.
    Thanks for contributing to the book.

  2. I think it's true, if you're a writer, you can't help but be a writer. You keep on writing, no matter what happens. It's in your genes and nothing will stop you.

  3. Yep, writing is in a writers blood. Great inspiration for those who doubt it. =)

  4. I might not be a professional author (and I may never be one), but I am still a writer. I might feel like the odd one out, but I am still a writer. I might not have any books planned, but I am still a writer. Good post.

  5. You've said it quite eloquently, for all of us. I am a writer, I just wish I was also a terrific marketer of my work!

  6. We're often our own biggest obstacle. I wonder why it's so hard to admit being a writer. Hmmm...

  7. What a beautiful post! And boy, oh boy is this spot in terms of what I need to hear as someone unpublished and often unsure as to whether or not I can accurately call myself a writer. Thank you, really- this was first aid for my soul!

  8. Inspiring piece! Thanks!

  9. It took me a while to declare I was a writer. I hated it when people asked what I had published and the only things I could point to were my academic publications. I'm better at declaring who I am now. :-)