Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Insecure Writer's Support Group

Also known as IWSG, brought to you by Alex J. Cavanaugh. Once a month, writers post their insecurities or advice and on this blog, there is no limit of both of those! Here are three authors from this group offering up some of their own experience:

Joseph DeRepentigny ~ "The biggest problem facing writers is rejection. Some people write hundreds of stories or novels and send out nothing. Then they dream of making it big like Rowling or Hemingway. The reason they give for not submitting are varied but it all boils down to a fear of the word “No.” I had it.

Then one day I said to myself, that no wasn't a bad word. Therefore, I set myself a goal, of twenty submissions in a month. I bought a copy of the Writers Market, picked one hundred magazines, and sent two submissions a day to sci-fi magazines. I did the next twenty the next month and so on. 

Within six months, I had over 90 rejection form letters or e-mails. However, I had ten notes on what I was doing wrong. Therefore, I fixed the story, resubmitted, and by the end of the year, I published my first four stories. The next year I did 10 and so on. Now I know what a publisher is looking for and if I can, I fill their needs. I still get no’s and form letters but they are the exception."


Stephen Wayne ~ As a writer, I've been asked more than I’d like to admit as to just how long I’ll be keeping up with my current hobby. They ask in mistaking art for some sort of cry for help, though I assure everyone that I keep the paper cutting of my wrists to a minimum.
Being a writer has little to do with everybody else and I've tried telling myself that with a straight face. Writing is a lonely task. It requires every inch of your being to produce a good story and you can’t lie to the keyboard, or else your story will tell on you. I like to think of the keyboard as an Ouija board through which I correspond with my subconscious. Literature takes on a life of its own and writing it can be likened to speaking to your reflection in the mirror and it telling you the cruelest truths in reply.
Every writer will tell you that you can’t exist in the business without thick skin and any decent writer has built a solid layer off of their own self loathing developed during the editing process. (No worries, you typically make up with yourself afterwards.)
The necessity for thickened skin is simple: people will hate you. People will read you, meet the real you and hate you. There’s no avoiding the scars they leave behind and the wise among us have learned to cherish their scars.
My greatest insecurity is that my readers will feel nothing at all.


Hydra Morningstar ~ A lot of writers feel uncomfortable writing bios, but most editors and publishers request them and won't write them for you. This means you're going to HAVE create a bio eventually, and probably rewrite and refine it as years past.

Here are a few good
 rules of thumb when writing bios are:

1. Avoid comparing yourself to other authors. This can often come off as pretentious, but more so than this readers and editors can be brutal, even without cause. Why set yourself up for that kind of judgement?...oh, this guy thinks he writes in the same style as H.P. Lovecraft? Well, we'll just see about that, won't we?

2. Share two or three publications you've been in, but don't list all your writing credits, even if they all fit into the word count. Pick the two or three credits you are most proud of or which are the most recent.

3. Share some personal details about yourself, but not too personal. Where you're from, how many kids you have, a hobby or interest you have outside of writing; these are all examples of good things to share. The list of antipsychotics your doctor has you on, the name of the girl you lost your virginity to, how you wet the bed until you were sixteen; these are all examples of things better kept to yourself.

4. Include a link to your personal website, blog, or email, but don't load your bio down with a link to every social networking site you belong to on the web.

5. ALWAYS write your bio in third person.

Hope that helps anyone out there that doesn't know where to start with their bio.


  1. Wow, three insecurities in one post! There's safety in numbers. Glad you were able to share.

    Welcome to the ISWG!

  2. Interesting post.
    Welcome to the club. :)

  3. Hi, I'm IWSG #192. Pleased to meet you. Thanks for the bio list. Excellent points to remember.

  4. All writers share the same fears, phobias, and insecurities. They're universal!

  5. Thank you for quoting these interesting and inspiring stores - welcome to IWSG!

  6. Thanks for the warm welcome everyone! And yes, there is always safety in numbers. Which is why this group was formed to begin with. ;)
    I'm Mel Chesley and I also blog over on AKA Writings Musings and Other Such Nonsense.
    Thrilled to have new followers!

  7. Welcome to IWSG everyone! There are more than one here...right?

  8. A warm welcome to IWSG on behalf of Alex. You will find that we all have similar fears and insecurities. It is hard to put your written word out to the world for all to see, it takes guts! As you can see by the words of the three authors above!


  9. Hello all,

    My name is Stephen Wayne and I'm a neurotic mess... er, a super geek... shoot! I mean a writer.

    It's a pleasure to be able to tell you a little bit about myself here above. Though all from different walks of life, perhaps we can all relate in our love affair/hatred for the blinking cursor.


  10. Thankfully, my utter lack of charisma and skill with the ladies has firmly readied me for constant and brutal rejection by publishers and agents.

  11. Thanks for all the words of wisdom. I'm a new follower from IWSG, and I know from experience how hard rejections are to deal with. They knock you down, but you gotta get back up. :-)

  12. I identify with Stephen - readers feeling nothing is a scary thought.

  13. Wow, thanks for the amazing comments everyone and so very nice to 'meet' you all as well!

  14. Lots of interesting perspectives here! It's great to meet all of you from the IWSG! Julie

  15. 3 interesting posts- loved all 3 perspectives and advice. Thanks for sharing these!