Stepping into the forest of my mind

Stepping into the forest of my mind
Just as every journey begins with a first step, every story begins with the first word.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Insecure Writers want to know: What is one valuable lesson you've learned since you started writing?

            So many valuable lessons, so much still to learn. I think the biggest lesson I’ve learned since beginning to write is to believe in myself enough to send a story out. And if it comes back, to brush it off, and send it out again. And again, and—yes—even again.
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            Many times, writers are a fragile creature. I know I am. We try so hard to believe in ourselves, in our stories, in our writing. And in my case, I’m crushed again and again. To be able to pick yourself up and continue to believe is a power all writers have. It’s just difficult to find sometimes. 

            Where can we find this inner strength to continue calling ourselves writers, to actually be writers? Here are a few tips that help me.

            Safety in numbers. Writing groups help writers find confidence. I belong to South Jersey Writers Group, a friendly group of writers in many genres who support one another, critique one another’s work, and offer presentations about writing, publishing, social media, and other tools of the trade.

            Writers helping writers. When writers learn something new, they don’t keep it to themselves. The very nature of the writing beast is to share what they’ve learned with others in their number. I do this through South Jersey Writers Group and reading other Insecure Writers Support Group blogs and sharing information on my Adventures in Writing blog and through workshops I present.
            Here are a few excellent writers and bloggers that I have come across: Jennie Nash, Lisa CronWriters in the Storm, The Editor’s Blog. You might like to follow them as well.

            Finding a quiet space to think. We are a multi-tasking society, and writers are no different. I believe writers need a peaceful place to leave the world and all their obligations behind in order to look within and consider what’s working and what’s not in their writing in progress. Some writers attend writing conferences, which not only allow for the first two points in my post, but also some time for uninterrupted thinking and writing. I realize they are expensive and some writers don’t have the money or time to go away to write.
I find thinking time in chunks, a few hours lost among the stacks in a library—away from the five children and home obligations. But I also find quiet in a walk through the woods or around a local lake. Sometimes just a walk in my neighborhood gets me away from the computer screen and into my thoughts about story flow, pacing, and logic. Writers can’t be afraid to look within to find answers; both for their writing and in life.

If writers are lucky enough to share these three key pieces of the writerly life, then they can find the courage to let go and send their stories and essays out into the world time and again, whether through traditional publishing or self-publishing. No. It’s still not easy. But it can be done.

I wish you all a solid belief in what you are doing in your writing life. Thanks for stopping by Adventures in Writing and sharing any thoughts you might have about this or about writing. Writers sharing with other writers. It’s what the writing life’s about.

This post was written for the Insecure Writer’s SupportGroup. We post on the first Wednesday of every month.  To join us, or learn more about the group, click HERE.  

28 comments:

  1. Great insights, and ones I needed reminding about today.

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    1. Thank you so much, Karen, for your kind words. Yes, I believe all writers need to remember these few thoughts. Always a pleasure seeing you here at Adventures in Writing. Enjoy your day!

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  2. Those are key. I find practicing my guitar a good time for quiet thinking.

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    1. There are many methods for quiet thinking, Alex. I also find watching my exercising DVD a good time for working out both the body AND plot point problems for my stories. Always a pleasure seeing you here at Adventures in Writing. Thanks so much for your vote of confidence, sir.

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  3. Safety in numbers. I like that. And with the IWSG, there's a lot of safety with the numbers we have. :D

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    1. Yes, Chrys. We at IWSG are very lucky to have such wonderful writers offering help and support as we hammer away at our writing. Thanks so much for visiting Adventures in Writing and leaving a note. It is appreciated more than you realize. All best to you!

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  4. It seems the majority of people are talking about writing groups or critique partners today. Speaks volumes, eh?

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  5. Yes it does, Crystal. Thanks so much for stopping by Adventures in Writing. I truly appreciate your kind words. I hope you are feeling well. Enjoy your week.

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  6. Thank you so much, Juneta. I always appreciate your encouragement. It's always a pleasure seeing you here at Adventures in Writing. Enjoy your week!

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  7. You're the second writer who has talked about getting rejected over and over and learning to deal with it as an important lesson. It's one I agree with fully.

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  8. Hello and welcome to Adventures in Writing, Patricia. Yes, it's true. Rejection seems to be an important part of the writerly life. Oh well...

    Thanks so much for visiting Adventures in Writing and leaving a note. It's greatly appreciated.

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  9. That quiet time, I call it me-time, is so important. I find it in libraries and on walks in nature as well. Usually, I am walking dogs with my husband, but I still mange to trail off in my own thoughts. It is also the time we can talk about work and other things, so being outdoors is always valuable time. The online support groups, like IWSG are important to me, since I am never long enough in one place to become part of a writing group.

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    1. Nature asks for quiet time. It allows us to become lost in thought. And taking walks get everyone away from the distractions of home and media. They allow us to truly talk to each other and listen.

      Online support groups are treasure for writers and others seeking solace and advice. Bravo to you for becoming a part of the online community. I know I am so lucky to have found you. Thanks so much for becoming part of my online community at Adventures in Writing. It means so much to me. Enjoy your day!

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  10. Hi Victoria - it's finding one's own way ... be it quiet time to think ... so often people say a walk to clear one's head ... but I can see groups are helpful. Good luck with your writing - cheers Hilary

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    1. Thank you so much, Hilary, for your kind words. They are greatly appreciated. All the best to you, too. Thanks, again, for visiting Adventures in Writing and leaving a note.

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  11. Quiet time is so important in our lives as multi-taskers. I wish i had more down time to think. Safety in numbers, I like that and have never thought of writing like that before.

    Thank you for stopping by. :)

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  12. My pleasure, Morgan. Sometimes it seems like there is never enough quiet time in life. That's why we need to seize it where we can. Being part of a group helps writers to not feel so alone.

    Thank you so much, Morgan, for being part of my Adventures in Writing blog group. It's truly appreciated. All the best to you!

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  13. Great, great lesson/s. Believing in ourselves is so important and to do that we need support. We should never try to go it alone.

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  14. Absolutely right, Lynda. No one should go it alone in life. People need people--especially writer people. Thank you for your kind words. Always a pleasure seeing you here at Adventures in Writing.

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  15. Great points. Sometimes getting away from the computer screen helps. I definitely do that one.

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  16. Thank you, Michelle. Yes, giving your poor eyes a rest from the computer screen is very beneficial to all. ...I say as I near 4 hours at the computer screen.

    Always a pleasure seeing you here at Adventures in Writing, Michelle. Enjoy your day!

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  17. Lovely!

    I followed your blog, and I would sincerely appreciate it if you checked out my book reviews blog at https://elsbookreviews.blogspot.ca/ and possibly give it a follow as well! Excited to read more of your posts!

    - El

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    1. Hello and welcome, El, to Adventures in Writing! So wonderful that you stopped by. Yes, I'll check out your blog and follow you. So glad you are excited to read more of my posts. All best to you!

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  18. Hi Victoria! As mentioned in a chat we had on Facebook (I think), I've nominated you for the Liebster blogging award. Here are the details: https://raimeygallant.com/2017/07/12/imablogstar/ You'll have to scroll down past the bit where I accept my nominations to find your name with a brief write-up about you.

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  19. Thank you so much for the Liebster Blogging Award, Raimey. I’m honored!

    It will take me a while to fulfill the requirements of the award, however. Please be patient with me. Thank you again for this honor. It is greatly appreciated.

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  20. I use long walks, jogs, or any form of exercise to think about plot, characters, and other aspects of my work. A lot of the time, the best material comes when I'm not sitting at my desk.

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  21. Doesn't it, though! I bring a small notebook when walking or hiking, to stop and take notes. When exercising, I need to stop my DVD to write key ideas down before I forget them.

    It's always a pleasure seeing you here at Adventures in Writing, Tamara. Thanks so much for your comment. All best to you, my dear!

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