Here’s to Insecurity Between Drafts


Thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh for organizing and hosting this event every month. Go to his blog to see the other participants.

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Insecure Writer's Support Group

Insecure Writers!

I’ve been away for the last two IWSG posts. Too shot down by life to consider blogging about it.

Now that I’m back, I know I have to face the monumental task of rewriting my novel– look that first draft straight in its beady eyes, stare it down, and begin.

Part of me is looking forward to it, the other is like, ‘Are you Crazy? You don’t even know where to begin!’ Which is true. I’m not sure of my story yet, I’m worried my characters aren’t real enough, that the plot is falling apart.

But I’ve been through this with short stories, so if I could get over those blues, I can try and get over this one.

How’ve all the other writers in the group been doing lately? Do you feel Insecure or Inspiring?

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58 thoughts on “Here’s to Insecurity Between Drafts

  1. Editing is a huge part of my writing experience as far as blogging goes because I use blog posts to practice writing. A desire for clarity drives me to seek more precise ways of articulating an idea or an image. Thanks for the follow! All respect for being such a commited daily writer!

  2. use the snowflake technique to expand your idea and don’t forget that no novel is right first time. Just get it all down and worry about editing it after. Editing is 90% of a successful novel

  3. This sounds super familiar! I almost gave up on my debut novel, (too many times to count) but it always nagged me to pick it back up, and by some great miracle, I manged to weld my crumbling plot together with solid ideas. No worries! You can do it! :)

  4. I always like to revisit my characters, make sure I know their back-stories, their motivations, etc. Often if you know those things, they will lead you to the best revision yet!

  5. The best pace to start when it comes to revising is with critique partners. If you use other, more experienced writers, they’ll teach you what’s right and wrong and how to make it all better. Use one at a time and as many as you can. And don’t use friends or family, except maybe as betas when you’re nearly done. Connect with all the writers online here. There are many who will help. But always know these feelings are totally normal. That insecurity never goes away completely. You just get more comfortable with it.

    I’m one of Alex’s minions foe this month’s IWSG.

  6. It can be intimidating to re-face what you know is a rough first draft. For me, it’s where the true writing work begins – the crafting, the detailing, the shaping. Keep in mind where you’re headed and fall in love with your words again :)

  7. Have you considered getting an outside perspective on your novel? Letting other people meet your characters and read your plot can help you find your feet before you start major re-writes. I got a critique done after I finished my first full draft and it was so useful. Good luck with your second draft!

  8. I’m at exactly the same stage and blogged about this the other day – ‘Beating the second draft slump”. It’s like having to turn a field into a landscaped garden!

  9. I’m currently editing but wishing I had the time to write at the same time.

    Re-read your work, you’ll feel it again. It’ll feel like an old pair of slippers once you put then on. And once started, I’m sure you will feel full of renewed enthusiasm. It’s hard making that first step again though. But you can do it.

  10. I try to overcome insecurity by moving on to the next project while still working on edits, etc. I’m the eternal optimist: “This story will be better than the last.” It helps take some of the pressure off during editing. I break it up. Monday, Tuesday, editing. The rest of the week, new project.

    If you start running in insecure circles, it’s very difficult to stop. Always move forward.

  11. Just stopping by to say thanks for the like on my blog. I think the former comments give you plenty to think about, so I’ll go a different direction – it’s great that you’re encouraging others when you’re in a tough situation yourself. For what it’s worth, writing a book is a marathon not a sprint, it’ll turn around.

  12. At the moment, I feel invigorated. I can finally say I’m a “published” author as my book released yesterday. Someone asked me if it felt a bit like having your song played on the radio for the first time, and I responded, “Yes, I guess it feels a bit like that.” But then again, I’ve never had a song on the radio, so I’m not sure. Truth? When my book finally released, it felt both exciting and a bit anti-climatic because to have a dream become real, is almost like losing the dream. That’s ok, I think I’ll just create another! Happy writing!

  13. If I were at that stage of my novel – my second one, I’d be over the moon. I’ve hashed out a plot which is a major hurdle overcome. The problems to iron out are in the detail – the if-this-happens-how-could-that kind.

  14. So many of us right here with you!!! Personally, I am feeling inspired. I just revisited an old synopsis that hadn’t been working, and I found that if I force myself to list the 5 main important events in the novel in order, I can better create a fleshed out synopsis. The same may work with editing the whole novel. Take each act of the novel, and create a brief outline of each, as you wanted it to be. That way when editing, you may be able to spot any potential flaws and fix them. Just a thought. I may try it myself!

  15. Sometimes when I’m rewriting I end up thinking that the story and characters will be bad no matter how many times I go over it. Then I find myself starting a new story, or checking Twitter and I have to force myself to keep rewriting. I think writing drafts 2-3 are the hardest part of writing a novel.

  16. When I’ve been in your position, I’ve found it helpful to answer the question: “What’s my story about?” Write a page or paragraph. Think of it as the beginning of a pitch for your book, or a back cover. Use that answer to write the second draft.

    • I couldn’t find where to reply to the article. Is this where I respond?

      The two sides of the brain sometimes fight for dominance. There’s the analytical side which picks our writing to pieces and the more creative side which just wants to flow. Most everyone has a particular time when creativity is happening. For me this was in the evening. Some of my best prose came after sunset. Insecurities? Yes, they are always lurking over the author’s shoulder, whispering their ugly negativity. Just ignore them. Better yet, tell the nag in the attic to shut up and sit down, and keep writing.

  17. I hope you mean more of “major editing” than rewriting. I lost count of how many rounds of editing I did, but was encouraged when I’d still laugh at the funny parts, and that’s on about the sixth or seventh pass.

    On the last few, it was simply style, improving flow, and while it was test of patience, it worked out well in the end. be careful – don’t be too hard on yourself.

    I haven’t started any new major writing projects since spending so much time trying to promote my debut novel. I just can’t do both, as much as many experts say you need at least three books out there.

    Haven’t said that, there is the blogging, which has been sporadic, mostly because I’m working on an entirely different and new kind of blog. That involves a different kind of review system for indie authors – finding the diamonds in the rough.

    Finally, I also found a great new sight for publishing and reading short stories. It’s called ReadWave.

    There – how’s that for lack of spam – and so much for not writing anything! :-)

    • Lawrence, I’ll check out ReadWave once I have gone through my TBR pile for the mo. All the best with your blog…it is great that you’re stepping into reviewing. Thanks for such a long comment– much appreciated :)

I love comments, and I always visit back. Blogging is all about being a part of a community, and communities are about communication! Tweet me up @damyantig !

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