Welcome to Following the Whispers blog

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Hope you enjoy your stay. I blog here on Monday and Tuesday. This blog was created at the time my memoir came out, in February, 2009. Its motto was: creating a life of inner peace and self-acceptance from the depths of despair.


"We are called human beings, not human doings."
Wes Nisker, Buddhist teacher

"The way to do is to be."

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs..(And) if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly."
Theodore Roosevelt

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Insecure Writer's Support Group - Post #1

I can't believe I didn't think of starting this support group, since insecurity is my middle name. My mantra, until I knew better, was "Who do I think I am to....fill in the blank - most recently it's writing and singing.
It's odd, because I'd written for 30+ years as a public relations professional, but writing personal essays and memoir is quite different from writing editorials and press releases and brochures, and feature articles.
It's, well....it's personal.

I was constantly afraid I wouldn't succeed. And I did feel like I'd failed for quite a long time when I couldn't find an agent and chose to self-publish.Now I know better. Now I know that the publishing industry is a tough one and very few make it to the top as successful, and by successful, I mean making money at, writing. If you're lucky enough to find an agent, then you have to be lucky enough for that agent to sell your manuscript to a publisher. And then you have to do the same things we all have to do, and that is market your book.

I feel more secure now. Perhaps it's an age thing. I've let go of writing as a career and whatever happens now, it's okay. I love writing. That is the pure and simple bottom line. I will probably be grabbing for my paper and pen on my deathbed, trying to jot down one last thought.

Alex, you are wonderful for all you do for the writing community. Thank you.



Siv Maria said...

Hi Karen! Thanks for sharing your insecurities. This group is wonderful and Alex as usual has created a bloghop worth hopping in.

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

I'm glad you're feeling so much more secure now with your writing and life. I love that you're working on a novel, too. :)

Karen Walker said...

Siv, yup, Alex is pretty special.
Elizabeth, it's a huge challenge, writing a novel, but just the experience of trying is worth something.

Liz Fichera said...

Keep writing, Karen! Your writing is beautiful. :)

welcome to my world of poetry said...

I guess we all have some securities with our writing, what niggles me is for the past week every morning I seem to have lost another follower but I can't figure out who they are,have I said something to upset anyone?
This seems to be a good group .
Thanks Alex for the thought.


Karen Walker said...

Yvonne that just seems to happen and there's no way to figure out why. It used to bother me terribly, worrying whether I said something to offend someone. Try not to let it bother you.

Stephen Tremp said...

I can feel your concern about not being able to succeed. But I could not go to my grave without having at least given it my best shot. That, to me, is success.

Hart Johnson said...

I think it's great you've found your comfort zone with it. I think that's super common to think 'who do I think I am?'

Doralynn Kennedy said...

Great post, Karen. And this comment really struck home. I'll probably be doing the same thing! "I will probably be grabbing for my paper and pen on my deathbed, trying to jot down one last thought." Wonderful line.

Tonja said...

I think there are easier ways to make money for sure. But doing what your passionate about is important too.

Karen Walker said...

Stephen, that's all any of us can do - give it our best shot.
Hart, glad to hear it's a common thought.
Doralynn, thank you
Tonja, I think we have find a way to do what we're passionate about - it makes life worth living.

Mason Canyon said...

Your sharing helps others to see that you can overcome and accomplish what you want. I'm glad you never gave up and I'm looking forward to hearing more about your novel.

Thoughts in Progress
Freelance Editing By Mason

M Pax said...

I hear you, Karen. I've decided to do some publishing on my own. It's become the new slush pile. We can still make money without agents. I've been watching others do it. Either way, it's all pushing a boulder uphill. We do have to remember that we love writing and this is why we do it.

Melissa Bradley said...

I love Alex for this. Thank you for sharing your insecurities for helping me to realize that I am not so alone in my misery. I'm trying to let go and not be so stressed, but it sure is hard. Thank you for your wonderful words on my blog. :)

Nicki Elson said...

Yay,yay,yay! I love to hear another writer accept that they write because they love it, not because of dollars.

Karen Walker said...

Mason, thanks, I'm so insecure about it I can't even talk about it right now.
M Pax, good luck!
Melissa, you are more than welcome
Nicki, yeah!!

Shari said...

I appreciated what you said about writing because you enjoy it. I think that's how we have to look at it. Btw, your cover is beautiful.

Arlee Bird said...

Looks like your site is clear now. This whole Google warning thing is starting to make me feel insecure.
I do agree about the age thing. I think we just learn to accept more and not worry as much about succeeding and making a huge splash. Time is too short to worry about our insecurities.

Tossing It Out

Ella said...

I think there is so much power in figuring out who we are and what we want. Thank you for sharing and it sounds like you are at a great place, now! xXx

Karen Walker said...

Shari, thank you - that is a photo taken at Lake Louise, near Banff, Canada
Lee, thanks for the warning about the warning. It's weird. I wonder if it isn't coming from Google at all, but is some sort of spam.
Ella, I'm getting there....

Christine Rains said...

Thank you for sharing. I have the same fear. Yet I'll keep writing even if no one reads my stories. You just have to keep remembering you're doing it for you. :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Doesn't matter the path you took, because you wrote an amazing book! No one can take that away from you.
And I hope this support group helps a lot of people.

Karen Walker said...

Christine, you're welcome. Yes, something we all need to remember.
Alex, I know that know, but it's taken a long time to get here. I think the support group will help a lot of people have an easier time with being a writer - just knowing others feel the same way helps a lot.

Donna said...

Thanks for sharing Karen. Just knowing I've done the best job I could with my writing keeps me sane most days :)

Shannon said...

Hi Karen,

Thanks for stopping by my blog and for sharing this wonderful story of inspiration with everyone. :)

It's nice to "meet" you!

L.G.Smith said...

Well, I read your memoir and thought it was great. Gave it a shout out on the blog the other day.

I think I've about accepted that I'll never get published, and that I can just write for me and be okay with that.

Karen Walker said...

Donna, yeah, me, too
Shannon, you're welcome
L.G. Really, how did I miss that? Thank you.

Jules said...

Insecurities are like "Dare you." It's learning that you can win a dare that is difficult.

Started your book... all I'm saying right now. :)
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Lynda R Young said...

hehe I can so relate. Writing is a joy. The rest that comes is just a lucky bonus.

Summer Ross said...

Insightful Post! I think age is a big difference in how we see things.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

You have such a great attitude. I need a little of that.

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

Karen, there is a writers support group on facebook too. :) It's called Writers support 4u.

Lynn said...

I think Nike had it right...just do it! I have to constantly remind myself not to get attached to the outcome but enjoy the journey. And you're doing just that!

Karen Walker said...

Jules, okay, now I'm nervous
Lynda, yup,that's so true
Summer, thank you, that is proving true for me
Susan, it's taken lots of work to get this attitude
Sharon, thanks for telling me
Lynn, I'm trying...

Jamie (Mithril Wisdom) said...

I agree that writing should be first and foremost for the pleasure of writing. Sure, getting published is pretty sweet, but if you make that the be all and end all of your existence you'll end up pretty broken.

Manzanita said...

Cheers to writers ..... insecure or otherwise. I know how much I enjoyed your book and I thank you for sharing your personal life with everyone.

Karen Walker said...

Jamie, yup yup yup
Manzanita, thank you thank you thank you

Liza said...

If we always pay attention to how good writing makes us feel, then publication or lack there of doesn't have to be as important. This post is a great reminder.

Michelle Gregory said...

nice to know someone who's let go of their insecurities. maybe i'll be there one day.

Caledonia Lass said...

Hehe! I'll probably have a pen and paper near my deathbed as well. I'll be telling Saint Peter, "Wait! One more thing!" as I scribble away.

Great post!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

And after reading your book, I can say you have no reason to be insecure about your writing.

Mary Aalgaard, Play off the Page said...

Karen, that is an excellent first entry. I could have started the club, too. I've used that same phrase, but we're working on it. We're embracing our art.
Write on!

Tara Tyler said...

nicely written! see, nothing to worry about!
and what about the singing? piqued my melodic curiosity =)

Suze said...

What an incredibly beautiful post, Karen. I loved every word.

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