Welcome to Following the Whispers blog

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Hope you enjoy your stay. I blog here whenever I feel the need. 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. Now, my focus is sharing this journey we call life.

“Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth, and that is not speaking it.” Naomi Wolf

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

“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, May 2, 2012

Insecure Writer's Support Group - May

I am at an odd stage in my life. My so-called careers are over. I am now in my 60's and it is perfectly okay to be "retired." When my parents retired, they didn't work anymore. Not so for me. I'm still writing. However, I have made so little money writing that I don't consider it a career, so I'm actually grateful I can say I'm retired and writing is my hobby.

That said, I still get into trouble comparing myself to other more "successful" authors. I still dream of being a traditionally published author selling lots of books. And I still need to write, whether or not my words get out there for others to see. My insecurities stifle my creativity. I need to constantly remind myself not to compare myself to anyone else. And if I stop dreaming, I might as well be dead.



Cassam said...

Hi Karen,just found your blog ,so I'm going to have a coffee and a read through. Keep on dreaming, it's what keeps us going.

Mary Aalgaard, Play off the Page said...

Great post. I also wrote about comparisons. They're killers. We need to stop!

Play off the Page

L. Diane Wolfe said...

We can't compare. We have to define our own success. If just one person it moved by what we wrote, then that's what matters.

Tracy Jo said...

So true. I have to remind myself of this one too. Always remember how far you have come and what you have accomplished. I forget that I am in place I had wished to be for a long time...and when I think of your life, that is another place I want to get to...retired, my story published, enjoying my hobbies. :-) Keep on dreamin!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

So true with that last line, Karen!

Siv Maria said...

If we were not dreamers we would have no reason to call ourselves writers.Be true to your own voice, don't worry about others. It is not fair to compare.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

So don't stop dreaming, then. And the special joy is, at our age we have the freedom to to do so much more than we could decades ago. One dream not working for ya today? Try another.

cleemckenzie said...

Dreams are what count and there are so many possible ones to choose. Glad you've chosen writing and are sticking with it.

welcome to my world of poetry said...

I've done more since not working.
I have moved a few times. Got to see Daniel O Donnell who helped me when I was greiving for my hisband and mother, read self help books and got through that dark tunnel.
Been to the US on numerous times and took up writing poetry with having two books published.
Also I have taken to blogging.

MJ said...

Great post! Comparing yourself to others just gets you into trouble since all you can ever be is you!
-MJ http://creativelyspiltink.blogspot.com/

michelle said...

I'm visiting from the IWSG.
Think of it in this way, at this stage of your writing journey, you have so much more depth to offer because of more life-experiences... it puts you at an advantage of sorts...
Nice to meet you.

Jess * Jessie * Jessy said...

Hi Karen, I'm in my 60s too and I've made very little $$$ with my writing. Some time ago, I was in a bad place comparing myself to others. It was usually when I read book reviews and the trade magazines. Seemed like everybody and their kittens were selling books. Finally, I cancelled all subscriptions to those periodicals that just reviewed books, and I started writing, writing, writing. Forget what everyone else is doing and chase those dreams as hard and fast and as passionately as you can. After all, isn't it the chase that's the most fun? :)

Donna B. McNicol said...

Great post..glad to have found you through the #IWSG links. I'll be getting Medicare this year and writing is my new hobby! ;-)

Heather M. Gardner said...

You sound like you're in a great spot though, although tired. Maybe the trip coming up will give you a much needed recharge!

Enjoy some time for yourself and your hubby. Isn't that what retirement is all about?

Kela McClelland said...

Great post, especially that last line. :)

Bindhurani said...

Never stop dreaming. I consider you as a successful writer. For me, you are blessed with words.Keep the writing.

Tonja said...

I 'retired' at 40 when I had my last baby. I don't think it's an easy thing to not be productive after years of being busy and useful and paid. Don't compare yourself. You never know what someone else's life is like anyway. Just make your life the best you can for you.

Patricia Stoltey said...

I don't even try to keep up with my most successful writerly friends. They're all overachievers (and much younger). :D

Sharon Lippincott said...

How about this: have a cuppa with the character of your novel, maybe more than one of them. Discuss this concern with them and ask for their advice. Then LISTEN. Although writing is optional, it may be most powerful if you have a journal handy for recording the Q&A session.

If you try this, let us know how it goes.

Karen Walker said...

So sorry I couldn't comment on these wonderful thoughts you've left - I was off singing yesterday.
Cassam, I don't plan to stop dreaming any time soon.
Mary, yes, they are.
Diane, I have to keep reminding myself that if one person is moved, I'm successful. Thanks.
Tracy Jo, you are so on the right path.
Alex, thanks
Siv, love that "be true to your own voice." Thanks.
Susan, don't plan to stop any time soon.
Cleem, thank you for those kind words
Yvonne, your journey is inspiring.
MJ - all you can ever be is you - brilliant!!!
Michelle, hmmm, that's true, I suppose.
Jess, good for you!
Donna, what a wonderful hobby to begin in retirement. Good luck!
Heather, yes, I do think it's just exhaustion. And yes, that is what retirement is all about. But for hubby, it's vacation, he's not retired yet!
Kela, thanks so much
Bindurhani, thank you so much
Tonja, being a mom is not retired - it's the hardest work there is.
Patricia, yes, younger!!!
Sharon, so nice to see you - it's been awhile. Thanks for this. I'll see where I'm at after our vacation.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Karen .. relax into it as you are into retirement .. then probably those wonder days of publication will rock around to you ..

Keep on dreaming but acting towards that dream .. have a great time away .. and plan and dream while away .. cheers Hilary

Pk Hrezo said...

I have a hard time with this too, Karen, and remind myself the same thing.

Arlee Bird said...

Never stop dreaming!

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