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, October 3, 2012

Insecure Writers Support Group - October

It's that time of month again. No, not that time of month. Gosh, haven't had that for years now.
No, it's the monthly Insecure Writers Support Group time of the month, hosted by the intrepid Ninja Captain Alex: http://alexjcavanaugh.blogspot.com. It's where we get to write about our insecurities and hopefully share our experiences in handling said insecurities.

I was an insecure person to begin with. I basically had no sense of self until I began my spiritual journey at 28 years old (35 years ago, yikes). My sense of self has grown steadily since then and now it's pretty healthy, I'd say. Except for two areas, and they happen to be two of the most important areas of my life - singing and writing.

Since this is the writers support group, I'll focus on that. I am pretty secure in my nonfiction writing. But now, at 63, I am working on my first ever fiction piece and my insecurities are running rampant. The same old voice that used to visit me while writing my memoir, the one that says, "who do you think you are?" is back. So is one that says, you can't write metaphors. You don't do descriptions well. No one will ever want to read this. Yada yada yada.

Bottom line. This story came to me in a magical way while visiting magical places in Ireland and Scotland. This story won't go away, even if I leave it for long periods of time. I know I am meant to complete this book, even if it never sees the light of day after that.

So, insecurities be damned, I say.

What do you say?


Liza said...

I say keep going! I never thought I could write fiction. Then one day a blogger included a writing prompt, and I wrote a brief scene. Then there was a writing contest, and I wrote a flash fiction piece. Then I started followed a blog that included a weekly writing prompt and I wrote a few more. A year later, I'd written a novel...albeit a bad one that sits in a drawer. I've just finished my eight revision of my second novel...better than the first, but we will see.

You know from your non-fiction I am sure, if you have a story to tell, you'll never be happy unless you tell it. Good luck!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Go for it! If it's pulling at you that hard, you will finish, you will revise, and it will be good. Believe in that magic you felt.

Tonja said...

I agree, just do it, especially if you have a great idea.

L.G.Smith said...

Just keep writing, just keep writing. Feeling like you have to get it out will carry you over the finish line.

Karen Walker said...

Liza, love your story. Thanks for sharing.
Alex, I do.
Tonja, don't know if it's a great idea, but it's my idea and I'm doing it.
L.G. I no longer doubt I will finish it.

Tamara said...

Good for you! You've already done this once--you can do it again. I mean, I know it's a different sort of story, but it takes guts and commitment to write ANY book--and, since you've written one, you obviously already have those things!!

I know SO many people who claim they want to write/are going to write when they have more time, get older, watch less TV, don't go out on the weekends etc...etc...Most people will never do what we've done. If you've started the book, you know in your heart you can finish it!

Just keep writing and don't look back! I wish you the best of luck. I'm a new follower btw. :)

Arlee Bird said...

I think you'll fine. I think that some insecurities are a healthy way to keep our egos in check. I've always heard that if a performer doesn't feel a little bit of stage fright before going out before an audience there's a problem. I think that insecurity drives us to do better and to learn from mistakes. I believe you've learned that.

Tossing It Out

David P. King said...

I appreciate your following and support today, Karen. Thank you.

Insecurities be damned. Exactly! When stories come to you in a magical way, those are the best kind. I have no doubt you'll complete a story for the ages. :)

sydneyaaliyah said...

I say insecurities be damned as well. Just do it. You've got nothing to loose and everything to gain. If the story won't leave you alone, it is the best indication that it should be written. Good luck.

Donna Shields said...

I agree. If the story won't go away, you gotta write it!

LD Masterson said...

Think of it like labor. Keep pushing on that story and eventually it's gonna come out.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

You can finish it Karen. I have faith in you.

Lanthie Ransom said...

Appreciate the comment you left on my blog. Hope you get your book finished as I am dying to read it.

Karen Walker said...

Tamara, welcome, hi, and thanks for these thoughtful comments.
Lee, I think you're right about insecurities driving us to do better. I know they do for me.
David, I don't know about "for the ages" but I'll definitely complete it!
Sydney, thanks for the support
Donna, yup, gotta do what I gotta do
LD, oy, labor, that wasn't fun either!
Diane, I know it too -thank you
Lanthie, you are welcome - and thanks for the vote of confidence

Heather Murphy said...

Hi Karen. Thanks for stopping by and following me today. It sounds like you were absolutely meant to write your book and I think the more uncomfortable it is to write, the better it will be to read. Go for it!

Heather Gardner said...

Funny...you don't sound insecure!

Write it! We will read it!

Barbara Watson said...

I love that you're trying something new! That's courageous. It's so easy to sit where we're comfortable.

Susan Roebuck said...

Whoever said being a writer was easy was so so wrong. It's a struggle that you have to keep fighting to win. But you will win it, I know you will. And just think how happy you'll feel when you do!


Go for it Karen......you may surprise yourself. Good luck.


Chemist Ken said...

As long as you have a story to tell, go for it! You may learn a few new rules about writing fiction along the way, but there's nothing wrong with that. I had zero experience with writing before I started.

Ireland and Scotland, eh? Sounds awesome. I love those places.

Mary Aalgaard said...

Good for you in telling those voices off. Don't listen. Or, write anyway. I usually tell myself, just write it, you can edit later if you need to. Most of the time it is the feeling of taking a big risk, then feeling that rush of courage.

Donna B. McNicol said...

We are SO in the same place. After years of technical and non-fiction writing, I'm now taking a stab at fiction.

My flash fiction has gotten good reviews with one piece included in a print anthology and another chosen for NFFD 24 hour feed.

But with my novel, I worry a lot more about how good it will turn out, will everyone hate it, will anyone like it...all those insecurities.

Oh, and I just turned 65...[giggle]. We need to keep chatting off-line.

~Jennifer~ said...

I have the voice in my head, too, taunting me to stop, telling me no one will ever be interested in what I write. I stop and start so many times it's making my head spin!

Just keep going full steam ahead. The quote here on your blog about how we compare our behind-the-scenes to someone else's highlight reel is perfect and oh so true. It's what is creating that negative voice we hear, and we can remind ourselves of this when the nagging voice comes calling. Keep going--you're going to make it!

Patricia Stoltey said...

If the story demands to be told or characters insist on being heard, who are we to argue? I'll keep writing as long as I have ideas, and I hope you do the same. We might just produce something amazing along the way. :D

Jack said...

If a story won't go I believe that means it HAS to be written down. Only you can tell the story in the way it needs to be told, and insecurities are rubbish for wishing you to think otherwise.

I do understand though. I get that way as well. Sometimes it makes one want to give up, but something keeps pushing us forward.

I hope the insecurities silence.