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, August 7, 2013

Insecure Writer's Support Group - August

I am honored that our fearless Ninja Captain Alex www.alexjcavanaugh.blogspot.com invited me to co-host this month's IWSG because I so love the idea behind it. Thank you, Alex.

 The whole notion of support groups is that so we don't feel alone with our negative feelings. That we know someone else out there either feels the same way, or has felt that way at one time or another. That we are not flawed because we doubt ourselves sometimes. I think most writers, or any artist for that matter, is somewhat insecure. There's nothing wrong with insecurity, unless we let it stop us from doing whatever it is we are passionate about doing.

I was riddled with self-doubt starting as a very small child. I won't go into the reasons (you can read my memoir if you really want to know, LOL). And I've spent most of my adult life learning to overcome those feelings and feel good about who I am and what I do.

Right now I'm struggling with revisions on a first draft of a first novel. My insecurity mostly comes from worrying about whether I will have what it takes to get this book published and market it so that it can be as successful as it can be at 65 (which is what I'll be when I'm done). My energy is so different now than when I was younger. I don't have that drive. I don't have the stamina.

However, what I do have is an innate belief that things happen the way they are supposed to. That this voice that came to me in Ireland/Scotland, asking me to tell it's story came to me for a reason. That this book was meant to be written. By me. And that whatever and however I am able to bring it forth will be okay. As Nike says, I just have to do it.

How about you?


Suzanne Furness said...

That's the spirit, believe in yourself and your own ability. Go for it!

Thanks for co-hosting this month :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Really appreciate you co-hosting today!!
Timing is everything. You're writing that book now because it's the right time. And you will be able to do what it takes for the success of that book.

Susan Roebuck said...

oh yes, Karen, you know you have it inside you - it's what's right for you. I think all authors are insecure but we all must just get on and do what we really love. Good luck!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Keep working on it! You'll have help with those promotions.

Marta Szemik said...

Keep going one step at a time. I find revisions most difficult too but it does get easier and the end result of holding your own novel in you hands is worth every sweat and tear drop.

Hart Johnson said...

That definitely helps, doesn't--believing things happen the way they're supposed to--sometimes because he make it so, but sometimes in really unexpected ways.

Carrie-Anne said...

Everything does happen just as it was meant to have, even if we doubt ourselves or don't think something is meant to happen in a certain way at a certain time. I look back at the books I wrote when I was a lot younger, and am in awe of how I managed that feat. Were I writing, say, my first Russian historical now in my thirties, it probably never would've been crafted and executed the way I did at at ages 13-21.

jaybird said...

I love that you followed the sound of that voice and set out to write this book.

And I firmly believe we always have something that can be learned or shared, no matter what age we are at. Never give up!

Rachna Chhabria said...

Hi Karen, its great that you listened to your inner voice and followed it. Believing in yourself is the first step towards reaching your goal/s.

Doreen McGettigan said...

Yes all of the above! I get insecure about my age sometimes and then I look at some of the most successful authors out there today and they are 'grown-ups'
Keep listening to that voice inside of you!

Karen Walker said...

Suzanne, thanks, I'm honored Alex asked me to co-host.
Alex, from your mouth to God's ears, I hope.
Susan, I know I have it in my to write, it's the marketing I'm not so sure about.
Diane, that's reassuring
Marta, that is how I'm doing it, one paragraph at a time.
Hart, ain't that the truth?
Carrie-Ann, very helpful perspective. Thank you.
jaybird, I guess i"m not the giving up type, thank goodness. Thanks for the vote of confidence.
Rachna, so true. Thanks.
Doreen, you are so right. Thanks.

Isis Rushdan said...

Fantastic attitude. If you don't believe in yourself, no one else will. Stick with it no matter what.

Tonja said...

I feel the same way about the story I'm writing now. I HAVE to write it.

Suzanne said...

I totally get that. Even though I doubt I'll ever get published I still want to write the story that's in my head :)
Suzanne @ Suzannes-Tribe

Michelle Gregory said...

i think self-doubt is something we all struggle with. thanks for sharing.

L.G. Smith said...

I know you're busy today!!

I kind of get that the drive to achieve is a little different when we're older. We don't have that same driving ambition to prove ourselves to others that we do when we're younger. For me, at least, it seems to be more about proving things to myself. Just keep writing.

Karen Walker said...

Isis, thanks. I'm working on it.
Tonja. It's a blessing and a curse.

Ryshia Kennie said...

Do the doubts ever go away? Maybe doubt drives us to revise and helps us create the best story we can. Love your post Karen - it hit home, that part about knowing the story needed to be told.

Jacqui said...

I'm with you on 'things happen for a purpose'. I no longer worry that I hate some left turn my life took, just go with it, figuring it's the Universe chatting with me.

Chemist Ken said...

I understand your feelings. I'm still working on my first book, and I won't know if I have any clue as to what I'm doing until the book is finished and out there for people to read. And that's a long time to try and keep hope alive without any feedback. Thanks for co-hosting the IWSG this month.

Kathleen said...

Wonderful post!

I absolutely agree that insecurity is a normal occurrence, it's how you handle it that matters. Don't let it stop you from doing what you believe to be important!

Karen Walker said...

Ryshia, my doubts have never disappeared, but I learn to deal with them better. Glad my post helped in some small way.
Jacqui, yeah, going with the flow is so much easier.
Chemist Ken, I so wish you luck with your first book. And you are welcome.

Beverly Fox said...

What a beautiful thought- that the book needed to be written by YOU. That's a thought that will keep you writing when the internal critic does its best to tear you down.

I so relate to your past insecurities as I'm very similar and have been, also, since I was very small. I seem to get better as I get older, thankfully. ANd I look forward to reaching a similar point of self acceptance.

So nice to connect with you! And thank you SO MUCH for co-hosting!

Julie Flanders said...

Good luck with co-hosting! I know you will be very busy hopping around.

And I'm so glad that voice came to you because every time you've mentioned your novel it sounds like something I know I will want to read.

Karen Walker said...

Kathleen, thanks, I won't.
Beverly, yes, getting older has helped some. And nice to connect with you as well.
Julie, aww, thanks.

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

I think you nailed it, Karen--this story asked to be written and it's going to work out. I definitely believe in it!

Liz Blocker / @lizblocker said...

Oh God, the first - draft AND novel - is the hardest. I feel your pain! Hang in there: you're right, the story IS valuable, and it's asking to be told at this time for a reason.

Cherie Reich said...

Thank you for co-hosting!

And keep writing! If you have a story to tell, then you'll find the energy--it's out there somewhere--to write the story. Good luck!

Karen Walker said...

Elizabeth, yes, that's it. It asked. I answered.
Liz, thanks for the words of encouragement
Cherie, you're welcome - it was my honor. And yes, I intend to stick with this to the very end.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Belief in oneself is a big help and that's bolstered by your feeling that things happen the way they're supposed to.

Energy levels wax and wan, regardless of your age, I think the knack is learning the pace that works for you and maintain the steady movement forward.

It's good to see you're enjoying this new story. :-)


Anonymous said...

Nice post :-) It's good to know that I'm not alone on this writing journey. Glad to be part of the group!

James Pailly said...

I'm a science enthusiast, so I've learned to be skeptical and to always ask for scientific proof of things. However, as I've grown older, I've become more and more convinced that things do happen for a reason. I have, as you called it, "an innate belief that things happen the way they are supposed to."

Strange coincidences keep leading me back to my writing and my art, almost as though some higher power were guiding me. That's not very sciency of me to say that, but it still feels very much true.

Angelique Bodine said...

Hey Karen,

First, you are awesome! This is the first time I have been to your blog and I am touched by your sincerity and your will power.

I feel like we all have a story to share and sometimes my insecurity is in thinking, "What makes me think that my story is better than anyone else's. Just because I find it interesting doesn't mean anyone else will." I am happy to hear your words of encouragement to follow that small voice inside. If I feel I should share my story, I should share my story.

Thanks, not only for co-hosting, but for being sincere and heartfelt in doing it.

Robin said...

I agree with your reasons for writing and your fears.

I am in my mid-40s and have never finished anything. I almost finished a novel a couple of years ago, but I couldn't figure it out and junked it. I really thought I was done with it all for good. However, I constantly have stories buzzing around in my head. So, I started again a couple of weeks ago. This time I am better prepared. Am I still insecure? Yes. Do I still feel like I mostly don't know what I am doing? Yes. Do I feel compelled to delete? All of the time.

Instead, I move forward and tell myself that if I can just finish it I will have something to edit.

I am rooting for you. 45 or 65. It doesn't matter. You are never too young or too old to begin!!!

Cherie Colyer said...

I agree, things happen the way they are supposed to. You have a great mindset. Thanks for co-hosting this month.

Emma Adams said...

Thanks for co-hosting! Self-belief is important - good luck with your first novel! :)

Karen Walker said...

Sia, very wise words,indeed, thank you.
Dahlia, no, not alone at all. Welcome!
James, have you read "Proof of Heaven" - written by a neurosurgeon (very science) - think you might enjoy it!
Angelique, thanks so much for your kind words.
Robin, thanks so much. You're right - 45 or 65 - doesn't matter.
Cherie, Emma, you are so welcome. Thanks.

Karen Jones Gowen said...

Like you I really enjoy the Insecure Writer posts every month, although I believe I lost my slot on the sign up since I missed so many times. Keep at it, Karen!

Donna Shields said...

I have the same belief: everything happens for a reason and in its own time.

Congrats on co-hosting. That's a huge undertaking.

Huntress, aka CD Coffelt said...

Listen to that Voice. It sounds like it is making a lot of sense!

Seeing as we are from the same generation, I'm sure you've heard this before:

Keep On Truckin'


Wendy Tyler Ryan said...

For me, what you need to leave behind (for now), is the "getting published" part. Never, ever write anything with the hopes of becoming published as it will end up being only a shadowy mist of what you really wanted to write.

Write as though you will never show it to anyone - really. You might be amazed.

Jack said...

I think Artists put more of themselves into their work, and they worry that the world won't like it - which in turn would be the same as not liking the artist. It is hard, exposing that much of oneself to the world. It is great though - at least for me - knowing other authros who are going through the same thing.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for co-hosting IWSG this month. :)

Good luck with your novel!

Kim Lajevardi
(This Writer's Growing)

Meredith said...

If you believe in yourself and your work, everything will fall into place :)

Meredith’s Musings

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for visiting my blog :)
I agree with you. Things happen when they are meant to.

Diana Wilder said...

Believing in yourself is 3/4ths of the battle, and you have that. And don't forget - 'There is nothing that Youth and Idealism can do that Age and Wisdom can't match'!

Diana at About Myself By Myself Visiting from the Insecure Writer's Hop

Kimberly said...

I love that saying 'Just Do It! And you can!

Thanks for co-hosting and stopping by my blog. :)

Mark Means said...

Just keep at it and things will fall into place. I, also, believe that things happen for reasons. If there was a reason you were driven to write then, in the end, I think you'll be successful with it :)

Thank you for co-hosting the IWSG this month and happy writing!

Pk Hrezo said...

Absolutely! You're still following the whispers. And I love that. I think regrets only come from wishing we would've tried when we didn't have the chutzpah too! :)

M Pax said...

Nice to meet you, Karen. I believe you'll do it. Yes, you have what it takes, because you're doing it. Behind those doubts I hear determination. I'm not a youngster either. Last year I started my publishing journey, and I'm really glad I did. You'll be happy when you get your novel out there, too. It's a great 'high'. :)

Jemi Fraser said...

You'll definitely get there Karen! Your lovely spirit and drive will take you there when the time is right! :)

Karen Walker said...

Karen, I certainly will, thanks.
Donna, the way Alex does it, it's not as huge as it seems - it's manageable and quite fun!
Huntress, yeah, I remember that saying - thanks for the reminder!
Wendy, yes, I do that and it really does work
Jack, it so helps to know we are not alone
Kim, you're welcome - and thanks
Meredith, I believe that as well. Thanks.
Macabre, you're welcome
Diane, I love that - thanks so much!
Kimberly, you are so welcome!
Mark, right back at ya with the writing - and thanks.
Pk, I think about that a lot - I don't want any regrets when I'm "done."
M Pax, I'm already excited that I completed a first draft. I can only imagine how I'll feel when I get it out there!
Jemi, thank you so much for those kind words.

Melissa said...

Great post. Nice to connect with you, too. :)

August co-host and IWSG #110

Bish Denham said...

No time like the present to do what you want to do!

Cally Jackson said...

Thanks for co-hosting today! I'm a first-time visitor to your blog, and I love it already. The Steven Furtick quote you have on the side at the moment is so true. Thanks for sharing it!

Lisa said...

I like knowing I'm a part of such a wonderful support network. It means much to not "be" alone, even if I am sitting here alone. Thanks for hosting!

Carolyn Brown said...

Nice to meet you and I am sure whatever happens when you publish, the accomplishment of completing your work will be a wonderful experience. Good luck and thanks for co-hosting this month.

Suze said...

I wish I could kick the ass of insecurity from here to Charon.

I told my parents about the other book you have planned that we spoke of when we last met, Karen. They both love the title/concept as much as me.


Jen Chandler said...

Hi Karen!
My I've been away far too long! Thanks for co-hosting this month! What a fun honor.

You're right. We just have to DO whatever it is we're given to do. If the voice came to you, then it came to you for a reason. YOU are the right person to tell the story. Thank you for this inspiration!


Patricia Lynne said...

You can do it! One word at a time.

michelle said...

Hi Karen. Thanks for co-hosting the IWSG this month.
I always say step-by-step, word by word, paragraph by paragraph... it WILL happen!
(... and I'm not a spring chicken either...)
Writer In Transit

Michael Di Gesu said...

Hi, Karen,

Age is timeless. One can write at any age and have success at any age.

You are writing this story because you are meant to do so. Success isn't based on how well it sells, it's based on the accomplishment. Knowing that you completed the task you set out to do!

Optimistic Existentialist said...

This is why you are an inspiration...listening to your inner voice inspires me to listen to mine!!

Charmaine Clancy said...

I'm a big believer in things having a way of turning out too. Good words. Thanks :)

Patricia Stoltey said...

I love that you've written the novel you were destined to write, Karen. If it's also destined for publication, it will happen in its own time.

Anonymous said...

You're absolutely right Karen, your story should be told and no one else can tell it but you! I've struggled with self-doubt, ebbs and flows in my motivation, and distractions all of my adult life. I'm 32 and I feel like if I don't finish this story right now there will be no time later.

Writing a novel is hard work, it's tedious, and it's often a solitary exercise. But if you believe that things happen as they should and you believe in your story then do all you can to complete it and share it with the world. Good luck!

Debra McKellan said...

Thanks for co-hosting!

The self-doubt is probably one of the most common feelings among writers. Never fear, it often passes before returning. ;)

Kym-n-Mark Todd said...

Thanks for co-hosting this month, Karen.

Yep, we agree: just gotta do it. One of our mentors once told us the only reason to write is because you love it. If it gets published, then consider that gravy.

Shah Wharton said...

Slow and steady, and all that. I believe everything happens for a reason. It's happening now because it wouldn't have been right before now. All the very best with your writing!

Shah X

Shah Wharton said...

Slow and steady, and all that. I believe everything happens for a reason. It's happening now because it wouldn't have been right before now. All the very best with your writing!

Shah X

Nigel G. Mitchell said...

I feel you on the energy, but I know you'll do great.