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, November 4, 2015

Insecure Writer's Support Group - November - and I'm co-hosting

I'm jazzed - I've never co-hosted the ISWG before. For those of you who don't know, ISWG is the Insecure Writer's Support Group started by Alex J. Cavanaugh :

http:/www.alexjcavanaugh.blogspot.com to support those of us choosing to write. Please visit Alex to learn more and find the other participants.Here is the link to the ISWG site: http://www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com/p/iwsg-sign-up.html




I am co-hosting with Denise Covey http://dencovey.blogspot.com, Stephen Tremp http://authorstephentremp.blogspot.com and Tyrean Martinson http://tyreanswritingspot.blogspot.com. Please make sure you go say hi to them as well.

I thought I would feel really insecure this month because my debut novel launched just a few weeks ago and I know people are reading it. But something has shifted inside me over the last few months as I prepared for this major event in my life -- the publishing of my first novel. I have grown secure inside my own skin. I've come to an understanding that the world is made up of billions of people, all of whom have their own ideas, opinions, beliefs, ways of acting and being in the world and that it is ridiculous for me to expect that everyone who reads my book will like it. Or me. This goes for my friends as well. I've recommended other books or movies to friends and they didn't like them. I used to think that was a reflection of me. It is so comforting to know that it isn't. It just means we are different and feel differently about things. There isn't a right or wrong about it. This may seem simplistic to some of you, but for someone like me, it's a huge insight.

The other thing that clicked into place is that I know I did my absolutely best. I couldn't have put more into this book. There was nothing more to give. There's a slogan from the 12 Step program Al-Anon: Take the Action and Let Go of the Result. I love that slogan and I'm using it to remind myself daily that I've done what I could and now I get to let go. Such a feeling of freedom.

For those who missed my blog book tour - I've created an additional page on this blog with all the posts from the tour. There's still one more to come on 11/9. If you're interesting in reading the book I've been writing about all this time, you can find it on Amazon.com, Barnes and Nobel, Kobo, I Tunes. It's called The Wishing Steps.

Till next time,
Karen

88 comments:

Nancy Gideon said...

Karen, thanks for co-hosting! Woo Hoo on your first book and you're proactive attitude on getting it out there. I just released my 59th and I'm not as zen as you are.

Nick Wilford said...

Congrats on your release! Glad to hear you've developed a great attitude about it - people will take it as they will and you can't control it, but I'm sure many will love it. Nancy just made my head spin - 59 books! Does it get easier after that many??

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Thanks again for co-hosting! You're going to have fun today.
We have to separate us and our value from what we create and our own opinions. Then it doesn't matter if others like it or not.

Karen Walker said...

Nancy, 59 books? Really? And you're not zen? Yikes.
Nick, yeah, my head is spinning too.
Alex, thanks for letting me co-host. And what you wrote here is so so wise.

SA Larsenッ said...

Growing secure in your own skin is definitely a feat. Good for you! I'm sending you a cyber high-five. I think I'm getting there, too. But I still find times where I doubt myself. Grrr.... Have fun co-hosting!

Melissa said...

Congratulations on your debut! You have a great attitude.

I'm very picky about what I read, so I don't have trouble with people choosing not to read my book. *shrugs* To each his own.

The only thing that got me was the post-pub slump in the days following my debut's release. I had worked so hard to get it all done, organized and had the big tour, and then.... crickets. LOL It was a let down I wasn't prepared for.

Thanks for co-hosting. :)
IWSG #115 until Alex culls the list again

Tamara Narayan said...

Congratulations on your first novel and your attitude. I'll have to go see what it's about now.

Mary Aalgaard said...

Congratulations on your novel! And, congratulations on learning to be confident in yourself. It is a long lesson learned for most of us. I feel similarly when I direct plays. At some point, I turn it over to the cast and crew. I've done my job, now I sit back and watch them create the story.
Thanks for co-hosting the IWSG this month!

Play off the Page

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

Thank you for co-hosting, Karen. And thanks for your wise words. We humans are so hard on ourselves sometimes. Yet, we're here to love, learn, and laugh. Congratulations on your new book. Have a great day.

Cathrina Constantine said...

Thank you for co-hosting Karen. And what great insight!!!! Congrats on your new release, and I also have been to Al-anon try to live by the Serenity Prayer!!!

Diane Burton said...

Congratulations on your debut novel, Karen. Isn't it a great feeling? Thanks for cohosting this month.

Karen Walker said...

SA, high five right back at ya. Thanks.
Melissa, I totally understand. The only way I'm dealing with it is to not pay attention to sales.
Tamara, thanks so much
Mary, I can see how it would be hard to let go when you're directing a play. At some point we have to trust.
Joylene, yes, I'm learning to "put down the whips" as they say in twelve step programs.
Cathrina, the Serenity Prayer holds such wisdom in so few words.
Diane, thank you - it's a wonderful feeling.

Deborah Hawkins said...

Thanks for co-hosting, and congratulations on your book!

Dean K Miller said...

Hi Karen and thanks for co-hosting. Congrats on the novel release and I appreciate your early visit to my blog today! Finding that inner peace and confidence is such a huge step in our lives. Glad you've found yours!

Jennifer Hawes said...

Thanks for visiting my blog! Congrats on your debut! It is such a mix of emotions. I love that saying from Al Anon. :)

Angela Wooldridge said...

Hi Karen,
What fantastic advice, I love that, "take the steps & let go" - it's one to remember.
Thanks for hosting and congrats on your publication.

J Q Rose said...

To feel good in your own skin is quite a life journey. So happy you have achieved that. Congrats on the debut of your novel!! Doin' a happy dance for you. I'll look it up at amazon. Thanks for co-hosting!

Loni Townsend said...

Yay for feeling secure! That is awesome. Grats on your recent release. I've seen it around the interwebs. Thanks for co-hosting. :)

Kai Strand said...

I love that saying from Al-Anon. I'm impressed that you've gone into your first publication with such a healthy outlook. Best of luck to your book and thanks for co-hosting.

Nicola said...

Well, as a new fan of the author Karen Walker, I would highly recommend reading The Wishing Steps. It left me feeling enlightened and a variety of emotions washed over me as I read: sadness, hope, anger, calm and a new outlook on life. It may not be 'everyone's cup of tea' (as we say in England) but it opened my mind and I thoroughly enjoyed the story.

So pleased for you Karen and thanks for giving your story all of your energy. It is greatly appreciated.

Jacqui Murray said...

You are so right, about each of your epiphanies. You get those with age or experience--whichever path, it feels good to toss aside all that unnecessary stress.

Arlee Bird said...

Important conclusions for you to come to and I agree with what you say. I'm often puzzled about the matter of personal taste. I've come to accept that when I recommend something to someone they will often not care for it. I've got tastes out of the norm and that's okay with me. At least I know I'm right. After all, how can we be wrong about what we like?

Arlee Bird
Tossing It Out

Yolanda Renee said...

Congratulations on the release of your book, and your intelligent look at the process!
Happy IWSG - ing!

Karen Walker said...

Deborah, thanks so much
Dean, your poem moved me so much - thank you!
Jennifer, it's one of my favorite slogans. Thanks.
Angela, glad you liked it. Thanks
JQ, it's taken me six decades to get there - thanks
Lori, ha, guess I have been around a bunch this month.
Kai, not my first publication - just my first novel - thanks
Nicola, thank you for these kind words about my book. So glad you enjoyed it.
Jacqui, in my case it's both age and experience - thank you

Karen Walker said...

Arlee Bird, you're delightful. "At least I know I'm right" ha
Yolanda, thank you so much.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

We each have our own tastes and opinions, and that's okay.

TBM said...

Congrats on releasing your first novel. Such a huge step and it sounds like you're handling it well. Much better than when I release a book.

Chrys Fey said...

Yay for co-hosting! And I'm glad that you're secure. That is a wonderful thing. Embrace that security and don't let it go. :)

Madilyn Quinn said...

Congrats on your book! I don't think I'm quite at the point of realizing other have opinions. I mean, I realize that, but it's hard to accept when someone has one differing from mine, especially when it's something I really like.

Crystal Collier said...

It's that magic transition all of us experience when our baby is launched into the big bad world. =) Enjoy this moment. I'm sure the insecurities will crop up again after a couple bad reviews, but you're completely right. There's an audience for anything and everything.

Chemist Ken said...

Feeling good after your novel launched? That's great. Most people seem to suffer from anxiety. Glad you feel good about yourself. Thanks for co-hosting this month's IWSG!

Sarah Foster said...

Thanks for co-hosting! And congrats on the release!
Everyone has different tastes and they aren't all going to like everything. You just have to hope that the people who will enjoy your book will find it.

Megan Morgan said...

Congratulations, Karen! It's a big accomplishment and I'm glad you feel the way you do!

Pat Garcia said...

Congratulations and it is so nice to hear that you gained security through working through your fears. I think the biggest reward is when we stop looking for everyone to like us and what we write. Doing that frees us and gives us the freedom to be who we really are.
Shalom,
Patricia

Robin said...

There is true freedom when you just accept that not everyone will like you or your work. Whew. But some people will like you and your work:)

Glad you are able to sit back now and just relax. That is very good.

Lidy said...

Thanks for co-hosting today! Great post. You are right. We sometimes forget that the dislike of something does not equal to not liking you. It’s impossible for everyone to like the same things as you do. To like what you’ve wrote. You’re sure to have less grey/white hairs cropping up because you’re not stressing on that there’s someone out there that doesn’t like your book. You can’t please everyone.

Jen Chandler said...

Karen,
Thank you for cohosting this month. And congratulations on the novel!! That is so exciting. What a marvelous accomplishment. I love that slogan as well. As long as you KNOW you did your best, there really is nothing else to worry about. I'm still learning not to worry so much about what other people think of me. It's a life process, to be sure, but that slogan really helps me take a deep breath and move on into the best version of ME.

Cheers and enjoy this victory moment! You're a published novelist!! WooHoo!!
Jen

Feather Stone said...

Congratulations. Enjoy the bliss. You are so very wise in not attaching yourself to the results.

Karen Walker said...

Diane, yeah, I'm glad I get that now.
TBM, I'm a lot older - ha!
Chrys, I'll try...thanks
Madilyn, I often don't understand why they feel the way they do, but I'm learning to accept it.
Crystal, yeah, I'm sure the insecurities will be back at some point. Right now I'm enjoying them being gone.
Chemst Ken, the insecurities ebb and flow like everything else in life. I'm no different.
Sarah, yes, that's my wish for the book - that people will find it who will like it
Megan, thanks for recognizing the huge accomplishment. It's really major.
Shalom, Pat. You're so right. The freedom from attachment is such a gift.
Robin, thanks so much for your support.

Erika said...

I love your post Karen. I appreciate your human fears. It is hard to swallow the bad opinions with the good. Congratulations on your success. You achieved something huge many people do not. 😊

Karen Walker said...

Diddy,there's a line from an oldie song, "You can't please everyone but you've got to please yourself." or something along those lines.
Jen, I hadn't quite said those words to myself - yikes - thank you.
Feather Stone, thank you - wish the wisdom would remain at all moments, but I'm grateful for this one moment in time when it's there.

Karen Walker said...

Erika, thank you.
Above comment should read Lidy, not Diddy.

lilicasplace said...

Congratulations on the release of your new book! That must be a thrilling feeling. I'm glad you're feeling secure in your own skin. I'm still working on that, and I'm not even published. :) Thanks so much for co-hosting this month. Hugs. Eva

lorilmaclaughlin.com said...

Congrats on your book release! And what a wonderful insight! I had a lot of insecurities when I put my first book out there. It's hard to push them aside, but I'll keep working on it. Thanks for co-hosting!

Suzanne Furness said...

Congratulations on the release and on feeling so secure. That's brilliant, I wish you lots of success.
Thanks for co-hosting this month, Karen.

Diana Wilder said...

Brava on the release and on letting it go! People will love it or not (I think it's more likely they'll love it, myself...) and you've done your best. That's a wonderful realization. (Thanks for co-hosting!)

Karen Walker said...

Lilacspace, I think it's something we call need to work on at some point in our lives
Lori, I did too when I put my memoir out there six years ago
Suzanne, thank so much
Diane, knowing i've done my best is so freeing

Fundy Blue said...

What a positive and inspiring post, Karen! How exciting to have your first novel coming out! Love that quote "Take the Action and Let Go of the Result." I need to burn that into my brain. Thanks for being co-host today! I remember my first time. It was scary and exciting!

Emma Adams said...

Thanks for co-hosting, and congratulations! It's a fantastic feeling when your book's out there in the world. :)

Jeffrey Scott said...

I need to do this too, learn to let go. I take everything so personal, it can be hard to deal with rejection sometimes. I try to remember that old phrase, "You can please some of the people some of the time. But you can never please all of the people all of the time." It's so true.

Olga Godim said...

Congrats on your novel! What a great accomplishment. Time to chuck your insecurities and celebrate.
Thanks for co-hosting this month.

Melodie Campbell said...

Ah, that first book! I remember the stress I felt when the first reviews started to come in. It DOES get better, with each book published, I can tell you that. Now, I have major stress about meeting my publisher deadlines!!

Karen Walker said...

Hi Fundy Blue, it is kind of overwhelming, but way way fun to co-host
Emma, the feeling ranks right up there with high moments of my life
Jeffrey, good one - I'd forgotten that.
Olga, yup. I agree.

Lisa said...

Glad you're a co host today! Thank you! Also, really needed the reminder about being liked, or not...

Bish Denham said...

You've made some excellent shifts! Congratulations both your book and your changes in attitude.

C.D. Gallant-King said...

Congratulations on the book! And even more so on being confident and comfortable about it. Hopefully we'll all feel that way some day. :-)

IWSG November Post

emaginette said...

Great outlook. I may need this in a few months when my work comes out. :-)

Anna from Elements of Writing

Karen Walker said...

Lisa, glad it helped
Bish, thanks. I know - huge shifts!
CD, thanks - yes, I wish we could all let go of being liked
Emaginette, we'll be here for you...

Toinette Thomas said...

Congratulations on the book release and thanks for co-hosting today.
I totally get you. I'm in the same situation. I know even not all my friends and family will love it, but hey, they may buy it just to be nice. :D

Juneta Key said...

Great insight and outlook. I know I see my writing journey as a place to learn, grow, inspire and entertain if I can. One of my favorite writing books is The Writer's Journey: Mythic Structure for Writer's by Christopher Vogler, because beside the mythic structure of writing he talks about personal growth in life and how writing plays a part in that and our stories. Great post,
Juneta Writer's Gambit

Patsy said...

I'm glad you're secure 'in your own skin' and will try to adopt your attitude.

Karen Walker said...

Toinette, I KNOW some of my friends wouldn't like my book.
Juneta, that sounds like a wonderful book. Thanks
Patsy, good luck with your journey to comfort inside yourself.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Your absolute best is the best you can offer and I think that's awesome! Congrats on your book, again, and I hope that it finds all the right readers and lots of them!

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Congrats Karen on your first book and on finding your comfortable groove.

Susan Says

Michael Pierce said...

Thanks for co-hosting! And congrats on the release of your debut novel. I know how exhilarating and scary that is. The slogan is great. The result does give you insight to make modifications for potential improvement, but you can't dell on it or let it prevent you from taking action. Taking more action is always the best next step!

Donna McDine said...

Thanks for co-hosting! You are giving me the encouragement that maybe I should finally take the plunge and co-host in the next couple of months. Love that slogan you shared!

S.K. Anthony said...

You have the best attitude about this, Karen! It really is all we can do . . . that slogan rocks!!!

Thanks for co-hosting!!! :)

Karen Walker said...

Thanks, Tyrean, it is so true
Susan, thanks - it feels good
Michael, thank you
Donna, Alex, was right - it is fun to c0-host
SK, thanks - yes, it's one of my favorites

Sharon Himsl said...

Congratulations on your debut novel!! How exciting, and I promise to check it out after this post. I love your attitude about doing your best and moving on from there. Truly freeing as you say, and you are so right that we can't please everyone. I just finished my novel and know the feeling. Wishing you great success. Thanks so much for co-hosting.

Denise Covey said...

Hi Karen! Yes I followed some of your blog tour, but decided against embarking on one myself at least for now. I'm hoping to come up with something different that won't just benefit me, but other writers, especially self-pubbed or small press writers. We'll see.

I will get around to reading your book. I'm voracious.

Denise Covey November co-host IWSG

Denise Covey said...

Ah, oh, just re-reading my comment and you might take it the wrong way. Not that there's anything wrong with blog tours--I understand that--just my idea will be widespread. Got you interested??

Murees Dupé said...

Thank you so much for co-hosting. You have put a lot into this novel and it shows. Your amazing.

Samantha Dunaway Bryant said...

Congratulations on your book release, and, more importantly, in feeling really good about it. Here's hoping fame and fortune follows.

Liza said...

Thank you for co-hosting! I think that quote about letting the results go is an excellent one. If we do our best, there is nothing more to be done!

Karen Walker said...

Sharon, congrats on finishing yours. Can't wait to hear about it.
Denise, no I understand your comment and yes, you have piqued my interest for sure
Murees, thanks, dear lady
Samantha, not seeking fame - too old for that, but thanks for the thought
Liza, glad the quote spoke to so many people.

Brandon Ax said...

That is great that you have become assured on these things. It takes some people a while to get there.

Karen Walker said...

Ha, Brandon - I'm going to be 67 - it DID take me awhile.

Gwen Gardner said...

Thanks for co-hosting, Karen. Congrats on your new release. And you're right, not everyone is going to like our books--we all have different tastes. As long as you enjoy what you're doing, right?

Stephanie Faris said...

I was going to warn you about the avalanche of comments you'll get as a co-host, but I can see you've probably figured that out! I read every blog of those who commented on that day but most didn't keep reading after that day. I did make a couple of new friends out of it, though, so that's all that matters! Yes, there is something interesting that happens when your book comes out. You stress about it but once it's over, you're stronger for it. And all that's left is to just write your next book!

Karen Walker said...

Gwen, thanks so much. Yes, thankfully, I do love writing.
Stephanie, I had no idea there would be this many visitors, but oddly, no new followers. I loved meeting new bloggers, though. Thanks for visiting and for your incredible support

Michelle Wallace said...

Congratulations on your debut novel!
What an accomplishment!
Did I read one of the comments above correctly... that you're 67? You've inspired me.
Thank you for co-hosting the IWSG this month!

Karen Walker said...

Yes, Michelle, you read it right! Thanks so much

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

What an inspiring post. Thank you. Love the quote. Congratulations and best of luck to you.

Doreen McGettigan said...

Congratulations on your book, it is such an exciting time. My second book is being released in January, I love the al-anon quote. I needed to read that. Thank you for hosting this month!

Shannon Lawrence said...

That's a great attitude to look all of this with. Good luck with everything!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Karen - it's wonderful to see such support here. You've done so well and now can move forward in a happy, peaceful and fulfilled way ... and yes the Al-Anon quote is a good one ... cheers Hilary

Christine Rains said...

Congratulations and thank you for co-hosting! Good luck and have a terrific weekend. :)

Patricia Lynne said...

Congrats on your debut! That's the same mentality I had when I published my first book. I said not everyone would like it and that was okay.