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, September 7, 2016

Insecure Writer's Support Group - September

First of all I can't believe it's September. Where did the summer go? But Fall is my favorite season. It always means new beginnings because on the East Coast, school began right after Labor Day. This post is for the Insecure Writer's Support Group September post. Please visit Alex J. Cavanaugh www.alexjcavanaugh.blogspot.com for details on how to participate in this wonderfully supportive group.

I'm not writing a novel. I'm not writing a book at all, so my insecurities are for different reasons. I'm putting together an anthology of essays on aging. I've started receiving submissions. Now I'm in a whole new ball park--reading other people's work and having to say yeah nor nay, or having to tell someone that the piece needs this or that. It would be different if it were complete strangers, but I've solicited submissions from those I know, so it's much harder. So far, the few people I've received work from have been super wonderful about my comments and suggestions. I haven't had to tell anyone yet that the piece won't be included. I dread that. I am reminding myself that this is a professional situation. The anthology has the potential to be a powerful book that could be inspiring to many people. I can't allow friendship or fear of hurting someone's feelings to prevent me from having integrity about the quality of work that will go into it. So my insecurities are becoming strengths as I learn to speak my truth and let go of fear of someone getting upset with me.

How about you?


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Karen - I think it's great you've asked us to help ... and that so far entries are of the standard you'd expect ... it'll be brilliant - all the best - mine is in the workings of my mind?! I have to do it as my newly quallified doctor goddaughter is asking to read it! Cheers Hilary

Mason Canyon said...

Karen, I think what you're putting together is going to be an amazing read. If you find you have to turn someone down, they should understand and if not, unfortunately, they aren't very professional. Wishing you much success.

Thoughts in Progress
and MC Book Tours

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

It's a completely different feel with an anthology, isn't it? We had so many great entries in our contest last year and it was difficult to pass on some of them.

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Rejecting people is very hard! I have to reject narrators for my audiobooks and it always makes me anxious. But Mason is right...professionals understand!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

LOL Welcome to my world. I get so many submissions now and I feel bad when I have to say no. Each piece took effort and I respect that.

Bish Denham said...

We can't be writers if we can't handle rejection. Good luck with this endeavor!

Karen Walker said...

Hillary, can't wait to see what comes out of the "workings of your mind."
Mason, yes, that's what I'm hoping - for professionalism in both the writing and handling my responses.
Alex, I didn't even think about that possibility - of having too many good submissions. Ha!
Elizabeth, it's not easy to hurt someone's feelings in any situation, professional or otherwise.
Diane, yes, I thought of you when I was writing this post.

C.D. Gallant-King said...

Enjoy the power! We are all rejected so many times during our lives. Take advantage of being on the other side for once. ;-)

IWSG September

Jen Chandler said...

Karen, I think this is a wonderful journey you're on! The idea of reading the work of others on a professional basis, with a "yes" or "no" ultimatum is scary but I believe you have the grace and tact to handle it. It's been a while since I've stopped by and I notice some awards and a novel on the sidebar! Congratulations!! Cheers, ~ Jen

Karen Walker said...

Bish, so so true -thanks
C.D. Ha, I'll try but I'm not super comfortable with feeling powerful.
Jen, thanks so much for stopping by - yes, I published a novel this year - the award is from years ago when I published my memoir.

Diane Burton said...

Good luck with that anthology. What a great topic. (I can identify. LOL) Love reading the quotes in the sidebar.

Karen Walker said...

Thanks, Diane

Arlee Bird said...

Constructive criticism as well as practical advice are taken the wrong way by some people and it shouldn't be that way. But I know what you're talking about and I think you have the right perspective about it.

Arlee Bird
Tossing It Out

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

I can see how being in the position of accepting or rejecting the work of people you consider to be friends can be a tad unpleasant, but if you want a finished product that shines, you've gotta do the polishing.

That being said, I'll send you an email. Rejection is part of the process, so don't worry about hurting MY feelings. :)

emaginette said...

I'm sure everyone just wants the best anthology evah! They'll understand. :-)

Anna from elements of emaginette

cleemckenzie said...

That collection of essays should be very interesting to read. Good luck with putting it together.

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

What you're doing is a wonderful thing. I know it's hard to reject some writings over others, but that's how the rest of us grow. Good luck on your anthology. Happy IWSG Wednesday.

Pat Garcia said...

Karen, I haven't started on my piece yet. I hope I get to it but I might not make it. However, there is another wonderful writer, Susan Scott, out of South Africa who is writing a book on aging, and I am passing this on to her also. I am going to do my best to write my own story though. It will be based on my mother and her last two years.

As for your editorial duties, just stay open and honest. Criticism is taken well when someone feels that the person respects them.
I know you can do this.
Shalom aleichem,
Pat Garcia

Victoria Marie Lees said...

It's the only way to be, Karen. Everyone wants someone to say "this is perfect" about their writing. ...Okay, I want someone to say that. But as an editor, you need to be strong. More power to you. All the best. I've joined your blog.

Gail M Baugniet - Author said...

Dropping by from Stephanie Faris' site for #IWSG today. You have carved out an interesting project for yourself, Karen. Best of success with the anthology. I am compiling my second anthology of mystery short stories with 13+ authors. Inviting people you know to participate does add stress to the elimination process. I love hearing that your insecurities are becoming strengths. Your remarks today are uplifting for me. Thanks for sharing.

Michael Di Gesu said...

Hi, Karen,

Geez.... I had just remembered about your anthology the other day. Sorry I haven't had a chance to write anything yet. I still hope there is time.

I had been exceptionally busy working on rehabbing my loft. Now that is FINALLY FINISHED, I can get to some writing.

You're passion for this project is inspiring and you do need to be honest with all who are contributing. Try not to feel too badly about it. We are all professionals and can take the heat when needed. WE all need to be open to critiques whether good or bad.

Stephanie Faris said...

Editing is a special skill, for sure. I just worked on a book with six other authors and pulling it all together is a LOT of work. But yours has standalone stories...ours was seven characters in the same place, so the primary author had to worry about consistencies. The end product will make it all worth all the hard work you put into it!

Karen Walker said...

Wow, just got home to all these wonderful comments. Thanks everyone.
Susan, I responded to your email with the info you need
Lee, Emaginette, CL, thanks
Joylene, I'm glad others see the potential in this as well - you, too!
Pat, there's time - don't worry
Victoria, thanks for joining - I'm honored.
Gail, that's what's so wonderful about this group, isn't it?
Michael, I need to sent you guidelines if you want to participate. How do I do that?
Stephanie, wow, that sounds hard. Yes, mine is a bit easier.

Denise Covey said...

Hi Karen. Sounds like your anthology is coming along. Must be hard to choose! Looking forward to its publication!

Karen Walker said...

Thanks, Denise. It really isn't far along at all. I've received very few submissions. I'm hoping more will come in by the end of the month.

Nick Wilford said...

I'm sure all the writers concerned should be able to take suggestions on board, if they are professionals like yourself. Putting together an anthology is a lot of work, but also fun and rewarding. I've done it myself, but that was slightly different as it was for charity, so I didn't reject any entries and applied minimal editing - in any case, they were all excellent! Good luck!

Karen Walker said...

Thanks, Nick. I'm going to need it.

Julie Flanders said...

My favorite season as well! Now if only we could see the end to the summer heat here, I'd be happy as a clam.
Kudos to you for taking on this new project. I've no doubt the book will be powerful and meaningful to tons of people. Good luck!

Marian Green said...

An anthology on aging, that will be a very interesting read. If you are looking for more contributions I would like to be considered.


email: marian-green@hotmail.com

Karen Walker said...

Julie, I sure hope so. Thanks.
Marian, I've emailed you the guidelines. Thank you!

dolorah said...

The IWSG submission seems easy, but I guess I'll see when I get there :)

LD Masterson said...

I'm working on my piece now and if in the end you have to reject it, I promise only to cry a little.

cleemckenzie said...

Your project sounds so interesting. I don't think you need to feel any insecurity about it.