IWSG #7 – And It’s Back, Insecurity with a Capital “I”

This post was written for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group where we share our encouragement or insecurities on the first Wednesday of the month, to join the group or find out more click here.


I remember coming to this group, and lurking, feeling shy. To my surprise many authors suffered the same as I with low confidence. Its been a while since the time of lurking. But the pendulum has swung from feeling strong and accomplished to me floundering in a crisis in faith.

Stupid me thought I was passed this.

Moods swinging between success will be mine (one day) and why am I submitting (no one with any sense wants to read my work). It’s taking pure stubbornness, which I have a lot of, and force of will, which seems to be slipping away, to continue.

Recently, I’ve two of three stories rejectedβ€”as expected. Right. One was such a long shot that didn’t have a chance. The other was short I thought was pretty good; and rejected or not, I’m planning to add more to it and resubmit elsewhere. The third, I work really hard on and it was a big fat flop. I’m still stinging from that one.

So I have no choice but to dust off and carry on. But what I’m doing and what I’m feeling are in two different spectrums. Sure, hanging with other writers guides me to the optimistic next step. Spit shine the work again and resubmit elsewhere. This I will do. But under it all I’m wondering if I have any skills. Wondering if I’m wasting every editor’s time submitting at all.

I haven’t been able to shake it. It sits in the back of my mind like a snarky kid in a classroom. And he doesn’t know when to shut up.

The only good news on this front is that I’m still trying. I know rejections are part of the business. I’m usually a woman with a good attitude. I’m full of hope, knowing a rainbow is never far away.

Thanks for letting me vent while I try to shake this off. I don’t know what I would do without all of you.



61 responses to “IWSG #7 – And It’s Back, Insecurity with a Capital “I”

  1. Keep on keeping on, Em! There’s a word for a writer who doesn’t give up…PUBLISHED.

    Just think of that thick skin you’re growing… hehehe


  2. Maybe consider finding a critique partner or two, if the stories haven’t gone to them before. Having extra eyes on a project is so helpful. I’d be lost without my critique partners. And rejections are subjective. Really, they are. The place might have accepted a story similar to yours already or it doesn’t quite fit what they’re looking for. Keep working and keep submitting.

    • Oh, I have had them checked and rechecked. Critters and Betas are best last step before sending anything off. I wouldn’t dare otherwise.

      Subjective or not, we all still feel the sting πŸ™‚

  3. I think it is normal to feel insecure about putting something out there that you have worked o hard on or are working on and wondering if others will like it or will they pick it apart.
    Hang in there!!

  4. Rejection is hard and I’m sorry you’ve had such a crappy month. But I like the comment about the writer who doesn’t give up. That will be you one day. Keep at it. And we’re here listening. πŸ™‚

  5. Rejection stinks. I got a rejection from an agent who rejected it for the one thing I thought the story had going for it. I think it’s okay to let it sting for a while and then move on. Good luck!

  6. Sorry about the rejections. But it sounds like you are already moving forward. Keep on writing and I’ll keep reading:)
    And use some duct tape on that snarky kids mouth. LOL

  7. Even on my well-accepted books, I am crushed by a bad review. I completely understand, Anna.

  8. Oh dear, my long response just vanished. So I’ll give the short version. Someone once said to be a writer means suffering more rejection than you think you are capable of handling. So I guess this means you are a real writer, doing the work, right?
    I wish you strength, resilience, courage and heart. Now, send them out again!

  9. In the word of a Disney character, “Let it Go” Shrug it off and keep going. You got this.

  10. The occasional vent is good. We all need to do it at some time or other. And those ups and downs never truly go away. The way we deal with them at least does get easier. For the most part, Hugs.

  11. Ah you hit home for me. I have been having thoughts maybe I should just stop. Maybe this is not for me. I am feeling that way and I have not been rejected yet. I do have a short story out, submitted for an anthology, that I am waiting to hear back on, so I may be joining the ranks of the rejected soon. My first submission to outside source for approval. I have two others places I am considering submitting, but I have not so far.
    Juneta at Writer’s Gambit

    • You and I may have doubts about submitting, but the writing bug doesn’t let go easily. Like some commented, rejection is part of the bus. It stings and we don’t have to like it. But it shouldn’t stop us either. πŸ™‚

  12. Yes. I can relate, really. This is not an easy job we’ve taken on. I don’t know if we’re terrible writers or good writers, but I know I will keep on because I can’t imagine not doing this. Keep calm and chin up, Girl! You are not alone!

  13. Forgot to leave a link because I don’t really use my wp blog. http://www.celticadlx.blogspot.com

  14. Oh, Anna, I’m sorry to hear you’re feeling this way, but we’re all in the same boat and like Stephen King said, “Rejections are the way you know you’re a writer.” (Or something along those lines, LOL). You have to believe in yourself. I decided I believed in myself enough to go the indie publishing route, so, basically, I said, “The hell with rejections.” But it’s still hard. Now I worry about rejections from the readers, I worry about those 1- and 2-star reviews. Even best-selling authors have these moments because it’s a tough business and it’s tough because we are constantly subject to other people’s judgement. But think of the alternative: of course it would be a lot easier to keep all those stories in the drawer and never bring them to the light. But that’s not what a real writer does. A real writer writes because writing is his/her passion. And so we keep at it. Keep pushing, you’ll get there one way or the other. The harder the path the more beautiful it will be to reach the goal. πŸ™‚

  15. There is only one failure: giving up. Carrying on can be hard – there are always the rejections that will hurt, but always remember this – you weren’t rejected because you’re no good, simply because that story wasn’t right for that publication. It will find a home elsewhere someday. Carry on carrying on!

  16. Hoping, trying, and doing. That’s the best. Keep at it.
    Play off the Page

  17. Here’s some cheese to throw at that doubting voice. It’s the hard variety. πŸ˜‰

    Unleashing the Dreamworld

  18. We are here to “listen”. Keep on keeping on. ^_^

  19. Sorry about those rejections, Anna.
    “I’m full of hope, knowing a rainbow is never far away.” Ah, lovely sentiment. Hang onto those words.

  20. Vent all you need, Anna. We’re never passed insecurity. No matter how many books we write we always worry that we aren’t good enough, that the book isn’t good enough, that no one will buy it. This is an amazing group for pumping each other up. Hang in there.

  21. Rejection is never easy. I’m sure your stories will find a home soon. I have terrible bouts of insecurity about my work but I try to start over fresh every morning. Keep on keeping on and know this community is always behind you.

  22. Rejection never loses its stink even after years of doing the same thing, but don’t let it bring you down. Keep forging forward with the believe that someone out there understands your kind of crazy. Good luck!

  23. I’ve gotten 22 rejections so far this year. With two more months to go, who knows how many more there will be? I get into such a slump sometimes, especially when I get multiple rejections at a time (I got three in two days once, and that hit me incredibly hard.) I guess the important thing is that we dust off and continue on, and try not to dwell. But it’s hard sometimes. Resubmit those pieces! Keep them in action. For some people it helps to already have written down where you’re sending them next, so when the rejection comes you send them right back out. You can’t polish them every time. Eventually, they’d be way over-polished. Just resubmit. Good luck!

  24. jenniferbielman

    Rejections suck!!! But yeah, they are part of the biz. Just keep on trucking! πŸ™‚

  25. Anna, Thanks for sharing that. I’ve been having the same feelings partly because of some bad feedback, the season, etc. I always get a little depressed in fall. I’m holding on though and you can too. I tell myself these feelings will pass and I can’t let them rule me. Or I try. Sometimes they rule me a little. πŸ™‚

    • It’s hard to fight them, but you’re right they do pass. And even though they are strong, I’m still doing things as if they don’t exist. I think you know what I mean.

      Thanks for the support πŸ™‚

  26. Hi Anna,
    Good to be here after a while.
    Rejection is part and parcel of a writer, we have to cop-up with it and go forward!
    Even the well established writers faced this in their initial stage of writings. So don’t worry Go Ahead!
    Nice that you said it
    Keep writing
    Have a happy weekend
    ~ Phil

  27. Rejection sucks, no matter how you slice it. No matter how much you think you don’t care, of course you do. You obviously have skill as a writer. There is just so much competition out there and editors often have a specific list of what they are looking for in a story. Just keep trying.

  28. I am so sorry you are feeling this way. Rejection just sucks.
    I recently submitted a short story to an anthology and the rejection letter I got said my writing wasn’t quite ready for mainstream.
    My first book is a bestseller so I didn’t know if I should laugh or cry.
    Shake it off and keep writing:)

  29. I can sympathize exactly. I’ve been writing for years, and that snarky kid still pops up. The important thing is to keep pushing forward. You can do it! πŸ™‚

  30. I’ve had a few rejections this month, for things that I thought were sure things. We must keep working. We have a great support system with bloggers and cp’s to cushion our woes.

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