IWSG #56: Just Trudging Along

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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.

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Co-Hosts:

Patricia Lynne | Lisa Buie-Collard | Kim Lajevardi | Fundy Blue

OPTIONAL Question: What are your favorite and least favorite questions people ask you about your writing?

My favorite question: Can I read your work?

It’s exciting and frightening (even now) and a leap of faith into the abyss. I get mixed reactions which can be hurtful, helpful and depend completely on the reader’s ability to share their thoughts constructively.

Wattpad has helped with this—a lot.

Worst question: Why do you keep going?

The answer is I don’t know.

I’m in the dumps when it comes to my writing. It’s hard to stay positive when the rejections keep coming. All my fault. I’m the one submitting. Anyway, so things have been tough. I keep writing though and that is good.

I’m struggling with my next project big time and don’t expect what I’m working on to go anywhere, but still keep going.

I’m like the mule that sees the carrot and knows it’s a trick. I don’t have the heart to stop. It would make it all too real. And the worst part is then I won’t move forward.

Sorry for being a downer this round. I just can’t help it.

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87 responses to “IWSG #56: Just Trudging Along

  1. I actually don’t like the question, Can I read your work? And it’s for the reasons you mentioned–the mixed reactions. I can handle those better from Anonymous than Friends!

  2. Being asked to read my work is terrifying. I just want to hide. LOL

  3. For some reason this time of the year makes me a little sad and negative as well. But hey, a new year just started. So, new courage for you Anna! As long as you love writing, you shouldn’t stop! That being said, you might like to take a little break and focus on something else, or take a vacation abroad, far away from the writing desk, to do something enteriely different and be refreshed when you return. I’m not going to answer this month’s IWSG question I think.

  4. Don’t know if it’ll help much but although what goes up must come down, and though it goes against the laws of gravity, can’t the reverse happen too? Besides Stephen King’s Carrie been rejected thirty times and look at him now. Though it’s sluggish right now, as long as you keep going on your writing path, all those rejections might be a thing of the past.
    As for getting asked to read my work…I get anxious and excited. Then the nerves and doubts take over and I worry whether they’ll like it or hate it. Especially the former. Guess I have work harder in thickening my skin.
    Don’t give up. And Happy New Year!

  5. It’s okay to be down about rejections. They are hard to keep on getting. I totally get why you wonder about going on. I’m just trying to write for me right now to avoid feeling negative about it all.

  6. You are going to find the right fit eventually. I really enjoyed the stories I have read. I think you’re talented. Besides, you know what you sound like? A Writer!

    If you get rejected you are getting badges of trial and error. You cannot win if you don’t fail because you never get better. Failure is not a negative. That baby learning to walk has to fall down to get good at walking right? Well, that is how life works in everything–all that other is just meaningless labels people put on things to make judgments and measuring sticks. There are good reasons for that if used for survival and making things better and if not, if it does not serve a good purpose, even if that good purpose is negative, it has no merit.

    Girl, you got it going on. I wish I could say I was submitting and getting rejected, but I do understand how that can be a real downer. I might not sing so loud if it were me, lol.

    Still, I think your awesome and brave and I think you are a writer. Let me know if I can help in any way. Keep on writing. Keep on Submitting. Yeah, I need to listen to my own words. I need to finish.

  7. You absolutely don’t need to apologize. There was a tweet going around Twitter last week saying, don’t fret, authors, if you’re getting a lot of rejections around the holidays, because that’s often when agents are going through their inboxes. It can be hard to get a lot of rejections all at once, but there’s a reason why they may seem clumped together. There are so many other reasons why agents reject, Anna, and so much of the time, it has nothing to do with the quality/sale-ability of your book. SO MANY REASONS that I wish I had known when I started this journey.

  8. Ronel Janse van Vuuren

    I see Juneta and Raimey already cheered you up, so all I’m going to say is: I hope you have a successful 2019.
    Oh, there’s always the path of indie author… “Stop waiting for permission. You don’t need it. Stop waiting to be chosen. Choose yourself.” as Joanna Penn puts it 🙂
    Though, nothing is easy: but that’s why we’re writers!

    Ronel visiting on IWSG day 2019 Goals, Resolutions and Questions

  9. Keep going! I always wind up with that not-going-anywhere feeling right before the breakthrough.

  10. Happy New Year!
    One of my most favourite writers is John Gardner. He wrote in one of his books that dealt with an interview of him that he’s been submitting for ten years and for ten years he had been getting rejections. Then he happened to get in the tenth year a rejection and had the gall to go visit the editor that had rejected his book. He asked him what was wrong with his story. Turns out the editor had not really read it. That evening Gardner sat there until he had finished reading it and ended up late in the night with a contract and a new friendship. I don’t know if this help but don’t give up. Keep at it not because others believe in you but because you believe in yourself.
    Wishing you much success and a agent or publishing contract for 2019.

    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

  11. It’s a downer but every no is one closer to a yes and it could be just around the corner.

  12. That’s what we – the IWSG – are here for! We’ve got your back, and we believe in you. Ride out this rough patch – you can do it!

  13. No problem with being a downer this month. That’s what being a writer is all about, unfortunately. If this project is calling to you, stick with it now and worry about where it goes later. Happy 2019!

  14. Oh no. Sorry you’re having a case of the blahs. They’re tough! Rejections suck. And you keep going because despite the rejections you know there are people out there that will love what you wrote. Kissing all the frogs to find the prince so to speak. Good luck and wishing you all the success for 2019.

  15. I’m sorry you’re having a tough time of it right now 😦 Rejections are so disheartening. Hang in there – you’re a fabulous writer.

    Wishing you much joy and happiness for the coming year.

  16. Rejections aren’t fun and neither are writing slumps, but they aren’t the end of the world and they aren’t forever. so keep your chin up!

  17. My favorite quote on the topic: “Success seems to be largely a matter of hanging on after others have let go.” – William Feather.
    Hang on there.

  18. Sorry you’re experiencing low tide, but that’s part of the cycle, eh? Until that “yes, please” lands in your mailbox, perhaps exploring small publishers and indie publishing would cheer you somewhat? Trad publishing isn’t the only path. Wishing you a healthy, happy, productive new writing year.

  19. Oh! I get so worried when someone asks if they can ready my work too. I think I have always been shy with my words. But now, I see the importance in the right people. I am a bit sad too this month but I believe in both of us 🙂 Happy IWSG day Anna 🙂

  20. Writing is TOUGH! The journey is even tougher. We all get down. Give yourself all the credit possible for putting yourself out there. I haven’t submitted in years (not quite there yet). You’re going to get there and it’s because you just keep going!

  21. Hi Ana,

    Hang in there… Many people feel the way you do at the beginning of the year. Writing is one of THE TOUGHEST gigs… I have been at it for over a decade and I still haven’t hit pay dirt yet. I keep going though because I have come close so many times only to be rejected after I send out the full MS. I must have something, if they keep asking to read it. Just don’t give up on yourself.

    All the best to you in this new year! Sending you a helpful HUG….

  22. Rejections are such jerks. I always seem to get them when I’m already feeling down over something else and then I’m steamrolled. I got 46 rejections in 2018. I have a friend who aims for 100 every year, and celebrates when he hits that 100 getting himself a gift or taking himself to his favorite restaurant. Maybe we should try that too?

  23. Victoria Marie Lees

    I can re-paper my walls with the rejections. Man! Is it difficult to keep submitting. You can do this, Anna. I believe in you. Never give up! Never surrender! Your belief that the story is good enough to be published, that is. All best to you in 2019!
    http://victoriamarielees.blogspot.com

  24. Keeping on going is what we do. Don’t stop!

  25. Don’t be sorry for sharing your truth. That’s what we’re here for! Do keep submitting, but maybe give indie publishing some thought, at least for part of your work. I’ve decided to take that route with some short stories I want to put together in a collection. It seems to take some of the pressure off – giving myself an illusion of control, perhaps. 🙂

  26. There’s something to be said for obstinacy. I hope you get a break soon though! @mirymom1 from
    Balancing Act

  27. Oh boy. I think we all know this feeling. I’m sorry you’re feeling so blue and really hope you feel better soon. Maybe after you finish this particular wip, you’ll take a break and give yourself time to think and re-evaluate. Wishing only the best for you in this new year…

  28. mlouisebarbourfundyblue

    I’m sorry to hear that you’ve hit a down patch, Anna! I think we all go through them as writers. Hang in there! Wishing only the best for you in the new year!

  29. Rejection is hard, esp on the ego. It feels like we’re being rejected not our work. When I think that, I think of actors who try out for roles and don’t get them. They are being rejected. Pulling yourself out of a deep funk is not easy. Write for fun, what you enjoy reading. Hugs.

  30. Wow! You have 58 comments already. Look at all your support. Keep writing. You never know where it will go. I enjoy your writing. White Lightning was great. Just keep writing. Just keep writing.

  31. I’m sorry you are feeling so down. But I’m glad you’re not giving up! Your writing is great and I know you will find the right home for it soon. I hope 2019 brings you lots of joy. 🙂

  32. Come to think of it, I rather resent people asking me why I “have” to do what I do. I never ask them why keep crocheting.

  33. I can understand that carrot feeling as there are days when I stare at one and keep hitting myself to keep going. But do we write for the carrot or because of the urge to get our words on paper? The key is to keep going as long as you feel right writing.

  34. I rarely mind what people ask about my writing – It’s when they fall asleep during the answer I get miffed!

  35. At least you have people who ask to read your writing! There is the interest and the excitement to indulge in your work.

    I hope you bounce back after the holidays. May your year be bright and full of acceptance!

  36. I always get nervous when someone asks to read my work, but at the same time, that is one of the reasons I write. I have publication in mind and do hope people read my work, even though it is anxiety-inducing.

    *hugs* It can be difficult to keep writing when rejections are coming in. Perhaps you need a break. Maybe go back and read something you’re proud to have written to remind yourself why you write. Wishing you the best!

  37. Thanks for stopping by my blog.
    People rarely ask if they can read my work; that actually sounds nice to me. I’d love to tell people where they can find samples of my work, or just let them read a page from my Kindle or phone.
    I’m glad Wattap has been helpful.
    As far as submitting goes, it’s a little different when you’ve dedicated yourself to self-publishing. I still submit small pieces and may even try a larger submission down the road, but I know that most of my work will be shared on my terms. I wish I had more positive words to offer on this matter. In any case, if this is your dream, I say keep submitting. I kind of feel like you’ll have fewer regrets receiving rejections while waiting for that perfect acceptance than if you stopped submitting altogether.

  38. If you weren’t receiving those rejections, you wouldn’t be trying, and that is the ultimate downer. Every rejection is a step forward. Don’t let up on the gas. To butcher a quote: luck favors the prepared. Stay strong out there!

  39. Christine Rains

    I sympathize with you about that carrot trick. It’s how I feel when I’m down. I know I keep writing because I love it, but during the down times, it’s hard to let that fuel me. Here’s hoping that 2019 brings all of us back up!

  40. So sorry you’re struggling, Anna. We’ve all been there. I’ve probably already suggested this, so forgive me, but the way I started thinking of rejections differently was to make it a game of sorts. Every year, I submit my work 100 times. Then, it’s the submitting itself that’s the win (and trust me, it is a win, even if it doesn’t feel that way).

    Though there’s still the odd “no” that gets me down, this practice has really taken the sting out of rejections and greatly increased my chances of success.

    Happy New Year! I hope you’re on the upswing soon.

    • How I’m looking at my rejections is most of my issue. I shouldn’t take them personally. This is true.

      I don’t know if I can call it a game–this isn’t fun–but I could try calling it a hurdle, or cosmic test. One of many in my lifetime that brought me to this moment.

  41. Hang in there, Anna!
    I’ll be trudging alongside you… remember you’re not alone.
    Happy New Year!

  42. Hi Anna, sorry I’m late to the party! I got carried away with the holidays. I did a mental “Oof!” over your least favourite question, why do you keep going? There’s something depressing in the whole tone! We keep going because there is no other way we can go, right! 🙂

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