Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Insecure Writers' Support Group - A Call to Arms!

Hi, my name is Jan and I'm an insecure writer.
To meet other members of our group go to Alex's site - he has the clubhouse.

I just tried doing a riff off of the 12 step program. I'm a big believer in AA and think it is an effective program. Heck, I know it is. My dad was a member for the last 19 years of his life - I went to his first meeting with him. But I couldn't do it. Why? Because writing isn't a disease - it is a cure.
The insecurity is a problem though. The lack of confidence to boldly move into our writing life - to truly engage with our skills, talent, and intention as writers - that's a problem. I don't want to be an insecure writer. Neither do I want to be a secure one - a smug, self-satisfied one. Why? Because I think they are generally just insecure ones in disguise. I don't want to be a tortured starving artist, or an ascetic to any cause. I want to be a journeyman, a working writer, a dependable craftsperson of the word. I want people to pick-up my books and sigh knowing that they are guaranteed a good read. Like John Irving, Graham Greene and Margaret Drabble.
Insecurity is a disease. It eats away at the soul and erodes all that is good in a writer. It causes us to second-guess every aspect of our writing and to (if given rein) encourage us to be 'safe' writers of bland missives, or spectacularly outrageous writers of unreadable prose. It causes us to keep our novels in drawers instead of in the postal system looking for a new home. It causes us to stutter when folks ask us what we're up to - not wanting the focus of their attention on our work. Or it causes us to clamber after false attention and feed our ego not our craft. Down with this insecurity I say. Let us instead put our energy into working our craft and being proud of where that brings us, of supporting fellow writers and encouraging emerging ones. Let us be proud to use words to brighten up the dark places in the world, to lighten the load of seriousness, or illuminate  ignorance. I call on all my fellow writers to put down the cloak of insecurity and pick up their pens and go forth into the fray!

18 comments:

Green Monkey said...

Here, Here, I say! I'll raise my goblet to that! I too am a member of the insecure writers group! you're name stood out on the list - Jan Morrison, LOVE IT!

love your bio - I'm a bit of a clown myself. and I LOVE anything that involves a chicken. Look forward to reading more from you Jan Morrison!

KarenG said...

Best.Post.Of.the.Day!!!! I want to write your words on my heart.

Margo Kelly said...

Oh yes! Writing is the CURE!!!! I agree and love this statement.

Thanks!

Kittie Howard said...

Go to the head of the class. Great job!

Jen Chandler said...

Agreed. Best post of the day.

Three cheers.

And thank you. I needed to read this. Best of luck to you in the coming year!

Jen

Liza said...

Yikes, I forgot to do my post this month. Thanks for yours though. I have this idea that writers are insecure because we are all so sensitive we are almost overly keyed into any nuance of negativity. So glad we are all here on line to help each other out!

L'Aussie said...

Hi Jan, great morale-boosting post. It's so hard not to be insecure and not only in our writing life. I think we all need mentors to help keep us believing in ourselves until we actually reach that point.

I haven't got a post this week for ISW.

Denise

Arlee Bird said...

Great call to arms, or I should say pens. We are all insecure to some degree but it is a problem when it keeps us from doing things. I agree with what you've said. Get over it and just do it--whatever it is.


Lee
Tossing It Out

Nancy said...

Love this post and your attitude. Came over on the bloghop but think I will stay awhile. I agree, I don't want this insecurity but neither do I ever want to become pompous. Not that there is much danger of the latter at this point.

Ayda Recknagel said...

Hi, Jan! Here I am, in the back of the meeting, cheering you on and agreeing with you whole-heartedly. I like to think of my insecurity as a kind of back-handed friend, using tough love to motivate me into being a better writer.

Elspeth Antonelli said...

These are wise words indeed, Jan. I know I'll reread them many times. Thanks.

Patricia Stoltey said...

Supporting our fellow authors is great advice. I've made tons of new friends by taking guests on my blog and by signing up to be the Member Liaison for Northern Colorado Writers. That Liaison job also turns up a lot of writers more insecure than I am, and I find cheerleading and offering encouragement influences my own frame of mind.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Writing is the cure - well put.

niamh said...

great post! Rises the blood:)

Into the fray....!

Hart Johnson said...

I love looking at this as a journey to keep from feeling insecure or over-secure. I'd love to write a REALLY great book one day, but I can be content learning and growing and writing books that are a little better each time...

Carol Kilgore said...

Excellent. I love that writing is a cure. Well said. For me, the minute I told someone I was writer - said those words out loud - I knew I really was. I felt as if I had come home.

Ann said...

Oh Jan, I so want to be your type of writer. I just finsihed a project...it is a cookbook with some family stories included and I self published it as it is a Christmas present for my children. I have been told it is only a cookbook...that couldn't have been hard. That's not real writing. So my bubble is well and truly burst. But this post has made me feel so much better! Thank you!

Anna Quon said...

Hey Jan,
have you been reading my journal? I've always felt perfectionism was the enemy but I experience more insecurity than perfectionism so maybe you are right... or maybe they are sisters... always enjoy yourt posts!

Anna