Wednesday, October 5, 2022

October meeting of the IWSG


Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. 

connect here: Sign up page

The awesome co-hosts for the October 5 posting of the IWSG are Tonja Drecker, Victoria Marie Lees, Mary Aalgaard, and Sandra Cox!

Hello fellow neurotic writers! How is your writing world today? I've been a member of the IWSG for a long time. How long? Well, let me distract myself from writing to have a look.  Okay - some time later - the first post that I can find is from October 2011 - so eleven years ago. Here it is:

Past Me:

Dear Journal,
Hi, my name is Jan and I'm an insecure writer. Oh, I know you don't believe me. You think I'm just trying to fit in with the new in-crowd, but you're wrong. I am insecure at writing and perhaps even more with revising. You see, I believe that revising separates the sheep from the goats (hi Elspeth's sheep!!!). I don't know if a writer is a sheep or a goat but today, of all days, insecure writers' day, I'm saying that a writer is a goat and not a sheep. Why? Well because goats eat anything and live off of it. Same as writers. Exactly. Why today, just today, dear journal, I ate an old tire, some sh*t (don't ask, won't tell), and my bank statement. Why? You may well ask. The tire is obvious for you alert journals, the second item I've already said I won't comment on, and the bank statement - that was dessert. If I wasn't a writer and a reviser I might have said that it was desert, but that would be wrong. Why would a bank statement be a big sandy hot area with a cartoon guy crawling across it, saying in balloon speak "water...water...just a bit of water..."?  Some other reasons that writers are goats and not sheep. We smell. It's true. I know we don't like to admit it but when we are deep in revisions, showers are just another pesky thought. Plus we eat popcorn with garlicky oil on it (no - not butter, we're on a diet!) and parmesan with that nice old sock odor. And the third reason we're like goats and not like sheep is that we can't sleep. We're always jumping around on mountains trying to find something, anything, to write about. If we were sheep we'd count ourselves and sleep. I can't sleep - that's why I'm writing this in my journal pretending it is Wednesday - oh - it is almost Wednesday - just 13 more minutes and it will be - then I can put the compost out and maybe go to sleep. I might have a cigarette. On the deck, in the driving cold rain. That would make me feel like a writer and I would definitely smell like a goat. Then I couldn't go to sleep and I could work on fleshing out my main character in the revision I'm doing. Good idea. By the way, Mari and Tartlette, I'm not blunking or drogging or any one of those elvish words. I'm just really really really tired. Because I'm a goat, an insecure writing, revising goat and baaaaaah (oh come on - I heard four goats today and that is just how they sound - the sheep copied them - they ARE sheep ya know).
Sometimes when people ask me what I'm "up to" (very suspiciously I might add) I will tell them I'm a writer and go blah blah blahing about 'what I'm working on' and how hard it is to find 'real publishers' these days. But don't kid yourself, journal, I'm still being insecure when I do that. Yes, I am. I'm blowing a lot of hot air. The thing is that when I'm finally a 'published writer' I won't ever say that. I'll slip it in real cool. "Yes, I'm working on my twelfth book. Uh...well only one's been published, but I AM working on my twelfth book. I'll be so secure. Then every first Wednesday of every month I'll write a Secure Writers' Post. Ha! OK, I'm going out on the deck to smoke now. See you tomorrow, I mean today.

Back to Present Me: 

So all pretty much the same. Yes, I know that now I've actually been a published person. For five months I've swanned around (now I'm a swan not a goat so that's an improvement - though come to think of it I really like goats and I never ever wanted a pet swan...hmmm) going to book launches and signings and readings and so forth. So an author - not just a writer anymore - but oddly I do not feel more secure. If anything I feel more insecure. Now instead of just worrying about getting on with the newest book (40 thousand words in the first draft as of today), I worry constantly about how my first book is doing. Has it entered the right contests? Has it entered any? How are my numbers? Why doesn't my publisher email me begging for the second book? Why are we born only to suffer and die? (oh that one is from the masterpiece called Venus on the Half-Shell by Kilgore Trout but really by Farmer Philip Jose).

Okay - enough - you get the point. I'm off now to make applesauce. Yes, that is true. When someone, say a friend of yours, asks you if you want to go pick apples in the Annapolis Valley - that you'll get more apples than you know what to do with - just say no. I now have way more apples than I know what to do with. I had apple crisp for breakfast. I thought I might make dried apples but it takes nine hours and uses up eight or so apples unless you have four ovens. Also the propane!

I love October. It makes me so happy to be here at last. 

How are you all? Secure yet? Well keep coming - I've been here for eleven years at least and I'm still insecure but I'm very very happy in my insecurity because insecurity loves company!


Liza said...

I love homemade applesauce. It's heaven. Easy too. I had a jar of homemade sauce my sister made I had to use up. I made butternut squash and apple (sauce) soup. It was pretty good, if you are looking for suggestions. You can freeze it, too. Loved reading "Old Jan" vs. "New Jan." I might have to go searching for my first IWSG post for a laugh. Jan, seriously, I think you live near the coast and you have been on my mind since Fiona hit. I hope you were nowhere near.

Natalie Aguirre said...

So fun to see your old and new post. I don't think it's uncommon to feel just as unsecure when you're published. I'm not published yet, and the thought of being published brings up tons of insecurities.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Publishers always want that second book!
Wow, you've been a member since almost the very beginning. Thanks!

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

I didn't even realize IWSG was 11 years old! Time flies. :)

Craving applesauce now!

Jan Morrison said...

Thanks all! Yes Liza , we did get a visit from Fiona but those of us south of Halifax weren't hit too hard. We lost power for a day and a half. I have friends farther north who STILL don't power. Eep. Today I'm going to sit in a kiosk at the pier and hopefully sign books to cruise ship folk!