Tag Archives: Alex J. Cavanaugh

IWSG

InsecureWritersSupportGroup2It’s time for Insecure Writer’s Support Group! “Time to release our fears to the world – or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic.” If you’re interested, check out the link. We post the first Wednesday of every month. Visit as many new blogs as you can and learn from and share this journey with others and please leave comments, support each other. Our words might be exactly what someone needs.

Alex J. Cavanaugh’s co-hosts today are Hart Johnson, Chemist Ken, Candilynn Fite, Terri Rochenski, Clare Dugmore, and Lilica Blake!

Writing is a solitary life and writers tend to like this. Still, the most introverted among us still crave the encouragement of others, especially other writers. This leads us to seek out writing communities; classes, MFA programs, conferences, conventions, and retreats geared to artists. My critique group has attended or created our own share of those things. Recently, I accepted an opportunity to give back to a writing community that has been good to my group and me. At the time, I was full of excitement and motivation. Then I stepped into the role and the magnitude of what I’d taken on hit. Now the emotions were more like fear, trepidation, and at times bordered on panic.

What had I been thinking? I was not up for this. I didn’t have this level of experience to help plan a writing conference. How does attending a bunch of them qualify you to do this? (It doesn’t.) I had developed a bundle of nerves and convinced myself this organization that I loved had just made a horrible mistake placing their trust in me. Who was I? A lowly writer with a degree and some sales to show for it. Did this qualify me to put together a large event? (No.)

OWFIbadgeFast forward a year of amazing lessons, a discovery of self, and a realization of the strength of our organization, Oklahoma Writer’s Federation, Inc. We have an amazing conference planned for May 1-3, just weeks from now. All the hyperventilating and second-guessing and soul-searching is behind me. (I hope.) The conference will be the best fun ever. Like with all things, team related, I have people to thank. My OWFI President, Christine Smith-Jarmola, is a ball of writer energy. She came into this with ideas and ran with them. The board supported all efforts to right the ship any time rough seas hit. Thanks for all you did this year to give us the conference we all want. My girls, Novel Clique, who kept me vertical when panic set in. Hugs and chocolate are coming your way.

Related Links

Oklahoma Writer’s Federation, Inc.

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IWSG – #PitchWars

InsecureWritersSupportGroup  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! (Our Twitter hashtag is #IWSG)

 The Insecure Writer’s Support Group is also holding a contest! Visit today for details – lots of great giveaways. 

Alex J. Cavanaugh’s awesome co-hosts today are Julie Flanders, Heather Gardner, Kim Van Sickler, and Elsie is Writing. Please be sure to thank them for their time and effort to make all IWSG members feel welcome.

If you read my blog yesterday, you know I’m participating in #PitchWars on Brenda Drake’s blog. This is a contest where published/agented authors, editors, or interns choose one writer each, read their entire manuscript, and mentor them by offering suggestions for the next stage, an Agent Round. Mentors also critique the writer’s pitch to help them polish it for that next round.

I submitted to all the mentors accepting my genre (adult thriller) which was three. The results will be announced December 11. Forget waiting for Santa to arrive, I’m waiting for a day that now feels a month away. My insecure writer is suddenly on speed, ramped up, feeding my inner critic every reason I won’t succeed.

I convince myself that my story is amazing. Then the inner critic chirps, there were 2700 entries.

There weren’t 2700 entries in the thriller category I rebut. Hah! Inner critic laughs, but your mentors were all over Twitter yapping about how brilliant all their manuscript entries were…like yours will be the “one” out of all those they’ll choose?

I feel a headache coming on and reach for the caffeine.

My chances are no worse than winning the lottery, I throw out. This time the inner critic belly laughs. And that’s worked so well for you so far. Bought a ticket every week, right?

Not every week, I yell. In fact, I’ve missed a lot. Besides this is about the contest not the stupid lottery. Even if my manuscript doesn’t win, I can get feedback on the query at least. Inner Critic pauses before bashing my hope bubble, I felt bad for those mentors when Google crashed on them. They’re all behind now and rushed just to make their selections. Probably not much feedback coming now.

Duct tape really does have many uses. Now that inner critic is a mummy, I’m settling down with my chocolate and a chai tea to stalk #PitchWars. There is no end to my insecurity apparently.

Good luck to all the PitchWars Contests.

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IWSG and What’s Up Wednesday

InsecureWritersSupportGroupPurpose: 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! (Our Twitter hashtag is #IWSG)

Alex J. Cavanaugh’s awesome co-hosts for the July 3 posting of the IWSG are M. Pax, Karen Walker, and Melissa Maygrove.

Insecurity sets in when we are the most vulnerable. I’m well versed in this now because I have been sick. As a healthy person, the sick thing is not something I have had to do often and I have little patience for. I’m humbled by those who fight illness chronically. Ugh. Totally, NOT fun. In the first place, it does lower all your defenses. Not only was I low physically from the illness but convinced that I was the biggest loser on the planet for all the things I was not accomplishing this summer on my writing that I swore I would. In the boxing ring of insecurity I was beating myself up pretty good. Then, the medicine began to work its magic and logic took hold. My life has been in limbo for a year and given that I’ve done remarkably well just keeping my sanity, crucifying myself for not meeting arbitrarily set goals felt cruel and unusual even for a writer. 🙂 Thus, I have a new goal for the near future: be kinder to my inner writer. We experience enough judgment from the outside. Let’s not add to it.

What’s Up Wednesday

ButtonSmallNoBorderI spent another week lost to illness. Thus, if you read above, you know I’ve already beat myself up over the whole ‘what I didn’t accomplish’ thing. Mostly, I fought to get well.

What I’m reading: Nothing. I’ve been too sick even to read. Trust me, this was a first.

What I’m writing: I did get edits made to one chapter. I’m set to begin again now that I’m actually vertical.

For the week to come August 8-14 (OMG! Is it really time for classes to begin?)

Reading: I look forward to starting a new book. Haven’t decided if it will be fiction or non-fiction. Hmm. So many books…so little time.

Writing: FINISH EDITS OF THE GAP PROJECT.    ready set write button

I am frustrated, but I am undaunted.

Go me!

How was your week?

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IWSG and What’s Up, Wednesday

Insecure Writer’s Support Group

InsecureWritersSupportGroupPurpose: 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! (Our Twitter hashtag is #IWSG)

Alex J. Cavanaugh’s awesome co-hosts for the July 3 posting of the IWSG are Nancy Thompson, Mark Koopmans, and Heather Gardner.

Some weeks are hard, some weeks are harder, and some weeks are a virtual walk in the park in comparison to the others. I’ve had a rare good writing week. The writing went well, the editing has been on track, and I’m making forward progress for the first time in months…well, it feels like it anyway. We all need spurts of inspiration that will send us forward when the energy is lagging. This happened for me when one of the creators of one of my favorite TV shows (Early Edition, remember it?) followed me on Twitter. (Shout out to Vik Rubenfeld.) He was ahead of his time, and his show helped spur the many shows that followed later which pursued paranormal themes. Not vampires but more ghostly tales. If you never saw it, check it out. It also launched Kyle Chandler‘s career. Hello, Friday Night Lights.

At any rate, interacting with other writers, especially people whose work you admire is a great way to keep your own fires burning even when your energy ebbs. I’m not saying abandon your writing for social media. I’m just encouraging you to utilize social media effectively. Get to know other writers. Learn from them. Pass it forward to the writers who will one day admire you. Or already do and you don’t know it.

What’s Up Wednesday?

ButtonSmallNoBorderI finished Her Last Breath and now I’m reading Enigma Black. Linda’s book did not disappoint as usual. I’ve just started the other so I’ll update you on it next week. 🙂

I’ve had a crazy week. We had company, and I traveled across Kansas. Somehow, in spite of that I managed to complete a polish of 25 pages for a submission for this week. I also finished three more chapter revisions of The GAP Project. The bible for it is also coming along nicely. I am really pleased with the progress this week so feeling positive, I’m jumping in with ambitious goals for next week. Five chapter rewrites. I can do this. I can. It is totally within the realm of possible because NO ONE is coming to visit, and I’m not traveling. How’s that for positive thinking? How did your week go?

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