Wednesday, February 5, 2014

IWSG for February 2014

The Insecure Writer's Support Group (IWSG) is the brilliant idea of Alex J. Cavanaugh. The purpose of the group is to share doubts and insecurities and to encourage one another. Please visit the other participants and share your support. A kind word goes a long way.

When I was 18, I sent in a short story to a contest. It was quickly rejected. I didn't tell anyone I sent it or that I was rejected. After that, I couldn't find the confidence to show anyone my writing for over 15 years.

Then I met a fun group of online friends through PBeM RPGs (Play by email role-playing games). They really liked what I wrote. I did some fanfiction. They loved that even more.

With their encouragement, I submitted a short story to an ezine. It was rejected.

My friends didn't let me fall into the black hole again. I submitted another story. Then another. After 12 rejections, I had my first short story published.

A writer friend had a book accepted by a new small press. She cheered me on as I submitted a novel. It was rejected.

I submitted a second novel. They loved it! I had my first novel published.

Then The-Publisher-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named ran off with all the authors' royalties.

I felt everything I worked for was gone.

But I did gain the friendship of a wonderful group of writers with whom I still stay in contact with today.

With their support and advice, I continued submitting short stories. I have over 20 published now.

I started to blog and met even more amazing folks. I joined a local critique group and learned so much. I self-published a series of novellas which have been well received.

This year, I'm going to query two novels.

None of this would have been possible without the support and encouragement of other writers. The writing community is awesome. Never take it for granted. And never doubt the value of your kind words to another writer. They may be just what she needs to hear to give her the strength to carry on.

37 comments:

  1. I'm glad you had people to support you when you were struggling.
    And how awful it is that someone took all your royalties! I wonder if this person is still in the industry.

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  2. This is what friends are for Christine. I'm so glad you kept on and found a comfortable home for your writing.

    .......dhole

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  3. There are some really evil publishers out there! I'm glad the experience didn't put you off writing altogether. Good luck with the queries.

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  4. While your road has been a rocky one, I really appreciate you sharing it. You are a brilliant writer with a great skill for pulling in the reader. Best of luck with your querying.

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  5. Keep plugging away - rejection is part of the process and it doesn't get easier, but the determination does get stronger, as it appears you've found out. Thanks for sharing, sometimes it looks easy but sharing the truth gives the rest of us strugglers hope!

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  6. Good luck with your querying! It is amazing how writing boosts your confidence. I used to fear rejection, but this whole process changed that. Now I don't hesitate - what is the worst - you are told no… And if you go into querying being prepared for rejection it will be easier. After all, the chances are very slim - so don't put unrealistic expectations on yourself and accept the minor accomplishments (like a partial request) as a major WIN!

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  7. Awesome that you hung in there and persisted even after your bad experience. Glad you did. Congrats on having so many short stories published.

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  8. Holy moly, the publisher ran off with the royalties?! That's crazy!!

    Great post. It really highlights the importance of perseverance, and a great support network; two things every writer needs to succeed.

    I'm sorry you had bad experiences early on in your writing career, but I'm awed by your current success, and wish you every luck when you query this year! :D

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  9. I do love my writing communities, both on and off line.

    I'm so sorry you had such bad experiences at the start of your writing career—but impressed by your perseverance.

    Best of luck with the querying. You'll do great!

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  10. Writers are awesome!

    And that publisher was just evil. I'm glad we got out when we did and didn't lose too much to it like some of the authors there.

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  11. We all need that support to keep going. Glad you found that group or we all would've missed out on your awesome stories.

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  12. What an inspiring post, Christine! Thank you for sharing this. *hugs*

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  13. This is wonderful encouragement for anyone who is not published. I tend to give up too easily, and now I realize that being rejected twice doesn't mean that I'd never find an agent. I'll have to keep trying.
    Your work is so unusual, vibrant and compelling. You deserved to be published, and I'm glad you're with us.

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  14. Getting published brings a lot of rejections. I'm sorry you let the first contest you submitted to from stopping you from writing. But I am so happy for your success! That is a great story that'll help many aspiring writers not to give up. And yes, writer friends are the best! :D

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  15. I think you have to fight the battles (and lose a few) to finally win the war. making some allies on the way also helps.

    mood
    Moody Writing

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  16. I love how you shared your experiences with rejection because you turned your past pain into our gain here, as this post will encourage so many of us insecure writers to press on. Kudos Christine!!!

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  17. This is a really amazing post! I enjoyed this very much.

    www.modernworld4.blogspot.com

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  18. Wonderful advice, Christine. It's great to have a support group. And I'm so excited about you querying your 2 novels. Good Luck! Keep plugging away.

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  19. I'm glad you didn't give up! Good luck with your submissions. =)

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  20. Your testimony is so true! I would've never gotten my novels published without first having the support of a local writer's group who helped me in too many ways to count :-)

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  21. Meeting writers in the virtual world was the best thing that ever happened to me. The support and like-mindedness made me feel included for the first time in my life. I'd always been the oddball - writers are all oddballs! Win! :)
    I admire your perseverance, Christine, and hope the publisher-who-won't-be-named was skewered over the barbeque.

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  22. Glad you kept going, even with that 15 years + break and that awful experience with that publisher. This writing community is indeed the best, glad you're part of it.

    Best of luck with the submissions :D

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  23. Ah, that's awesome that you've preserved, especially after such an awful experience! Other writers are the best.

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  24. Ran off with your royalties! They should've been flogged. Yes, the writers' community is awesome and you are awesome! I just read your forthcoming anthology story and it's worthy. Power on!

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  25. Well said and way to persevere!

    I love your writing!

    Heather

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  26. Thank you, everyone. You're why I love this community! I do sometimes wish I would've tried again way back when I was younger, but I'll never be too old to write.

    And yes, that publisher was caught and prosecuted. It has made me very cautious of smaller presses, but I do my research properly now. My lesson was learned.

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  27. I'm so glad you are sticking with it! You are a very talented writer, and one of these days you'll get a great publisher!

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  28. Hi Christine,

    Such thoughtful, caring words. The writing community interacting, encouraging, sharing. And thus, the blogging community, an integral part of the interactive support. Such a powerful tonic.

    Thank you for this, Christine.

    Gary :)

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  29. Thanks for sharing your story, good luck!

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  30. Thanks for that. It's easy to think that you might as well quit when times are bad. I'm glad you had folks that were willing to stand up and not let you.

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  31. Meeting you and Cherie at The-Publisher-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named was the best thing that came out of that. I'd do it all over again to meet you two. :)

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  32. Hi Christine .. that's a great story - and that you were prepared to wait, and then how you started up again and letting us know about the online's community early support via email for your stories .. so pleased for you .. and good luck with all your goals this year .. cheers Hilary

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  33. It/s all part of the journey, Christine. Thankfully you had a wonderful support group behind you 100 percent.

    And now you have our WONDERFUL community to continue your journey with!

    All the best!

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  35. Have you ever done anything more with the novel you published and had the royalties stolen on? (Boy, that was an awkward sentence to string together for some reason). How awful that it happened. But yay for the point you have currently reached!

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  36. Glad you never gave up. I can't imagine stealing from your writers...though if they stole my royalties they wouldn't get far!

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  37. That is an awesome "journey story." Stick with it!

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