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.