Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Insecure Write Support Group


There's been a lot going on recently--school, job interviews, and yes, my book.

My book has given me a lot of stress recently. One reason is because maybe my genre had changed. Well, I guess you can say it didn't really change. Looking on it, I may have been writing the genre the whole time, but called it something else.

What I've been most insecure about recently is something I'm afraid to talk about. It's when your friends begin to make you feel like your writing is less significant than theirs. When they make you feel like you're not as good as them, like you aren't going to get published, and that you're writing just isn't enough to BE that genre you just might start exploring.

This started out as being a fun exchange, and helpful. I was getting feedback and I liked it. I could take the critical, even.

Now there's no help. And all I can hear now from his person is how I don't know enough about writing--ANY form. From query letters to anything about publication, even.

Questions like, "Have you researched writers queries online? Have you actually looked for a REAL writer's queries?" Let me know that the person on the other side of me thinks I'm dumb. They also HAVE NOT taken into account the writer I am, or the strength of my blog or my intelligence.

I'll tell you what I know about writing: I have nearly nine years of experience. Now, that might not seem like a lot coming from someone who's almost 22, but let me tell you--I've seen my work change and transform and I know I'm better. I know it. I can writing a variety of things from essays, poetry, to novels. I'm well-disciplined.

FOR YEARS I have searched and searched for example queries, agents, how to query, how to research agents, I've researched markets. I've bought Writer's Markets, I've been to QueryTracker, I've been to Absolute Writer, Writer's Write, Agents Blogs like Kristen Nelson and Nathan Bradford. I've read books like From the Query to the Call, submitted my query for revision to bloggers and agents alike. I'VE QUERIED!

AND yes, I still worry about getting published. Because it's hard. Because, this person who has made me so upset and made me feel this way only said at the end of this conversation, "Well...I guess I'm not that worried about publication. I have connections upon connections upon connections. I pitched my novel to them, they said they know exactly who I can contact when it's finished."

Well, that's great. I don't. It's gonna be harder for me. But you know what? I'll be better off taking the hard road.

Sorry guys, this was a rant.
I've been upset about this for a while. I almost feel betrayed. :/

29 comments:

  1. Sounds like you and your writer friend have outgrown each other. It's okay, at least you're both growing! Maybe it is time to look for a new critique partner. I know Rach Writes was having a match-up. And Maggie Stiefvater is having one too right now.

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  2. That sucks that your crit. partner makes you feel that way. Just like in a romantic relationship, if you are feeling belittled or like you are not clicking with that person anymore, it might be time to move on. There are plenty of crit partners online and I would suggest you find a group (not just one person, so that way you can tell if others agree or if that person is just arrogant or whatever) that you jive with. Seriously, get out of that relationship!

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  3. Wow. They kinda' sound like an ass.
    And it is possible that they in no way meant to make you feel that way. Some people just don't know how to talk to people. Either way, try not to let it get to you.
    You said it, YOU know you are getting better, you know you are getting closer to that ultimate goal. That's what matters. :)

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  4. Get a new CP.

    Your partner's job is to support you, and if they don't feel like they can do that anymore, they need to move on. If they're not big enough to move on, you need to do it. It's NOT personal, it's business. You're trying to break into a market, and you need support. Sometimes that support tells you that you suck and you need to make changes, but for the most part, they should be your cheerleaders.

    Good luck!

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  5. It sounds to me like your "friend" might be more than a little bit insecure about their own writing. Even with connections, connections, connections... their writing has to be spot on. I'm guessing that they're just feeling threatened it makes them feel like they have more power by tearing you down. Don't let it hinder you. Good luck!

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  6. I agree, you should look for a new cp.
    I know someone who'd be interested. . .

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    1. Do you? I'd like to find someone. I'm in the process of editing...again! :/

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    2. Yeah, me! I've been on the look out for cps. :)

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    3. Great! Email me. rachelmarybean at yahoo. :)

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  7. Thanks for your comments, guys! I'm not sure she's meaning to be mean, but it sure feels like she's not longer supportive of me. The hard part is, this was a friendship before it was a CP partnership. I get to the point where I don't want to talk books cause that only means we're talking about hers and not really anything else...or I'm being questioned about the legitimacy of my research. *angry face*

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  8. You've got some great advice up there in the comments, so I'll just give you a *BIG HUG* and say, don't let anyone step on your dreams! Keep working hard, rise above, and keep writing! YOU CAN DO IT!

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  9. Ashley, I can't even begin to comprehend having a CP like that! The point to a CP is to give an unbiased opinion and also to offer support. There are no excuses for belittling and make fun. My CP has gone through this, and had to break the partnership. If you're looking for someone to CP for you, you have my email! ((((HUGS))))

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  10. Ummm, you have to get rid of that CP. Your CPs should want to see you published just as bad as you do. If that's not where the CP's head is at, then good bye.

    So sorry you have to go through that kiddo. That's horrible.

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  11. That's terrible. Definitely get rid of that CP. CPs are supposed to give honest, constructive criticism, but in a supportive way. Its like pouring your heart out to a best friend only to have them say 'Gosh, you're pretty stupid, aren't you?' - doesn't work.

    Its painful when a friendship drifts away - but it happens and life goes on. If nothing else, you've got all of us!!! (lol - if that helps :) )

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  12. Ahhhh sorry to hear that, it's always a shame when friendships start to fizzle out. But at least you had each other when it counted and maybe it's time to look over your work with fresh eyes and a new
    CP.
    We all have to make changes in life as we outgrow one another, it is always sad but you will get there ash.x

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  13. **Beware of frustrated writers.**

    I always tell my kids...it's easier to feel tall by knocking someone over than by growing. Sounds like she needed to boost her ego...at your expense.

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  14. that is really hard to hear, for me too because its about a fellow struggling-to-be-published writer! there are ways to say things that are helpful and not hurtful!

    i would ask this person what their goal is, if you are close with them. if not, and the dergradation continues, i might try to avoid them.

    difficult and uncomfortable situation! i hope things get better. and there are so many of us questioning our skills & getting rejection, i dont think its a matter of skill, its finding that right for us agent & timing luck. it WILL happen! keep at it!

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  15. Thanks guys! I never thought about her as my CP before, I guess. She's a friend who wanted to read my book, then after she began reading my book, she wanted to write hers. So it's been an exchange of MS's. But recently, I've just been feeling down every time I talk to her. :/

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  16. Ashley, you are a wonderful writer. A wonderful person. You have done a lot of research and you have and are working hard. I love you and I love your writing. Please do not let that person get you down. You know what you are doing and you are doing great!!

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  17. Oh, the anonymous comment was from me, Jennifer Chezem. : )

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  18. You will be published one day!! I look forward to it!!! : > Jennifer Chezem

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  19. I have this way of thinking. I don't enjoy every book I pick up at the book store. Even if it's the genre I like. Because writing is an art, and different people feel a connection to art differently. Either your CP doesn't like your writing style, or she thinks hers is the best so no one else's can compare, or you are feeling down on yourself and believe she is thinking things that she's not.

    I usually do that last one. :)

    But one time, I joined a writers group and sat with a woman who's debut novel was about to be published in a few months. I hadn't known this, but she had an air about her that exuded "better than you". Once we started chatting, and I learned her published status, she made it a point to list the rules to me of writing. She never complimented my work and always showed me which rules I'd screwed up. When her book hit the shelves, I bought and read it. WOW. I was bored to tears! And that's when I knew. It's not that she didn't like me (well maybe that was true). It's basically that she really didn't like my work. Period. And guess what, I didn't like hers. And that's okay.

    Find a CP that likes your work. Your writing style, your genre, and your market. The encouragement of a great CP can make ALL the difference!

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  20. Oh! And I've tagged you in the Lucky 7 Meme. You can see the rules on my blog. I look forward to reading your 7 lines!

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  21. Wow - I'm sorry. That sucks to have someone undermining you like that. Know that, for the majority of us around here, we're with you. We're in your position, looking at the query slog to try to get to publication, and we're not rolling around in publishing connections.

    It sounds to me like you've got your s*** together, so I think you're doing just fine.

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  22. That's your inner critic talking. It's time to get the duct tape out and silence her for good.

    When it comes down to it, you are in control of what happens with your writing. It doesn't matter what anyone else says, because ultimately you are the one who has to believe in the work. :-) It took me a long time to learn that, but once I did I became the writer I've always wanted to be.

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  23. Sounds like your friend may be a little insecure herself.

    There's lots of great advice in the comments, but here's one more from Mark Twain...

    Keep away from those who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you believe that you too can become great.

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  24. Hey Ashley,

    Stumbled on this post, as I was going to comment on your latest, but yeah per the above... seriously don't waste your time with the negative peeeps..... once you *ARE* published (and you will be... you have a lion's heart :) some of the folks out there will be mean....so don't accept the poop from here in the community :)

    PS... thanks so much for officially joining my Got Green? Blog O'hop... I'm looking forward to reading your post :)

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    Replies
    1. Hey Mark! Thank you for your encouragement! :D And I'm super excited about the Got Green? Bloghop!!! I love any chance to talk about Ireland. LOL. I miss it so much!

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