Um, Yes. It is. Putting aside her style, the contribution she made to English Literature, and the fact that she wrote what she wanted despite the requests of the Prince Regent it would be very hard. A few ago I visited Jane Austen’s house in Chawton and saw where she actually wrote. They wouldn’t let me take a picture, but I’m really, really glad I went because this month I was tempted to whinge about the ongoing saga of my study which is currently being used as a dumping ground for the decorating stuff.
Jane Austen shared a bedroom with her sister and wrote at a table in the room where the family received visitors. There’s a rumor that the creaking door was never fixed as it alerted Jane Austen to the approach of visitors so she could hide her manuscript. It’s the sort of rumor that is fun to believe, at least it was until I considered how frustrating it would be to stop writing because you are expected to be polite. With so many distractions I’m in awe of the fact Pride and Prejudice was ever finished. Perhaps if it wasn’t for all her pesky neighbours we would have more books. Or perhaps the books we do have wouldn’t be nearly as funny?
Given what Jane Austen accomplished without a study, privacy or a lap top I can hardly complain about having to clamber over paint pots. Time to stop whinging and knuckle down.
How is everyone else finding March? And if you wish to share visit Alex J. Cavanaugh (one day I will remember how to spell his name without checking!) at the Insecure Writer’s Support Group.
This month I wrote a book review for Read it Now or Else. Writing the review, and reading the other ones on the site made me think about my own writing style. As part of my job I’m constantly writing reports that refer to local and government policy in order to justify the decisions I make.
These reports are cold clinical creatures that deal in facts only. They are not a true reflection of my personality, but comparing my first review draft to that of the other contributors mine seemed a little bit formal and emotionless. I don’t think I captured any of the enthusiasm I had for the story, or the characters but was very snooty and aloof in word choice and style – in fact I think I’m doing it now with this blog post. I’m afraid that I write so much as part of my job that this is creeping in to my other non-fiction writing and I’m becoming an automaton.
The fiction itself appears to be safe, but then when I’m writing fiction I’m being someone else. Even in third person I like to make the character’s personality a feature of the prose.
Do my characters have more personality than me? And is that actually a bad thing?
What really made me pause though was that I’ve always believed words were a way to get to the heart of things. I’ve never thought that they could be barriers before. Misleading and subversive, yes, but never huge cold gates that simply said ‘don’t go there’. If I keep writing this way is it possible that people would be closed out? Or does it really depend on the sort of person I want to attract?
That’s how I find myself on the latest step of the ‘oh my god who am I what am I doing what are my blogging goals?’ anxiety. If the purpose of a blog is to showcase the author’s personality then argh!
Still, on my last post where I had a bit of a melt down the comments were encouraging (an IWSG post, of course!). The best thing to do is keep writing blog posts, and keep experimenting. That’s the only way I’m really going to find out what works, after all.
As always thank you to Alex J. Cavanaugh for giving me the chance to vent. And thank you to all the other participants. Despite not doing as well as I’d hoped visiting other people last month I still discovered some amazing blogs. I’m going to put the extra effort in this month too and find some more.
The last post on my blog made me realise exactly how much I do get out of IWSG. So this month I’m going to try to channel all my insecurities into something positive.
In my previous post I did reflect on the fact that I do not put as much into the IWSG as I get out of it so to change that I’m going to make IWSG last the whole month. Originally I had plans to comment on every body’s post by next month, but since there are now 319 people on the list I think that’s too ambitious of me. If I comment on two of the blogs on the IWSG list though I will have seen 58 of you before the next update. I appreciate that’s setting the bar pretty low, but that’s in the interests of quality control and my sanity. If I can do more I will because it would be more comforting to finish on a round number.
I’m starting with Alex J. Cavanaugh who started Insecure Writer’s Support Group and then going through on every blog which has a number on the linky list that’s a multiple of 5 (to stop me getting confused.) I’ll check in next month. Hope everyone out there is having a productive start to the new year.
As an addendum to my last post, this one is a tribute to the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, founded by Alex. J Cavanaugh. Now when it comes to online communities I’m a bit limp, invariably registering and then hiding in the corner doing the minimal amount or forgetting my login, password or both because real life is busy throwing other very important things at me. I didn’t even realise there was a competition to promote the group until I read it on another member’s post. Thank you Linda King.
The beauty of Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) is that I don’t need a password. All you have to do is add you name to the linky list here.
Then comes the hard part. Then you have to remember, on the first Wednesday of every month to put up a blog post detailing about your insecurities writing related, or sometimes otherwise. Now, for someone who blogs anyway you’d think this would be easy. Not so much. I do enjoy blogging but like with most things in my life (losing weight, trying to get more fresh air, trying to keep in touch with long distance friends) I have bursts of organisation and motivation which soon peters off when I hit a wall, burn out and spend a week lying on the sofa in the dark with a moist towel over my head. There is so much to do! And seriously, who’d have thunk that this writing malarkey would take so much time!
The wonderful thing about IWSG is that it is only once a month. Even I can manage that. Other groups go for two posts a week. A week! Frightening. And once a month, despite whatever else is going on IWSG gets me writing a blog post. I may not always get around to sharing the love on other people’s posts, and the fact that my own posts are lacking in comments reflects that, but once a month I still write and I still post. That’s important because even if no one reads these posts they are part of me discovering who I am when I write and what I want my voice to be. And how I want my blog to look. Although not sure about today’s headings.
Although I couldn’t tell you exactly why – perhaps the threat of missing two posts and being struck from the linky list (which is here, by the way.) Or it might be that even when I don’t read the other posts (and especially when I do) I get to see that other writers, all at different stages in their careers, are struggling with the same things and finding ways to overcome them. If you were thinking about joining (by entering the linky list, in case I’ve not mentioned that enough already) and once a month isn’t enough for you then there is a recently launched facebook page, resources and a blog, and a community on Twitter (#IWSG).
Just remember that in order to test us all the January post will be on 8th and not the 1st. See you there.
Before starting their blog did any one put much thought in to what type of blog they wanted to write, or did they just decide to give it a go and see what happened?
This blog is a tiny bit of both. I read a great many books and articles (most of them free) about author platforms and how to use a blog etc. But I was procrastinating so much that in the end I just decided to give it a try and see what happened. When I manage to update regularly things go well and although I don’t get huge amounts of traffic I do get more than I expected. Recently though I’m having an identity crisis. This I think mostly comes down to my blog’s name. I don’t think it really matches my content anymore and that I should switch to a blog that makes it clearer who I am by entering the ‘insert your name’ writer category of blog.
Doing that though feels just a tiny bit frightening. Despite all the literature saying that I should I’m still not convinced that I will shift to wordpress.org as I also told myself I couldn’t justify doing it until I had got into the habit of regular updates all the time. But then it does seem stupid to switch to switch to a blog under a different name, and then switch to a blog with the same name again.
Is there anybody out there who may be in a similar position to me? Or who has more experience. Any advice or anecdotes would be appreciated.
As always a big thank you to Alex J. Cavanaugh for creating the Insecure Writer’s Support Group for allowing me to vent – and making sure I do update at least once a month.
The lack of time is something that crops up frequently when I’m feeling insecure. There is never enough of it. The frightening thing is that I am not sure why that is. I do work full time but I don’t have children and I’m not the most dedicated of house workers.
I’ve thought about this a great deal and I’m starting to worry that it’s me. Am I too lazy? Am I not organised enough? And does any of that matter as I’m just not damn good enough anyway?
Thank goodness for National Novel Writing Month. This November it’s been helpful to focus on a short term goal and to see a novel coming together after a month and a bit of planning. It’s made me remember why I enjoyed writing so much in the first place. More importantly it’s made me dedicate time to actually writing rather than worrying about the whole post writing things that occasionally overwhelm me. (Finding Beta Readers, hiring an editor, getting a book cover design, learning to format, sorting out a website, promotion…Arrghh!)
Jamie Ayres’ IWSG post really inspired me this month. She talks about her list of things she really wants to do, and although I have something similar it’s not quite as adventurous. I have a list of novels I want to write. Perhaps I need to pretend that there are more National Novel Writing Months, and get involved with Camp NaNo over the summer.
And apparently today is National Stress Awareness Day, so there’s a perfect excuse to bury my head in the sand and just concentrate on what my fingers are doing right now rather then becoming obsessed with all the things I can’t control and have no need to do right now! *Takes a Deep Breath*
Incidentally it is also National Sausage Week. Did anyone else know there was a National Sausage Week?
If you want to share the love visit Alex. J Cavanaugh’s blog to find out more
I know it’s been a while (nearly a month!) but my internet connection has been temperamental, inevitably cutting out whenever I click the ‘publish’ button, or to confirm any of my online banking.
There’s a fault with the BT line apparently.
I’m still commenting on posts and clearing out my email (mostly at work) so don’t give up on me and keep in touch.
Hopefully things will be up and running for the October Insecure Writer’s Support Group. Guess what I’ll be writing about…