The Insecure Writer’s Support Group ~ No#11

I pretty much had my post wrapped up for today, and then I put it on hold. I just realised something important. I feel a little silly about it… but it's a real if somewhat strange phenomenon.

When it comes to my flash fiction, I'm quite excited to share it with everybody. I'll happily write my Five Sentence Fiction pieces, and have little hesitation when it comes to pressing the publish button. You can rip my flash fic to shreds, I'll take it on the chin, pick up the pieces and restructure the work. BUT… I am petrified to reveal even the tiniest bit of information when it comes to my WIP. I feel hyper-sensitive about it. So I'll happily throw my flash fic to the wolves, but I'm protective of my longer piece… strange but true!

I leave you with the following quote I read the other day!

These are the words of Bennett Cerf, known to children throughout the world as the author of The Book Of Riddles…

Bunyan spent a year in prison, Coleridge was a drug addict, Poe was an alcoholic, Marlowe was killed by a man he was trying to stab, Pope took a large sum of money to keep a woman's name out of a vicious satire and then wrote it so that she could be recognised anyway, Chatterton killed himself, Somerset Maugham was so unhappy in his final thirty years that he longed for death… do you still want to be a writer? I do!

Now head over to Alex's blog, where you can read an assortment of rants and raves from other wonderful and super-talented writers at the Insecure Writer's Support Group.


  1. jabblog uk. on November 7, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    Courage,  mon brave:-)
    There must be plenty of writers who haven't done away with themselves – some of them are even published! 

    • michelle on November 9, 2012 at 9:05 am

      Yeah. I'm thinking that, for some of these characters, maybe ending it all was the easier route…? We are all faced with choices…

  2. Morgan Shamy on November 7, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    Oh my gosh! Madness!!! And I always think it's a good thing to put ourselves out there… whether it's posting flash fiction or even just owning that we're writers. Great post. 

    • michelle on November 9, 2012 at 9:06 am

      I do agree that we must put ourselves out there. It seems so easy with the short pieces… but when it comes to the WIP… eeeeeek! I'm terrified! Thanks Morgan.

  3. Alex J. Cavanaugh on November 7, 2012 at 7:03 pm

    What's the worst that could happen? You might get comments like the ones I posted today.

    • michelle on November 9, 2012 at 9:08 am

      So true. Some of those comments were very cute! So maybe I could get some cute ones too?? (besides all the not-so-cute-comments… suppose you gotta take the positive with the negative…)

  4. Elise Fallson on November 7, 2012 at 9:40 pm

    I feel the same way about my flash fiction pieces. i think since we invest less time in a flash fiction piece we can be more relaxed about sharing them. Plus, it's easier and requires less time to edit and refine a shorter piece.  But a whole ms, that's a different story considering the amount of time and emotional investement that goes into writing just the first draft.
    All in all, I just think we writers are a crazy lot! 😀  

    • michelle on November 9, 2012 at 9:11 am

      You've nailed it! 🙂 It's definitely the emotional investment aspect that makes us so protective of the ms. Maybe it's because I write so slow and my inner critic is REAL NASTY! So I need to shut off the critic and get the story moving along… 🙂

  5. Tonja on November 7, 2012 at 10:10 pm

    I've read somewhere that only writers that don't write end up killing themselves or drinking themselves to death – or they simply go mad.  So we must write.  Protect your precious as long as you need to.  Keep it secret.  Keep it safe.  (Yes, I am excited about the new Hobbit movie!!!) 

    • michelle on November 9, 2012 at 9:13 am

      Thanks Tonja. I'd rather be a sane and sober writer-in-the-making… just struggling along… definitely the better option!

  6. Jen on November 7, 2012 at 10:15 pm

    Actually, that makes sense!
    I've written short stories and hand them over easier to readers and crit partners but to hand over a novel…eish! You just about have to pry it out of my hands!
    It's so much work! It's so many years of our lives. The shorts come to us and we work on them, then send them out. But the novels, oh the novels are our children. We nurture them, critique them, punish them, discipline them, and then, to send them on their way is to let them go, let them become what they were meant to be…
    And that's scary indeed.
    Great post!

    • michelle on November 9, 2012 at 9:15 am

      I suppose you're right. We invest so much more, in terms of time and effort… years and years…phew. That is so scary. Thanks Jen!

  7. Susan Gourley on November 7, 2012 at 10:19 pm

    I don't like to talk about my WIP until it's finished. I know lots of writers who are a bit shaky pyschologically. LOL

    • michelle on November 9, 2012 at 9:18 am

      *chuckles* That made me smile! I think I fall into that category – I don't want to talk about the WIP! Period. Hey, who knows, I may be one of the shaky psycho ones? How does one tell? Any distinctive signs?

  8. Tyrean on November 8, 2012 at 12:07 am

    Love the quotes.

    • michelle on November 9, 2012 at 9:18 am

      Thanks Tyrean! 🙂

  9. Medeia Sharif on November 8, 2012 at 12:26 am

    I'll gladly reveal flash fiction and poetry, but I feel odd sharing my WIP. An unpublished manuscript seems so much more vulnerable. 

    • michelle on November 9, 2012 at 9:19 am

      The word vulnerable is perfect! Vulnerable WIP and vulnerable writer… 🙂

  10. Julie on November 8, 2012 at 9:28 am

    I just realized that this incredible quote is only two sentences long. Is this one of your inspirations for Five Sentence Fiction?  It fits in with your suspenseful stories to continue to be mysterious about your WIP. At some point you may want to ease into it with your CP's, but you have to  decide what  works best for you.

    • michelle on November 9, 2012 at 9:21 am

      No, this quote isn't a source of inspiration for my FSF.  🙂 You're so right, I'll have to ease into the WIP-sharing mode with CP's… at some point!

  11. murees on November 8, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    I fully understand your insecurity. I still do not post excerpts from my new W.I.P. I don't want people to tell me that my writing is terrbile. At least you are confident about your flash fiction and that is important. 

    • michelle on November 9, 2012 at 9:24 am

      I'm fairly confident about the flash fiction. So that's a start. Though I still have a lot to learn… 🙂 There is more time to polish a flash piece before releasing it to the public…

  12. J. A. Bennett on November 8, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    I think when we've put so many hours into something, it's really hard to let it out to the world to be judged. You've poured your whole sould into it and anythng negative seems jarring. I totally understand that feeling!

    • michelle on November 9, 2012 at 9:25 am

      Absolutely! *sighs* But I'm sure that the trick is to overcome the initial barrier by sharing something with a CP… soon, very soon… 🙂 Thansk J.A.

  13. Lynda R Young on November 8, 2012 at 11:30 pm

    Holding on to your longer piece makes perfect sense. It's because it matters more to you. It's your baby and everyone protects their baby.

    • michelle on November 9, 2012 at 9:26 am

      I've heard this time and time again, and I'm only beginning to realise it now… 🙂

  14. JNCL on November 9, 2012 at 2:01 am

    I know EXACTLY how you feel. I'm so hyper about my current WIP that it took everything I had just to admit on my first IWSG post this week that I HAVE a WIP! I really think it's natural to be protective of them–as long as it doesn't paralyze us from ever trying to get them out there once we're happy with a revised draft.

    • michelle on November 9, 2012 at 9:28 am

      Thanks for popping in JNCL. The thought of someone reading it has me almost hyper-ventilating…

  15. Lex Cobain on November 9, 2012 at 2:54 am

    It sounds like you have a lot more emotional investiture in your WIP- like has been said- it's your baby! Protect it till you're ready to unleash it's fabulousness on the world! 🙂  
    Love the quote 🙂 Thanks for visiting my blog! 🙂

    • michelle on November 9, 2012 at 9:30 am

      Thanks for the return visit, Lex! 🙂 I'll just take it step-by-step… 🙂 You're right, there's far too much of an emotional investment in the WIP…

  16. L. Diane Wolfe on November 9, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    At some point you will and it won't be as bad as you think.

    • michelle on November 9, 2012 at 5:00 pm

      So true. We agonise over things that are not as bad, when they finally come to pass…

  17. BillyandRoach on November 9, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    Billy likes to laugh at me but I think I'd enjoy being a writer one day. In any event, I just adore your work and don't think you should have a single thing to fret over. (: 

    • michelle on November 9, 2012 at 5:02 pm

      Billy had better keep his laughter to himself… 'cos when you get a hold of him——- one of these days!! LOL. Thanks for your unwavering belief in my work! I appreciate it!

  18. tara tyler on November 9, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    aw thats ok. you will when you're ready…if you want to be published!

    • michelle on November 9, 2012 at 5:03 pm

      My stomach does somersaults at the thought of it!! 🙂 Published? Li'l ole me? 🙂

  19. Emily R. King on November 9, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    My heart skips a beat every time I pressed the publish or send button on my work. You're so brave, Michelle. It takes courage to be a writer!

    • michelle on November 9, 2012 at 5:04 pm

      Thank you Emily. Your comment makes me feel a little better…. 🙂

  20. Susan Kane on November 9, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    Some geniuses struggled with the perspectives so unique to them.  Music, art, poetry–too many names whose lives ended early.

    • michelle on November 9, 2012 at 5:06 pm

      It appears that genius and longevity don't really go hand-in-hand… something to think about… thanks Susan.

  21. Leigh Covington on November 10, 2012 at 5:37 am

    Oh goodness… that makes me laugh. Why, I don't know except that I can answer, "Yes! I do too!"

  22. michelle on November 10, 2012 at 6:33 am

    Thanks for popping in Leigh! 🙂

  23. PK Hrezo on November 12, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    LOL… no doubt writers can be some intense peeps! It's maddening trying to juggle all that creativity with real life demands. 
    I'm sure one day you'll wanna share more about your WIP. By doing so, you'll reap many benefits you never expected to. 🙂

  24. michelle on November 12, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    I have no doubt that I will PK 🙂 I'm just a bit anxious about exposing the work.

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