The Insecure Writer’s Support Group ~ No#33 ~ Happy Anniversary!

Welcome to the monthly posting of the Insecure Writer's Support Group.

The awesome co-hosts for today's posting of the IWSG are: Laura at My Baffling Brain, Mark Koopmans, Shah Wharton, and Sheena-Kay Graham. Don't forget to visit them and thank them for co-hosting!                          

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time.

Have you heard about the new industry buzzword – CROWDSOURCING.

Think ‘X Factor’ or ‘American Idol’ meets publishing?

Here's a quote from the article that I came across the other day: "The experiment reflects a new push by writers and publishers to build a fan base for books well before they are published — and sometimes before they are even written. By inverting the usual process of releasing a book first and finding an audience later, publishers are aiming to become more like the rest of the entertainment industry, where new TV shows and films are subjected to rigorous market testing before they are shown." The news article is entitled: PUBLISHERS TURN TO THE CROWD TO FIND THE NEXT BESTSELLER.  It's a real eye-opener…

Just click the link to read the full article:

Last week, my post over at the IWSG website was all about Seeking Validation As A Writer. I asked questions such as: Who or what validates a writer? Who decides whether a writer has "made it" or when a writer has "made it"? Where does your sense of worth as a writer come from? There were so many interesting and insightful comments. I loved this response for its honest simplicity: "I've never called myself a writer. If I've said anything at all about it, it's just that I'm someone who 'likes to write'. I guess that could be called lack of confidence..but I don't write all day long, it's not how I make a living, (even though I wish it was!), and I've never been paid for it.
It's really difficult to make a living in any of the arts, and I think that's what a lot of us use as a guide…if you make a living at writing, acting, painting, dancing…whatever the art is, then you 'are' a writer, actor, painter, dancer, etc….
I don't know though…there is something to be said, I suppose, for the idea of just calling yourself a writer, saying it till you believe it and all that, but I'd rather spend that time writing something.
The world is filled with people who 'believe' that they are one thing or another, but when it comes down to it, they're really not good at whatever it is they think they are…I mean, I'm not knocking having self confidence, but it's also important to learn your craft, whatever it may be. Knowing you are actually good at something breeds it's own self confidence.
There are cases too, of people who are mediocre at best, at whatever their 'craft' is, and for whatever reason, they hit it big…they have all the confidence in the world, but they're still no good at what they do…but no one cares…people eat it up.
I guess this is the long way of saying, I really don't know the answers!

                                           … and I've saved the best for last…


Today marks three years since the very first IWSG post. Next month marks one year since the IWSG site and Facebook group opened. And we’d like you to help us celebrate!

The IWSG Team is putting together an eBook that will benefit all writers – The IWSG Guide to Publishing and Beyond. And we invite all IWSG members, Facebook members, and followers to contribute.

Here are the details:

The three topics will be writing, publishing, and marketing.

Each contribution needs to be between 200 and 1000 words. Focus on one of those three aspects and give us your best tip or procedure. The essay can include bullet points, top ten lists, and recommendations. (Websites, software, books, etc.)

You can either post it for your October 1 IWSG post or email it directly.  or (Since the length can go over the standard IWSG post length.) Include a one sentence byline and a link to your site. Also state that you give us permission to use it in the book and which topic it falls under. (We will only edit for misspellings and grammar mistakes.)

All submissions need to be sent or posted by October 2, 2014. We will compile them into an eBook and aim for an early December release. The book will be free and available for all eReaders.

 Thank you for making the IWSG such a huge success!!

                                                     COVER REVEAL!!


                       HAPPY ANNIVERSARY IWSG!


  1. SittieCates on September 3, 2014 at 10:10 am

    Hi, Michelle! 

    A writer friend of mine mentioned something about crowdsourcing before. Building an audience before the book gets published seems like one of the best ways to get the word out nowadays.   

  2. L. Diane Wolfe on September 3, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    Sometimes mediocre does hit it big and it's frustrating.

    Three years – we did it!

  3. Murees Dupé on September 3, 2014 at 12:20 pm

    Happy IWSG Annivarsay. You work so hard and I am grateful for all you do. IWSG is really great. 

  4. Jen on September 3, 2014 at 12:39 pm

    SOOO excited about this news! What a wonderful book to release into the world! I haven't heard of crowdsourcing in publishing before but I'll definitely check out the link you posted. Very interesting concept but not surprising in light of all the "reality" TV out there! Your posts are always enlightening, Michelle! Thank YOU!! 



  5. Crystal Collier on September 3, 2014 at 12:47 pm

    Sweet! I totally have an article I'd be happy to share–one I penned out for the Writer's Symposium close to a year ago. I'll have to shoot that off.

    Yay for IWSG! Here's to many more and all the ep-tastic people who make it so amazing! (Like you.) 😉

  6. Gisele LeBlanc on September 3, 2014 at 12:57 pm

    Happy Anniversary to IWSG, and awesome idea on the book! Very interesting too on the crowdsourcing. I had never really heard anything about that, but it sounds like a wonderful idea! 🙂

  7. Michelle on September 3, 2014 at 12:59 pm

    Crowdsourcing feels like a way to homogenize things like TV, movies, and now books. I hadn't heard of it being used in publishing, but it doesn't surprise me. Will definitely read that link later. 

  8. Mary Aalgaard on September 3, 2014 at 1:41 pm

    There's always something that feels like a roadblock. Some books will have huge markets. Some will have little markets. All will have readers when we write and share our stories.

    Love the ebook idea!


  9. EE Giorgi on September 3, 2014 at 1:42 pm

    what a great article, I talk a bit about crowdsourcing too in my post (though from a different perspective). So excited about the e-book, I definitely have tips to share 🙂

  10. Carol Kilgore on September 3, 2014 at 2:15 pm

    Congrats to IWSG on three years! I'm going to read your Monday post now. With the holiday here, I didn't make it there for your new debut 🙂

  11. Melissa Maygrove on September 3, 2014 at 2:41 pm

    'Mediocre' does hit it big sometimes, but there has to be something in it that appeals. I try and figure out what that is. *That* combined with good craft habits could hit it even bigger. 😉

    IWSG #179 until Alex culls the list again.

  12. Alex J. Cavanaugh on September 3, 2014 at 3:27 pm

    That was quite an answer to your question!

    The book is going to rock.

  13. Pat Hatt on September 3, 2014 at 4:20 pm

    Was reading about crowdsourcing, interesting way to go. But then as with whoever wins american idol, I'd bet the book would fade out fast

  14. WriterlySam on September 3, 2014 at 4:40 pm

    I LOVE the ebook idea!! What a fantastic way to celebrate IWSG's anniversary:) I'll contribute a piece on cross-industry marketing! I am 100% on board with Crowdsourcing–I've been applying this tactic to my upcoming YA Biltmore novel series! In the film music industry, we always take this approach before launching an album:)




  15. Rachna Chhabria on September 3, 2014 at 5:07 pm

    Happy Third Anniversary to the IWSG. I love the idea of an ebook.

  16. Lori L MacLaughlin on September 3, 2014 at 5:12 pm

    Happy Anniversary to IWSG! I'm looking forward to reading the e-book. Thanks for the article on crowdsourcing. It's an interesting possibility. And thanks for all your great posts!

  17. Lucinda W. on September 3, 2014 at 5:30 pm

    I used to have a problem calling myself a writer but now I own it. Great idea on the ebook!

  18. VR Barkowski on September 3, 2014 at 6:39 pm

    The whole idea of crowdsourcing makes me a little bit ill. I don't want to read stories pre-determined by the lowest common denominator. I want to read stories that surprise me and expand my world. If the writer's sole concern is appealing to a target group of readers, s/he is not writing from the heart and soul.

    Happy anniversary IWSG!

    <a href="">VR Barkowski</a>

  19. Julie Flanders on September 3, 2014 at 7:51 pm

    I hadn't heard of crowdsourcing before so I'm curious to check out that link. Interesting!

    I can't believe it's been 3 years! Love the cover for the book – it's perfect and you guys had such a great idea to celebrate the group. 

  20. Krystal Jane on September 3, 2014 at 8:43 pm

    A book! Very cool. Congratulations to IWSG! Three years and counting. 🙂

    i don't know about crowd sourcing. At the end of the day, I don't buy books from writers because I like them, I buy their books because I like their writing or storytelling prowress. But I think experimenting with it to see of it could work could be interesting. 


  21. Quanie Miller on September 3, 2014 at 9:33 pm

    Yes, I totally agree that sometimes people with mediocre talent make it big. I think that confidence has a lot to do with that. Sometimes, if you buy into your own hype, other people will believe it, too! 

  22. Yolanda Renee on September 3, 2014 at 9:45 pm

    Happy Anniversary!

    I always thought I embraced change, but in the last 10 years – things have changed so much, I'll always be behind. LOL

    IWSG eBook sounds awesome!

  23. Loni Townsend on September 3, 2014 at 10:32 pm

    I'm going to have to look up this crowdsourcing thing. Happy Anniversary IWSG!

  24. Hart Johnson on September 3, 2014 at 11:07 pm

    Oh, awesome!  Love this idea. Will have to storm my brain to see if there is anything contribution worthy. And YAY for anniversaries! I've been here since the start.

  25. Lynda R Young on September 4, 2014 at 1:56 am

    Three years!! How brilliant is that?!! 🙂

  26. Susan Gourley on September 4, 2014 at 2:23 am

    I really enjoyed your validation post. Big anniversary event for IWSG.

  27. Julie Musil on September 4, 2014 at 4:35 am

    The IWSG book is such a great idea! And I can't believe it's already been three years.

  28. Southpaw on September 4, 2014 at 1:31 pm

    What! More marketing and now pre-marketing.

  29. E.J. Wesley on September 4, 2014 at 3:43 pm

    What an awesome project! (By an awesome group of people. 🙂

  30. Hilary on September 4, 2014 at 3:51 pm

    Hi Michelle – some make it early and aren't that good frankly … others struggle for ever and may never make it – yet some make it in their 90s eventually .. 

    Great the IWSG is offering an opportunity to be represented in the Anthology .. and three years shows what a fantastic idea it was and has become … 

    Crowdfunding – well that will be interesting to learn more about .. cheers Hilary

  31. Jemi Fraser on September 4, 2014 at 9:16 pm

    Love that response! I've never worried to much about labels – I'm just enjoying the experiences of learning more about this whole writing business! 🙂

  32. Julie K Pick on September 4, 2014 at 11:49 pm

    Great answer for Seeking Validation! Congrats on the 3rd anniversary of the IWSG, and the 1st anniverary of the IWSG and Facebook sites! I know you'll come up with something great for the book! 

  33. tara tyler on September 5, 2014 at 2:01 am

    That's an awesome cover and concept! i love it!

    and all the comments are right – you never know who/what is going to make it big…

    happy 3 years! can't believe that!

  34. Shannon Lawrence on September 5, 2014 at 8:54 am

    I'm not sure how I feel about this crowdsourcing thing, but this is the second time I've seen the topic. As far as when I've made it, I have my goals in mind, and when I reach those, I guess I'll consider myself to have made it. 

  35. Sherry Ellis on September 8, 2014 at 4:03 pm

    I can't believe it's been three years for IWSG!

  36. Nicki Elson on September 9, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    Happy Anniversary!  (Sorry to be so late—I was having trouble getting through to yoru post last week.)  Your way of celebrating w/ the book is brilliant. 

    I kind of can't beleive the publishing industry has taken this long to get into that model. Businesswise it makes sense. Artwise…I don't like it. 

  37. Mina B. on September 9, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    3 years!  WOW!  This book is going to be so awesome.  

  38. Medeia Sharif on September 12, 2014 at 10:43 am

    I look forward to the guide. You wrote a thoughtful post. 

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