The Insecure Writer’s Support Group ~ No#6

Last week this thought-of-the-day popped into my inbox:

“If we wait for the moment when everything, absolutely everything is ready, we shall never begin.” – Ivan Turgenev.

                              *          *          *          *          *

The words leaped from the screen and packed a punch! Right in my solar plexus! LOL.

Seems like I am waiting for the “ready” moment, the perfect moment, before starting that “elusive” WIP.

I'm waiting to accumulate enough writing experience – I definitely can’t begin a full-length story with ONLY one-and-a-half-years fiction writing under my belt… can I?

To feel more confident in my writing abilities… which probably builds over a period of time…

I need those great moments of inspiration when the light bulbs start flashing and the pen moves non-stop, covering empty white spaces of A4 pages… yeah… right.

Seems like I may never begin…  (does an outline and bits of ideas on scraps of paper count?) unless I resort to BICHOK = Butt In Chair Hands On Keyboard, on a regular basis, the first thing I learned and which stuck with me… back to basics seems to be the key… and little by little… after all, Rome was not built in a day, and all that jazz… you know what I mean?

Well… seems like I've answered my own questions… *sighs*

Message to self – Create the perfect writing moments!

(This could make the perfect mantra – I need to pin it up where I can see it all the time – LOL)

You can read all about the ranting and raving of other insecure writers by popping over to the IWSG.


  1. Shelly on June 6, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    Hey, Michelle:
    In 1998, I drafted the first chapter to Seconhand Shoes and stuck it in my closet. I felt I was too busy and had really bad grammar.
    At 42, I dug the draft out and figured if I didin't start writing, I never would. So the quote rings true.
    So I'd advise, if you've got a story even if its on scraps of paper and tablets. Just sit down and start writing it. It doesn't matter how pretty is…JUST WRITE because you're going to revise it like a million times anyway.

    • michelle on June 6, 2012 at 8:45 pm

      Secondhand Shoes has been on quite a journey… but you've hung in there Shelly! Got to admire your tenacity! Thanks for sharing. And you have been my no.1 supporter – thanks for the encouragement…

  2. Charmaine Clancy on June 6, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    Create the perfect writing moments. Love this.
    Just this year I've begun taking my writing time seriously, if the inspiration doesn't flow, I start with a warm up exercise. Then get back to business. 
    Time to begin 🙂

    • michelle on June 6, 2012 at 8:47 pm

      I spend lots of time on flash fiction challenges, which I thoroughly enjoy. All I need to do is channel some of that energy, sit down on a regular basis and write the longer piece… thanks Charmaine. 🙂 (I think I need to get a schedule of sorts…)

  3. Elise Fallson on June 6, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    Yes! Start now. Create that moment, you are in control and you already have what it takes. And the more you work on your wip the more you will grow as a writer. (: 

    • michelle on June 6, 2012 at 8:50 pm

      I love your excitement… it's contagious! Thanks for the encouragement, Elise… and remember I'll be nagging you from time to time… bouncing ideas off you? 🙂

  4. Karen Walker on June 6, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    I love this post on so many levels. 

    • michelle on June 6, 2012 at 8:51 pm

      Thank you Karen.  🙂

  5. Julie on June 6, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    I also need to resort to BICHOCK! I still feel like I need a lot more practice! It would be fun to be part of a collaborative effort first, though I think you have enough talent to write your own book. Michelle, thanks for having my own insecurities flash before my eyes!     

    • michelle on June 6, 2012 at 8:55 pm

      You are so right about the collaborative project idea… 🙂 I also feel that I need lots more practice and I get that via the weekly flash fic challenges which get the creativity flowing…  I really enjoyed your quirky IWSG post – a real classic, delivered in true Julie-style!

  6. Alex J. Cavanaugh on June 6, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    Heck with enough writing experience! You CAN do it.

    • michelle on June 6, 2012 at 8:56 pm

      Thanks for your firm belief in my ability… it is encouraging and I appreciate it! Aye, aye Captain!

  7. Jocelyn Rish on June 6, 2012 at 7:39 pm

    Yeah, I'm always putting off writing saying I'm not in the right mood, or I need to cut my dogs toenails, or I need to run to the store, or whatever…..  Excuses, excuses.  We just need to WRITE! 🙂

    • michelle on June 6, 2012 at 8:59 pm

      I tend to put off the real writing, and indulge in the flash fic challenges… though that's not a bad thing because it helps polish writing skills… 🙂 And then there's blog visits which take up so much time…

  8. Sarah Ahiers on June 6, 2012 at 7:54 pm

    An outline definitely counts! At least it does in my book!

    • michelle on June 6, 2012 at 9:00 pm

      I really don'tr know how pantsers do it! It seems crazy! An outline gives direction…

  9. Tracy on June 6, 2012 at 7:54 pm

    Hi Michelle! Such a great post! I so feel the same way. Sometimes that is what I love about blogging, we do answer our own questions. 🙂 You will get there! We both will! Glad you stopped by and connected. 

    • michelle on June 6, 2012 at 9:02 pm

      Thank you Tracy! Nice to meet you too 🙂 Yes, we will get there… slowly but surely…

  10. Tonja on June 6, 2012 at 9:39 pm

    I say just dive in and do it.  You'll figure it out as you go.  And it doesn't matter what process other people tell you to use to write a novel – you'll figure out what works for you.  Sitting on the chair with hands on keyboard is an awesome motto!

    • michelle on June 7, 2012 at 3:38 pm

       Mmmm… I just need to make the start and get into a rhythm… and as you say, figure it out as I go along… 🙂 Thank you Tonja!

  11. Mary on June 6, 2012 at 9:44 pm

    We learn to write by writing. So, write it, understanding you will have to revise and edit. Give yourself that persmission. My first couple novels sit in files waiting for when I'm 'ready' to go at revision 2,348. In the meantime, I've moved on. It was like pulling a cork out to shelve them and go forward.

    • michelle on June 7, 2012 at 3:42 pm

      Wow! Revision 2,348…? Okay, I know you're just over-exaggerating the number of times to make a point!? I think I get the picture – revision is a long, drawn-out process… thank you for the visit, Mary!

  12. Tyrean on June 6, 2012 at 11:28 pm

    Love this reminder. I had a crabby moment this morning (obviously on my post), but the reality is that golden writing moments come only when I charge steadily through the not so golden moments. We are never really "ready" for anything. There's a quote I like (don't remember it exactly) about having castles in the air, and then building foundations under them. I may not have my air-castle of writing ready, but I'm building up my foundational work.

    • michelle on June 7, 2012 at 3:47 pm

      Tyrean, I love the way you've put it: "golden writing moments come only when I charge steadily through the not so golden moments." We've got to accept the good and the bad, and it makes sense that a solid foundation will provide steady support for a long, long time…  thank you for the visit and wonderful comment.

  13. Sherry Ellis on June 7, 2012 at 12:46 am

    Your quote is so true!  I haven't found a "right" moment for anything.  Somehow, if I just go ahead and do it, it works out. 

    • michelle on June 7, 2012 at 3:49 pm

      As one commenter put it, just dive in and figure it out as you go along. There's no "one-size-fits-all" method when it comes to writing…

  14. tara tyler on June 7, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    you'll know. no rush =) 

    • michelle on June 7, 2012 at 3:53 pm

      I hope so… and my problem is that I'm rushing it… everything must happen…  because I always imagine that I'm working against time. 🙁 Yet, it does take time. Lots of time. I do realise that.  So – deep breath – calm down – and move along bit by bit…  🙂

  15. Nancy S. Thompson on June 8, 2012 at 2:17 am

    Hey, I started a writing career with absolutely NO experience at all.  That's no time.  Nada.  Nothing.  And yet, here I am, about to be traditionally published.  If I can do it, so can you.  Yes, I worked hard for 2 long years, but I did it.  I made it.  So don't ever believe it's not possible.  I know plenty of other writers who've done the same.  So if you're committed, and I mean, really, totally, completely committed to doing whatever it takes, then go for it.  Anything is possible!!

  16. michelle on June 8, 2012 at 11:50 am

    Wow! That's quite a story! Thanks for the words of inspiration, Nancy! I really appreciate it!

  17. Jen on June 11, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    Hey Michelle!
    Thanks for stopping by and reading my IWSG post last week! I appreciate the comment 🙂
    This is great! I feel like that sometimes, like I don't have enough experience to write. But who is to say what's enough experience? We can only write from where we've been and where we're at!
    Write on!

    • michelle on June 15, 2012 at 2:35 pm

      Thanks for the encouraging words Jen! I really appreciate it! 🙂

  18. Lynda R Young on June 12, 2012 at 7:29 am

    Writing experience comes from writing, so just keep writing. It doesn't need to be perfect. I love this post.

    • michelle on June 15, 2012 at 2:35 pm

      Thanks for the reminder that it doesn't have to be perfect!

  19. Donna B. McNicol [@donnabmcnicol] on June 15, 2012 at 6:03 am

    Better late than never (from IWSG). It's kind of like Nike – just do it! 😉

    • michelle on June 15, 2012 at 2:36 pm

      Donna, I L-O-V-E your Nike attitude… you rock!! 🙂

  20. Catherine Noble on June 17, 2012 at 8:42 am

    Yes! An outline and scraps of ideas count 😀 I think you definitely have the ability to write novels, and good ones at that! I've been through a long learning process with my own WIP, and though I'm no expert, I would give the following advice to you:
    a) Blogging gets in the way and, if it starts to feel like a pressure or obligation, it should take a backseat (you know how I feel about that in my recent post you commented on). 
    b) You already know how to write well; how to polish your words and make them pack a punch. Don't worry about that in your first few drafts. Allow yourself to write badly until you have the story loosely in place, then you can go back and polish every sentence and paragraph to your taste. This is what I'm doing and is taking ages, but I can't think of anything more gratifying. Labour of love, indeed!
    c) Don't worry about how long it's going to take. Any work you do on your novel today will bring you closer than you were yesterday to finishing the novel. I try not to focus on the "finish line, as it's too overwhelming. Things seem more manageable when broken down into smaller parts, and it'll get there with perseverance.
    d) I think you should watch this video for inspiration. By rights you should have more confidence in your writing, as you write very well (better than a lot of published novelists), so take this into consideration:
    Best of luck, Michelle 🙂 x

    • michelle on June 17, 2012 at 10:46 pm

      Thank you for your kind and inspiring words, Catherine. It has boosted my confidence. I really appreciate it.

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