#IWSG – Trust Yourself

Posted on


Can you believe it’s 2014 already??? Happy New Year to you all and welcome to the first post for Alex J. Cavanaugh’s Insecure Writer’s Support Group for this year.

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!

Today’s cohosts are Bob Milne, River Fairchild, Julie Dao,and Sarah Foster.  Be sure to stop by their pages and say hello.

And if you’d like to read about other IWSG members, you can see a list of participants here.

So right now I’m working on a new novel. I started this novel very reluctantly last May. I’d been “seeing” the main character  for quite some time but didn’t know who she was or what story she would belong to. I just knew that, whoever she was, she was very sad. So imagine my surprise when I’m sitting under the hair dryer at a beauty salon and a little girl goes running past me with a page she’d torn out of a coloring book. I didn’t see the picture. Only streaks of blues and reds, and all of a sudden, I see the sad lady’s nemesis; a beautiful socialite wearing a multi-colored party dress, running across the floor of a sprawling mansion to cover up this horrible crime she’d committed.

I outlined the novel, and I’ve been sitting on that outline for over 7 months! Why so reluctant? Because for some crazy reason I keep trying to limit my creativity. You see, my last novel was speculative fiction (one of my readers said she could even see it as horror!), and for some reason I thought that my next novel should be something along those lines. And this novel, without giving too much away for fear of pissing off my muse, involves something life shattering that happens to a woman named Lisa. I thought the novel was too “normal.” No magical realism? Pish posh!

So why have I been fighting against writing this book when, out of all the stories swimming around my head, it’s clearly the most ready? Because I didn’t trust myself. I kept telling myself that I should be writing a certain kind of thing, but Lisa clearly has other plans for me!

And I’m glad I listened to my gut. Even though this story takes place in a “normal” world, there are a lot of twists and turns that I think readers will enjoy and I’m having fun writing it.

So what about you? Have you ever had a story nagging at you that you were afraid to write? Why were you afraid and how did you handle it? I’d love to hear your thoughts!





30 thoughts on “#IWSG – Trust Yourself

  1. Excellent post. This is so true – you have to follow your gut. Characters have a way of making us do things that we can’t fathom initially but I love when that happens. My characters have pushed me in ways only other writers would understand. Yes, if we follow our gut instinct about these things I find that we won’t be disappointed. But I must admit that as a writer it is sometimes hard. You receive advice from so many sources that sometimes your gut gets drowned out. But I’m happy to say that I’ve learned to find my instinct and hold on for dear life. LOL
    Dawn Brazil recently posted..I’M READYMy Profile

    • I hadn’t even thought about that! Getting advice from so many places that our gut gets drowned. Makes sense! I guess the only thing to do is really listen to what your characters are trying to say. And let’s not even discuss trying to explain this process to people who don’t write or who aren’t creative. They must think we’re crazy!
      Quanie recently posted..#IWSG – Trust YourselfMy Profile

  2. I do have stories nagging at me and for the longest, fear of the unknown (failure? success? just putting myself out there?) kept me from even talking to people about writing, like it was some dirty little secret. I’ve had to put on my big-girl panties several times on this journey and even now, I still get anxious. I’m also learning to trust my instincts with my writing and listen to the voices…of the characters, of course 😉
    Dahlia Savage recently posted..DEAR TimeMy Profile

    • I had a writing professor say to me once, “How can it be wrong if you’re just making it up?” That really freed me. I was like, “Hey! He’s right!” And even knowing that doubt and fear still rear their ugly little heads. No matter how far I think I’ve come I find myself feeling like a newbie with the start of every project.
      Quanie recently posted..#IWSG – Trust YourselfMy Profile

  3. Aww, Quanie, I wish you the best with this novel! I completely understand how you feel. I have a piece that I started a few months ago, however, I kept telling myself to focus on my YA fantasy series. I still have yet to go back to it but every time I go to the gym, I see a couple of people whom two of my characters are based upon in this story. I guess we have to trust ourselves and what we FEEL at certain moments in our lives. I never was one to force myself to write something and usually just go with whatever gut or instinct I have. My conflict right now is that I’m so torn with both genres of writing that my attention has now shifted to my poetry! Of all places! Lol.
    I wish you the best of luck with your writing and just stay true to your gut! I should be listening to my own advice right now!
    Gina Stoneheart recently posted..As the Journey Rolls Over into the New YearMy Profile

    • Gina, you have me laughing! I think once you figure it all out, no matter what you decide to write, it will be great. Why do we torture ourselves? I feel like I”m always questioning myself, no matter how many hurdles I clear. I should take my own advice, too!
      Quanie recently posted..#IWSG – Trust YourselfMy Profile

  4. Great post. Good luck on your new book. I love the way that little girl running by sparked your muse. Funny how that happens. It’ such a mystery the way our minds work, and how writing happens. And such a job too. Yes, trust your gut. I try to do that too.

  5. This was an excellent post. I recently went through a struggle with a book that I’m working on. I’ve been questioning the route that I travel in my books, and I finally had a conversation with my editor. She confirmed some things that I already knew and gave me some information that I didn’t realize. Her professional opinion enabled me to release the block that I was experiencing and move forward. After the conversation I was able to complete the book and start the second book in the series.

  6. That was great to read. ^_^ Something I’ve realized is that whatever feels like the right thing to do, that’s what you have to do, even if that’s not how you usually work. Like you said, it really is about trusting yourself. With the books I’ve been plotting, I had to convince myself to just start going, even if I didn’t know what would happen – the story was somewhere in my head, I told myself, I just had to start seeking it out, even though that meant sitting down and writing the plot as it went. And it’s worked beautifully so far.
    Mason T. Matchak recently posted..Insecurity, not AnonymousMy Profile

    • You know what? That works for me, too. I sit staring at my computer screen like we’re having a showdown. And then I’m like, “Okay. I have to confront this.” And then I just dive in and find my way into the story. You would think I’d know what to do each time, but I don’t. The fear and doubt are there every project, and it feels brand new each time. I wish I could write without outlining but for some reason, I can’t. Glad that’s working out for you.
      Quanie recently posted..#IWSG – Trust YourselfMy Profile

  7. You cannot imagine how happy I am to have found this post this evening. I kid you not just 10 minutes ago I was talking to my husband about how fearful I am about finishing my next book. It’s a shorter work meant to keep readers interest while I work on the next novel due in April. I should be done with it, but I keep second guessing myself because it is so different in tone than my last novel that I am afraid people will hate it. I know its a good story, but that darn negative voice keeps yammering in my ear. So, you know what I am going to do. I am going to FINISH this story and let it breathe on its own. You should do the same! I love connecting with other writers. Check out my website and come see me on social media. Thanks for this post, Quanie!
    Piper Punches recently posted..Oh, My Monday Guest SpotMy Profile

    • Yes! Just finish the story and let it breathe on its own. Love that! I will do the same. But you’re right; that doggone negative voice won’t stop yammering. I guess the trick is learning to write despite it. Please don’t give up on your book and don’t forget to keep me posted! Thanks for stopping by:)
      Quanie recently posted..#IWSG – Trust YourselfMy Profile

  8. I find most of us write the way we read. I read a little bit of everything: sci-fi, romance, thrillers, paranormal, etc. Since my taste is all over the place, my writing is also all over the place. My first book, Dramani, was a sci-fi thriller, and it was great, but then I had this romance novel, A Selfish Moment, brewing in my head and I had to get it out. No sci-fi, nothing speculative, it’s a contemporary love story based in NYC between a woman with a painful past and a guy who continues to chase her no matter what. Now I’m writing a modern-day fantasy thriller where the main character is a teenage witch. Next in my queue is a middle grade paranormal story. Let’s not even talk about getting distracted with prompts, themes, holiday blog hops, short stories, competitions, etc. I find a challenge online and before I know it I’m off writing a cheesy Valentine poem about teenage romance – which I totally loved. Why try and control the muse? It’s there for a reason.

    I think as long as you keep writing, and you enjoy it for the most part then your story will reflect the excitement in you. Trust your instincts…definitely.
    Tanya Miranda recently posted..The Family Letter – 2013 Year in ReviewMy Profile

    • Hi Tanya, thanks so much for stopping by! And, whoa! Your stories are varied and sound very intriguing (I’ve always been partial to witches:) Thanks for the kind words and best of luck to you and your writing journey.
      Quanie recently posted..#IWSG – Trust YourselfMy Profile

  9. Best wishes for your book Quanie. It sounds interesting! I think that too often writers buy into the myth that every book must have larger than life events and settings to be interesting to a reader. One of my favorite authors is bestseller Jodi Picoult, who often tackles real life scenarios. There’s an audience for every book genre. It’s good that you are taking a chance and stepping out of your comfort zone.
    Faith Simone recently posted..I Wish I Knew Then What I Know NowMy Profile

    • Thanks, Faith! You know, I always find myself here, questioning my next project, but once I push through and look at the finished product I’m like, “Hey! That wasn’t too bad!” It’s good to step out of our comfort zones. We just might surprise ourselves (advice I should take, lol).
      Quanie recently posted..#IWSG – Trust YourselfMy Profile

  10. I could never restrict myself or my creativity to a specific genre. I started writing supernatural-thrillers, but I am currently publishing romantic-suspense. And the project I want to focus on next is a post-apocalyptic sci-fi novel. 🙂 Don’t restrict your creativity, because if you have an idea for a story, an idea that is vastly different from anything else you’ve ever written, then that story definitely has to be written!

    I LOVE the scene you described when you were at the beauty salon. How marvelous! I wish something like that would happen to me! 😉

    Good luck with your book. I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that it is going to be amazing. I already want to read it! 😀
    Chrys Fey recently posted..My Best Blog Posts from 2013My Profile

  11. I loved this post. It’s amazing the limits we put on ourselves, isn’t it? I can relate. I think you’re totally right and brave to go write what’s in your mind and heart, what’s inspiring you, and to stop worrying about what it SHOULD be. It’s HARD, man, but it always makes for a better story! And your concept sounds really intriguing, BTW 🙂
    Liz Blocker (@lizblocker) recently posted..Insecure Writers: Shaking Off the RustMy Profile

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge