Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Insecure Writer's Support Group. Discouraged


IWSG was started by Alex J. Cavanaugh and is designed to encourage and support us writer's who struggle with insecurity. To read other post go here.

I got the blues. It happens to all of us. I don't get them very often. A few years ago I was depressed for a long time but that was 100% related to a severe illness. Now, I'm just down.

Why?

Well...I know that I am a talented writer. Anytime I doubt that I can read my reviews or connect with my critique group and they will tell me, but...

Who the heck invented the word 'but' anyway?

But...I am self published and I'm still struggling for readers to find me. I have a plan, and I'm stubborn enough to follow through with it. Still...

Every time I enter a contest to get published I'm over looked. No explanation. While others around me, some of them I've read, get their work published.

Yes, I've read a few of these people, not all as I said. A handful only and they are not as good a writer as I am. No, I'm not a snob. I've been doing this for close to thirty years and I know good writing. So...why am I not offered a spot in someone's publication?

Well...I don't search out publishers and try very hard because I was humiliated at a conference once and my self esteem can't take to much rejection. My life has been full of rejection and abuse, so I fear too much of the same will silence my muse permanently.

Any suggestions? Any advice? Does Alice have a happy pill?
Nancy

20 comments:

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Nancy - sadly ... it takes time - how often have we heard that - but it's true .. keep on and somewhere along the lines it will happen.

It's always moving on ... keeping ahead of that rejection that might come in ... so there's always a better story being written ...

Take care and cheers Hilary

N. R. Williams said...

Thanks Hilary.
Nancy

Meka James said...

Rejection is a scary thing and no one likes it. I think that's part of the reason I never tried to put my work in front of a publisher. I can't be rejected if I don't put myself out there right?

You on the other hand have tried and that's huge in itself. It's a hard thing to see others around you getting what you feel you deserve. Just keep at it and your day will come.

~Meka

Adrienne Reiter said...

I heard some where that it takes four books for your tribe to find you. If that's true, I'm two books away. Thankfully, there are no hard and fast rules. Like Hilary said, it just takes time. Never give up and you'll make it! Thanks to Alex, we have a safe place to find and support each other. Best! -A

Misha Gericke said...

I got my publishing deal after by being rejected almost a hundred times.

So if a publishing deal is that important to you, you're going to have to figure out a way to deal with the rejection that comes with it.

But having now been signed with a small publishing house and going it alone... I can't honestly say there's much of a point to a publishing deal these days. Because they still expect you to find your own audience and then take at least 60% of net income on your books.

Cynthia said...

Just hang in there. Publishing is an extremely subjective industry, so I try (key word: try) not to take things personally. It's not easy though because our hearts are tied so closely to our work.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

You know what they say - can't take it personal. I know, that sucks.
Not sure what the theme will be for the next IWSG anthology, but please do enter a story.

Yolanda Renee said...

Maybe this is what you're looking for.

https://mysticalwriterblog.com/2016/05/04/small-presses-two-opportunities-for-women-writers/

When I started out they told me mysteries were a dead genre. I still wrote what I loved to read. Go for it!

Shannon Lawrence said...

Once I started keeping track of rejections and aiming for a certain number, the acceptances started coming in. I changed where the pressure was, I guess. I'm sorry you were humiliated at a conference. That should never happen.

N. R. Williams said...

Thanks everyone for your thoughtful comments. Alex, I'll enter if it is fantasy.
Nancy

Bish Denham said...

Well, it's for sure if you don't seek out publication nobody will read your stuff. So if that's what you choose to do, then you have to accept the consequences. One does have to be a bit of a masochist or very thick skinned to deal with rejection. The thing is, it's not a rejection of YOU as a person, it's rejection of your work. That doesn't mean your writing isn't good (I feel the same as you, I know I write better than a lot of books I've read by traditionally published authors. What the heck?) It only means that story doesn't appeal to them at this time. I'm sure there are genres or styles of writing that don't appeal you. So remember, we simply can't please/attract everyone. Some will like us, some will not. AND (use *and* instead of but) I do think it's getting harder to get stories accepted.

As for being humiliated, that's one that person's head, not yours. It's a sign of their tactlessness and lack of compassion. Don't let them live in your head rent free, kick the b***ards out! :D

Yvette Carol said...

You and I must be twins from a former life. I've been writing thirty plus years without publication. And I never seemed to gain any traction either. Last year, I gave up on the idea of being traditionally published and put out my first book myself. It was liberating. I highly recommend it! :-)

N. R. Williams said...

Yes, Bish you are right on all accounts.

Yvette,
I have several self-pubbed books. Good luck with yours.
Nancy

Natalie Aguirre said...

I never won any of those contests either. For me, walking twice a day has been invaluable to help keep my mood up in the last two years of some very challenging times.

Stephanie Faris said...

I never won writing contests, but I did win an agent. It was after years of trying. It's just SO competitive out there, but when you keep trying and honing your craft, ti does happen for you.

Crystal Collier said...

Gosh, I hope you aren't talking about me when it comes to contests... You know, after reading through all the winners of the IWSG anthology, I wondered why you didn't get in. Then I realized, the judges were looking for sci-fi. I loved your story, but it was definitely fantasy--which can cross over, but in this case, they only selected very sci-fi pieces. I think sometimes it really does just boil down to something so silly, not necessarily what's good.

N. R. Williams said...

Walking is great, Natalie.

I won't give up, Stephanie.

I figured it must have been the Sci/fi thing for IWSG, Crystal. They should have said that. I'm glad you got in. For me, this has happened repeatedly, pretty much every contest I enter. I am sensitive enough for it to get me down, but I am determined enough to keep going.

Nancy

Denise Covey said...

Hi Nancy! I've been away travelling, but I'm back! I never enter those publication contests. They're usually popularity contests and I'm no good at promoting myself. It's really hard to be found on Amazon. They say you need several books (some say 4 or 5) but all in different genres. As you write mainly fantasy (or only fantasy?) you will be skipped over by anyone who doesn't read fantasy. And discovery on Amazon takes time. I've been too lazy/unmotivated/busy to get my book published on any other platform to add to discoverability, but I will be tackling things differently for the sequel to UTTM. I want to explore Ingram Spark. They publish e-books very cheaply and send them worldwide to just about every publishing format. You just have to join up. Jessica Bell posted a great blog post about it about a year ago.

Anyway, Nancy keep it up. Now you've got your new computer, go for it!

Denise :-)

Denise Covey said...

And you should have your books for sale in your sidebar. Amazon gives you the code. I came here looking for your books!

Chemist Ken said...

Sorry about the humiliation from before. As long as your crit group thinks your stuff is good, keep going for it. Someone will eventually notice.