Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Insecure Writer's Support Group 4

 I can't believe that this month's meeting of The Insecure Writer's Group is here already. You know you're getting old when time flies, whether you're having fun or not! If I haven't read your post yet, I'll catch up with you this week.

For Christmas, as part of a lovely blogfest, (a sort of creative 'Secret Santa'), I wrote a story for someone. I tailored this story specifically to her and her blog. Most people taking part in the SantaFest didn't know who their gifts were from. My recipient did, as she was the organiser, delivering all the gifts, so there was no way for her not to know who had sent hers to her. I didn't have a problem with that. Although the story was a simple little thing, I was pleased with it, and it was a nice way of thanking her for her friendship.

A few days later my friend posted the story on her blog. I was really flattered, as I'm pretty sure that meant she liked it. She didn't say who had written it, but offered me a chance to 'out' myself in the comments. I couldn't do it. Nobody said anything mean about the story, the comments were good ones, but I just couldn't bring myself to admit that I was the writer. I thought after I had sent my first draft to another blogger before Christmas for a critique, that I was over this. It seems, however, that I have progressed only as far as letting one person see my work. I know every little helps, but I really need to get over this ridiculous fear of letting people see what I write, or I'm never going to get anywhere.

Did any of you have this problem in the beginning? What's the best way to get over it? I don't know what the problem is, it isn't even that I'm worried about criticism. The environment I'm in right now, us, is such that I know any criticism would be useful and kindly worded. Any advice would be gratefully received!


  1. Just relax, take one step after the other, trust will come! Plus you are a great writer :) Honest!

  2. I submitted a flash fiction piece to a writer's group last year; it was my first attempt at flash fiction, which I learned, just because it's short, doesn't make it easy. It's actually a challenge to get a whole story in such a short word count (usually 500-1000 words, some even shorter!) so my main critique was that it didn't have much of a point, it was like a scene out of a book but not a complete story. Which was totally true. Then I never submitted again!

    But what is helping get over critique is I'm writing about TV and entertainment for a couple of sites. For the main one I have actual deadlines which means I have someone counting on me. It pushes me to put out something that's not garbage, but at the same time, it's just TV and not my innermost thoughts and dreams. The goal is for it to help me in my creative writing.

  3. First off thanks for introducing me to the IWSG. I've joined up and even though this month is my first post I've already made new friends.

    I never had the problem of outing myself in this way because I started writing in a group where we all had to read out our work. After the first few goes, I started to enjoy it as the feedback was so helpful.

    The best way to get over it is probably to go over there and 'confess. What's the worst that could happen?

  4. Oh Sarah, Sarah, Sarah...there's just about nothing harder than finally screwing up the courage to let someone read your stuff. Indeed, you are not alone. Even now, though I've had several stories and articles published in children's magazines, I still have to take a deep breath as I send something off. I still get the old butterflies in the stomach. But, it HAS become easier.

    Think about why you write. Isn't it because deep down you want someone to read it? Then let them.

  5. I'm a little too brash for my own good sometimes, but that's been sort of driven into me.

    When I was at summer camp once, someone ransacked our tent and flung my very granny undies all over the place. When my tent mates got back they laughed at my flowery unders and had a marvelous time of it. I was 12. I considered not fessing up for only seconds. I needed the underwear, and I realized that if I hesitated it would be taken as a sign of weakness. It was mortifying, but after having all your best frenemies know about your pink-flowered, granny chones, well, it's easier to take things like owning up to some bad grammar and tired turns of phrases.

    I don't know if that helps, but I agree with the others. The only thing for it is to cruise on over to that blog and fess up. I'm not saying it'll be easy, but it can't be worse than grandma undies...

  6. Sarah, there is no easy way. I 'outed' myself in a blogfest and couldn't breathe until I saw a few comments that came in. When they were mainly complimentary I thought, well, yeah, I can do this. It's not the writing that's the hard part at first, it's the self-doubt we have of our work and our super sensitivity regarding rejection or critiques.

    I'm so glad you had your Santa Fest story posted. I must go and read it. I know where it is!

    I hope 2012 is the year you 'out' yourself. The first time is the hardest! 99% of bloggers are supportive. We've all suffered for our art, lol!


  7. Self doubt is what I posted about for my IWSG post.


  8. Read this post Sarah if you haven't already.


  9. I felt like writing under a pseudo name for a long time. But I decided eventually that I wouldn't. I'd go ahead and lay claim to my book. I think this is kinda what you are talking about.

  10. Hi Sarah,

    I know just how you feel. The thing that helped me the most was when I joined a very supportive writing group. Not a critique group. We get together for motivation and inspiration. We encourage one another. It's really helped me feel "safe" when putting my words out there for others to read.

  11. I tested the waters first with family and good friends and then took a class. It wasn't hard after that. Although, I will say each time I read my stuff out loud I feel my face get hot. Which is funny since I do theatre and public speaking all the time. It makes a difference when it is yours. Good luck.

  12. I started posting work on my own blog to get myself over that very same fear... and I've been writing for years!

    Building confidence doesn't happen overnight :) Don't rush, but when you're feeling *comfortable*, that means it's time to take another baby-step forward ;)

    Hope you had a wonderful holiday season, Sarah!

    ...and where's the link to this elusive story you mentioned? C'mon, girl, give up the goods!!

  13. I did. I'm not as shy as I was about allowing other people see what I write; I think blogging helped with that. An excerpt here, a snippet there, until I felt confident enough to post longer pieces of writing for blogfests and so forth. As other commenters have said, it takes time, in steps.

  14. I panic every time I write a blog post, let alone put out something I've tried to make into an actual cohesive story. Take the positive feedback you got from this episode and let it give you courage. Can't dance without tripping over your feet a few times.

  15. Hey Sarah:)

    Happy New Year, and what a cool blogfest... remind me next year... that would be a fun one to do.

    You sound frustrated and my advice would be to attack the problem head on by submitting the shenanigans out of it.
    See a blogfest - enter.
    See a contest - enter.

    I bet you two packets of Monster Munch that your issue will fade over time and you'll be like what was *that* all about.

    If you ever need a beta reader... let me know - your writing is awesome :)

  16. Oh Sarah! I'm sad :( You definitely need to "out" yourself! I was the same way though. It took me a long time to be brave enough to do this, but I finally did. It's was hard at first. I was seriously sick the first time I let anyone read some of my stuff - but now - I don't care. I love getting their feedback, because I know I grow as a writer and my books improve too!

  17. I am so very not good at letting people read my stuff. I belong to a small writing group of some of my closest friends and when we are trading work for review it is all I can do to submit anything. Even despite hearing good reviews I still get sick to my stomach to think of strangers reading anything I write. It took me years to even start a blog for fear of what people would think.

    I don't know how to really get over this except to just put it out there and chew on a lot of antacids.

  18. What a brilliant way to sum up the fears of most of us. Fellow bloggers are wonderful at helping us get over the apprehension of letting others read our work. Thank you for writing such an encouraging post.

  19. Write what you need to write. Like John Meyer says "say what you need to say." If it is fiction it is very creative, if it is your thought it helps you feel better, if even one person is with you or not even atleast you had vented. If it is a fact then you are enriching your readers. Please let us see your work.

  20. Why not ease into it a little? Send a chapter to a trusted friend?

    I' still working on this, but it does get easier, every time. The anticipation of criticism is tougher to take than actual criticism. Trust me on this!

  21. I wrote a story for my husband for Christmas last year, but ... um ... I can't share THAT story with anyone else! ;)

    Sarah, I'm not sure if it will help or hinder if I tell you that it never really gets better. That is, it's normal to feel the way you do, and you'll probably always feel it to a certain extent.

    I get nervous every time I see a beta reader has returned a manuscript with comments. I shake in my boots before sending a manuscript to my agent (and I don't dare send it before the 4th or 5th draft).

    On New Years Day, I sent my first round of revisions to the new editor I'll be working with at Clarion, and my heart jumped into my mouth when I got an email back from her today. (She just said she received it and was looking forward to reading it.)

    Let's not even talk about reading reviews of your book on Goodreads, because those readers don't hold back ...!

    What you feel is normal and maddening and anxiety-ridden and something you can learn to live with -- because your stories deserve to be read!

    Share your work -- and know it's okay to be scared!

  22. I think that feeling of vulnerability is part of the artistic process. It's not always easy putting our heart out there, but it's worth it to make those connections with our readers.

  23. I bet your story is awesome, just judging from your blog. It can be hard to share yourself with others in all kinds of ways, but pretend it's a game of truth or dare. A little of both.
    For me, I started posting in a writing group anonymously on Goodreads. Nobody knew who I was and it was mostly teenagers reading. Nobody was mean, and since it was YA, I was really excited to get actual teenagers' thoughts. I'd recommend it. It helped me conquer my fear of putting myself out there.

  24. I love feedback and criticism. Better to get things out in the open now and fix them. My advice: The best surprise is no surprise. Fix things now and just go with it with a smile.

  25. I think all writers feel like this, whether they are starting or published... It's great to get feedback, but also scary. I try not to think about it too much, or I'll go insane:)

  26. Hi, Sarah,


    How wonderful that you wrote something so considerate to tailor it for your recipient. Laura had to LOVE it. I was in the secret Santa too.

    My Santa was amazing, she took the time to incorporate a wonderful and supportive story with characters from my two novels featured.

    Since she knew me and critiqued my two novels it was perfect.

    As for your angst about others reading your work. From what I've seen of your writing, you have great passion, and heart. Those are key ingredients for success. Let us read your work.

    Thankfully i didn't have that fear. In the beginning I asked for anyone to read my work and valued all their opinions. I was a grammatical and punctuation MESS in the beginning and it to me two years of HARD work, and learned so much from several writer and blog friends how to write again. I had been out of school for SO long that i forgot everything.

    I still have issues with tenses from time to time, but I shot them right away or a blogger friend will come my rescue.

    What I am trying to say here, Sarah is this community is one of THE kindest and giving of all. Most want to help and see you succeed. The support is amazing. Once you start to send out your work to critique partners you will be hooked. Be careful though and send them to people that are positive. Some are TOO brutal and might hurt your feelings even though that is not there intention. For the first, you need to be handled with kid gloves.

    If you ever want me to look at anything feel free to ask. I am very gentle and helpful. I point things out positively not in any negative way.

    Good luck this year and get your work out there.

    Hey, if I can subject myself to NY finest at the SBCWI conference in a few weeks.... talk about terrifying, you can put your trust in a devoted and loyal blogger friend.

    All the best in 2012


  27. Your post made me laugh and cringe with a memory at the same time. I once won a short story competition on Second Life. The prize was a bit of second life cash, and the opportunity to get up on a virtual stage and read the story out loud at the awards ceremony.

    You'd think that would have been easy - afterall, I still had my virtual (and incredibly beautiful, in my opinion) persona on the stage, but the thought of my real voice being heard - by an actual audience. *Shiver*.

    It took all my guts to 'out' my voice like that (and given it was Second Life, we suffered several outrages on the animation and vocal systems anyway, and I was booted off twice through my oration).

    I appreciate what you are saying, and the comments to your post. It does take one small step at a time.

  28. You're making progress, so it does nothing but good. An idea you could try is guest posting on other blogs. That way you'll get some of your writing out there (be it fiction or not) that will ease you into attaching your name to your writing.

  29. The sheer number of posts will show you just how this strikes a chord.

    But remember - when people look at your writing, they are not saying anything about you! You are still the wonderful, generous, funny person that they know and love. They are simply tweaking your words.

    I suspect this is a legacy from school - all that marking out of ten, and getting prizes, or not, for being 'good' at something. But we're grown-up now, and don't need to feel like children.

    So - go for it!

  30. I'm always happy for strangers to read my work, but with friends and family I turn into a nervous wreck. The very worst is having someone read in front of me - there are no fingernails left after that!

    Perhaps it never truly goes away, but maybe that just means you still care. Which is a good thing!

  31. I'm still terrified about my writing and what others will think of it. I do welcome constructive criticism, but sometimes think that if somebody likes a piece of writing, then maybe they are being kind and don't want to hurt my feelings. I suppose it's one step at a time... *sighs*

  32. Sarah, I would love to read anything you "write" but I already do! You write your blog, don't you? ;)

    I wrote an entire book of poetry in college (now mind you, I was VERY depressed in college) and would NEVER let anyone read it. Let me back up, by book I mean over 300 poems. Never read. By anyone. Not even me. I couldn't bring myself to look at them when I'd finally give up and call it "done", because it never is really "done" - now is it? :)

    Well, my husband found that damn book in my hope chest. Lo and behold, I come home to find him READING it! Then he sent one into a contest WITHOUT ME KNOWING and I won! That is when I finally realized, you don't know whatcha got till ya get it out there!

    I've been there, I feel your pain; but woman, I hope you get over it soon! Please bless us with your fiction! ;)

  33. I could have sworn I left a comment here ...but, this was the last thing I read before turning off the lights so, maybe I had a dream I left you a comment :)


    I will begin my morning here. what a lovely place to be.

    Dear Sarah,
    YOU KNOW how much self doubt I have. It's ridiculous. I still have several of my high school writing assignments because they were the only thing I had that said I was a good writer. Well, they didn't actually say I was a good writer but I was given grades that ranged from a B+ to a solid A. From that point forward, I didn't share anything I'd written until my son's funeral. I wrote and gave his eulogy. (this is one of those things I need to include in my book). People came up to me afterwords and told me how moving it was. Well, how could a eulogy given by the mother of a child that had died not be moving... but I held onto it, got courage from it, and continued writing. I have given 3 additional eulogy's since then and my best work so far all deals with death, so that must strike something deep in me. The pulpit of a church was safe for me. HERE, surrounded by bloggers who respect and admire YOU is safe. Besides, we're supposed to do what scares us! We learn the most from this sort of stuff. Charge forward my friend! I've got your back... xoMonkeyME (p.s. I'm going to go check out your OTHER monkey friend now. have a glorious day!)

  34. YOU are a writer. Just like the rest of us. And we all went/are going through this same thing.

    Writing is such a piece of our heart, it's natural not to want it to get stomped on. But it gets easier every time we let someone see our work. Even with critism it gets easier.

    So do it, show it, own it, be proud of it. We're a very supportive community.

  35. We all go through that. At first only my wife saw my work. Then I allowed two test readers to see it. By the time I'd written my second book, that had expanded to three critique partners. Don't worry - it's a process!

  36. I know *exactly* how you feel! Whenever I write something that's different, or just not even my normal focus as soon as I put it out there I get crazy insecure. And I think that's normal - because you're exposing parts of yourself to an open-ended public made up of people, some of whom you know to be mean! So I don't think it's even wrong to feel that way, I think what's important is you push past it to actually posting. And my advice with that? Silently scream. You'd be surprised how much it helps.

  37. I don't think I ever hesitated with putting my work out there. I knew from the get go that some people would not like my work and dismiss me all together for self publishing. I also know that my first book is not quite as polished as it could be, but it's been a learn as you go process. Great thing about self publishing e-books is you have complete control and can fix a mistake and re-upload the book in minutes.

    The harshest critic out there is going to be yourself.

  38. I think it's the public sharing of something that you've held so close inside yourself that is the hardest step in this writing business. You may never shed that hesitation to owning something, but you must at some point stand before your readers and let them sing your praises. You'll do it.

  39. One step at a time, Sarah. I didn't let anyone read my stuff for a LONG time. And then I started with one person. Then two. Now I have a few critique partners and some beta readers. Even though it's easier now, I still freak out before I push that send button. I think I always will. :)

  40. Take it one person at a time. Next time try sending your writing to another person. Slowly but surely you'll build up a group of people who you trust.

    Of course, I can't talk too much. After two years of working on my story, I'll probably let my wife and daughter see the first couple of chapters for the very first time this month. (Unless I chicken out)

    By the way, why don't you post the link to that story that was posted on your friend's website? I'm sure many of us would be interested in seeing it.

  41. what a greaaat post love your blog =) follow

  42. Hi Sarah -
    I LOVED the story (I hope you got my thankyou email!!!) It was beautiful, and one of my best presents this year. It really brought a smile to my face on christmas morning ( I was strict with myself and didn't read it till then!). I shared it with my family too, and they loved it - they all thought you knew me because you had it so right!

    I didn't 'out' you as I didn't think it was fair, having the advantage of being the organiser, but now I wish I had - or maybe I just have- your work is beautiful, heartfelt and genuine. Thank you thank you thank you.
    Now, please, share your work with the world - it's far too good to keep under wraps!

    PS there's an award for you at mine

  43. To be crass, I think it's like learning to take ownership of a really good fart (or a really bad one, depending upon your POV). Often, everyone knows who did it, anyway. But, really, you just need to say "I did that!" Revel in it.

    On a more serious note, what really helped me was reading aloud (my book) to my kids. Which lead to me reading aloud at their school. Prior to that, no one could see anything until it was "finished." But nothing was ever finished. Find a group to be accountable to where reading your work periodically is requisite.

  44. Sometimes it's hard to put yourself out there just because it feels awkward. Like you're waving a sign that says "Look at me! Look at me!"

    I've been working on simply saying a gracious thank-you, as in "Thank you everyone, I'm glad you enjoyed it." Then I dive back into my hole. :)

  45. Join Critique Circle. You crit other writers' work and they crit yours. It's a safe place where no one really knows you. I received mainly okay to terrific crits. Try it out!

  46. I used to be hesitant showing my work to others. I didn't mind agents or editors reading my work since I was pursuing publication, but when it came to other people I couldn't face it. Joining a supportive critique group made that fear vanish.

  47. Blogger apparently knocked me off your Followers List! I showed them. I re-upped!

    You must leave the comfort zone, the shore of safety, if ever you will reach the far horizons of becoming published. It's hard. But your dream is worth it, isn't it? Roland

  48. My blog started out as a place to store things I wrote. I never intended to show them to anyone except close friends because they thought they were hilarious. Then my wife attached some of my articles to Christmas cards without asking me. I had people slapping me on the back and had no idea why for a little while. They loved it. I'm not an ambitious writer and don't work at it too hard, but for a while it still freaked me out that other people read it. Now I just worry about people at church LOL.

  49. I remember the first time I put my query in public query slushpile.
    It was TERRIFYING.

    now I'm like - yep. I write. I ain't perfect. Hack away. I might agree. I might not.

    I PROMISE it gets easier.

  50. Well, on the plus side, you let her post your story and didn't totally freak. Also, you blog so we are all seeing your writing. Baby steps...;)

  51. Yes, I had some major issues with letting people see my work, but I have this thing about doing the things I fear, so I closed my eyes and joined a crit group. Later on, I got independent CPs as well. Now I have six.

    Still, I don't like putting my stories in public, unless it's written for something like a blogfest, since there are copyright considerations.

    Also, I find that it's a lot easier to get critted by a person you've built rapport with. So keep an eye out and try asking one of your closer blogging buddies to crit your work.


  52. Oh bless you Sarah. I'm afraid to let people see my private scribblings notebooks and journals because a member of my family stole a diary in 1989 and it's inhibited me rather a lot since, but I feel that to be a serious writer people should be able to read/see what I've composed and I shuold Feel the Fear and submit it anyway. You can only learn from it.
    You should admit to being the author of the piece. You must first take yourself seriously then you can expect others to also.

  53. It's the scariest thing ever, isn't it? Sadly, I'm afraid you just have to start doing it. It helps if you begin with a group of others who are new at it, too, and you all share with each other. Then, as your circle of people you share with widens, you have a ready-made support group to help you survive the inevitable bumps and bruises. Because bruises (to the ego) there will be -- and as much as they hurt, they're how we learn our craft.

    Plus, criticism and rejection give us great "war stories" to share with our fellow writers. Warped as it sounds, you really want to acquire your share of writing war stories. ;)

  54. I was completely scared to share my stuff at first. And I just let family and friends see. But then I let someone outside the circle read it. Once she critiqued it and gave me both good and bad feedback I realized the only way I was going to get better was let other people help me, or go pay for a class where they could tell me how bad my stuff was. ;) So I chose to start my blog off by posted a story on the first day. EEK. It was hard and it still is every time I post a story or something from my WIP. I guess my advice is you just have to do it. Not that you have to on your blog, but someone out there. Trust me, it will be one of the best things you've ever done, when you find the right person.

  55. Sarah, I think that the first steps always the hardest. Well, and the second, third, fourth, etc. Every time I press enter to submit my blog I have to take a deep breath. I constantly worry about what people will think. I recently entered DL Hammons Write Club, this was the first time I had put my "writing" out there. It was terrifying, but by the same time it was anonymous so okay. I got to see what people thought. When it really boils down to it though. I write for me. My story is for me. We can't please everyone. You wrote that story for your friend. If someone took the time to do something so nice for me, I would love it. You should be proud of the love that you put in it for your friend.

  56. If you want to be a writer you have to write and if you write then you'll want to be read so I'm afraid you'll have to let other read your work.
    I posted my work on a writing site call "youwriteon" where other people read and comment on your work. Here I learn to take the rough with the smooth and my writing is much better for it. I don't always like what others have to say,but sometime it's the only way to learn to step back from your work and see it from a different point of veiw.

    Good luck with your writing in 2012

  57. Yes, I had this problem "in the beginning". The first time I took part in a blogfest I was kinda terrified! But I did it anyway, and it was fun to see people's comments. Each blogfest after that has got easier. One of the major things that helps is reading all the other entries in a blogfest. Then you see that, while some people may write better than you, there are many who seem to be on the same level, and there are often some who write quite badly!
    Yeah, ok, so it's not a nice thing to think "I can write better than that," but it can help lift your writing morale.
    My advice: take part in as many blogfests/writing challenges as you have time for. It will get much easier to share your writing!

  58. Claudia - Lots of deep breaths! Thank you :-)

    Steph - I hear you about the flash fiction! I've been experimenting with that this year. I read your stuff on Slackerheroes, by the way, I really enjoy it.

    Patsy - You're very welcome. I love the IWSG. I think you're right. Once I actually get started, it won't be so tough, (she says hopefully!).

    Bish - I'm sort of relieved that even published authors feel this way at times, thank you :-)

    Rena - Rena, not only did it help but it made me laugh, while at the same time feeling sorry for 12 year old Rena :-)

    Denise - I think this year will be the year I try blogfests that involve fiction :-) I read Sarah's post, and I know exactly why you recommended it, thank you.

    Michael - I'm glad you used your own name. You've been so supportive over the past few months, you deserve every good thing that I hope comes your way when your book is published.

    inluvwithwords - I like the idea of a writing group as opposed to a crit group. Thank you.

    Nancy - This made me smile. I guess it's a lot easier to read what others write :-)

    1000th Monkey - Comments like yours really help. You know how much I love your work and if you've been through this, I feel like it's normal :-)

    The Golden Eagle - One of the biggest surprises in the comments has been how people who I look up to, and think are really confident, have suffered too, (and yes, I mean you!) :-)

  59. Julie F - I love that analogy, thank you :-)

    Mark - It was a lovely blogfest. I hope they run it next year. Thank you. I don't know if I've said it, but your support - and offers of monster munch - mean a lot :-)

    Leigh - I will, I promise :-) By the way, your hair looks amazing!

    Beylit - If it means anything, I love reading your blog. I don't always comment if I'm busy, but I read every post you write.

    MsJaneB - Welcome to you, and I'm so glad you got something out of my post. I agree, bloggers are wonderful :-)

    Munir - You always know the right thing to say. Thank you :-)

    Sarah W - I agree. Anticipation is almost always more scary than reality - especially for writers and their fertile imaginations :-)

    Dianne - Funny, I wrote a Valentine story one year for Techno, that I can't share either :-)
    It really does help. Not that it doesn't get better, but that it's normal. Thank you :-)

    Joanne - True. Making a connection is what it's all about, isn't it?

    Shell Flower - Thank you for the kind words :-) I like the sound of a writing group.

    Stephen - I like the idea of receiving advice, I really do. It's just the thought of handing my work over that scares me :-)

  60. Tania - Agreed. More action, less thought might be needed :-)

    Michael - It was a wonderful blogfest wasn't it? Thank you so much for your very helpful comment, and for your support.

    Hunter Emkay - I had to laugh at your comment. I would have been terrified too. I used to play an online game, and when my guild got voicechat it took ages to pluck up the courage to even say hello!

    Jamie - I did think about guest posting actually, but I never know what to say :-)

    Jo - You make an excellent point. It may not feel that way sometimes but 'I' am not my writing.

    Annalisa - I think you've got it. All these bloggers are my friends now, and that makes it harder :-)

    MISH - That's just it - why are we happy to believe the bad but not the good about our work?

    Heather - I love the fact that you won a contest with something you'd written off :-)

    Green Monkey - Shannon. You already know how much your writing moves me. Thank you so much for being here.

    Anne G - Thank you. And I agree, this is one of the most supportive communities I've ever come across.

    Alex - I love this. Expanding my horizons, one reader at a time :-)

  61. Megan - 'Silently Scream'. I'm going to take this to heart. Thank you :-)

    SBJones - The ability to fix mistakes is one of the things that makes e-publishing very attractive to me :-)

    cleemckenzie - What a lovely thing to say, thank you.

    Chantele - It really does help to know I'm not alone in this, thank you :-)

    Chemist Ken - Don't chicken out, I bet your family are dying to read your work.

    Damon - Thank you, and welcome to you :-)

    Laura - You know how I feel, I emailed you :-)

    Andrew - I like the sound of this. (The reading aloud, not the farting - although that made me laugh!). Thank you.

    Miriam - You make a good point. We're really not good at blowing our own trumpets, are we? A simple thank-you is the perfect response :-)

    Laura P - Thanks for the recommendation. I'll definitely check it out.

    Medeia - I think joining a writing group of some kind has to be a goal for 2012.

  62. Roland - Stupid blogger, it won't beat us! And yes, you're right, my dream is worth it. Thank you.

    Curmudgeon - This really made me smile. I love your wife's faith in you.

    Jolene - I love your attitude. I'm going to try to emulate it :-)

    Christa - I was fine with it being posted anonymously. Unfortunately, I think 'Anon' is taken as a pen-name :-)

    Misha - Feel the fear and do it anyway. Excellent words to live by :-)

    Madeleine - That's terrible about your notebook. I would be devastated. Maybe you're right, I need to think about what I really want. If it's to present myself as a writer, then I should at least act like one. 'Fake it 'til I make it', perhaps :-)

    Linda G - You know what, you've just given me something to think about. Thank-you!

    Jenny M - Wow, talk about jumping in head-first! I'm impressed :-)

    Jessica - Thank you. I really do believe that she loved it, and that's all I wanted :-)

    Jarmara - Welcome to you, and thank you. I'm going to check out 'youwriteon'.

    Rachel - Thank you for this. I really do think you're right. I'm determined to try some fiction blogfests this year.

  63. My biggest drawback is *who* I let see my work. I have now problems showing it to strangers, or other writers in crit groups, but I'm very hesitant to show my writing to friends and family.

  64. Gwen - This. If people I can't see and don't know were reading it, it would be fine. But people who know me ...


I happily answer all comments on my blog, and by email if it's not a 'noreply' address :-)