Wednesday, September 3, 2014

IWSG September & Follow Fest Update

This is my Insecure Writers Support Group post for September.

Would you believe this group has been going strong for 3 years? 
Happy anniversary, IWSG! 

Be sure to visit the IWSG website. Our fearless leader, Alex, and his band of clever minions have something special planned. :)

Alex's awesome co-hosts for September are:
Laura at My Baffling Brain,  
Mark Koopmans,  
Shah Wharton, 
and Sheena-Kay Graham

Please stop by their blogs and say thank you. 




The kids are finally back in school, and my days are (mostly) quiet again. It's nice to be back to writing; I'm thrilled to be working on my next book! The success of my debut definitely boosted my confidence. But the insecurities still creep in. 

I worry the next book won't be as good as the first. Although my writing is improved from what it was in my early, newbie days, many of the craft lessons are no longer fresh in my mind. Some I've assimilated as habit, of course, but I still feel the urge to read back over the various topics and assure myself I'm not overlooking something vital. 

It's kind of like those dreams people have. You know, the ones in which they go out in public and realize they forgot to put on their clothes. LOL It's silly, I suppose, but I worry I'll release the next book, then realize I forgot something basic--left out something vital to the plot, didn't freshen and vary my descriptions, didn't do enough story or character development.

Insecurity never really goes away. That's why I'm glad for this group. I've had to trim the time I spend on social media, so, rather than try to take part in everything I see,
I've chosen to put my effort into a few select things. IWSG is one of those things. :)




Follow Fest is also one of those things.

In case you hadn't heard, I'm hosting another Follow Fest this year. It's a bloghop for the purpose of meeting other writers and connecting with them on social media. (Think 'cyber meet-and-greet with social media links for business cards.') This year, the fest is scheduled for Monday, September 22nd thru Friday, September 26th

Changes this year, some per feedback from last year:

  • Only one Linky list (You'll sign-up after your post launches.)
  • No confusing genre categories, just your name 
  • I added some questions about hobbies, favorite authors, etc.
  • Custom links are encouraged but not required. Please don't let the 'Permalink' thing scare you away!
  • Giveaway prize will be the winner's choice of a free 15-page critique or 25% off my regular rate for a line edit or proofread of your manuscript. (Winner will be chosen at random from the Linky list of participants.)
I need help spreading the word. Feel free to add the blog button to your sidebar and link it to the Follow Fest information page (http://melissamaygrove.blogspot.com/p/follow-fest.html). You can also tweet and follow the progress of the fest on Twitter by using the hashtag #FollowFest14.

For your convenience, here are a couple of sample tweets:

Have you heard about FOLLOW FEST? #FollowFest14, A cyber meet-n-greet for #writers of all kinds via @MelissaMaygrove http://goo.gl/Z26Bq3


(To tweet this right now, click here.)

It's almost time for FOLLOW FEST again! #FollowFest14, A cyber meet-n-greet for #writers via @MelissaMaygrove http://goo.gl/Z26Bq3

(To tweet this right now, click here.) 

Participation is easy. Just go to the Follow Fest page on my blog and follow the instructions. Everything you should need is there, but if you still have questions, contact me.
Thanks for visiting.  :)

To tweet about this entire post, click here.


50 comments:

  1. I don't think the doubt and the worry ever really go away. I try to use them to spur me on to keep growing and improving in the craft.

    The Follow Fest sound fun!

    Madeline @ The Shellshank Redemption

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  2. Your next book will be better - trust me!
    Not sure if I'll do Follow Fest on that Monday (which is the day of my blogfest) or on Wednesday.

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  3. i totally hear you about cutting back. Have fun with Follow Fest. I won't be able to participate this year.

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  4. Melissa, I have no doubt that your next book will also be a smashing success, so don't you worry. I don't think the doubt ever goes away. We just have to constantly push through it.

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  5. Woohoo for school!

    You're right about your writing improving. Just looking at Elizabeth's blog challenge, when you wrote about 1865, you said it was something you put together quickly. It was magnificent. I don't think you have to worry about your next book not being as good as your debut, because dang girl, each time I see something from you, it keeps on getting better.

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  6. I think that's the biggest insecure thought all writers have. "What if this next one is terrible?" I'm sure yours will exceed your own expectations.

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  7. Ha! I love the comparison of naked dreams to forgetting about writing craft. It's so true! Irrational but powerful. Luckily, I really think you're going to be more than OK. First of all, you're too good and diligent of a writer to forget that stuff, and second of all, that's what CPs and betas are for!

    Yay for Follow Fest! I'll tweet it for ya :)

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  8. I loved Follow Fest last year! Congrats on your book's success and insecurity happens, you just need to keep going Mel.

    IWSG Co-Host

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  9. I understand your insecurities and appreciate your sharing them with us. We are not alone! Also, so cool your first was so successful! Happy 3rd anniversary!

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  10. You'll do fine. I have full faith in you, now get writing!

    I'm ready to do the follow fest!

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  11. That creeping doubt, it hides in the shadows at times but it's always there, lurking.

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  12. I had those same weird nightmare insecurities with my second book too. You are not alone in that.
    Best wishes in writing and life!

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  13. I feel ya. Just have to do the best I can.

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  14. I'm afraid those insecurities will never go away. Comes with the territory. But I'm sure you'll do fine.

    And thanks for setting up the FollowFest again.

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  15. I agree with Alex. The second will be better than the first, and the third better than the second. Each book will be better because you'll have knowledge you didn't have before and you'll put it to good use. You just have to believe in yourself! Dragon hugs!

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  16. I'm sure your next book will be even better than your first. The foundation you laid in writing that one will support your next endeavor, no doubt.

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  17. The fact that you worry that the next book won't be up to snuff tells me that it will probably be great. Your attention to detail will show through.

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  18. With each book, each piece we write, our writing only improves. Have faith in that, Melissa. Writing experience builds and strengthens our craft. It can only go up from here. :)

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  19. I hadn't heard about Follow Fest. Glad you're doing it again!! I will Tweet just as soon as I hit publish on this comment. Thanks for hosting another fest, it was such fun last year. Best of luck with book #2, I've no doubt it will be another winner.

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  20. I can' cope with another blogfest, but I'll totally Tweet! :) I'm more nervous about my writing now than I was on my first book, mostly because I know how much I didn't know than, and still have to learn. Back than, I didn't have a clue :)

    Have fun getting there. X

    shahwharton.com :)

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  21. Yay for Follow Fest! I'm hoping I can come play this year, but my goodness, I have SO much going on during that week. We'll see.

    Book 2 is going to be epic. Stop questioning it. ;)

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  22. You're right, Melissa. The insecurities never go away. Yet we must persist.

    Keep on keeping on.

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  23. I always worry about "losing" the ability to write a book as well as I've done before - the insecurity really doesn't go away! Just make sure you don't compare a first draft to your previous polished novels (a trap I'm guilty of falling into sometimes!) and remember that a first draft doesn't have to be perfect! :)

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  24. Doubt and worry never go away.

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  25. I just started working on a sequel of my own, so I completely hear you on that end. >_< I've already gone back into the first book and changed a minor detail so I can be sure the sequel's title makes sense. Gah! This is why writers go insane. ^_^

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  26. Of course the next book will be as good. It will be coming from a more experienced writer :).

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  27. I'm not sure if there is a writer who doesn't wonders what happens if they can't write as good a 2nd book as the 1st or worries that no one will buy it. We're all a bunch of insecure people. :) I checked out your Follow Fest. Sounds like fun!

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  28. I am still working on my first draft, lol. I do worry about having more in me, but I already two other series ideas in the works. Still I worry about this first one being good enough. Yikes.

    Followfest sounds interesting. I tweeted one of your msgs.

    Juneta at Writer's Gambit

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  29. Oh, Melissa, we all worry that our next story won't be good enough. Hey, instead think how much better it will be than the first! You said you've learned a lot. The more we write, the more we you. Follow Fest sounds like a blast! I copied the outline into a new blog post already, but not sure where to find the linky to sign up on the day of the fest. I'm sure it will be right here though. Thanks so much for this grand opportunity to meet and greet new authors/readers and connect with friends.

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  30. There's much to remember when writing a new novel. POV, grammar, technical line structure,(which I suck at) and so on....But after writing Come Back, I can almost assure you that your writing will or has improved. All writer's doubt, it goes with the position.

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  31. Yay for the followfest!!! This sounds SO FUN.

    And Melissa, you're a pro. A complete pro. So I KNOW that your next book will be above and beyond. You're doing it---living the dream. And I'm so stinkin' proud of you!!!! <3

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  32. You can't help but improve through writing. The only time I've thought a writer's 3rd or 5th book wasn't good, was when they seemed to write out of a need to have another published novel out and about. I've always wondered if that was because of the demands from their publisher.

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  33. The doubt never goes away--it keeps you on your toes and makes you work that much harder! :)

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  34. I tell myself that to be a better writer you just have to keep writing and some of it will be bad.It's a struggle. I try to balance out my healthy and unhealthy coping mechanisms. ;)

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  35. Just keep writing! You never know exactly how a story is going turn out until it's done! Good luck and don't get discouraged!

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  36. Hey, Melissa,

    Don't worry....you're a true professional now. You've worked out all the kinks and the next will be even better.

    You have passion for your writing an that will glow in you work!

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  37. I guess insecurity is the bane of every creative person - especially those of us who dare to share our work in public! I'm sure you'll do great, Melissa!

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  38. I'm the one who was totally confused about the Follow Fest last year... remember...? *hides face*
    The doubt is always there... just that some days it's not as strong as others... but I think we have to manage it to the best of our ability... which is easier said than done... *sighs*

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  39. I worry about the next book not being as good as the first one ALL the time. Sigh, I think it's the writer curse. Have fun with Follow Fest, I'll be traveling so I can't make it. :-(

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  40. It seems like insecurities only increase as you go on, even (or especially) after publishing, but worrying about this stuff means you're not going to neglect anything. The next book will be great!

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  41. Follow Fest sounds fun! The doubts would always be there. Its a writer thing.

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  43. hello! lovely to 'meet' you again this month. Follow Fest sounds Fabulous!! I'm off to check it out now :D

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  44. I can't speak from personal experience, but all writers say that the 2nd book is the hardest, the one where all the insecurities sneak back in. If only self belief could be bottled or, even better, baked into a cake, eh? Good luck!

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  45. Melissa, I just posted the same sentiment on another IWSG member's blog that I worried if my most recent book will be as good as my first. Glad to hear someone else express that insecurity. Thanks also for visiting my blog this Wednesday and gently nudging me about my missing IWSG post. I took your hint and posted, late in the day but that's better than never. Will be back to check in. I like what you're doing here.

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  46. The fact that you constantly learn and improve means you are well on your way. I don't doubt that the next book will be just as good.

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  47. I always have those thoughts about the quality of my writing, but I think - and people have said this to me,to I know it makes sense - that the fact you are concerned means you'll always try to do better.

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  48. I'm in the same boat this month too. I guess it's best to just roll the dice and get it out there, right? Each book is its own learning experience.

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  49. I try to remember that stumbling blocks bring me nearer my goal. It's easier said than done of course but even saying it brings me even a step closer.

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  50. I didn't participate in the Follow Fest last time, but heard it was fun. I think I might jump on the bandwagon this time around to share in the fun.

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Thanks for taking the time to comment. = )