Wednesday, August 5, 2015

IWSG August - Ramblings of a self-published author

This is my Insecure Writers Support Group post for August.


Alex's awesome co-hosts this month are: 
Nancy Gideon, Bob R Milne,  
Doreen McGettigan, Chrys Fey,  
Bish Denham, and Pat Garcia!

Please stop by their blogs and say thank you


I'm insecure about a lot of things... the state of our nation... radical changes at my 'real' job... the fact I just celebrated the last birthday of my 40s, but I'm not insecure about my writing. Well, not as much as I was, anyway. 


My debut was well received, and the companion novel I just released seems to be headed in the same direction. I just have to keep pushing myself to write well, listen to my CPs, and give readers what they want. Not too difficult, right?

I'll leave you with these thoughts...
  • Have a vision for your work but don't be afraid to adjust it as you go
  • Know your genre
  • Stay humble but don't be a milquetoast; you'll never please everybody
  • Embrace confidence and keep studying the craft
Thanks for visiting. :)


IWSG is the brainchild of Alex J. Cavanaugh. It's a monthly bloghop that offers a safe haven for writers to express their feelings and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. It's also a venue for offering support, both in the form of comments and positive posts. Writers of all kinds are welcome. 

We 'meet' the first Wednesday of every month. If you're interested in learning more, click on the link above. And don't be intimidated by the size of the group. We're not expected to visit everyone on the list

76 comments:

  1. Those 4 points are spot on.
    Congrats on the release of companion novel!
    Happy IWSG Day, Melissa!

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  2. I'm thrilled to read that your books are doing so well. :-)

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    1. Thanks, Misha. 'The' ad went out late yesterday. I'm waiting with bated breath to see if it fuels sales like it did for my debut.
      *bites nails and refreshes sales stat screen way too often* LOL

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  3. we are compatriots with the same worldly concerns, my friend! sometimes i wonder how long our peace will last and fear for my kids... puts everything else into perspective. just gotta keep going!
    great writerly advice, too! happy hump day!

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  4. Melissa--excellent advice! I am re-visiting my "Meet a Blogger" weekly series and I'd love to highlight your blog as I always love your posts. Would you mind if I wrote a post about you next week for "Meet a Blogger?" Send me an email at: randi.lee@mail.com and let me know if that's okay :-)

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  5. Yes! Those are terrific tips! I agree with you completely. Congrats on your new release. I'm sure it'll be just as much of a success as your last, and I hope you have many more to come!

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  6. Congrats on the well-received debut novel :) The four points are spot on!

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  7. Having a vision but being flexible with it is a great reminder. So many things are outside of our control that our original goal might not even be feasible anymore.

    Oh, and not being able to please everybody? So, so true. :)

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  8. Embrace confidence is the one definitely needed to remember by all of us "insecure writers." Good points. If you want to promo your new book, you're welcome to return to the J.Q. Rose blog. Wishing you great success with your companion novel.

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  9. Melissa, glad you enjoyed my blog post. Hope I send lots of people your way. Glad your new novel is doing well.

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    1. Oh my gosh, Ken. You made my day with that post.
      I'm STILL laughing about it! :D

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  10. Nice uplifting post. Those words of wisdom could help us all, especially about confidence; that's a challenge for me. Good to hear things are going well!

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    1. We have to embrace confidence when it comes. As long as we don't forget to stay humble, we'll be fine. ;)

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  11. Wonderful advice. Sometimes the confidence part is hard, but we must believe in our stories. Have a great day!

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  12. Fantastic advice. Congratulations on your release! :)

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  13. I'm so happy for you that your book was well-received and your next is on its way. Great advice too!

    IWSG co-host Write with Fey

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  14. Good way to think about yourself as a writer, Melissa. Great news about your book.

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    1. I still get insecure, but I'm resisting it. LOL

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  15. Awesome advice, Melissa. Sending cheese to fuel you through the next release!

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    1. Thanks. I'll munch on it while I take a much-needed break. :)

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  16. Great advice, and not random ramblings at all! I'm so glad the release is going well!

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  17. You've got almost 2 decades to catch up with me! You're still young and the 50s are a great age! Go with the flow.

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  18. Made me smile to read that you're not feeling insecure about writing. Hooray!!

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    1. That may change tomorrow, but for now, I'm good. LOL

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  19. Great points. For some reason I've always loved the word: milquetoast

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  20. Congrats on your new release! Thanks for the great tips.

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  21. Don't be milquetoast...don't be milquetoast. That's what I'm walking away with.

    Congrats on the new book! It's awesome, of course. No surprise it's headed to the best seller ranks.

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    1. Thank you! You're making me blush. :)

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  22. I definitely need to remember I can't please everyone. I get so much in my head of why "this" and "that" won't be well received... then I remember it's my story and only I know how it turns out (with CPs help of course lol). Great advice and yes, we must keep learning our craft! Love the post :D

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    1. CPs are the best!

      As long as we give our readers what they want, we'll be okay. That's the 'know your genre' part. ;)

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  23. I agree with you on not trying to please everyone. If you try that you usually don't please anyone.

    http://myantimatterlife.wordpress.com

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  24. Congratulations on the new book! I have never been so happy since I decided to give up on pleasing everyone.

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    1. Thanks!

      For me, it was a matter of learning enough and gaining enough confidence in my writing. Until I reached that point, I struggled when it came to processing feedback. It's still not easy, but I'm more sure of my choices now.

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  25. I learned a new word today! milquetoast

    I know my genre. :D It does feel good to feel secure in that area.

    I hope everything works out in your non-writing life!

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    1. It's not spelled the way you think it would be.
      Me, too!

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  26. There always seems to be new things to be insecure about. I'm glad writing at least is going good. Congrats on the recent birthday and the recent release :)

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  27. Hi, Melissa!!!!

    CONGRATS!!! I knew you'd get write another winner.... Keep the faith and all will be well....

    Thanks for the sound advice....

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  28. Thanks for more great advice, and congrats on your writing successes!!

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  29. I think you're doing great, Melissa.
    And I'm with you on the insecurity about being 49 thing. It feels weird and uncomfortable and outright wrong to have 5-0 approaching next. Right? At least, I'm in good company.

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    1. Turning 30 was hard for me because I wasn't where I wanted to be in life. 50 is going to be difficult, too, but for different reasons.

      Maybe we can share some wine and some chocolate. :)

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  30. Wise words - and I expect nothing less when I stop over to visit you, Melissa :)

    Oh, and don't worry, I'll never be a milkytoast... that sounds a bit soggy for my taste.

    I'm going to stick with I Can't Believe It's Not Clogging My Arteries Faster.

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  31. Hi Melissa,
    First, congratulations!!! Somehow the launch of your book escaped me. Your books are now on my reading list.
    Thank you for the words of wisdom. My heart agrees wholeheartedly with what you have said.
    Take care.
    Shalom,
    Pat Garcia

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  32. Congrats on your newest release!! And thanks for the great advice!

    I'll be honest, I'd never heard the word milquetoast—I learned a new word! ;)

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    1. Thanks, Kristin.
      I'd heard it growing up, I was just surprised at the spelling.

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  33. Wow, clearly I missed the release while I was offline. Congratulations, and I'm so sorry I wasn't around. From what I can see, it's headed in a great direction!! :D

    I read Ken's post and was laughing out loud at his diagram. XD I'm with Kristin; I'd never heard the word milquetoast either, I have to look it up now. Love you!!

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    1. Love you, too, Eva. Thanks for visiting. :)

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  34. Good advice. ^_^ I think the point about knowing you'll never please everybody is a really important one; it's way too easy to hear a bunch of conflicting opinions and think you've done something wrong because so many people like or dislike different things about your work. But it's your work and should stay that way as you're working on it, and if someone doesn't like it, well, that's just how it goes.

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    1. I go for pleasing the majority of my target audience (key words 'majority' and 'target audience'). Thanks for visiting, Mason.

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  35. Better late than never, so here I am thanks to Ken. I think the idea of pleasing everybody is what changed my direction from writing to editing. Maybe that's why I started writing short stories this year, mostly true ones. For some reason, maybe because it's non-fiction, I don't think I need to please everyone.

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  36. Don't worry about turning 50! Haven't you heard this before:

    Forty if the old age of youth. Fifty is the youth of old age.

    See, you'll be young again.

    For an old fart. ;)

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    1. Maybe so, but I'm hanging on to my 40s for as long as possible. :P

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  37. A very encouraging and inspirational posts about writing. About the age thing - well I'm feeling it right a long with you. I'm happy your companion novel is doing so well. You seem to have a really good handle on your writing and I admire you for overcoming your insecurities .

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  38. Melissa, great advice and congrats on your latest release. Wishing you the best!

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