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IWSG & Book Release Announcement

This is my Insecure Writers Support Group post for March.  

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. 


Announcements first (and this is a biggie) . . . 

It's with exuberant sqweees and Snoopy-happy-dances that I announce the upcoming release of my crit partner's book. 

I can't believe it! The time is finally here!!!

Carrie Butler's debut novel, Strength, book 1 in the Mark of Nexus series, is being released this month by Sapphire Star Publishing.

Be sure to come back tomorrow, March 7th, for the party! I've got one heckuva book launch post planned that you won't want to miss.


Now on to my IWSG melancholy...

This has nothing to do with Carrie's success. I'm genuinely happy for her. In fact, there are little pieces of me sprinkled within her pages, if you know where to look. It's humbling, but it's also kinda cool. 

What's on my mind lately is, will I ever be good enough?

There are lots of good books out there that are readable, enjoyable. Then there are books by authors whose writing rises above just good

I look at my WIP and wonder, will I ever be one of those?

I've also watched authors fall from grace. They gain fame and followers only to change something about their writing, and the public turns on them. It might be a change in style or an addition of a co- (or ghost-) writer, or maybe they just lose their spark—but, whatever it is, their reviews take a nosedive and so do their sales.

Will I be one of those?

These are the things that linger in the shadows of my mind, haunting me and making me ponder this writing path I've chosen.

What questions haunt you?


  1. Hey,

    I'm super excited for Carrie, too, and jealous she's your crit partner :)~

    Having finished WIP #1, I can soooo relate to this post... with final edits in the works, I'm still like "Is this going to be good enough?"

    But, as long as I know I've given all I could and written the best work possible for this, my first non-pooping baby, well that's all I can ask for.

    So there. You're a great writer, Melissa, and you know you Can. Do. It. :)

  2. The good enough question is my nightmare at the moment. He's a mean beast! I'll be sure to stop by tomorrow. Can't wait to see what you've got planned ;)

  3. Breaking news: You already are good enough! We can watch and lament about the others' fortunes or misfortunes and let our doubts and fears keep us from our happy destinies, or we take the risk, put ourselves out there, and see what happens. I have a feeling good things are in store for you.

  4. I'm so with you right now. I'm querying my first Novel and am having an impossibly hard time thinking: will it make it? Will I make it? Am I submitting total crap?

    My story's been through rounds of betas. I've gotten tons of feedback and revised and revised ... but I think it's so hard for me to see all these authors around me having these seeming "Cinderella" stories.

    I know there was lots of hard work put in by all these newly agented/published authors, but at times it feels like I'm the only one struggling!

  5. Oh, yes, this is a biggie for me as well!
    Every time I sit down to write something new, or look at a way to make the revision project better, I ask myself if I really should be even attempting such a feat as writing a book. But then I have to remind myself: If I don't write this story, no one can write it for me.
    My very best is all I can do.

    Congrats to Carrie Butler on such a cool sounding book!

  6. Agree with M.L.-- you're good enough. It's so easy to get in a comparison mode, even as we rejoice with others for their success. Sometimes, I feel like a horse putting on the blinders-- I have to focus on my path alone. And it's not the same as anyone else's path. :)

  7. Congratulations to Carrie.

    The question that haunts you, Melissa, is fair. The only way you'll find the answer is doing it. Write the book,perfect it, put it out there, make your best effort and then you'll find out. But never stand back over a "what if". Remember that's the worst defeat you may face, because you would be defeating yourself.

  8. Congratulations to Carrie!

    I think the will I ever be good enough haunt has his running shoes on and his making his way around the writing track. I just remember that he haunts all great artists. The key is not letting him win.

  9. Congrats to Carrie!

    I feel the same way, and I think most writers have this little nagging fear. I can't help but compare myself to other writers, and it certainly doesn't help that my crit partners are geniuses with the pen! But I have the chance to learn from their genius, and that is a treasure I could never give up.

  10. I'm so excited for Carrie! Strength is such an AWESOME book! I reviewed it on GoodReads/Amazon recently.

    I share your concerns about not being good enough and/or falling from grace. From the snippets of your work that you've posted over the past year, I can attest, you are good enough already. I still remember the scene where the main character is in a room with a strange man who is passed out or something and she's studying him trying to figure him out. Good stuff. Can't wait to read more of it.

    You doubt because you care, and that can only lead to great things.

    1. What kind words, Natasha. Thank you.

      "You doubt because you care, and that can only lead to great things."

      You've got wisdom beyond your years -- and the solution to the 'will I ever be good enough' doubt. I think I'll post that line within view of my desk. ;)

  11. Congrats to Carrie!

    I think we all suffer from those questions. It helped me out a lot when I finally realized I wasn't alone in my self-doubts. It's part of being creative.

  12. Looking forward to Carrie's release!
    Heck, my books don't even rise above good. But I'm all right with that.
    It's not whether you are good enough - are you the best you can be?

  13. One BIG question haunts me...Is there ever going to be an editor that loves my out-on-submission PB just as much as my agent and I??? Anyone?

    Gosh Melissa, I totally get where you're coming from, and completely relate. I agree with Laura above. Creatives sometimes wallow in self-doubt. Why is that?

    I find being around like-minded peeps helps me. We can't live that far away from each other. We really should think about meeting soon!!

  14. We all feel the same way at some point, but we have to keep fighting and know we are going enough. :)

  15. Ooo... that's a biggie! All I can say is keep reading and practicing your craft. We'll always have our family and close friends to support us!

  16. This seems to be a common fear among writers; I know it's mine; meanwhile everyone I'm thinking is beyond this is feeling the same. Just remember it's the ones who don't question themselves who aren't striving to become better.

  17. I feel that way often, Melissa. Sometimes I wonder if I am kidding myself that I can write or if I am wasting my time doing all this writing.

    But like Natasha said, you doubt because you care. That's an amazing thing to remember. It also keeps you humbled and not overly confident that you wind up not writing as well as you used to.

  18. At the moment, the question haunting me the most is: Will someone who can help me get published ever see the potential in my book?

    At the moment it feels like agents aren't even reading the query, so I'm starting to submit to smaller publishers and imprints accepting unagented submissions.

    1. It's frustrating, I know, but there's nothing wrong with changing your strategy. Sometimes you have to make a name for yourself first to get their attention.

  19. I'm super excited for Carrie too. I'm not officially part of her release bloghop but I couldn't resist posting about it today. Anyway, Melissa, you will be good enough. I'm not just saying that to be nice, either. You've got great CPs and I've read some of your writing and the only way you won't get there is if you let your insecurities stop you from reaching the top. If there is one person that I know will be successful it will be you.

    1. Thanks for that, Elise. All you guys are so good to cheer me on.

  20. I think the test of a book can't be the fads at the time or even reviewers and sometimes readers. Time is the test. Looking back on the people who have really changed the world creatively, they are the ones who served their creativity first and other concerns second. Some of the best films never made money. Harper Lee could never replicate the success of To Kill a Mockingbird. Margaret Mitchell never wrote another book after Gone with the Wind. We don't have to keep moving forward, expecting ever higher peaks. There will be many peaks and many valleys, and those who weather that will continue to serve their purposes, being honest with the stories they were born to the tell. They are the ones who will be remembered, not for every story but the ones that lasted because they were the spark of brilliance that time decided.

  21. Happy IWSG, Melissa, sorry I'm late. Did you see what Carrie did to her Strength copy? She stuck it under the leg of a piece of furniture! Haha, I know! She's crazy and brilliant.

  22. As I read your post, I felt like I was looking into a mirror and not because we're both named Melissa either. I often wonder why I'm even doing this.

  23. Since I struggle with the same sort of insecurities and questions, I've really enjoyed reading the comments here! I love what Alex said. Yes! :)

  24. Oh, Melissa,

    We all have these reservations, but remember YOU can only write YOUR story. If the passion, heart, and soul is in your writing readers will respond to it. Perhaps those writers falling from grace lost theirs.

    It is imperative to never lose faith in yourself or your passion....


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