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IWSG November - The Me I Don't Let You See

This is my Insecure Writers Support Group post for November.  
For more information about the group, see the bottom of this post.

Alex's awesome co-hosts for November are:

CD Coffelt, Tina Downey, Isis Rushdan, 
and Michelle Wallace!

Please stop by their blogs and say thank you.

I sometimes dislike the tone of my blog, and I've been pondering how I can change it. Other bloggers post encouraging, lighthearted content that makes me laugh and smile...and makes me envious.

If I could stay positive and look at things from a different perspective, I could be like them, too. Problem is, it's hard to have an upbeat attitude when fate keeps throwing you curve balls and you're largely unhappy with your life.

There. I said it.

My blog may be all colorful and bright, but my real life is not. Honestly, some days, my writing and the writing community are the only things keeping me sane, the only things keeping me from giving up and walking away from it all.

I've thought about just being real and posting about some of the difficult things I face, but a little voice keeps echoing in my head, keep personal things personal.

Anyhow, I want you all to know how much you mean to me.

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. And don't be intimidated by the size of the group. We're not expected to visit everyone on the list. 


  1. Sorry to hear of your unhappiness, Melissa. If you think sharing something would help you deal with difficult things share away. Supporting each other is so important and sometimes a few words of kindness can make you feel brighter. I know it has worked for me in the past. This year has been a really difficult one for me and I know only too well how hard staying upbeat can be sometimes. Take care.

  2. Aww...Mel.

    You mean the world to me, too. Seems like we're both in a funk, because I essentially wrote about the same unhappy man trying to find happiness in a cold world. Mine's a little longer post, but check it has a link to a website on Positive Psychology. I also have other sources, if you're interested.

    Hugs and love,

    M.L. Swift, Writer

  3. Hi Melissa,
    It's your blog, you can make/remake it however you want it. I'm so sorry you're having such a hard time right now. I've discovered, over the years, that I'm finally able to be open about my life, and still use some humor...but it's taken a long time to get here.
    I appreciate all my blogging friends too, including YOU. I am here if you would ever like to talk. :)

  4. Oh Melissa, I'm sorry things have not been so great in your real life. But the writing community is here for you. I hope things start looking up soon. Take care!

  5. Melissa, I'm sorry to hear that things are rough right now. Thankfully, you have a community of writers ready to support you when you need it. Also, this is your blog so I think it can be whatever you want it to be. Want to try something different? Give it a shot. Want to keep it the same? Why not? You decide. Do what makes you happy, whether it's shaking things up or keeping them the same. But don't be afraid to try something different if that's what's on your heart.

  6. Yes and yes-- life smacks us sometimes. I'm so sorry you've been hit hard. :( Prayers and hugs your way. We are a community.

  7. Ugh... I'm so sorry that things are rough right now. Let me give you some of what you give to all us the time - positivity and encouragement. I really enjoy your blog. I think it IS positive, and often funny. That being said, if you want to change it, go for it. I'll read it happily no matter what.

    So many people are posting positive things today (although not me...) - I say receive it as a gift of hope from the blog world. I think this is what we can all do for each other; lift each other up when we feel good, and let others help us when we don't.

    Hang in there, and be gentle with yourself. Sending hugs.

  8. Aw. Keep chugging, Melissa! One day at a time. You know, I write a lot more positive than I think. It's my concentrated practice to keep myself aimed in a positive direction. When life gets really bad, I use my journal and search for a single thing to be grateful for each day, and that's it. I don't worry about the rest, but try to focus on that one kernel of sunshine. Even if it's pitiful. That's why I cling to cheese--a constant remind of something bright and happy, although it has very personal and even sad undertones for me. So here's a wedge for you, eh? Keep the chin up, one day at a time.

  9. What's funny is that your focus keeps me inspired, M! While I don't know everything, I'm aware of some of the craziness you deal with, and how much you work (job and family). It never ceases to amaze me how you make time to focus on writing, blogging, etc.

    I posted something fluffy today for IWSG because most of my posts have been pretty serious. And that's only one side of my personality (actually, a pretty small side--but that's just what seems to come through in my blogging).

    So the lesson I take from this is that we all rely on each other. I look to people like you when all this writing stuff seems kind of silly and pointless--my mind just drifts toward irony and futility, I think. Your dedication reminds me of why I started writing in the first place. Maybe you go to the oddballs and funny folks to keep you from taking it too seriously. In the end, if we're all just ourselves, it'll balance out. :)

  10. Stay true to you. Some things you can fake, but faking the uber-happy all the time when that's not your style will show. I like what you blog about now. I always come back.

  11. I'm so sorry to read that you're dealing with so many difficulties in your life. I can totally relate to the writing and blogging community being the things that keep you sane, I have often felt that way in the past year. To me you are such an encouraging and kind person and I hope all of us are able to encourage you and lighten your day as well. Take care and hugs to you.

  12. I'm sorry to hear that things are rough. I sincerely hope the curve balls stop coming soon.

  13. I feel ya! My author persona is significantly more upbeat than... well, me. I think you might have gathered that, though. ;)

    FWIW, I'm a big fan of the "real" Melissa.

  14. I'm with Carrie - well not *with* her, you know what I mean..... gaaggh... hold my shovel will you... but the real Melissa is a wonderful person and a real friend, so don't be worrying if you ever do want to vent (I know I always feel better :)

    PS... and you have my email if you *ever* want to unload in a non-public way :) My ears are very bendable and my old nickname was "Dumbo" :)


  15. There are times when I've gotten very personal on my blog, and times where I haven't. I really think it's an individual choice - it's YOUR blog and YOUR decision.

    But I am sorry to hear that you're struggling. Life has a way of throwing us far too many curve balls. I pray that things will get better for you soon. I have been in that position where nothing in life was going right, but my writing was like a shining beacon of hope for me. It is wonderful that we have it to hold onto.

  16. Honey, I don't want to read another peppy blog. ;) Besides, this blog is a piece of YOU, so changing the tone is LYING.

    I hope things look up, though. I certainly want you to smile!

  17. You mean a lot to us too, Melissa. I'm sorry that your life is like that. You're a kind person and you deserve the nicest life imaginable. Virtual hug!

  18. Yes, I know just what you mean. I let my "ick" out now and again, but ever so carefully...sort of censored. But there's a lot I keep back as well, for fear of coming off like a...well, a cry-baby. I think there are times we can't help but let the pain through onto our blogs, and a judicious bloodletting now and again isn't too much to ask for, is it??? :-)

  19. Sometimes it's difficult to be positive, but it always turns around. I hope your bright corner is coming soon.

    Great IWSG post!

  20. Hi Melissa,

    Have you missed me? I know, who is this guy? Anyhow, there is no need to be envious. You can write any way you like. Heck, I write the most cynical stuff and do I care? Heck, no!

    I'm perceiving you live a double life, my dear friend. I know of such things and yes, it can be tough, it can be sadly ironic. Yet, I note the support and encouragement you get. And you can always rely on me.

    I might end by saying thank you for being part of the IWSG aka "I Was Seeking Gary", however that might sound kinda' delusional.

    Be well and here's a hug from Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar! :)


  21. I'm sorry you're in a rough patch right now. You have to write what feels right for you--don't try to force yourself to fit in a mold that doesn't work for you. That way lies unhappiness. Be true to your voice, and know that we're here for you!

  22. I think it's natural to try and be upbeat, they always say you choose your attitude - and sometimes writing the positive upbeat post is the way to at least try. It doesn't always work, in fact, most often when you're down, you're down. Allow yourself to feel the way you feel, my solution. Tomorrow is another day - it will change - and it does. No one is happy 24 / 7 - would be nice but then again, that's what the IWSG is all about. Facing those days with the support of all of us! We know of what you speak!

  23. (((Hugs))) Melissa. I try to be upbeat as well, even when I'm feeling cruddy. But my half-empty cup attitude is one I'm currently trying to change. I hope by being chipper on the outside, will eventually leak into the inside!

    I say write what you want. Write from your heart. Let it out. If someone doesn't like it, they can take a hike. But I think you'll be surprised to find you'll have lots of people on your side, cheering you on.

    Here's to catching those curve balls and whipping them right back in the same direction they came from. :)

  24. Sorry things are so rough right now, Melissa! But you've done great things here. Positive things. Keep fighting the good fight. And don't give up. You'd be missed!

  25. It's always hard to know how much of your personal life you should include in your blog. I hope that things work out better for you soon, but it sounds as if you'll be going through these difficulties for a while. Good luck and be sure to keep coming back to the writing community for the strength to keep you going.

  26. Melissa, you are such a sweet and caring person. I'm sorry to hear that you are feeling a bit low at the moment. Hope things turn around for the better...
    And I love and admire the fact that you've been so open about it...
    I think you are very brave...
    Take care.

  27. i know what you mean. sometimes i think i'm not serious enough on my blog, but you know what? i have to stay true to me. I'm not a very serious person and like to find some positive and humor in life. I say, do what feels natural. we will love you for who you are and not what you want us to see.

  28. Oh, how I would miss you.... Happy Friday....:)

  29. Melissa, I feel the same way all too often. On the outside I plaster on a smile but inside, ugggg it's not pretty. The thing is, life can be shit sometimes, but it can also be amazing, we just have to try and be more receptive to the positive stuff and eff the negative. Easier said than done, I know but we have to try. And don't forget all the people that love you both in real life AND online. We're here for ya if you need to get things off your chest or just need support or whatever. And sometimes it just takes that one comment from someone unexpected to brighten your day. And it’s possible to talk about some of the issues you're facing without getting too personal if you want to keep your private life separated, just remember, you're not alone and we love you! (((((((HUGS)))))))))

  30. Hope you feel better soon. I think for many of us there will be subtle differences between our online persona and how we are in "real" life. But then often I don't even tell my family how I'm actually feeling, I don't want to bring them down just like I don't want to bring people here down. But on the other hand we are always here to listen and you should feel able to talk about whatever you want. Not always easy, though... Hope you have a relaxing weekend!

  31. I've always found your blog entertaining, informational, and full of great personality. Just sayin'... you're awesome! Hope your offline life starts looking up!

  32. I hope your offline life starts getting better and better. Praying for you right now.
    Be well and know that you are loved.

  33. I've thanked many of you privately, but I want to say it publicly, too. I appreciate all the support and well wishes. This community is the best. :)

  34. Okay, so I'm late to this post, but I'm so glad I perused it. Sometimes having little snippets of the "real" person behind our blog facades makes us realize we're all human and how greatly appreciative we are of our writing community.

    Thank you too, Melissa, for helping keep me sane. :)


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