Wednesday, April 1, 2015

IWSG Wednesday: Enjoying the Ride

It's another first Wednesday, so time for another Insecure Writer's Support Group post! This month, I've been thinking about the importance of enjoying the writing journey.
IWSG Badge

In a lot of ways, I have a lot to be grateful about in my writing journey. In the last four months, I signed with an agent and sold my debut novel (The Blood Rose Rebellion, due out in 2016 from Knopf). I signed my contract last week!

These are milestones I worked a long time for, and I'm thrilled to have reached them.


Something funny happened around the time I signed my agent. I'd looked forward to that moment for so long, I think I had it in my head that I'd be happy as a writer when that happened--that I'd feel validated, that I'd stop worrying if my writing was good enough.

Guess what? That didn't happen. Sure, I rode a euphoric high--for about three days. Then, suddenly it was that elusive book deal that I needed to confirm my happiness and give me confidence.

But even that didn't prove entirely true. Selling a book opened up a whole new realm of worries. (How can I help market this thing? What if readers hate it? What if I don't sell out my advance?) I still struggle to sit down and write. I still write words and re-read them and think, "this is terrible. I'm a fraud." And I half-expect someone to come by and revoke my contract. 

The truth that I'm slowly discovering is this: you have to write because somehow the writing itself satisfies you. If you write for any other reason (to sell a book, to hit a best-seller list), it will never be enough, because there's always some elusive goal beyond the one you've just hit.

You have to believe in yourself (or at the least, believe in your close friends' and critique partners' assessment of yourself on days when your own belief flags), because there will always be external forces that both love and hate you. And no outside approval will make up for your own failure to believe in your gifts.

In the meantime, I'm still here--and still writing. 


  1. To be honest, that's been my experience exactly this last year. Deals and contracts won't confirm happiness or satisfaction for long. It's something we have to keep working toward. Congratulations, and it was great to finally meet you at Writing for Charity. :)

  2. There is not one thing on this Earth that everyone loves. We are all too different. Writing for yourself is the only answer. Make your story the best story you can write.

    Now you have an agent and a publisher taking a chance on you. I'd say they know what they are doing, so trust them if not yourself.

    Here's my link if you'd like to drop by :-)

    Anna from Elements of Writing

  3. What a super post, Rosalyn. Believe in yourself. You can't please everyone so don't worry about reviews. Best wishes on your debut novel.

  4. Congrats on signing with your agent! And best wishes for your debut novel. I imagined I'd be on some author cloud nine high as well. This is something you've worked hard towards. I've only self-published a chapbook a couple of months ago and I felt the same way. For a moment and then came the worries. It's our song and dance, so don't worry and enjoy this as much and long as you can.

  5. Cling to those final thoughts as you go about this business. It is hard not to measure ourselves by the numbers. We are successful and more fulfilled when we do what we love. The rest is the gravy.
    Play off the Page

  6. Congrats on the book deal! I'm nowhere near that in writing but have found it true in life. If you need affirmation you'll never get enough. Still working on that. :)

  7. No matter how many milestones we pass in the publication process (getting an agent, selling a book, selling a second book ...) there is always that feeling of insecurity about what comes next. You are right. The best thing to do is re-discover the joy of writing for writing's sake and enjoy the journey, no matter how winding it is!

  8. Congratulations on the book deal! So awesome.

  9. Congrats on the agent! That's awesome (and something I hope I can achieve at some point too!) But I totally agree. You have to write for yourself. You have to write because you need to and because it satisfies you. Great post!