Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Insecure Writer's Support Group Day!

It’s time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! Time to release our fears to the world – or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic. If you’d like to join us, click on the tab above and read what we're about and sign up there or below. We post the first Wednesday of every month. I encourage everyone to visit at least a dozen new blogs and leave a comment. Your words might be the encouragement someone needs.

I’m also visiting Lynda R. Young at W.I.P. It today, talking about writer support.

Thought I’d offer something encouraging today.

Be happy where you are right now.

God says to be happy and give thanks in all things. Writers always say they write because it makes them happy. But while we all want more, if we’re not happy where we are right now, even if it’s just the writing stage, how can we be happy with more?

I have to remind myself of that as well. I’ve been dry of ideas lately, which has been a bummer, but so many other good things are happening. The Insecure Writer’s Support Group, for one. CassaStar’s recent jump to Amazon’s Top Ten. (Took almost a year – is that a slow burn, or what?) CassaFire’s upcoming release, along with blog tour and blog party.

Most of all, I’m really happy with the friends I’ve made online. No one can put a price on that!

So, are you happy right now?

Don’t forget to visit W.I.P. It! Lynda has a wonderful spirit and is the master of writing tips.

123 comments:

Jessica Bell said...

Wow, congrats on getting into the top ten! That is really fantastic news, Alex! Will check out Lynda's now ...

Lynda R Young said...

Thanks again for writing the fabulous guest post on my blog. The Insecure Writer's Group truly is a great initiative.

Old Kitty said...

I'm so happy now that I have my coffee!! And danish pastry. And Daniel Craig. In my dreams anyway. Ahem.

Take care
x

The Golden Eagle said...

I'm feeling pretty optimistic at the moment; and you're right about blogging friends. :)

I'm off to read the guest post!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Thanks, Jessica!

Lynda, thank YOU!

Kitty, if I could get Daniel Craig for you, I would.

Golden, that's good!

Pk Hrezo said...

Excellent advice, Alex. I have to remind myself this as well. If we enjoy what we're doing, then it's all good. I think it helps too to take the pressure off ourselves. Like the ol writing acronym KISS--keep it simple, stupid. I like to remind myself this for life in general. We have to keep it simple. :)

Marta Szemik said...

Great words of encouragement. Thanks Alex. Yes, I am happy now. With everything that's happening you can add excited as well. It's a great time to be a writer. I cannot imagine the support writers had, or lack off, before computers.
Happy Hopping!

Melissa Bradley said...

Great words of encouragement! I need to remember to be happy right now, just doing what I'm doing. I have been stressing way too much of late.

Congrats on the Top Ten!! Slow Burns last longer than quick, bright strikes. Here's to even more chart success for Cassastar!

Miranda Hardy said...

It's great to be thankful for all things, and I truly am. I'm in a happy place right now.

Christine Danek said...

Congrats again and yep I'm learning to be happy where I am.
It's a good thing.

Laila Knight said...

Wonderful words to start the morning. I'm sure your ideas will start popping up again soon. Am I happy?...heck yeah! There a huge secret: be happy first. All that happiness will send good things your way. Have a great day, Alex. :)

Journaling Woman said...

To be thankful in all things is a great way to live life. Happiness is a state of mind that (I think) we have to govern. One way for (me) to be thankful is to (literally) acknowledge my daily blessings.

Congratulations on the top ten.

Gail said...

That means Cassafire will climb more quickly!

rekha said...

Maybe there is some truth in slow and steady wins the race...I am enjoying writing again just for the sake of it...publishing if it happens is a bonus...will catch your guest post later in the day...have a nice day...

Jemi Fraser said...

Hoping your idea well is full again really soon! :)

Rusty Webb said...

Ideas are like wind, they blow through and knock you over and then they're gone. So don't worry about that, just try not to get hurt when your next idea hits... you have to capture that wind... I might be taking this metaphor a bit too far.

I'm happy, in a melancholy sort of way, but still happy.

Liza said...

Love your positive focus Alex! I'm going to drink me a cup of that!

Cally Jackson said...

Congratulations on making the top ten. That is an awesome achievement!

And yes, I agree with your advice about being happy where you are right now. This doesn't mean you shouldn't strive towards future goals, just that you don't have to attain those goals to be happy.

'Happiness is not a destination, it's a way of travelling' - that's one of my all time favourite quotes. :-)

welcome to my world of poetry said...

Congrats on the top ten on Amazon you well deserve it. I'm sure the next book will also be a success.
Yvonne.

Nebular said...

Alex, a slow burn or not, making Amazon's Top Ten is a great achievement. Better late than never, you know. ;)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Melissa, I hope you're right!

Gail, that would be awesome!

Cally, that is an excellent quote.

George, that's true!

Thanks and hope everyone is happy right now!

Jules said...

The grass does always seem greener... congrats on the top 10 and I'm happy but cold. :)
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Arlee Bird said...

Intrinsically I am happy, but I wouldn't necessarily say that writing makes me happy. It is a big part of the formula though. Writing helps me achieve fulfillment which adds to my greater sense of happiness and well-being.


Lee
Tossing It Out

MISH said...

Just posted my first Insecure Writer's Post... my concerns seem so trivial...
Congrats on your achievement! I'm very happy... I am blessed and have a lot to be thankful for...

~Nicole Ducleroir~ said...

I love being able to say this, but I am very happy right now in my life. My writing is back on center stage, where it should have been all along. My family life is great. And since I've been running five days a week in preparation for my half marathons, I've never felt better in my own skin. Life is good!

DL Hammons said...

Congrats on cracking the top ten! You da' man!! :)

Michelle Gregory said...

i wrote 1300 words yesterday. at the moment, i'm ecstatic.

Michelle Gregory said...

and congrats on the Amazon stat.

Leovi said...

Yo vivo con frecuencia en un estado de ansiedad porque creo que me voy a quedar sin ideas para continuar fotografiando. Luego tomo la cámara miro por el visor y desaparece la ansiedad. Hay que actuar más y divagar menos.

Leovi said...

I often live in a state of anxiety because I think I'm going to run out of ideas to continue shooting. Then I take the camera and look through the viewfinder anxiety disappears. We must do more and wander less.

Heather M. Gardner said...

That is all good news and like you tell me all the time, the ideas will come back when they are ready.

I am happy. Busy and broke but happy. I have a good family and great support from my online family. I'll take it!

Thank you!
Heather

Carol Kilgore said...

So very true about being happy. And yes I am :)

Your ideas will come when you're ready for them. Trust and Faith.

Amy said...

Thank you for sharing Alex! Your definitely right about putting a price on happiness. Writing makes me happy and it doesn't get any better than that, I love the fun of it.

Heading over to check out you Guest Post! :)

Hart Johnson said...

It definitely is important to just enjoy the process. Being thankful for each milestone... and being thankful for just being this passionate about something.

I would LOVE to be 'just writing'... I just need some success to give up the darned day job so I can!

Charles Gramlich said...

Most of the time, during the moments of actual writing, I'm having fun and am definitely happy. It's all the other business side of it that takes away some of the happiness.

KH LeMoyne said...

Captain Ninja - that gives me a chuckle! And what a great way to welcome in November with thanks. Congrats on the ten-spot, good to see all your hard work paid off.
~Kate

Karen Walker said...

Alex, you so deserve everything that is happening for you. And I am in a dry spell as well, but I am still happy. This is such a wise post.
karen

Mary Aalgaard, Play off the Page said...

Great message, Alex. Just looking at the list of 202 insecure writers shows how much this support is needed. So glad you're out there for all of us - in the clouds.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Lee, well said!

Mish, nothing is ever too trivial.

Nicole, that is awesome!

Go Michelle!

Leovi, I can't imagine you running out of photo ideas.

Hart, you and me both!

I said something wise - thanks, Karen!

And thanks everyone.

LynnRush said...

Awesome post. Just what I needed to read this morning.
You ask if I'm happy. I'm trying to be. Off the heals of the death of my MIL it's difficult. But I am happy I had her in my life the 16 years I knew her. She rocked my world with her unconditional love and support. She was the best mother in law anyone could have asked for.

So, yeah, I'm happy mixed in with a bit of sadness.

julie fedderson said...

I try to not think in terms of "I'd be happy if. . ." and see things the way my kids do--despite how wrapped up you get in life, sometimes the things that make you happiest are a warm blanket and a Scooby Doo video. It's when all the day-to-day pressure leaks in that you forget that. Everybody deserves more, but being happy is all about the less.

Bossy Betty said...

Sugar! This is EXACTLY what I needed to hear today! You may be my angel, Alex. In which case, I have a little list for you to work on....

Stephen Tremp said...

That's great advice. Be happy where you are. Simple, yet powerful! I had to do just this very thing this morning. Find out where you need to be, make necessary adjustments, and be happy with it!

Jamie Burch said...

Congratulations, Alex! Thank you for this wonderful reminder. :)

Milo James Fowler said...

"If we’re not happy where we are right now, even if it’s just the writing stage, how can we be happy with more?" -- a great reminder, sir.

Annalisa Crawford said...

Great advice, but sometimes hard to follow. I'll try to try harder!

farawayeyes said...

Today,more than ever, I needed to hear that I've got a friend. I think I'll go download that song, so I can hear it over and over. Thank You for all that you do.

Michael Offutt said...

Being top ten is awesome Alex. You are an inspiration.

Suze said...

Alex, I loved your message, today. Very timely and I have taken it to heart. Thank you.

Brinda said...

"Be happy where you are right now." I needed that! Thanks.

Empty Nest Insider said...

Thanks for the great advice and congrats again on the top 10! I'm off to the bloghop! Julie

L.G.Smith said...

Yep, I think a lot of our insecurities as writers comes from comparing ourselves to others and feeling as if we don't measure up. It's good to take stock and be happy with where you are and what you've got.

kmckendry said...

That's awesome you're in the top ten! Wow!

I am happy! I am so thankful for everything in my life right now!

Chris Phillips said...

I like the support group idea. "Hi, I'm Chris Phillips, and.. I'm a writer" :sobs: :slow and dispersed clapping from audience: "I've been writing for a little over a year now... I just can't stop!" :more clapping:

You should be happy. great job on the top 10.

Brianna said...

Thank you for the encouragement, Alex!

Writing my novel is so much fun! In fact, that's part of the reason I struggle to find time to write it -because it's more like playtime than work and I feel guilty enjoying myself when there is serious work to be done. It's only when I start obsessing over publication and the business side of writing that I don't enjoy myself. Thanks for the reminder to enjoy the moment!

Tara Tyler said...

i'm happy for you and i'm just happy to be here!
thanks for your support!

Mark Noce said...

Good, sound advice about being happy where you are. Now just to put it into practice;)

LD Masterson said...

Actually, pretty happy over here. Life is good. Congratulations on that top ten. Awesome!

Tyrean Martinson said...

Thank you Alex! I'm happy with where I am today. Yesterday the writing went easier, but today the plot thickened and the writing went a little slower . . . but I'm still happy with it.
Love your advice today - let's keep giving thanks in all things!!!

Wendy Tyler Ryan said...

Very happy to hear about your book doing so well. Also encouraging to hear that it took that long - maybe there's hope for me cracking the top 10!

lbdiamond said...

Good point, my friend.

Sommer Leigh said...

I am happy to hear Cassafire is doing well!

I'm really loving some of the insecure posts today. I posted about you, your blog post at Lynda's blog, and others over at Nathan Bransford's forums today as an inspiration point for NaNo writers.

N. R. Williams said...

Good advice Alex. Happiness is elusive. My personal situation is desperate on many levels. Recently I have been singing the hymn, I surrender all, and trust me, that helps.
Nancy
N. R. Williams, Fantasy Author

Nicki Elson said...

Amen to that, Alex. Satisfaction is a true blessing.

Cate Masters said...

Psyched to hear that CassaFire's in the Top Ten. Patience pays off, I guess, something I need to remind myself occasionally.
And yes, I love how supportive and open the writer's community is. Thanks for providing us a great place to come together.Sorry if this shows up twice but I'm having real difficulty commenting lately. Takes a few tries before they stick.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Lynn, I'm really sorry. Remember the happy moments.

Julie, that's funny - happiness is a Scooby Doo video.

Betty, send the list and I'll what I can do!

Thanks, Milo. It is the truth though.

Faraway, you are welcome!

Chris - funny!

Brianna, enjoy your writing without guilt or stress.

Tyrean, but if you're still writing that's what matters.

Wendy, if my book can do it, anyone's book can do it!

Sommer, thank you so much!!

Nancy, we need to remember we're not in charge anyways.

Cate, I'm glad you enjoy the group!

Thank you everyone!

Dafeenah said...

congrats on the top ten!! thanks for this hosting this group!

Patricia Lynne said...

I'm getting happier by the moment right now. This month I remembers the support group and got a few things off my chest in my post. That made me happy, helped me get back on track.

Congrats on getting into the top ten Alex!

Roland D. Yeomans said...

A slow burn is a consistent burn, Alex. Wow. The top ten. I am so happy for you. I know how hard you worked for that. Congratulations! Roloand

Southpaw said...

Nice use of "Slow burn" for a CassaStar!

I'm off to a really late start today, but I'm not frantic. Like you say we must be happy so I look for the things that make me happy everyday - the little things and the big things.

Today it's cold, but beautiful outside. To warm up the house I'm baking a cake. Happy. (Banana cake with cream cheese frosting for the curious minds out there.)

Jen Chandler said...

Great encouragement. If we can't be happy where we are, how can we know if we'll be happy when we get to where we want to be?

Congrats on reaching the top ten! That's awesome!!

Cheers,
Jen

Isis Rushdan said...

Giving thanks helps keep me centered/grounded. Count your blessings, not your problems. Also, why wait to be happy when you can get started today.

Great post.

Nancy Thompson said...

Thanks for putting things into perspective, Alex! Yes,I'm happy. My skin is thick enough now that I don't let all the little things get me down anymore. And I have so many other things to be happy about. I always look on the bright side of things, but sometimes, I need someone else point me in the right direction. I'm heading over to WIP It right now. I love Lynda!!

Johanna Garth said...

This is exactly what I needed to read this morning after I came off feeling really blue about my day's writing work! Thanks Alex.

Ann said...

Congratulations Alex on your Amazon rise! Long may it continue. Thrilled for you. And thank you for organizing this support system. It had been very helpful.

Helena said...

I LOVE that your book has reached the top 10 but took a year to get there. The traditional idea that a book has to sell big immediately or it'll disappear always struck me as an artificial rule created by marketing departments. And CassaStar selling so well now means it's got great word of mouth going. That's what turned the first Harry Potter book into a phenom.
Now if I could only get word of mouth going about MY book. Dang....

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Patricia, that's great!

Thanks, Roland. It was a total surprise. More like total shock!

Isis, exactly!

Nancy, that you always look on the bright side does not surprise me!

Helena, I've heard big publishers don't market much past the first few months. My publisher has continued pushing my book and I'm blessed because of that.

Thanks everyone and glad I could make today a little brighter!

Jessica Salyer said...

Congrats on top ten!! That's awesome. Today's a good day. I wrote for the first time in what felt like ages yesterday.

Elizabeth Mueller said...

Alex, Congratulations for making the top 10--that's AWESOME!

Guess what? You won, congrats! :)

♥.•*¨Elizabeth¨*•.♥

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I'm trying to be happy where I'm at right now. Just want a little less going on in my life.

M Pax said...

Happy IWSG, Alex!

I'm happy I bumped into you. Will see you over at Lynda's.

C D Meetens said...

I know what you mean about needing to be happy with where you are. I'm really happy I'm finally managing to write novels (rather than half a story), and that I met so many great people online.

C D Meetens said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

I was just thinking today how lucky I am to be able to follow my writing dreams. I appreciate my blog connections with every comment. Thanks for the post, Alex.
xoRobyn

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Jessica, that's great!

Elizabeth, what did I win?

Mary, glad I met you as well.

Robyn, there you go!

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Good advice. Somedays I'm happy, other days I pound my head against the wall.

Saumya said...

Couldn't agree with you more about how important it is to be happy now. It's something that's too easy to forget. CONGRATS on the top 10!! I'm almost done reading it and am excited to write a review. You really have a gift, Alex.

Tonja said...

Thanks for hosting. I sort of missed it. I have heard that writers should enjoy the stage where they are just writing, doing the creative thing they love, without worrying about what comes next. I agree with that. Thanks for hosting!

alexia said...

Alex, I think that's fantastic that CassaStar has hit the top 10! So often it seems like books come and go in a blaze of (sometimes) glory, and then poof! So, that's super great news!

Melissa Sugar said...

Excellent advice, Alex. I am really glad I stopped by to visit your blog today as I took a break from NaNo because I completely forgot about the IWSG. I didn't forget, I just lost track of what day it is. I am really going to try and get my post up before midnight, but my 7th grade daughter, just told me,10 minutes ago that she needs help reading the first 6 chapters of TUCK EVERLASTING, for a test, TOMORROW! I am furious that she waited until now. Please forgive me if I do not get the post up timely.

Thank you, Alex for being such a loyal reader of my blog and for always offering the best advice. You just seem to know what to say and I really appreciate the effort you put into your blog, reading the content of others and leaving comments. You are just all around the best.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Susan, that has to hurt!

Saumya, really? Wow, thank you so much!!!

Alexia, it just sat there and simmered...

Melissa, thank YOU. And if you miss a post, that's all right. I'm just trying to do my best and support others.

She Writes said...

I believe there are times we are going to be sad and that's okay. But, I am at a place of peace presently. Happiness ebbs and flows.

Copyboy said...

Top 10? That's amazing! Hey who cares about the dry spell. You've had a whopper of a creative one.

msmariah said...

Alex-- Another great post. Thanks for your work helping other writers.

Susan Kaye Quinn said...

This month was too crazy to post, but next month I already have it in the docket! :)

Jeffrey Beesler said...

In a way, I am happy with what's going on in my life. I'm making awesome new writer friends, first two days of NaNo have been extremely productive, and things are just looking up.

But there's a difference between happiness and complacency. I want to continue fighting for my happiness, not just being happy. If I remain happy, I stagnate. I need to grow as a writer no matter what.

Donna Hole said...

I love to hear it when things are going well for a fellow writer.

Yep, I'm happy right now. Life serves peaches sometimes as well as pits :)

..........dhole

Leovi said...

Congratulations on the jump to Amazon's Top Ten. Good foods to simmer have more flavor.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Cobyboy, thanks!

Susan, you've had a lot happening.

Jeffrey, well said.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Alex .. I've just come across this post - that (to me!) looks a good one for Insecure Writers .. and relates to your Space interest ...

http://www.stevenpressfield.com/2011/11/out-of-my-comfort-zone/

I hope you enjoy it and think it's appropriate .. cheers Hilary

Super Happy Jen said...

I almost forgot about support group yesterday, but my post is up now!

Karen Lange said...

Thanks for the reminder. Going through a challenging time while trying to get some projects out of the way, all the while wanting to carve out time for the WIP. It'll all come together. It always does. Congrats on the top ten!

Eve.E said...

Hi alex
Fantastic blog post, It is true, we all get a bit stick sometimes and need a bit of a boost. Which is what is so great about the Insecure writers group. Thank you so much for your comment on my blog :) You are pretty awesome too :)

TL Conway said...

Alex, thank you for the reminder. It's so easy for me to focus on things that I haven't yet done or milestones I have yet to reach (50K words, ahem), that I forget to simply lift my head up, look around, and be grateful that I'm even here to do this.

Taking your message, scribbling it on a sticky note, and placing it on my monitor today. Here's to a better outlook...

Christopher Hudson said...

Well, I was happy ... until you reminded me that I whiffed on an Insecure Writer's Post ... gee, thanks, Alex.

Sangu said...

It's such a simple thing, but so easy to forget: be happy where you are. It's so easy to get caught up in wishing for more to happen, or for something different, or to be two steps ahead of where you are... sometimes I look back on where I was and wish I'd appreciated it more!

Ciara said...

Alex - This is such an amazing group. I found so much comfort this month visiting everyone's blog. I'm afraid I was unable to participate but I will be joining back in next month. Keep going!

Patricia Stoltey said...

After two days of NaNoWriMo and 4,301 words, I'm thinking a week from Wednesday will be the day I start feeling insecure.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Thanks, Hilary - I'll check it out.

Jen, that's great!

Thanks, Karen.

Eve, glad you're enjoying the group.

TL, that's the spirit!

Sorry, Christopher.

Ciara, I'm going!

Patricia, no - you're doing great!

Cold As Heaven said...

Must admit I've been sloppy about the IWSG posting, but I'm back on track this month >:)

Cold As Heaven

Julie Dao said...

I'm happy because I'm getting back into writing this weekend!

Bish Denham said...

I look more for contentment than happiness. So am I content with where I am right now with my writing? Most of the time yes.

Sarah Ahiers (Falen) said...

Top ten?! Go you!!! That's awesome!
I'm a bit in the middle of happiness right now. Had some really horrible personal news, but also had some really really great professional news, so i don't really know where that leaves. *shrugs*

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Cold, that's good!

Sarah, then I am both happy and sad for you.

Lydia Kang said...

What?? What? You're in the Amazon top 10? Congrats Alex!

Ann Best said...

Congrats on CassaStar's Top Ten, Alex! That's awesome!!
Ann Best, Author of In the Mirror, A Memoir of Shattered Secrets

Kari Marie said...

Congratulations on making Amazon's Top 10!

I love this post. Sometimes being happy is a decision we make.

I hope you find your inspiration soon Alex.

Kelly Polark said...

YAY, Alex!!! :)

I'm a pretty positive person though I was bummed that
I had an epic nanofail today. But that's okay. It was mostly distractions by my kids and work. But I got to watch my boy play basketball and buy books for my kids at the school book fair. So that makes me very happy!

Amity said...

I almost forgot, it is that time again for the Insecure Writer Support's Group...:)

I guessed I have missed so many things again...

Blame that to my being irregular in blog world...and thanks Alex, I saw you first came to my new post, glad about that!

Will it be late if I will post today for this post/bloghop?

Have a great weekend Alex...I am with kids enjoying with them...sort of a long vacay from work and I guess will do me good, too, coz I am on vacay from baking too, lols!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Lydia, yeah! It's been bouncing around in the top twenty for weeks now.

Kari, I know it will happen.

Kelly, family trums all.

Amity, you post whenever!

maggieblackbird said...

Great post, Alex. Sorry I'm a little late. I'm on dial-up and it takes me a while to visit blogs. I must say you're post was very uplifting. Thanks for sharing.

jbchicoine said...

I'm late getting around to the IWG posts...
...I've given happiness as a writer a lot of thought lately. I've had a year of experiencing some big writerly lows and recently, a real high--those ends of the spectrum come and go, leveling out to a general sense of happiness, simply because I like writing and enjoy feeling productive. I'm hoping that remains the case over the next year...

Madeleine Maddocks said...

That's such good advice: Don't Worry. Be Happy! I think we should all be reminded of that mantra esepcially when writing submissions aren't successful and the happiness levels drop for a while.