Wednesday, June 5, 2013


Good day ALL,

Welcome to another Insecure Writer's Support Group ...

As we know the road to publication is full of pot holes, ditches, and even canyons. So this is true for me.

This week I had experienced a bumpy ride. After climbing to the top of a mountain, the air was fresh, the sky a perfect forget-me-not blue, spring birds chirped merrily beside me. The sunshine warmed my heart and soul as both my novels' queries and first pages made the first cut in an exciting blog contest.

The judges involved were respected in the community and AGENTS were involved in the final judging. A very exciting prospect to me.

As I followed along in the contest, comments revealed my queries were far from perfect. I TUMBLED down the mountain with great speed and crashed into a bloody heap into a ditch. One would think with TWO entries, ONE would have made it through. Well, not this time. So, I found myself, scraped, embarrassed, out of breath, and depressed, staring up into an overcast darkening sky with thunder rolling in the distance.

Have you experienced this? I know you have .... We all have. This ISN'T the first time for me. FOUR years I have journeyed this turbulent road. Four years of climbing mountains and toppling down. Why continue? It seems to be endless and leads nowhere. For some, it has led you to a meadow bursting with spring flowers in the high afternoon sun. YAY for you. I am so happy, knowing your hard work has paid off! But what of the rest of us? Still stumbling along. When do we wave the white flag? How many more boxes of band aids and tubes of antibacterial cream do we need before we heal and call it a day?

I wish I knew the answer. It is up to the individual. But for those of you looking skyward from a ditch, remember to listen to your heart ... your soul ... it will speak to you. AND with every tumble there are lessons to be learned to give you the strength to PULL yourself out.

THANKFULLY. I did receive some EXCELLENT comments on my problems. Do I want to do ANOTHER REVISE? HELL NO! I AM SICK to DEATH of this. BUT as you know, I NEVER give up so, I will continue on .... bruised and angry, but I will continue.

Something else positive happened from this experience. One of the other contestants left a message for me. She, not only is an amazing writer, but she won in her combat. She wants to read my ms. She loved the premise and first page.

SO you see, even if you lose, you can win.

I'd like to take this time to thank Alex J. Cavanaugh and ALL the members of this group for taking the time to post and help support our community when our journeys get tough. We all need a friend/friends to commiserate with as well as to celebrate with when it's our turn to shine.

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone and remember we are ALL here to lend a helping hand whenever you are feeling low or distressed.


  1. Never give up, never surrender!
    Look at it this way, with each mountain you climb, you grow stronger. And you climb a higher mountain the next time.

  2. Even though I've chosen the Indie path, its still full of those holes and what not.

    Just keep writing. Keep going. It will all pan out.

    And eat some good chocolate.

    Hugs and chocolate,

  3. "Even if you lose, you can win." I completely agree with this statement. You have it in you Michael to win, and you will. Though I am just getting to know you, I know that you will revise the two manuscripts until they shine :)

  4. You NEVER raise the white flag! We have all been there. It hurts the most when you feel like you gave it a lot of shine, but other people see flaws. Now that I know it happens to the best of them, it doesn't hurt as bad, but it always stings a little.

  5. Congrats, Michael! I bet she will love it.

    There is opportunity in all things, even when we think we've lost.

  6. Michael, I love how you always find the positive. That's so nice that she sent you that message. I'm sure your mountain is waiting out there and before long you'll be back on top!

  7. Yes, sift through the bad to find the good.

    I'm working with a mentor and she's finding my repeats and gaps, but she's also been great at telling me what I've done right.

    At first my writing org matched me with someone who didn't want to mentor, really, but she did critique the 50 pages I sent. I complained when all she wanted to do was one crit. That's it, we're done, she said. That's not mentoring (in my world). Some of her comments were refuted when they re-matched me with a second author who is perfect. So for me the first match gleaned me a crit, but I also learned all mentors aren't created equal. What she didn't like, the new lady did. So I went down then up again in my own estimation.

    I understand those feelings, Michael, but I do go with gut instinct and my heart. Good luck and keep at it.

  8. It's a tough road. Resilience and not losing our optimistic attitude gets us further down the road.

    I say optimism and here's why. Optimist will face failure but their attitude always has them looking for the good things and the next step even in the midst of perceived failure. Optimists keep looking and therefore they find.

    Pessimist tend to hide in the corners of life and either rant about how unfair everything is or focus on the the negatives and they miss seeing the path out. But then, they're not looking are they? They've closed their eyes and shut down.

    Some of the very best things in my life have come out of failure. But if I hadn't been looking or analyzing I'd have never seen those threads that lead to success. :-)


  9. I'm glad that after such a rough journey, you were able to find a positive path. Bonus you found the other contestant. Best of luck!!


  10. Man, do I know that feelling, Michael. But you got good feedback. You'll use that and next time that ms will sail through. You've got my support.

  11. Michael, I can't *wait* for the day when you can look back and see why you had the journey you had. I don't believe in coincidences and there's a reason you're on the path you're on. I believe that.

    And the thing is, you're sickly talented. Like, ridiculously so. Your passion and talent is so palpable---everyone around you can see it. And you've handled hardship in a superhuman way. What's funny, is that all of us can already see your success--it encompasses your whole being! Almost like it's already happened. So keep pushing (like I know you will) because you're already a walking success story. Sooooo many people love and support you and I hope you can scale this next mountain without any Band-Aids!

  12. Never consider a rejection to be a reflection on your work! We all have room to improve on something but many times the rejection is only because of a numbers game or the "next hot thing." This is why I'm standing in a meadow of my own choosing - the indie life - and the sun is shining above me. I ain't got time for the horseplay. There are enough other bumps in the road of life to contend with.

  13. Michael, you are so talented! Thank you for sharing this. Another good thing to come of the IWSG. You are never alone. I still can't believe I'm sitting where I am, and I know a lot of other folks can't either, but the stars shone for me that day, and someone noticed that despite my Achilles heel,(grammar) I can tell a damn good story. The mechanics are fixable, and I am so grateful. Knowing my 'failure' hasn't made it easy, and yet I press on, just for the love of writing and sharing. Thank you!

  14. Brush yourself off and try again, it's the only way to get there in the end.

    Moody Writing

  15. If you keep trying, you will succeed eventually. If you give up, you fail by default. You'll get there, like we all will :)

  16. The fact that we judge a manuscript based on a query is ridiculous considering those are two different things entirely. It's like trying to decide whether to eat an apple by tasting an orange. "No, that one doesn't taste anything like this, but, if you like this one, you should try that one."

  17. Michael, you are such a talented writer! I'm thinking of all the beautiful intros you wrote during April. You have so much to offer. You WILL get there. It will all fall into place.
    Writer In Transit

  18. First off, BIG HIGS. I know how much it can hurt. BUT! Take comfort in the fact it takes so many of us so long to get to the place we want to be. You have any idea how many contests I've entered? How many I've not made? i lost track. lol But the important thing is to keep moving forward.And as one wise writer once reminded me (EJ Wesley) when I wrote a similar post awhile ago, stop and look at how far you've come. If you're making any progress at all, then every step is worth it. If not, then maybe it's time to step up your game plan.
    And total coolness you made a new CP! I once met an awesome writer in a contest in a similar situation and we became fast friends.
    So today, YOU feel down. Tomorrow, it may be ME, or some other writer we know. We all go thru it, and we're all here for each other.
    Peace and love, brother. (PS your pixie is in the mail!)

  19. Potholes are the worst! This is a wonderful post that rings so true for all of us. It's more than worth it to keep plugging away! You can do it, Michael!

  20. So can relate to your experience. I had a similar contest experience recently which led to me to do yet another revision of my manuscript. And yes, I'm sick of it at times and ask the same question you raised: Why bother? But I do come back to that I love writing no mater whether I get published. So I'm just plodding along at my slow speed on this all. Thanks for sharing your experience and glad you got some positive feedback too.

  21. I'm bruised and angry, too. Let's use it to fuel our fire! :)

  22. The journey is what makes the destination all the more satisfying, once we get there...and you WILL get there, I'm confident of that.

    Really enjoyed your post and, even though you spoke of trials, I found it very uplifting.

    Way to go! :)

  23. Life can be tough at times but we must, never give up. Giving up is the easy way out I know from personal experience. Good luck.

  24. You'll climb that mountain faster next time, and surer. You are so talented, I have enjoyed each of the excerpts you've shared. All the best!

  25. I loved the imagery here. I tried quitting. Recently. But the characters pounded on my brainpan and wouldn't leave me alone.

    I agree with Alex. The next mountain, or maybe even the mountain after that-may be the where the brass ring is.

    Grats on the request!

  26. Oh boy can I resonate with your post today. But enough of me, let's talk about you and your experience.

    Never surrender. Don't give up. Stay true to your heart, your craft, your passion. Keep going. Keep writing. Every single thing we write hones our craft. When the going gets tough, you get tougher. Critiques are sometimes hard to swallow (as you read in my IWSG post), but after we choke it down, we get right back up and make improvements whether it's the same ms or another piece. Never give up, Michael. Never.

    I too am very grateful for the IWSG. Keep your chin up. :)

  27. I thought you were writing a downer post and then it turned into a big hurrah for Michael.

  28. I'm dealing with a heap of disappointment, too, although it's for different reasons. I'm sorry you're feeling so low. I've read samples of your writing, and it's darn good.

    Don't you dare give up, Michael. They'll be a bunch of us lining up to kick your butt if you do. :P

    IWSG# 123, until Alex culls the list again. :)

  29. Yes, Michael, something good comes even from bad. It's great you got more feedback BUT...this is advice you probably weren't expecting...I think it's time for you to stop with the blog contests, crit partners, etc. and send your query and pages directly to agents and publishers. As you've learned, everyone has their own opinion, and as long as you keep putting it out there for critiques, you're going to keep getting different advice on things to change. You've already put a TON of work and revision into your stories, and if you're happy with where they're currently at, GET THEM OUT TO AGENTS & PUBLISHERS. Or start the self-publishing process. Trust me, between the agent and the publisher, or an independent editor if you decide to self publish, there will be many more revisions on the way before the books are put out there for the world to consume.

  30. Hey Michael, I read a great quote once and it seems apt here: "A published author is just someone who didn't give up." Hard as it is, there's no easy way - there's timing involved and getting that break you've been waiting for. Have faith.

    Now my posts aren't showing up on any feeds as I told you. If you don't visit me soon I'll just have to accept you aren't interested in anything I have to say, lol!!!


  31. We all have got to follow are hearts. Your drive to keep going, through rises and lows, is encouraging, and I wish you and all of us fortitude and we will find that path that leads us to our success! Writer’s Mark

  32. Incredible post, Michael, so inspiring! Thank you for showing us that tenacity and determination are everything, and that as writers, we must never stop learning. In every "failure" there is a lesson. Even a setback can be an important win as long as the writer is open and willing to grow.

    Congrats on finding a reader who loves your work. Now that's a total win!

    VR Barkowski

  33. Hi Michael .. it's all so subjective isn't it - and you've shown that so clearly here. Delighted that your ms will be read by someone with an interest ...

    ... and those blisters will be worth it in the end .. there are so many paths we can take, and that mountain with its many trees has routes we haven't found yet ..

    Keep going, good luck, bury the questionable ones somewhere along the route - that dirt may come away one day and the diamond will be underneath ..

    Cheers and enjoy the process .. life is full of ups and downs .. have fun -Hilary

  34. I know what you're going through, Michael. I've been through it soooo many times. I have a friend who is going to give up if her current book doesn't land her an agent. It doesn't help that all her friends have gone on to become agented and get book deals. Now I have to convince her not to give up.

    I'm glad you wrote You'll never give up. I'd be kicking you in the ass if you had announced you're quitting! :D

  35. i never won a contest. but i learned lots every time! and usually from strangers who werent trying to be nice. thats what those are about! give me the truth so i can get better!

    hang in there! keep that safety line tight! so you dont fall off the mountain if it gets too rough! we will pull you up!

  36. Sorry about the tumble off the mountain but I'm so happy you were able to connect with some readers. No author will ever connect with everyone, we just need to find our audience. I've been slogging along for four years also. I'm hoping next year is the year but we can never tell. At one point I got very low and asked myself if I would ever be published, then I asked myself if, knowing I would never be published would I still finish that story. I answered yes. Because of that I'll never give up, because I know I'll still be writing anyway.

  37. You may have felt down but you are definitely not out! Keep climbing, there are always encouraging writers on the other end of the rope for you. Take care and thank you so much for your kind words on my post yesterday.

    IWSG co-host

  38. Michael, I'm sorry the road for writers is so troubling and rocky. It is and always has been. I love your writing. It will find its place!

    Mary Montague Sikes

  39. Huge hugs, sweetie! I'm so sorry I did not make it over here. I've been sick and still don't feel all that well. You have incredible spirit and I always admire how you manage to take the positive side of things. On the plus side for me I managed to drop two whole pounds. We need to get together very soon. I'll call tonight or this weekend. :)

  40. Your novels will find a publisher Michael. You've worked so hard on the novels and queries, something is bound to happen. I am glad one of the participants wants to read the novel :)


  41. Love the way you put this feeling into words, Michael. Yes, you're right, we have to keep going, have to keep revising and learning. Even if we lose, we can win - I like that!