IWSG: A New Year, A New Writing You!


Today I am proudly co-hosting the January session of the Insecure Writer's Support Group, brainchild of the one and only Alex J. Cavanaugh! IWSG takes place on the first Wednesday of each month and serves as a support system for any writer who has ever felt unsure about themselves (hello... pretty much everybody!).

2014 is upon us at last. Twenty fourteen. Two thousand fourteen. No matter how you say it, it sounds good.

This year, people in the blogging community - folks that you and I know - will finish novels. They will land agents and/or publishing contracts. Publisher's Weekly will broadcast names that we recognize. Books will appear on the shelves with familiar author photos and acknowledgments.

How do I know? Because these good things happen every year.

The question is: in 2014... will they happen to YOU?

It's possible. More than possible.

Every new year is a new opportunity. Think of it as a clean page in a notebook, or a move to someplace nobody knows you. It's a chance to start fresh and establish your new identity as a writer.

All you need to do is dust off that old you, the 2013 you. Take risks. Send a query to that out-of-reach agent. Write that book you were always too chicken to begin. Break rules and ignore taboos. Add a prologue, or use too many adverbs, or create a love triangle with shameless abandon. Worry about critiques and revisions later.

Fearlessness is the cure for insecurity... even if you're just telling yourself that you're fearless.

For my part, I've resolved to finish my epic fantasy this year. I've been afraid to really start it for a long time now... afraid and insecure that it would be cliche, or just plain bad, or both... but I'm going to crack down and just WRITE it. The 2014 me is reserving judgment until the book is complete.

So join me, won't you? I have a feeling it's going to be our best year yet!


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Great attitude, Julie! Every year is a fresh start. And why can't it happen to us?
Thanks for co-hosting today!

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Love the idea of fearlessness! Going to give it a try…I think. :)

Laura Marcella said...

I'm so not fearless. I wish I was! But I don't think anyone is truly fearless. Some are just better than others at ignoring fear and overcoming it. I need to improve on that!

Happy reading and writing! from Laura Marcella @ Wavy Lines

Brandon Ax said...

My motto for this year is, the time is now. I am just ready and focused. Good luck on your writing.

Diane Burton said...

What an upbeat post! Thanks for the reminder. Best wishes for a great year.

M. J. Joachim said...

Jump in with both feet and head first too! Sounds good to me!

Rachna Chhabria said...

Love your attitude Julie. I am planning on taking a few writing risks this year.

J Q Rose said...

Thanks for hosting and for this encouraging post. You must have been a cheerleader. We all need someone who will keep us on track and telling us we can do it. I know you can! Go for it, Grrrrll.

Mary Aalgaard said...

Great pep talk. I feel like lacing up my sneakers and saying, "I'm ready, Coach!"
Thanks for co-hosting the IWSG this month!
Play off the Page

Margo Berendsen said...

I love how you said "Fearlessness is the cure for insecurity... even if you're just telling yourself that you're fearless." Because for the ISWG in October I came to very similar conclusion: "Passion might just be the antidote to insecurity."

The trick is of course to stay passionate about our writing! But I think if we keep infusing it with things we love, we will. I'm debating whether to tackle an MG fantasy, a historical fantasy, or a contemporary with a little time twist, this year. I love them all: how to choose?

Cherie Reich said...

Fearlessness can be great! Or we can at least face our fears and be brave. Good luck with your goals! I love how new years mean fresh starts. :)

Thanks for co-hosting!

Emma Adams said...

I saw a book somewhere called 'Feel the fear and do it anyway' - it sounds like a great life motto! Good luck with your goals in 2014! :)

S.K. Anthony said...

Dust of the 2013 you, I like it! And I agree 2014 sounds great no matter how you say it. This is the year I will write the most and worry less.

Let's do this ;)

J.L. Campbell said...

Thanks for the encouragement, Julie, and for co-hosting.

Crystal Collier said...

BEST. YEAR. EVER!!! (In my best Rapunzel voice.)

2014 is going to be epic on so many scales, we just might have to set a new standard for measuring. =) *high five*

DL Hammons said...

I second Crystals comment. Look out 2014...HERE WE COME!! :)

Tiana Smith said...

It can happen to us, and it WILL! :)

Natalie Aguirre said...

Fantastic attitude. This is a year of big challenges for me, some not that I want. I'm going to try to remember this inspirational post when I feel down about it all. Thanks.

Lexa Cain said...

Thanks for being one of the cohosts and posting such good advice. I've always taken risks - perhaps I'm just too dumb to be fearful. lol

Chemist Ken said...

Don't worry about whether your story will be cliche or not. That's something you can fix up later once you get grounded in your story.

Thanks for co-hosting the IWSG this month!

Michelle Wallace said...

What a great attitude!
You've inspired me! Thank you.
And thanks for co-hosting the IWSG this month!
Writer In Transit

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I feel upbeat after reading your post. Thanks for the encouragement and taking the time to cohost.

Cherie Colyer said...

Great post! Good luck with your epic fantasy. Thanks for co-hosting.

Patsy said...

Good things are going to happen for me this year. I'm going to make sure they do.

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

Happy New Years, Jules. Thanks for the positive note. I'm published but I still needed to hear that it can happen a 3rd time.

Patricia Lynne said...

Motivating words. I'm ready to be fearless. =D

Jemi Fraser said...

I need to borrow some of your fearlessness! Love it!! :)

workofheart09 said...

I love this! It's amazing what we can accomplish when we just go for it ... and it's also amazing how writing those books, taking those risks and setting aside those fears, can buoy us up not only as writers, but also as people. Wishing you the best with everything in 2014! :)

Dianne K. Salerni said...

I am very excited for 2014 and the release of my next book,the first book actually written for the grade I teach, and the first book in which my students feel personally invested. I am looking forward to an awesome April -- and hope to hear fabulous news about familiar names and faces from my blogging friends! Share the splendor!

Kim Lajevardi said...

I love the idea of resolving to be fearless. Fear is a barrier to so much, and a new year is a chance to knock down walls and run forward. Great IWSG post!

Bish Denham said...

Yes! Charge into the New Year! As Frank Herbert wrote in his novel, DUNE:
"I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain."

Nicole said...

Go for it, Julie! I'm onboard with that fearless attitude!

jamieayres.com said...

Holding onto faith for all of us~cheers!

Cynthia said...

I think it's great that you're going to finish your epic fantasy. I also think you have a very positive attitude about the good things that 2014 would bring.

I myself am not sure how far I'd get with my story, but if I could finish a solid first/second draft after a few revisions, I'd consider that progress.

Connie Keller said...

What a wonderful attitude! Thanks for the encouragement.

Jen Chandler said...

This is a WONDERFUL post, Julie! Thank you! "Fearlessness is the cure for insecurity". I love that! Think I'll paint it on my writing room wall :)

There is a story in all of us that we are too afraid to write. That is the story I believe we are SUPPOSED to write. There could be one or many of those sitting in our drawers, asking for daylight. The best way to get them out is to begin, one at a time.

May this be a year of dusting off old ideas and transforming them into successes!

Thanks for co-hosting this month!

Nissa Annakindt said...

Since I can't do fearlessness, maybe I ought to try being afraid of new and different things. Such as: what if my television and my refrigerator are conspiring against me?

Wendy Tyler Ryan said...

We're on the same page. All the best in 2014.

Toinette Thomas said...

I love your words of encouragement and want to give you some as well. I beleive you will finish your story and it will be good. I have so many things I want to do an accomplish, but I'm not setting too many goals. I've that I get more done in a year when I allow myself some wiggle room to grow, expand, and change.

I think I have more social and personal fears than I do writing fear, but in any case, I say "no more."

Thank you so much for sharing and for co-hosting.

Liz Blocker said...

Awesome, inspiring advice - and much needed! Thank you :) And thank you for hosting - AND good luck with your epic!! I say go for it!!

Donna Hole said...

Not sure I'm "fearless" but I did love the positive efforts here Julie. And I do have publishing plans for 2014 - and have sent a couple queries. So glad its early in the year, lol.

It could happen! Life is interesting :)


Debra McKellan said...

Thanks for co-hosting and for such an awesome post!

Joe Bloghead said...

Great attitude - not just the positivity, but pointing out how rational it is to be positive.

Good luck in 2014!

Christine Rains said...

Awesome post! That's all we have to do. Most people never get to the end of writing something, so it's a huge deal when someone does. Good luck and happy new year!

Julie Dao said...

Alex: Thanks for letting me be a part of IWSG!

Madeline: Same here... I think!

Laura: I agree. We can pretend to ignore fear!

Brandon: That is a great motto!

Diane: Best wishes to you as well!

M.J.: Me too!

Rachna: Risks can be worth it :)

J.Q.: I was not, but I try to be upbeat when I'm not being overcome by insecurity :)

Mary: I'll be lacing up my sneakers right alongside you!

Margo: Great minds :) And I think you should write them all!

Cherie: Thank you, and good luck with your goals!

Emma: I love that quote!

S.K.: Write more, worry less... I like it :)

J.L.: Thank you for reading! <3

Crystal: *high fives you back* SO EPIC.


Tiana: It will! It has to!

Natalie: Sending you good wishes <3

Lexa: Not dumb, but brave! And someone we should learn from :)

Ken: That is great advice. Thank you!

Michelle: No problem at all! Thanks for reading :)

Susan: Thank you for visiting and reading :)

Cherie: Thank you so much!

Patsy: That is a GREAT attitude.

Joylene: Happy New Year! And it WILL happen for you!

Patricia: That's what I like to hear!

Jemi: I am definitely not fearless, but we can pretend together! :D

Shari: And wishing you the best for 2014 as well! <3

Dianne: That makes two of us! So excited for your book.

Kim: I couldn't have said it better myself! Love it.

Bish: I have never read DUNE, but that is a truly excellent quote.

Nicole: We can do it!

Jamie: Same here and cheers!

Cynthia: Wishing you the best of luck on your drafts!

Connie: Thanks for your encouragement, always!

Jen: I love that mindset! What a wonderful way to think about the stories waiting to be told <3

Nissa: A valid fear, that!!

Wendy: Same to you!

Toinette: I really appreciate those words of encouragement, thank you <3

Liz: Thank you so much for reading and for your kind words :D

Donna: You know I'm behind you 100% Good luck with your queries!

Debra: Thanks for reading :)

Joe: It IS rational to be positive! Thanks for reading!

Christine: Even finishing a book is a big accomplishment that should be celebrated!

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