Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Don’t Give Up


I wondered several dozen times if I’d ever get to a point in my self-help book where I’d stop doubting myself on every page. I had so much insecurity about my message and how to deliver it, I stymied myself. I wanted the reader to relate with me without it becoming an autobiography but I was failing miserably. 

When I doubted my choice of sharing personal stories, I went back and deleted much of what I’d written. It left me with a husk of dry, boring, and unrelatable (ß how is that not a word?) piles of words. The reader would put it down before they reached the second chapter, if they even made it that far.

But how could I help the reader unless I shared my experiences? I couldn’t. So, I’m starting to add some meat to those boring bones and it’s turning out much better than I hoped. Perhaps I’ve even created a new genre for the self-help folks; Bio-help? Hmm. Not so much.

I’m in a comfortable place as I write. My voice is strong and my message is clear (at least to me. We’ll see what my CPs say when I’m finished!). I’m in the writing groove and it’s such a relief to be there after having those ugly self-doubts bouncing around the ol’ skull.

If you’re feeling at bit on edge or doubting your ability – hang in there and don’t give up. You may just end up surprising yourself like I did. The more we write, the better we get.

And, don’t be like me, don’t let those seeds of doubt take root and stop you from trying. You never know what you’re able to accomplish unless you constantly push yourself further than you think you can go.

Keep on writing, baby! Challenge yourself!

~Note: I’m working today but I’ll be sure to pop in on everyone this afternoon or tomorrow. Be well, my friends!



This is an Insecure Writer Support Group post, come hang out with us!  It’s a time to talk about our fears and doubts, or inspire others by sharing our success and happiness.  We’ve got a great bunch of people in this group and we’d love to have you join in on the fun too.  A big thank you to it's creator, Alex J. Cavanaugh.


Don’t forget to stop by and say hello to our fantastic co-hosts:    Eva Solar, Melanie Schulz, Lisa-Buie Collard, and Stephen Tremp!

37 comments:

  1. Your first instinct was right - share those things. As long as your husband is all right with it, give the reader snippets of your life. Let them relate.
    And relatable should be a word.

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    1. As always, my first visitor or the day - my dear friend, Alex! Hope life is finding you well. That's going to be the hard part, sharing it with Devin. I mentioned it the other day and he wasn't sure he wanted to read it. We'll see. I have plenty of time.

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  2. Glad that you are in a space and moment that you enjoy. Great and positive thoughts, many thanks for sharing that!

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    1. And thank you for the positive encouragement. That helps more than you know!

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  3. Nothing helps a reader connect with non-fiction better than real life experiences. It might be hard to reveal those, but you will make the manuscript stronger by doing so.

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    1. I think you're right, Diane. I relate better to stories, articles, and such when there is a bit of the reader's story entwined with it.

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  4. Real life sure helps out a lot and makes readers connect all the more. So put it in for the win. We have to keep pushing through. I'll share anything, doesn't bother me lol my big release on may 11th has a lot about me in it, never meant too, just sorta of came out with each tale.

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    1. Oh my gosh, Pat. You're really challenging yourself with your new book. I really can't wait to get my hands on it and see what dirt you've spilled about the cat. No, seriously, I'm glad you're venturing into "adult" fiction…wait, that just sounds wrong.

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    2. lol oh, let's just say "it" may not be the right word. haha not that adult as f bomb's may get dropped, but I skip over the lovey dovey stuff, something about writing a sex scene with any version of me just seemed weird lol I've wrote them before though

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    3. I'm with ya, brudder. In the book I've been blathering on about, I tell the story of an encounter with a bar girl in Naples. Nothing eventually happened, but I still skeeved myself out.

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  5. I can just see you in a cheerleader outfit, shaking your pom-poms, standing behind us and cheering us on as we write.

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    1. I tried on my cheerleading outfit but it didn't fit anymore. Okay, fine, I was never a cheerleader.

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  6. I do think you have to put some of your real life experience in there because your readers need to know that you lived it, that you understand what they are going through. I can see why striking just the right balance would be difficult though.

    You didn't pop up on my blog roll, but I knew to come looking for you. My blog didn't pop up on several peoples either. Mayhaps we've both been gone too often and blogger thinks we no longer exist. Damn that Lord Google!

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    1. Yeah, that balance really threw me for a loop. It was hard (and still) to manage conveying the seriousness of the addiction and still let the reader know it was tough as hell to get through but they can do it.

      I know, Alex's blog didn't update in my Blogger either. I really think we are being punished from thy Lord Google!

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    2. I'll tel you what, seeing that movie "Thanks for Sharing" really drove home for me what you're going through. I also found a documentary on Youtube dealing with sex addiction. Addicts spoke honestly about themselves and it was a real eye opener. I came to understand a bit more about how early life and relationships planted the seeds for it. One of the men dealt with something you talked about regarding having difficulty with sex as an act of intimacy. When he explained it from his experience I got it. Now had the documentary or the movie just been clinical and informative, I'd not have gotten as much from it. I think I understand you better now after seeing both of those as well.

      Ya, Lord Google can be a real bastard at times and since he's the only game in town, we are at the mercy of his whims.

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  7. I'm not giving up on my WiP, but I'm taking a break. I need to recharge the batteries. I hope that when I go back with my fresh eyes the story will begin to flow again.

    Congrats on gaining the perspective to move forward with yours!

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    1. I had to step back from the book I'm working on now. A small break turned into an extremely long one, but it was exactly what I needed. Hope the same goes for you too.

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  8. I'm glad you realized those little stories help your book - I always like it when I can connect things I'm learning about with a story. :)

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  9. Personal stories always made me feel a self-help book knew what they were talking about and I took it more seriously. I also enjoyed it a lot more. Glad you are doing that.

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  10. I think it's important to add whatever real life instances you're comfortable sharing in your self-help book. Knowing that the person who wrote it lived through similar experiences will make readers feel like someone understands their struggle. Good luck with putting your experiences out there. I've found it lightens a weight off my shoulders.

    Thanks for visiting me earlier today. It's much appreciated. Eva, IWSG co-host

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    1. I know I've said it before, but I'm glad you're including personal stories. Those are important, not just for connecting with the reader, but showing them that they're not alone. Showing them situations they've been in, or are in now. The key is just achieving balance - giving personal stories without turning it into an autobiography that's all about you. And I have confidence that you've done just that. It sounds like you're definitely taking this in the right direction. :)

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  11. Readers love to see some juice, er um meat, when they read a story. It help to emphasize the point. I'm sure your self help book will be as spectacular as you are!! Hope all is well Elsie. Xoxo

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  12. It's pretty cool how, once we share our insecurities, too, we feel more secure. Well, once people respond with "I've been there" statements, we realize we're only human. Keep pouring Elsie onto the page. It's going to be a winner, because you are.

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  13. Great advice even for nonwriters but people that do crafts like me. but I do have a hard time pushing myself due to seeds of doubt and feeling so bad about myself all the time.

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  14. It's all about how stories. Everything is, really. It's how we learn to relate. It's why kids who read (stories) grow up to be more empathetic than people who don't read.

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  15. From a writer's perspective, I say share what you feel comfortable sharing.

    From a reader's perspective, when a writer reveals something deep about themselves, it helps me feel better connected to their work.

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  16. You may have had to go through this tough part to then really appreciate the good. It can be tough to share things especially something so personal. One would think that others would be bored by our own stories but often people are not. I am so glad you are in a better frame of mind in writing and it can only get stronger

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  17. Right! You have to share that part of you so readers looking for help know they're not alone. :)

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  18. I love the little turtle there! And thank you for your words. They made me feel good. Struggling with oneself is a very common old battle. Something everyone can understand. The only way to get through that is practice and practice.

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  19. Hi Elsie,

    Writing from the heart with the raw, candid experience, is something I always respect. I also believe that writing a self-help book can be of self-help to the writer. Help each other, we help ourselves. You're doing well, my kind friend. Kudos to you and keep embracing positivity.

    Gary :)

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  20. You are so right Elsie! We don’t know our power unless we use it. I think writing from our personal experience gives a touch.

    Happy writing

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  21. Just keep writing. Share your experiences. Don't edit out the interesting stuff. Often it's just a matter of rewording (<- is that a word?) what you want to share. But do share it.

    P.S. Unrelatable is a word if you want it to be. That's the great thing about writing.

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  22. I'm glad to hear you've found your rhythm.
    Good point, Blue, in sometimes just being a matter of rewording.

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  23. Yes share your life as long as those involved are ok with you sharing personal stuff

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  24. If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. But, this time with an accent.
    NOTE: Yeah, that makes no sense, but I had a few beers at the ballgame.

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  25. The way you write is such flowing. Keep writing. http://www.bellofpeace.org

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Thank you for taking the time to comment. I'm here to help any way I can.