This Is Me--2019 A to Z Theme

My A to Z Theme for 2022 is My Vinyl Record Collection. This will be about the music I still have on my shelf. Be sure to check the links for samples of the albums and music I'll be talking about. There will be a lot of interesting music ahead for your listening enjoyment.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

#IWSG--"You're No Good"

          It's time again for the Insecure Writer's Support Group hosted each first Wednesday by the inimitable Alex J. Cavanaugh.  Click on the above link to find all the participants and learn more about this monthly event.  This is when we writers have the opportunity to pour out our hearts to talk about our innermost fears and insecurities where writing is concerned.

          My theme this month ties into my Battle of the Bands post prior to this current post.  My song selection for this BOTB was "You're No Good".  And that is the theme of today's #IWSG post.

You're No Good!

         Typically you won't get such harsh criticism about your writing from fellow bloggers, but there is one disparaging voice that you might get this from now and then.  I'm talking about that nasty negative inner critic that dwells within you.  Don't let that creep discourage you from writing.

         If the inner critic is making a good point or offering a good suggestion then by all means listen to what is being said, but never let that voice stop you from writing.  Maybe you did write something that wasn't all that hot.  It doesn't mean that you're no good.  The next thing you try might be just as bad or even worse, but eventually it will be better.  You've got to keep on trying.  Giving up on a dream is what is no good.

         Keep the words flowing.  Get support from those who provide validated encouragement that will move you forward and not hinder you into a glum state of stasis.  Hang out with the ones who will not just prop you up, but will help you find the writing wings that will make you soar.

         Of course if you get a "You're no good!" from an agent, publisher, or other such so-called authority, it might be time for some self evaluation.  The statement doesn't mean they're right.  It just means your work didn't work for them.  If you've got the inner drive then you've still got a potential for greatness.

          If you fail at something it means you tried.   And if you keep on trying with fire energizing your writing soul you are bound to succeed eventually.  Be sure to keep your measurement of success realistic and attainable.  Every small success is one step closer to a big success.

          You are good!  Believe in yourself and don't let any other voice convince you otherwise.  Especially if it's your own voice.  

          Are you your own worst enemy?   Who gives you your best encouragement?  Do you become easily discouraged?   What do you do when you start feeling beaten down?

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  1. I eventually stopped beating myself down that hard. (That's what reviewers are for.) I still question myself though. But all it takes is an encouraging word from someone, even indirectly, and I'm able to move on. Either that or I just go jam my guitar for a couple hours to beat out the frustration!

  2. I can take criticism like most people who write but insulting comments no way. There is a right and wrong way to criticise I know which I rather choose.

    Good choice of post Lee.

  3. I am definitely my own worst critic, and sometimes I feel as if I'm only looking for others who might agree with my negative assessments.
    Something that really helped me become more objective about my own work was to critique others. As I learned to be constructive and positive to other writers, I began to treat my own words with similar respect!
    Great post. :)

  4. No one can beat us up as well as we can do it to ourselves. I'll refer back to a comment or email from a fan to boost me back up. Or I'll turn to my husband, who always knows the right thing to say.

  5. I'm the first to knock myself down and the first to pick myself up. I'm definitely my worst and best critic.

  6. Alex -- Self-condemnation is bad, questioning oneself is a good thing. Support from others can make a big difference.

    Yvonne -- It's also very important to consider the source. The criticism of some people doesn't amount to much while other voices can be useful to heed.

    Kirsten -- I'm the same way about looking for the critical voices who will agree. I prefer not to find them. Learning about criticism allows us to understand it better.

    L.Diane -- We often see things that others don't or imagine things that are not even valid. The objectivity that others can provide is important.

    Christine -- Better than delusions of grandeur I suppose.


  7. I was reading reviews yesterday on a short story anthology. Most of them were awesome, but there were some that were really mean.

    With my blogger friends being so kind about my writing, I'm not sure I can handle mean critcism.

    Of course, I'd like to try. :)

  8. Yes, we can be our own worst enemy. My husband came home yesterday and told me that someone at his work read my book and told him they really liked it. Do you know what my first thought was? Right, they saying that to be polite. I'm so quick to doubt myself and I don't take compliments well. I'm not sure why and I don't have enough money to pay a shrink to find out!

    Later, after the self-doubt subsided, I thought - if that person hated the book, they wouldn't even have had to let on that they'd read it, and no one would be the wiser. So I grudgingly have to believe they really did enjoy it or otherwise, why make the effort?

    Our toughest critic will always be ourselves.

  9. What a great, inspirational post for the ISWG. I still allow those negative thoughts to bring me down from time to time. But, it's taking less and less time to get over them.

  10. Constructive crit is welcome by most writers... I think...
    But then you get the plain down meanies... those deliberately cruel and nasty people who thrive on deflating writers...
    I suppose the trick is to differentiate between the two... how do you know the difference...?

  11. I'm definitely my own worst enemy. My husband and son are very supportive of me.

  12. Some great advice here, we all get those negative thoughts every now and then. It's nice to know we're not alone.

  13. I think all writer's end up being their own worst critics. I know I am. I've had to personally beat up my inner critic to get it to shut up! lol

    Excellent advice!

  14. Teresa -- I guess we'll always have to deal with some mean in the world. That's when a sense of humor needs to be put to good use. Mean is usually pretty easy to distinguish from useful and appropriate critical observations. Bring me the mean! Let me at 'em!

    Wendy -- The critiques from those who don't know us are the ones that probably can be most trusted, but even the people we know can be read like a book if we are reading them closely. I'll happily take the good comments though.

    Elsie -- I think self-criticism is one of the foremost attributes of writer insecurity.

    Michelle - First of all I'd say consider the source. What have they said about others? Some people don't know how to express themselves tactfully or correctly.

    Susanne-- If our own family isn't supportive of us then we have our first big obstacle to overcome. That's a tough one.

    Laura-- It's normal for most of us to doubt ourselves to some extent. I think it would be problematic if we didn't have some self-doubt. Would we improve ourselves?

    Chrys -- We need to become friends and learn to live in harmony with our inner critic.


  15. People tend to oscillate between "I suck" and "I'm awesome" without ever developing a way to look at their work objectively. It's that objective evaluation that's really needed.

  16. I don't get discouraged with writing much but I do get frustrated with promotion.

  17. I think I go back and forth between thinking my writing is wonderful and thinking it's horrible. I guess the most important thing to focus on is knowing how to fix it when it actually is bad.

  18. Yes, I can be my own worst enemy! Lol! I have too many ideas and too many areas of interest and quite frankly, I worry about "what would my family think or say"! So my mind goes to something else maybe I should write about as not to throw out a piece that would make them wonder....who is this person! How do you handle that?? Sandy

  19. Arlee, thanks so much for sharing this. I should probably read this everyday, lol. Good stuff.

  20. Andrew - It's a natural inclination to have mood swings. I get a bit concerned when someone stays either high or low all the time. The objective middle ground is right for critical analysis.

    Susan GK -- You're not the only one I've heard express a disagreeable feeling about promotion.

    Sarah-- That sounds like a rational professional attitude.

    Sandy -- I know that feeling.

    Quanie -- Thank you for that uplifting endorsement!


  21. Your post title immediately and me singing the tune!

    Sometimes I think writing is a very bipolar activity.

  22. Yeah, I hate that guy. He get's to me sometimes, but then I take him out back and ruff him up a bit and I feel so much better.

    He comes back, but I beat him down again. Guess it's part of my process.

  23. I'm easy to be discouraged man, to be honest that's why I keep what I do hidden from people in real life in case I get some form of abuse from it, I know it's cowardly but it's how I am I guess. Interesting post buddy.

  24. So many "greats" were told that they were no good. Their ideas wouldn't work. They were inadequate. No one would buy their story. What made them "great" is that they didn't listen and kept on doing what they loved. Success is all about perseverance.

  25. Southpaw -- I guess it's the result of being inside of too many characters heads.

    Sydney --Certainly an unwelcome voice in our head.

    Yeamie-- You'll get bold when you're ready. As I got older I started to care less about what others said or thought.

    Robin -- So true. We shouldn't be held back by the negativity of others or beaten down by our own.


  26. Clever tie-in with the battle of the bands post.

    You're right. A lotta times, we're our own worst critics.

  27. I find that time heals all insecurities...eventually. By reading other's blogs and kvetching with my writer buds, most insecurities fade away.

  28. I have a few special blogger friends that give me encouragement :)


  29. Hi Lee, my inner critic has been playing dirty with me from many weeks, he is making me feel low. Have to fight him now and get the better of him.

    Rachna Chhabria
    Co-host IWSG
    Rachna's Scriptorium

  30. Thanks for the words of encouragement, always needed.

  31. I just remember that you can't please everyone. I've had someone tell me my book was the best they've read all year. I've had someone else tell me it was, quote, "boring and stupid." But hey, if we all liked the same types of books, the world would be a pretty boring place.

  32. Susan SF -- Gotta get as many as I can to the BOTB posts.

    Em-- Still I could do without the hindrance of insecurities that keep me from doing what I should do.

    Donna -- Me too. The support of others can lift us out of a slump.

    Rachna -- Don't let the inner critic get in your way. Just plow on by!

    Carole -- Thank you for stopping.

    Beer -- Yes there's something for every personality. If the whole world was like me it would be a scary movie.


  33. It's funny... when I get criticism from others, it only drives me further, but when I'm battling my own demons, it's paralyzing.

    That inner voice is a nasty thing. And it's extremely hard to conquer.

  34. Great now I got that song stuck in my head!

  35. I've stopped beating myself down. My husband gives me my best support, though. And he is pretty critical when I need it. It might smart for a second or two, I mean, come on, this is my HUSBAND! But, once I get over it (which is usually a couple seconds) he does make valid points.

  36. Yes, I am my own worst enemy. Thank you, Arlee. Were it not for the blog community and my writing group, I wouldn't have so many voices to counter my inner critic that tells me I'm no good. I appreciate the reminder to believe in myself.


  37. I always wonder if I'm good enough to take the next step. I know that I can pull off a few paragraphs, but the thought of an entire book is very intimidating. It is reassuring to be part of this supportive blogging community, and hopefully I'll eventually get there. Thanks for the gentle nudge Lee!


  38. Such a timely message! I just read a quote from Tom Clancy yesterday where he said that all we can do is keep working. Something like 'there's no muse whispering in your ear. You get up and you work hard and you keep writing'

  39. Thanks for this little dose of inspiration!

  40. It's strange that we are our own worst critic. Human nature? Thanks for the pep talk because we don't need our own inner dialogue to be our worst enemy. Writing is hard enough by itself. We don't need to make it harder. Could it be we are secret sabotaging ourselves? Not only do we fear failure, but do we secretly also fear success?

  41. Morgan -- The inner voice is the loudest in many cases.

    Siv -- The song has been in my head as well.

    Mel - Your husband better darn well be supporting you!

    Rawkin' -- We need to hear all sides to get the full picture.

    Julie -- I know the feeling. I'm nudging myself as well.

    Deniz -- I'm not a big believer in muses that will get the work done.

    Liza -- I tried.

    Buck--Success often means coming up with a greater success or at least one that is equal. It can be a daunting task.



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