IWSG: So, Do I Still Fit In?

The Insecure Writers’ Support Group posts on the first Wednesday of the month. More information and the sign-up can be found here.

The awesome co-hosts for the February 1 posting of the IWSG will be Misha Gericke, LK Hill, Juneta Key, Christy and Joylene Buter!

When I was working on my first novel–the one in my bottom desk drawer–I was working at a bookstore. I was in a writers’ group, and even though my novel wasn’t up everybody’s alley, we all got along. We had fun. It was a community, and I felt like I belonged.

Now, I’m drifting. I’m in a more mundane job, and my real-life creative community? Well, it lacks cohesion. Here and there, I run into people who write. We have a coke, we talk… the structure and routine are missing. And progress? I really don’t know. I guess you can talk about writing whether you’re getting words or not.

I’ve started thinking of going to a writers’ conference. I’m finally at a place where I might be able to afford it, and where it might actually be worth the money. And let’s be honest, the idea of going out and spending a weekend with my own kind doesn’t sound bad, either.

Hello, insecurities!

Absolutely everything, from finishing my revision (I’m not counting it out.) to what I’ll wear, and the general–and terrifying–fact that I won’t know anyone, I’ll get lost on the way to class, and I’ll probably forget my locker combination.

It’s been a long time, and I’m jittery abut the whole thought.

Anybody else in the same boat? When you’ve been away from other creatives for a while, how do you get back in?  Just close your eyes and jump, or wade in carefully? Any tips?


  1. Reply

    I’ve never been in that situation, but drawing parallels to other aspects of life, I suggest you go in armed with an answer you’re happy with to the inevitable question, “what’s your book about?”

    • Reply

      I’m so weird about this. I can get up in front of five hundred people, no problem. But tell me just one of those people is someone who matters (say an author I love) and THEN I’m a jittery mess.

  2. Reply

    I usually go to writer conferences alone and find people very receptive. I think lots of writers attend for the community. I don’t think it’ll be a problem for you.

    • Reply

      Thanks for the reassurance. I’m still trying to fend off cold feet. Any thoughts on which conferences are your favorites?

  3. Reply

    I’ve had a hard time tracking down writers in my community, but I’ve found a lot of support online. Have you thought of doing Pitch Wars this year? I met all my critique partners through that. It’s an awesome experience and community, regardless of whether you win.

    • Reply

      I actually hadn’t. If it’s always in August, I might have my manuscript revised enough by then. It could be a really good idea. I’ll look into it.

  4. Reply

    Okay, I have to say that two years ago I went to the Writer’s Digest Conference in NY. (FYI I am so poor it’s not even funny – an aunt paid for the whole thing) and even though I traveled with my boyfriend, I attended the convention alone.
    Not knowing a soul, I felt more at home and at ease and inspired than I am in my day-to-day. Because you’re with people who get you, people who understand how you think and what you value. Just dive right in. You’ll wonder why it took you so long. Good luck!

  5. Reply

    What’s the saying? Fake it ’til you make it? Attend that writers’ conference, learn all you can, talk about your awesome book, and soak in that sense of community. You’re a strong, confident writer – show them that and don’t let anyone get you down.
    I’m with Raimey, though, on where to find your best writing buddies. I’ve met all of mine online. Sometimes (like once a year if we’re lucky) we’ll meet up in person, chat and have a drink. Though, I have to admit, many of my writing friends are in other countries so meeting up isn’t a possibility. But it doesn’t matter, ’cause all the writing-support-stuff? That happens online. (Good thing too. Imagine having to meet up at 3am with messy hair and figure out if that scene actually works…)
    I’m sure you’ll fit in with the other writers – we’re all a friendly bunch with voices in our heads 😉

    • Reply

      I’m definitely leaning toward it… if I can wrangle funds and time off from work… and all the other parts of my life. I’ll add my voice to Raimey’s. The internet is an amazing place to meet people with specific interests.

  6. Reply

    I’d like to go to a writer’s conference in the future, but I think I’d be nervous too. You’ll do great. I know that because you are awesome. You enhance my writing life everyday knowing you. You’ve a wonderful sense of humor too and quirky. Love that about you. Let your light shine and you’ll do great. I get the fear and nerves thought.

    • Reply

      You’re amazing, too. If you ever do decide to go, tell me which one, and if I can pinch my pennies tight enough… **sigh** I know that Carol and Josh Engelhaupt are going to Pikes Peak this year (as are a selection of “appropriate” agents) and Carol Nissenson (Not sure if you’ve met her, yet) is going to one of the ones up in New York.

      • Reply

        I’m not sure if I know Nissenson or not, would not be surprised if I have interacted with her and just don’t remember. That is cool so many getting to go. I’ll let you know. It would be fun to go to the same one and meet up. It will probably be next year before I can do that but you never know. I’m working on getting published this year and still seeking a way to pull in extra income. Hugs

  7. Reply

    I feel a bit bad because I run a critique group locally, and we haven’t gotten together in months because I’ve had so many life issues that I can’t do the scheduling. How many of those people are starting to feel disconnected?

    I hope you get to the point of fitting in again!

    • Reply

      Don’t feel too bad about it. You’re already doing more than I’ve managed. Maybe spreading the responsibility out around more people would help.

  8. Reply

    I write YA and I love SCBWI conferences. People are super friendly, which makes it easier! It’s nice to feel like you’re with like-minded creative people once in a while.

    • Reply

      I could really, really stand to be around creative people for a while. Especially career-minded ones.

  9. Reply

    Just jump in and go. You will feel so much better afterwards. Recharged. And use the IWSG to continue socializing with writers. We are not alone.

    • Reply

      Thanks you for the encouragement… and everything else! I’m absolutely working toward that jump.

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